"Change must be systemic and sustainable," emphasized Dennis Donovan 71 BBA, 72 MSBA in a 90 -minute presentation and workshop for MBA students. Widely admired as a corporate change agent, the Isenberg alumnus has made his mark in key executive positions with GE, Raytheon, Home Depot and Cerberus Capital Management. He is currently President & CEO of Beacon Advisors International, his global consulting firm.
“If competitive advantage is the end game, change is the common denominator. Organizations that change effectively win, and those that don’t lose – it’s that simple. With that said, systematic and sustainable change requires a defined process to succeed in a business transformation. The formula for Change is VA= Q x A x E. ‘VA’ is the value add to the organization – which is a function of ‘Q’, the Quality of the work, times ‘A’, the Acceptance in the organization, times ‘E’, how well you Execute. So, if you want to add value, you need to be high Q, high A, and high E.”
The Isenberg grad illustrated this and other rubrics through a Fortune 100 company case study that revealed quantum organizational change, where he was engaged in a large business transformation. When a new CEO with a mandate for change hired Donovan, the company’s earnings and growth had stalled following years of successful performance. Donovan discussed potential drivers for this performance which focused on the organization not adapting to changing market dynamics and lacking contemporary infrastructure to execute effectively.
PLAN. EXECUTE, AND TRANSFORM
Donovan then assembled the Isenberg students into small groups, charging them – “If you were on my job what would you do, and how would you get it done.” After a lively group interaction, Donovan took the students through his own detailed, multifaceted transformation process which he has deployed at many companies. The Process for Change includes: Link change to competitive advantage; Understand the risks and opportunities in the marketplace, workplace and the community [media, government and public]; Mitigate risks and exploit opportunities through strategic, operating and resource planning; execute this planning through direction, people, process, metrics, systems and structure; and, forward integrate change to your customers and partners – and backward integrate change to your suppliers. Six years after the start of this case study turnaround process - sales doubled, earnings per share increased more than 150% and dividends increased more than 300%.
In closing, Donovan said "l built a great foundation for my career here at Isenberg. This allowed me to join one of GE’s highly acclaimed management development programs after completing my master’s in business. I found my educational experience has been competitive with the best talent in the marketplace and allowed me to achieve and advance my career beyond my expectations. Be confident as you consider internships or your post-graduation career opportunities - you’re really in a great program.”