McKinsey & Company: Managing Knowledge and Learning Essay

McKinsey & Company: Managing Knowledge and Learning Essay

A strategic vision is one which is created, communicated, modeled and then inspired to employees to strive to accomplish it. What Steinberg did was totally an unplanned strategy which did work due to good luck but not through sheer planning. So what Steinberg needed to do was strategic formulation and strategic implementation of how to overcome the problem of low sales causing the stores to be closed down. He needed to see what caused the problems in financial resources, physical resources, productivity and human resource.

He needed to conduct a business level strategy rather then to just slash down prices and print hand bills. Employees should have been well informed about the current crisis faced. He should have done contingency planning as that would have kept him alert about the situations he might face in the future and the solutions to mitigate it. He should have prioritized the basic business needs and provides strong leadership. Knowing the customers and business challenges is not enough.

He should have conducted a business continuity planning. This means that in order to continue the business, one must identify the critical functions and processes that are necessary to run the organization. Then each critical function or processes should have its own contingency plan in case it fails or ceases- in short a backup plan. This way team members will also act fast and effectively.

Candelle was not confronting to change in the environment- the change in people’s mind. The sexual revolution brought about change in peoples opinion about wearing not just lingerie but such a lingerie that made them feel sexy, chic and desirable. Seeing the current trend in the market, they should have focused more on market segmentation. Now what Candelle should do is that it should first conduct a research of the demographics, market segmentation and a survey on people’s reaction to wearing bra. Then secondly they should start innovating new ways of making lingerie keeping in mind the customer’s need. The more naturally made, soft and lighter the lingerie is, the more it gets sold. For this purpose a RESERVATION department should be opened by the organization that is devoted to generate innovative ideas for future business. The reservation could be a simple board room with board and pens to jot down the wackiest ideas and make it possible.

The company needs to do market differentiation i.e. apart from making comfortable brassieres; they should also focus on attractive packaging to make the brassieres look more stylish, focus on good product and service reliability like introduce home delivery service and discounts to have a better sale.

Candelle needs to conduct social forecasting which would systematically identify social trends, evaluate organizational importance of those trends and integrate them to forecast the organization’s future. For this purpose the futurist conduct the tracking of environmental trends and try to predict their organizational impact usually for more then 10 years or so. Even opinion surveys are a better way of knowing the organizations impact and will thus give way for employees to suggest a change, be creative and innovative.

Porter’s five competitive forces model tells us that Larry Nadler needed to do an environmental assessment. He needed to consider the competitor’s nature and intensity by considering the rivalry, bargaining power of customers, suppliers, threats of new entrants and threat of substitute products and services (Porter, 201). This way he would have half solved the problem of losing market share as he had enough knowledge at his hand and that would have proved fruitful.

Larry should also have conducted a SWOT Analysis to have an organizational assessment. By knowing his strength of producing good lingerie was there but his weakness of not targeting the right target population with the right product was making his sales plummet. The opportunity he has is to start developing those sexy brassieres to attract and focus the teenage population of which there is mostly a hype about. Of course there is a threat of the mature customers i.e. the adults and old age to object to this new sudden change as very voluptuous and intimidating for their kids to wear but the company can satisfy them too by producing a different lingerie item by expanding its product line and adding in new collections.

Lewin’s model of change has the three steps but the unfreezing step should be done quickly with apprising the employees of the company’s sound reason for change. Then bring about the change. In the last step of refreezing it needs to even award them for performance since its difficult for the employees to adapt to the changes easily. This will help bring in motivation as well as enthusiasm. However some stereotypes might object and resist to it but the company’s policies should be to placate them and convince them to adapt and modify.


What I presume is that there was lack of strategic management and proper communication of vision in Steinberg’s case. This did lead to success but without planning which will cause future problems and survival will become perishable. A SWOT analysis is also recommended.

As for Candelles’s case there was lack of environmental and organizational assessment which led them to lose market share as there was no response to peoples’ perceptions. A strong sense of innovation is needed for the company to remain viable.



Bartol. K. (2005) Management. Australia: McGraw Hill.


GSCC UK/ Margaret Francis. Effective Management. 2009, July 19 from

James Robertson. (2005, November, 1st). 10 principles of effective information management. 2009, July 19 from

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