What Strategic Convos Should HP Have Had?

August 23, 2011

in Strategic Convos, Strategy Formulation

What happens now at HP? It appears there’s many conversations that HP didn’t have before announcing they would purchase Autonomy and look to divest the Personal Services Group. We know the board was involved and we can presume outside advisors and deal makers. However, we also know that the head of the Personal Services Group wasn’t part of this trusted circle and was only told at the last minute what was going down. We also assume the purchase (approved by the board) was a foregone conclusion at this point.

So what strategic conversations should HP have had? How long should they have allowed for them? Who should have been involved? Where was the PR company in all of this? (Or internal PR?). Where was the market research? Where was the HP brand champion? What practice sessions were held before “winging-it” in an analyst’s question and answer session. Why didn’t the obvious conversations happen?

A company is only as good as the stories it is capable of telling and the consistency with which it tells them. That’s the art of the strategic conversation. One question that every scenarist asks always is “How could we be wrong?” And perhaps… looking down the cellar stairs.. “What’s our worst nightmare?”

Question… that really must be asked of HP. Who’s facilitating the conversation? How’s it made robust, safe, open? How is it used to create energy, advances, innovative solutions? What elements help with organizational agility? How does an organization ensure they don’t get bogged down in “talk”?

I don’t see every CEO / MD as necessarily as a great facilitator. However, an organization today must understand “facilitation” and think through how the convo will evolve and importantly how and where they want to take it. In HP’s case… they are now on the back foot with the press, customers and employees.



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