HP Challenges, Organizational Learning


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HP Challenges, Organizational Learning

  1. 1. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)Introduction When we talk about organizational learning, the first thing that comes to our mind is anorganization that actively inculcates current, as well as previous knowledge and experiences,codifies these information into meaningful insights, and channels these knowledge towardsimproving the management and flow of their business. ”Organizations are seen as learning by encoding inferences from history into routines that guide behavior.” (Levitt & March, 1988: 319) Today, organizational learning enables companies to manage everything to be successfulin their business, and to introduce a flatter organizational structure, which can lead to reducedcosts and increased productivity. Organizational learning means the process of improving actionsthrough better knowledge and understanding. To operate effectively, organizations need to fit oralign themselves with their environment, strategies, capabilities and leadership skills. Tocompete successfully in a highly competitive and constantly changing business environment,however, organizations also need to achieve fitness and the ability to learn and change to fit newcircumstances. In other words, firms can lose their competitive advantage through the lapse oftime, therefore learning is the only sustainable competitive advantage there is. After speaking to course mates, industry players and a series of research, we havedecided that Hewlett Packard (HP) will be the subject of our case study for the OrganizationalLearning course assignment. Reason being, the HP culture speaks, acts, and operates within theirvalues, which will be further elaborated in their motto that is widely shared at HP, “The HPWay”. The core organizational values have been embedded and practiced by their employeesover the years proves that HP is one of the best learning organizations around today. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 1
  2. 2. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)Company History & Background Hewlett Packard (HP) is an American information technology corporation headquarteredin Palo Alto, California, USA. HP is one of the worlds largest information technology companiesand operates in nearly every country. HP specializes in developing and manufacturingcomputing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services.Major product lines include personal computing devices, enterprise servers, related storagedevices, as well as a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. In 1939 when Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard created HP, they worked on an audiooscillator in a garage in Palo Alto, California. After Walt Disney bought several of theseoscillators for their latest movie, Fantasia, the company was off and running. While HP began asa company that produced all sorts of electronic products, their first focus was on test productslike counters and voltmeters. HP ended up becoming the founder of Silicon Valley. They got intosemiconductors in the early sixties and by 1966, they entered the computer market with the HP2100 and the HP1000. 1984 saw the emergence of their first ink jet and laser printers. These were meant for thedesktop. HP rose in popularity, marketing their computers to the average consumer and openingan online store to help reach them. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 2
  3. 3. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)Core Business of HP HP over the years diversified its business. It provides infrastructure and businessofferings that include handheld devices, some of the worlds most powerful supercomputerinstallations, storage solutions, digital photography, digital entertainment, computing andprinting. HP’s target market includes households, small to medium size businesses andenterprises. HP has seen a rise in profit in recent years due to the introduction of innovative newproducts and solutions that suit the needs of the consumers while distinguishing it from thecompetition. With the merger with Compaq in 2002, HP has taken its mobile computing productsto a new level with the introduction of handheld computers, iPAQ pocket PC and PDAs and itbecame a major player in desktops, laptops and servers for many different markets. It acquiredEDS in 2008 and 3Com in 2009. HP currently is the market leader for printing solutions and itscore business of Personal Computers, servers and printers have seen increase in the profitmargins, highlighting the fact that it continues to play to its strengths while undertaking newventures. The traditional device business continues to show significant strength against theircompetitors. If their core businesses continue to thrive then it will have the money it needs topursue the goal of expanding its software and services business. In 2007 HP was the first ITCompany in history to report revenues exceeding $100 billion and it has topped the list of thelargest worldwide seller of personal computers since 2007. HP was ranked 9th in the Fortune 500ranking in 2009. The key to HP’s success is due to it being a Learning Organization which continuallyinnovates and responds to consumer feedback by being ready to change and adapt according tothe latest trends and technology. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 3
  4. 4. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)HP as a Learning Organization Hewlett Packard (HP), started off as a company manufacturing electronic devices. Thecore business focused mainly on computers and supporting electronic machinery. HP founders,Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, successfully managed to instill a very strong organization cultureand proud to say that the employees worldwide, live by it until today. It was the organizationculture that helps shape what HP is today. As we all know, in this given day and time, companies need to evolve. Change is almostpredominant everywhere, almost in any type or nature of business. Here HP has evolved fromwhat it was to where it is now today. In this assignment we will study the characteristics of a learning organization, and thecharacter similarities with HP. There will also be an insight on how the cultural aspect of HPmanaged to stand trough, facilitate and help as a core supporting factor for HP, given all thechanges that has taken place to date. We will take a look on 2 main challenges which HP did overcome using its bestpractices, learning and culture to improvise on its content management functions, localizationand translation features to various other countries and places it deals with in terms of business. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 4
  5. 5. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)Challenge 1: HP and Talent Management The first case talks about the priority HP has put into managing their talents. Thisaddresses the issue of why so many young talents leave the organization on short period of time,and how as a learning organization can help retain they talents. Most companies recognize that a talent management program is necessary for ensuringlong term leadership capability, which is a key driver for success. Now we can see thatleadership shortage is a common problem all over the world. Some can blame this onto theeducation system. And even on the organization’s level of talent management and training plans.Here HP has long recognized that and is towards building a strong talent pool. Talentmanagement continues to remain one of the main priorities for the organization and our talentdevelopment program reflects the specific needs of people at HP. All this while, HP has created a culture in which managers at all levels are accountablefor managing their talents. The process starts at the very top of the organization and is cascadeddown. Reason it is top down here is that, effective talent management program must be alignedto the company’s strategy and business objectives, as defined by top management. Managementis able to define the right profile of people needed only after determining what needs to beachieved. HP starts by translating their strategy and business goals to specific requirements towardstalent. The process is designed and implemented by HR but owned by the business leader whoengages all managers from the business. Usually, the management team spends half a day permonth in a session dedicated to talent management. First, they define organizational needs thatare derived from business strategy. These needs translate into talent requirements. In practice,this means defining the ideal profile of candidates to be hired, and linking it to future businessobjectives. Every manager presents a thorough assessment of all employees within theirorganization, including the level of skills, strengths and gaps. Succession plans and developmentplans for talent and successors are part of this agenda. This clearly shows that HP looks into along-term perspective and not focusing only on the immediate future. From the nature of theirrecruitment, HP seeks for young talents with high development needs. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 5
  6. 6. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP) HP knows that strong performance is a prerequisite for future career growth, but ascritical skill set, HP looks for people with global mindset, customer focus, results orientation anddeep business understanding. However, since the current population is very young, HPemphasizes on past performance results and future potential on the one hand, and willingness tolearn and openness on the other. Identifying a talent pool is just the start of the journey. Equally important is the next step,which is defining and driving specific actions for organizational and individual development.Since the talents are put into intensive development programme, those programs start withconstructive feedback from various sources. While managers are the most appropriate source forfeedback, HP also uses development center sessions or 360 degree feedback. As the feedbackcomes from different angles, it is more objective and complete. HP talents are informed to participate in projects and assignments, where they can buildnew skills and experiences. HP believes that exposing them to a global organization with itsdynamics and letting them operate in new environments opens their perspectives and providesthem with new knowledge and skills. From experience dealing with young talents, HP knows that they are looking for seniorsof the company to teach and inspire them. That is why HP strongly believes in coaching andmentoring as two different means for achieving this goal. Almost of HP talents have mentorsassigned to them, selected from senior managers in HP. There is always good feedback fromboth the mentor as well as the mentee, who find this way of learning very effective. HP also realizes that, for these young talents, at the beginning of their career paths, HPcannot forget formal education to equip them with knowledge. During the program they have achance to participate in a series of face-to-face workshops led by senior and experienced trainers Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 6
  7. 7. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)that focus on HP leadership standards. HP also offers so called “Leadership Master Classes”during which they have a chance to meet and interact with senior leaders from within and outsideHP, build their own network and learn from their experiences. As a learning organization, the commitment towards retaining talents is high. Deployingand driving an effective talent management program requires commitment and strong supportfrom top management but it also requires the involvement of every manager and of HR.Therefore, the time and effort spent on this program is quite significant. However, HP sees thisas a valuable return to their investment. First of all, talents identified in the organization are highly motivated. This is veryimportant as low levels of motivation and low appreciation can lead to bad work performance.Talents perceive this as recognition. At the same time, having defined career paths anddevelopment plans allows them to see their future in the organization, making them less likely toleave. The employee turnover rate, which is a high cost for any company, could be a few timeslower in this selected group of employees than for the rest of the employee population. Another benefit to HP is succession planning. With identified talents, the company’sleadership pipeline is considerably stronger. For critical positions, including managerial ones,there are potential candidates who are ready immediately, or with some further development.Having ready candidates in the organization saves time and money for recruitment and trainingof external talents. And another important factor found by HP, is the attraction factor. Today, it’s very clearthat candidates applying for jobs, as well as existing employees, want to see developmentalopportunities. Having a talent management program implemented addresses those needs. At HP,this is the time of year for talent reviews. As a learning organization, HP sets a good example onhow a company retains and developments its young and motivated talents pool. This clearlyshows that HP, a learning organization, believes in investing in their talents. HP believes thatthese young individuals with high potential may lead the organization in the future. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 7
  8. 8. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)Solution & Conclusion from Challenge 1: HP and Talent Management This is a classic case which most companies are going through. The ability to retainknowledgeable talents within the company. HP, a learning organization sets a good example onhow a company retains and developments its young and motivated talents pool. This clearlyshows that HP believes in investing in their talents and workforce. In other words, HP believesthat these young individuals with high potential may lead the organization in the future. This isdone in the right way by HP. In other words, HP practices the people based management system,which looks at people or its talents as the most valuable asset to the company. Here we can see that HP aligns its talent management approach with its business strategy.And this has a lot to do with employee succession planning, in other words, employees do notsee themselves as part of the organization for short term only, but view their future developmentand promotions due to the proper and managed succession planning system which is practiced byHP. This clearly shows that HP understands that the workforce today should be aware of theircareer development plan within the organization. This has a lot to do with employee retentionand motivation levels. The workforce today consists of knowledge workers. Characteristic for such workers isthat they are highly educated, have the ability to acquire new knowledge fast and continuouslyadapt to new conditions, possess the ability to work without supervision and control, have goodinterpersonal skills, possess the ability to solve problems by creative evaluation of differentpossibilities, and by contributing with own ideas to reach solutions to the emerging problems.Therefore, with all these qualities within the people of their workforce, HP should be able toretain their talents in a proper and managed way, which would clearly benefit the organizationand its people. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 8
  9. 9. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP) Therefore, HP clearly knows that it’s important that the employees can clearly see howthey can grow within the company. This is done by ensuring that HP has enough touch pointswith the employees so that they can see themselves having a career that they can grow with HP,which is one of the important opportunities a knowledge worker seeks in the workforce today. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 9
  10. 10. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)Challenge 2: HP, Content and Product Data Management One of HP problems was how to deliver the product that has been created out to thecustomers. The method that Hp used to follow acted as “spaghetti”, Mario Queiroz, VicePresident said. It looked alike “spaghetti” when users and vendors are around the businessmeetings and conferences. HP needs to publish their products to multiple websites as well. The challenge was howto make the bowl size able to hold the connection between HP business units and their customersespecially when the customers’ size was already huge. It was indeed that HP has to reconstructits product content supply chain. Content and Product Data Management (CDPM) Organization,took the lead to solve the problem. HP was in need to publish its content, but for effective content globalization it requiresthe perfect balance between satisfying the customer in local languages and maintaining corporatebranding. Given its presence in 178 countries worldwide, the scale of HP’s globalizationrequirements is daunting. Content management and globalization management are treated as business solutions atHP, not as technologies.. The content and product data management business processes that driveHP’s solutions align with the company’s product lifecycle, and they ensure consistency ofcontent globalization throughout the enterprise. Most of these processes are self-explanatory. “Provision content” is the process ofmaking globalized content available to the destination publishers, both online and offline. Thedelivery mechanism is based on a syndication model. The regions subscribe to content viabusiness rules held in what HP calls a “provisioner.” When new content becomes available, it ispushed out to the subscribing site. The publishing team at the subscribing site assembles theappropriate content received via the provisioner and finally publishes the content on the local HPsite. These repeatable processes are continuously improved in the constant quest to providecontent consumers with the right information, at the right time, in the right way. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 10
  11. 11. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP) At HP, three primary sets of activities support the mechanics of global publishing: • Regionalization - adapting content to a geographic region. • Translation - transforming content from one language to another. • Localization - modifying content to account for differences in distinct markets, with cultural sensitivities and legal requirements in mind. In 1998, the established processes were not optimized operationally. This was not asituation unique to HP. Six years ago, HP faced these very issues. At the same time HP wasdepending on its websites as its primary methods of communication with customers and partners.As translation and localization (T&L) Manager Alison Toon notes, “In a global operating envi-ronment, the Internet has become a primary interface between customer and vendor. And thecustomer expects to see consistent and timely information regardless of how and where it ispublished, whether on a website or in a printed brochure or manual.” In 1998, Toon started seriously to study the T&L problems under the coverage of an HPservices organization to which she belonged. Content globalization processes were highlydecentralized; the business units and regional divisions worked on their own to translate andlocalize product content for their local target audiences. As a result: • Translation was inefficient due to redundancies. Two factors were in play. First, some regional translation agencies were not using translation memory, starting from scratch each time a new translation cycle was required. Second, there was no influence across the translation memories that did exist; they were isolated project silos. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 11
  12. 12. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)Solution 2: HP, Content and Product Data Management In 1999, the globalization of a customer support website called the InformationTechnology Resource Center (ITRC) presented an opportunity to begin exploring ways toaddress HP’s content globalization issues. The ITRC was managed centrally, including all thelanguages in which it was published. The release is simultaneous—all regions at once, ratherthan English first and others to follow. If one localized ITRC misses the deadline, they all missthe deadline. The T&L group wanted to enable HP’s business units and regional organizations to takeadvantage of enterprise technology and services without preventing them from using localservices where appropriate. The team developed the concept of an enterprise translationarchitecture that centralizes content globalization efforts and provides mechanisms for leveragingtranslation work that has already been done. The business objectives for the architecturetranslated into two key technical requirements: • Workflow capabilities for automation and communication, and • Support for centralized sharing of translation memories. From a technology perspective, TRADOS Global Enterprise Suite is a server applicationthat connects project managers and translation suppliers in an end-to-end workflow solution. Asa centralized application, it enables HP to: • Provide all translation vendors with a consistent user interface. • Maintain and make available databases of translated content that are specific to the business units and to individual products, yet globally available and leveraged throughout HP. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 12
  13. 13. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP) Global Enterprise Suite components include: • Integration with content management systems. • Tools for translation project managers to create work packages for distribution to translation vendors (highly automated when the TRADOS Suite is integrated with content management systems). • Workflow for automating file transfers and communication among the various participants in the content globalization process. • Reporting tools for analyzing reuse rates and other key metrics. The reporting tools enable the T&L group to measure its progress towards improvingreuse of translated content. Prior to deploying Global Enterprise Suite, the company was unableto measure reuse at all. “When we started the first project, we had no idea how much translatedcontent was being reused because we never had tools to measure reuse,” says Toon. “The oldadage is true. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”Globalization Output The T&L group supports more than 65 translation and localization programs and enablesthe company to translate more than 30 million words per year in 36 languages. Plans for 2005 areto continue growing the use of the system exponentially throughout HP.HP has achieved additional measurable benefits at the level of T&L. • The enterprise translation architecture has produced translation cost savings of greater than $3.5 million annually. • The reuse rate of the content currently managed within the enterprise translation architecture is estimated at 68% for 2004, up from 50% after the first year of using TRADOS Global Enterprise Suite. Toon’s eye is always trained on the remaining translations that take place outside the architecture. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 13
  14. 14. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)Translation Workflow The Translation workflow: Helped HP address their localization and translation challengeLessons & Results from Challenge 21.) Customer Focus“Provide our customers with the right information at the right time, and in the right way”. TheCPDM organization puts addressing the customer experience front and center as it decides whichcontent comes into the globalization architecture, which projects are prioritized, and whichtechnologies can be applied to achieving the best results for end consumers of product content.By treating its technology assets as modules, HP can swap out capabilities as they evolve and asnew solutions come into the marketplace.2.) ScalabilityScalability is also at the top of Toon’s list of lessons learned. The huge volumes of content thatneed to be managed in HP’s structured and unstructured content repositories are likely to stressthe limits of commercially-available systems. Toon advises content management adopters to be Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 14
  15. 15. 17th, May 2010 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FINAL ASSIGNMENT: HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)as specific and as granular as possible when describing scalability requirements to potentialsoftware suppliers. Today HP’s digital content management infrastructure serves the needs of approximately13,000 sales and marketing users. HP has realized the following measurable benefits as a resultof its content management initiatives: • The structured content factory, in production for 18 months, has reduced the cost per new product introduction by 56%. • The sales force is 10% to 15% more efficient due to simplified access to content. • Conclusion from challenge 2 In other words, HP is following the adaptive learning method, they have merged theirproblem which was in the website content. The globalization and localization problems were also solved by the same department,which means they learned together as an organization and individuals to recover the issue. Theyhave used HP Name as a cover for the process. They also went through the organizational cycle, by generating the problem thenintegrating with the suitable solutions at that time, but each individual in that department wasconcerned how solve content and how to satisfy the customers from different locations withvarious languages. So they worked as one team to demonstrate the problem and to reach to thebest solutions. The output was clear, when the sales have increased to higher rate, plus the customerssatisfaction had increased. They also learned from the mistakes as an organization leaning, whichresulted in conducting the final solution. Final Assignment: Hewlett Packard | 15