SCA is a process for tackling complex, strategic issues that cross organizational, geographic, functional lines, moving rapidly from problem identification to solution to execution.
This highly robust methodology was originally designed by Sapience partners for IBM as an adaption of GE’s highly-successful WorkOut initiative. It is a way to change the “silo mentality barriers” while addressing critical business needs.
When Lou Gerstner wanted to move quickly to a fully-integrated, rapid-acting, truly global IBM, ACT (Accelerate Change Together) was created to drive critical strategic solutions across geographic, functional, business and traditional “organizational silo” lines.
The goals were:
- creative solutions to mission-critical strategic issues (many of which had become “entrenched” due to an inability to effectively build solution consensus and, more importantly, commitment to implementation);
- rapid decisions unencumbered by laborious silo-bound chains-of-command and full commitment to actions unwaveringly supported by all;
- quick and thorough execution of recommendations—tracked, monitored and measured with roadblock removal readily available.
All the goals were achieved, with IBM claiming:
- $900m top-line growth;
- $700m reductions in cost;
- $1.2b reduction in inventory carrying costs;
in the first year of the utilization of ACT methodology, alone.
Gerstner cited additional (and, to him, more important) payoffs including:
- a marked shift to day-to-day working together across silos;
- the incorporation of ACT methodology as “normal operating practice” – applied formally and informally;
- new leadership behaviors and styles – at all levels;
- SCA is an evolution of that original ACT process designed for IBM that can be tailored to the unique needs and goals of any organization seeking to (re-) position itself in these challenging times.