The Economist published a great story on how Siemens, battered by bribery scandal, recruited an outsider CEO and now has started to leverage the potential benefits of owning several business that could be run as stand-alone companies, operating at large scale all across the world, and avoiding to over-engineer products. The story illustrates most of the key ideas of SM3, including how to implement a corporate strategy.
Read: A Giant Awakens
Europe’s biggest engineering firm used to be known for two things: making everything but a profit; and scandal. Now things look very different
In the 1990s and early 2000s, Wesfarmers showed how a corporation could be successful with a similar strategy as GE in America: buying and selling unrelated businesses. But then private capital entered the acquisition market, bidding up the price for Australian corporations that were up for sales. Wesfarmers found it more difficult to pursue it disciplined strategy of finding acquisitions that you be managed more effectively and unlock shareholder value. Almost two years ago Wesfarmers but the underperforming Coles supermarket chain. Plenty of commentators were worried that Wefarmers, breaking its traditions, overpaid for Coles and would never be able to improve the performance of Coles as the Perth-based conglomerate had done with earlier acquisitions such as Bunnings.