Free Essay

Stratafin Inc

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Shreeti
Words 1377
Pages 6

The case is about StratAfin Inc., an accounting firm in South Africa that is trying to transform and align itself with globalization and the changing operating environment of South Africa mainly due to the advent of democracy and the abolition of apartheid in the country. The imperatives for transformation were twofold. First, the company wanted to become global and position itself as a best-practice international accounting firm in the African continent. Second, it wanted to achieve race and gender diversity at all levels within the organisation. Ben Adams was appointed to manage the change.

Analysis: Key changes that Ben Adams drove: Adams took several key steps like creating a new identity, creating a vision/strategy and communicating it effectively thus getting the buy-in of employees, insuring short-term wins and managing resistance to change in order to support the transformation process. However this paper will focus on two key steps that he took and address if Adams was effective in his leadership of these two areas.


Developing a vision/strategy & Effective communication to obtain employee buy-in

Adams pursued active management by taking into account employees’ views of the firm. He took a participative approach towards formulating an effective transformation strategy for the firm. Organisation of a conference with a cross-section of employees balanced between race and gender helped solicit recommendations on a transforming strategy and encouraged buy-in from StratAFin staff. There was free-flow of information and the effects of transformation on employees and the firm were discussed. He consolidated all information into one common vision, value system and strategy to ensure unity. A transformation covenant with seven objectives to focus was adopted and served as reference point for all employees. The vision was to align the firm with the national imperative for change. This is very vital and effective as it helps clarify the direction of the change by giving compelling reasons for change and motivates people to take action in the right direction.

Further the strategy was effectively communicated by repetition. Often the most powerful way to communicate a new direction is to lead by example. Adams often spoke enthusiastically about the transformation strategy to garner support from employees and ensure alignment of people and practices to the new operating environment. He also encouraged managers to disseminate the message through informal “corridor talk” and ensured consistency. He created excitement about growth and change. Senior partners spent 10 days in a month listening to outside people to better understand the context of transformation for StratAFin. The road show to clients enabled the company to get the buy-in of customers and shareholders. Open dialogue was encouraged and every employee had the opportunity to give feedback thus making the process more inclusive and transparent. This two-way communication endeavour makes the employees feel important and creates responsibility and ownership for change. All of the above enabled the company to

successfully address the fears of the employees and enabled them to take a positive approach to the transformation process.

Managing resistance to change:

When organisations undertake transformation efforts there is often resistance from employees due to lack of direction, insecurity and complacency. Adams also faced resistance from employees at StratAFin but he was smart to acknowledge that resistance to change is a part and parcel in any organization. There was gender resistance and the HR department recognized the stress for women and the company tried to accommodate these challenges. Nevertheless some of the senior partners’ mindset did not change. Adams took the following steps to effectively manage resistance to change. He made sure all employees were in the same direction and that they understood the collective vision of what the firm wanted to achieve. This helps give clear direction and show employees where to go, how to act and what destination to pursue. He made sure that managers created comfort among employees and a consistent vision was filtered throughout the system. He realized that managers trained in accounting did not have the necessary business management acumen and often resisted difficult conversations to avoid conflict thus negatively impacting effective performance management. He acknowledged the need for having competent HR professionals who could support StratAFin. He could spot the people who were so off the mark. He tried to confront them and bring them along by articulating the vision but few still resisted the change and he was quick to recognize that it did not make sense to expend energy on them. He created great impact on the employees of the entire organisation by firing a senior partner for sexual harassment.


Short-term wins:

Adams remodelled the entire IT platform and implemented transparent online processes. This enabled many divisions to exceed budgets regularly and started delivering immediate results. On noticing that the business was not working at capacity, Adams reworked the bonus-scheme for employees making it more performance-oriented. This resulted in motivating the junior staff to work more and actively participate in discussions with senior partners. The new systems empowered people to take ownership. This was very effective step as it created a win-win situation for both the employees and the firm.

Within 18 months, the revenues and profits were improving and Adams was effective and built the credibility needed to sustain his transformation efforts in the long haul.

Radical vs Incremental Change

I believe that if we want sustainable change, incremental change is preferable. The gradual implementation of radical change would be effective for StratAFin. Adams is already in the right direction. The new corporate premises symbolize the changed organisational culture reflecting the diversity of the country and its artists. He has given the employees a new identity and a physical sense of what StratAFin is aspiring to become. Cultivating a new identity helps to grow the employees, inspires them and makes it easier for employees to accept the change and act accordingly. It takes time to change the culture of the company and it is important to avoid quick and dirty decisions. There is also an example in the case where competitors were achieving transformation by making Black accountants partner just one year after training without sufficient experience. However Adams took the right decision that this is not sustainable in the long run and would damage the individual’s reputation forever.

The company is already going through monumental change and radical actions at this point would create chaos. Moreover the company has made some improvements. The number of Black accountants has increased by 111% and 21% of the firm is owned by Blacks as of 2010. It is important for the company to keep building on these wins and to not lose focus on the transformation strategy.

Managing the “Human Capital” Investments:

Adams was in the opinion that the transformation that the company was going through was monumental and recognized the importance of investing in human capital for the successful growth of the company. This would help bring in change agents that challenge the status quo within the firm. The investments in these people thus gave a fresh perspective to the firm. He made sure the HR strategy was in line with the vision to promote diversity by recruiting the best young Black talent in a firm dominated by white people and offering bursaries to deserving Black students. When it was recognized that diversity issues still needed improvement, recommendations were made to address these problems. Adams created transformation through personal accountability for the senior partners. He encouraged them to take actions like being transparent when not able to allocate work to specific juniors and having lunch with employees different from oneself. He made them accountable for these actions by ensuring that they report on what they have done every three months. HR managers were appointed to facilitate team meetings and build open and honest communication. They were also responsible to address challenges that Young Black accountants faced such as access to quality chargeable work. I think that this is the right step to take as investment in people’s knowledge and skills (particularly Black people) is the most important thing for the sustained long-term economic development of StratAFin particularly in the age of globalisation, advent of democracy and abolition of apartheid in the country.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Stratafin Inc.: Auditing Change

...This case focuses on organizational transformation in an accounting firm in South Africa. It describes how the impact of both globalization and the transformation that the country had undergone since the advent of democracy in 1994 steered StratAFin Inc. towards a process of building a new identity. The firm’s senior management realized the need for transformation based on the many new challenges in the changing environment. Change was experienced at many levels within the organization: from the construction of a new building as a symbol of change, to corporatizing and growing the firm, changing the management structure, investing heavily in technology and human capital development, focusing on continuous improvement, and driving major diversity transformation. The case offers insights into the many drivers that had to be considered in the process, how the organization had to manage resistance to change and the need for flexibility during the process, and the importance of measurement of the many dimensions of the transformation process. The case concludes with the challenge of how the firm’s leadership could ensure that the continuing transformation maintained its momentum. Learning Objective: The objective of the case discussion is to encourage students to better understand the many components of organization transformation and how different inputs (general environment and industry analysis), coupled with the various internal strategic orientation components (strategy,......

Words: 360 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Nike Ethos Pathos And Logos

...Nike recently released an advertisement video on July 13th, 2015, “Short A Guy,” the hit video has been seen on TV and has over three million views on YouTube. As a company, Nike has set out to have the gear that will make the customer look as nice as they play. Top flight athletes all across the country use their gear, and in this advertisement it showed the likes of Mike Trout, Andrew Luck, and Anthony Davis all wearing Nike apparel playing their own respective sports. Trying to get the audience to buy their athletic gear, this advertisement clearly appeals to those who are interested in athletics and does so through the use of ethos, logos, and pathos. Throughout this advertisement, the audience is taken through a variety of settings and that is the context for this particular piece. Nike's mission statement is "To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world." Through the ad they are trying to inspire athletes but also sell them on their clothing to take them over the top as players. As the advertisement plays, it shows the different settings and all the people wearing Nike apparel. Also, it showed the famous athletes in the video wearing Nike gear, and they would tell the kid they are, “Short a Guy.” As he would go from sport to sport, he changed clothes into different sports gear that Nike sells. The audience the author is trying to target are people that enjoy athletics, and that’s why the use of well-known celebrities is key to this ad. Seeing these...

Words: 1003 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Essay Comparing The Cat In The Hat And Monsters Inc.

...In today’s society, we don’t hear cases about monsters scaring children and transforming into heroes. Monsters that turn into heroes come off as rare in the fiction world where most people only see one side of a monster. Two works that suggest monsters becoming heroes are The Cat in the Hat and Monsters Inc. At first, these monsters come about as scary looking but that’s not how these selctions end up; finishing with a twist in the end with monsters showing a care for human children. While written 40 years apart, Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat and Pete Docter’s film Monsters Inc. demonstrate responsible behavior in interactions with children and show the flawed characters who though their journey have monster heroes who interact with human children and then accept responsibility for the messes they have created. The Cat in the Hat and Monsters Inc. portray a child’s adventure as a result of showing up unexpectedly. The Cat enters out of the blue introducing himself to the two children and begins creating chaos around the house because he’s being a careless cat. The Cat unlocks a crate and frees the two identical creatures with blue hair who rally round the Cat...

Words: 1274 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Nike Rhetorical Analysis

...The advertisement gets the audience attention effectively by utilizing the rhetorical element of pathos. The advertisement does this by using an overweight boy so that the viewers can in a way relate to this boy struggle of trying to lose weight and be active. By doing so the advertisement makes the audience feel empathy for the boy. The advertisement also appeals to your emotions by staying in just a single shot of just the boy jogging; by doing so you get a full view of the facial expression visually see he is motivated. The advertisement does not include any background music. All the audience can hear are the boy light steps, heavy breathing, and the voice of the man speaking. Although, there is no background music the advertisement still manages to be upbeat and inspiring to the audience. The advertisement effectively uses the rhetorical element of ethos. The ethos is effective because the brand Nike has been around since 1962 and is recognized worldwide to the public. The company is highly respected in many parts of the athletic industry. The brand also has a long list of spokespeople and commercials that built credibility to the brands name. By choosing an average overweight boy, Nike is using someone is can be relatable to mass audience. The audience can feel as though that they can trust the boy using Nike because the boy is just like the audience. Although it is a critical aspect for Nike to have credibility when selling their products such as using celebrity......

Words: 277 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Nike History Essay

...Nike has been around much longer than most would think and continues to be the leading trend setter in athletic wear. Nike was started in January of 1964. The athletic company began as just a small clothing distributing company out of the truck of Phil Knight’s, owner and CEO of Nikes, Car. The Saying you started from the bottom is very true when it comes to Nike who now leads in sales of all athletic gear compared to Adidas who at the time of 1964 was the most popular athletic company. From starting in a truck of a car no one would suspect that this company would not only be defined as the definition of ‘cool’ when purchasing clothing and shoes from stores all over the United States but yet the brand that carries our pop culture. Nike started with two key people that pushed this company Bill Bowerman , Co founder of Nike and olympic track coach, his search for lighter and much more durable racing shoes for his Oregon State track runners. Combined with Phil Knight's need to make a living while still living out his passion for the athletics. The two became friends over track and the desire to find products that gave a better performance than what was available to them at that time, between the two of them, the seed was planted and from that came the most influential sporting company. A key moment in Nike history was when Phil Knight traveled to Japan on a world-tour searching for a call on his life trying to decided what he was meant to do with this new goal on a random whim......

Words: 918 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...ADVANCED MARKETING STRATEGY  362MKT Example on Nike Dr. Eric Chu 362Mkt‐2012 Example Company Background • NIKE, Inc. is the world’s leading innovator in  athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and  accessories. The mission of Nike is to bring  inspiration and innovation to every athlete in  the world. 362Mkt‐2012 Example Product Market • Garment Industry – The garment industry consists of different  categories of wearing apparels that serve both  beauty, comfortable and body protection. – Product categories could involve men wear, kids  wear, sports wear, ladies, … 362Mkt‐2012 Example Market Audit (1) • External Environment – By STEEPLE • Social factor: people are more concern with health,  fashion and beauty.  Diverse segments are emerging in  the garment industry. (Opportunity) • Technology: different material by nano technology  could help to build more comfortable garment for  consumer market. Different material available lead to  better design for manufacturers. (Opportunity) • Legal: pirated products costs a lot of money for  litigations in the industry. (Threat) 362Mkt‐2012 Example Market Audit (2) • External Environment – By 5‐forces • Supplier: supplier marketing in the garment industry  are mainly small low costs manufacturers in the area  and many suppliers are available. Suppliers bargaining  power to the industry is low. (Opportunity) • Buyer: Information transparency increase and there are ......

Words: 888 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Air Jordan XX9: Brand Analysis

...There are numerous sneakers launched by distinct identified and unknown organizations for gamers each and every yr. Some sneakers are extremely unique and a few are costly. Nike, Reebok Jordan,Adidas are best brand identify who promote favourite sneakers for gamers. This 12 months Jordan business also reviled new sinkers and 1 is most latest Air Jordan and quickly its colorway are releasing quickly. An additional current release of jordan business Air Jordan XX9. The two Michael Jordan and Tinker Hatfield collectively launched Air Jordan series which gets to be most promoting footwear from the 12 months. At exact same time Jordan launched an additional pair of footwear Air Jordan III which can be depending on Chicago Bulls-themed edition which seems desirable for red lining and white brand.Shortly, it's turn out to be well-known as well as Michael says 17 from the 29 Air Jordan footwear. Jordan organization unveiled the 2nd edition of Air Jordan within a particular occasion which was black shade with 23 inch brand created for basketball gamers and athletes. Additionally, it attracts thoughts of player as well as other folks. Its reputation can also be raised to best. Nike announced that Jordan Brand endorser Russell Westbrook will launch air jordan shade way maybe throughout Oklahoma City Thunder's video games inside the 2014 NBA gaming. Nike also additional that Air Jordan XX9 will likely be greatest suit for basket ball gamers which might assist within the taking part in......

Words: 466 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Blue Jeans History

...Blue jeans! The most popular clothes in all the time. We see people wearing this invention on every day and any occasion. There is no fashion trend has been worn for this long as blue jeans. Jeans are an icon of fashion item, and they manufactured in many fits such as skinny, slim, straight, boot cut, low waist, anti-fit, and the classic. Jeans pants have increasing fashionable. The word "jeans" came from a material called Jean which is named by sailors from Genoa in Italy and they wore clothes made from it. Do you ever thought about jeans? How had it made and how it was invented? Jeans was invented by Jacob W. Davis in partnership with Levi Strauss & Co. In 1831, Jacob W. Davis was born and he was trained and worked as a tailor. He owned a tailor shop which is making tents, horse blankets and wagon covers for trains. Jacob was using a really heavy cotton fabrics named "Duck" and "Denim" which he is buying them from Levi Strauss & Co. The history of jeans is begun in San Francisco. One day, a lady customer came to his shop and asked for a clothes for her husband which has obesity and he couldn't find him a suitable clothes in shops. The lady has requested Jacobs two pants to be made as strong as possible. The tailor thinks about the copper rivets that he is using them on horses blankets and he put them on the pockets of the trousers so they don't tear. Then, these pair of pants get liked by people and became a very popular for heavy work. He had come up with an unusual way......

Words: 908 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...Nike, Inc. is the world's largest supplier and manufacturer of athletic shoes, apparel and other sports equipment. The company employed about 56,500 people worldwide and in 2014, Nike's global revenue amounted to about 27.8 billion U.S. dollars. The North American region of Nike generated the largest portion of the company's revenue that year, approximately 12.3 billion U.S. dollars. Of that 12.3 billion U.S. dollars, the Oregon based company's athletic footwear segment generated about 7.5 billion U.S. dollars. Nike, Inc. is the world's largest supplier and manufacturer of athletic shoes, apparel and other sports equipment. The company employed about 56,500 people worldwide and in 2014, Nike's global revenue amounted to about 27.8 billion U.S. dollars. The North American region of Nike generated the largest portion of the company's revenue that year, approximately 12.3 billion U.S. dollars. Of that 12.3 billion U.S. dollars, the Oregon based company's athletic footwear segment generated about 7.5 billion U.S. dollars. Statistics and Facts on Nike Statistics and Facts on Nike A new range of Nike apparel products assist the body’s natural ability to regulate temperature when running in a variety of conditions. The innovations are informed by Nike’s "Nature Amplified" design ethos — an approach focused on the body in motion and fueled by scientific data and athlete insights — to keep runners comfortable, protected and focused on performing at their best. Nike......

Words: 1167 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Demand For Sneakers Or Running Shoes

... Demand And Supply Sneakers or running shoes. Giving the economic situation the world is currently in, the market of certain products can be greatly affected depending on the demand and supply of these products. Sneakers or running shoes as it is, has an increasingly demand and supply curve considering the fact that, the world is highly increasing in both the youth and old age population. A high percentage of Americans strive to stay healthy which involve being physically fit. Running as we know, is what must people do to stay physically fit. This causes a high demand and supply for sneakers or running shoes. The demand an supply of sneakers can be influence by numerous factors. Demand, demand is the quantity of good or services buyers are willing and able to by at a particular time. There can be numerous factors influencing the demand for sneakers or running shoes. Price: price could be an important factor influencing the demand for running shoes. When the prices of running shoes dramatically increases, the demand for running shoes would decrease. on the hand , if prices for running shoes are reduced, demand will increase. Income could also be and important factor affecting the demand for sneakers. As consumer income rises, the demand for running shoes rises and decreases when consumer income decreases. The type of population. If the population has a high percentage of youths that like exercising, the demand for sneakers would increase. on the other hand,......

Words: 864 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Nike Political Influence

...Nike, Inc is an American company started by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. Based out of Beaverton, Oregon, Nike was founded in 1964 under the name Blue Ribbon Sports. Bowerman and Knight changed the name of the company to Nike after the Greek goddess of victory in 1971. The Nike company designs, develops, and manufacturers athletic and active wear products including footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories. The company started with one pair of running shoes and has grown into a multinational billion-dollar business that provides everything one may need to be active. Nike's success is in great part to the company's strong and ever evolving marketing strategies that continually meet the needs of their target demographics in unique and emotional...

Words: 910 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Apple Leadership Skills

...Almost everyone in business is aware of Apple’s amazing product success and the extraordinary leadership of Steve Jobs. Some would say that it’s the corporate culture of the company that has allowed them to go from solely a computer company to being known for its ability to come out with path-breaking products. That culture has also been tied to the innovation created at Apple and how they became the pioneer of the “Work Hard Play Hard” ethic. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, he totally change the whole organization. With the help from his Human Resources Director, Jay Elliot, he reorganized the hierarchy of the company from the more traditional functioning vertical organization designed by the previous CEO to a flat organization, launching open communication policies and recruiting employees who were genuinely excited about creating products for the company (Shelly, 2011). Steve Job’s leadership skills and the principles for hiring the right people and developing management policies were the basis for Apple’s start and what has helped shaped the organization and defined their corporate culture. Apple's human resource management attracts a quality workforce by attracting visionary people that think freely and can see the potential in different objects. It does this through excellent human resource planning, job specifications, recruiting and the selection process. It all begins with hiring the right people, so how does Apple go about finding the best people......

Words: 1405 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...Starbucks Antoinette E. Hooks, Trish Leeper, Carlos Medina, and Crystal Truong RES/351 November 20, 2013 Amanuel Gobena Starbucks Starbuck partnering its famous Starbucks card into an all in one card could be a win-win situation or a win-lose. Either way Starbucks will maintain one of the largest coffee companies across the nation. One main factor to some of Starbucks consumers would be that of Starbucks rewards program. Now when you have a Starbucks gold card, customers that have one earn one star per purchase made be that coffee and or merchandise. On the other hand it would be a plus to Starbucks consumers to replace a major credit card with his or her Starbucks card now being a Visa card. One opportunity that consumers will now have is the ability to earn more points on coffee and retail purchase. When it comes to credit cards and opting to switch, the main issues consumers would ask about would be the interest rate of the Duetto card verses other major credit cards. If the interest rate is higher consumers would be hesitant to change to the Duetto card. The purpose of Starbucks doing this study is to see how many of its loyal customers would actual apply for the Duetto card and how many would rather carry two cards. Starbucks needed information on what was available to them and how it would benefits its customers along with if it could really work for Starbucks to offer consumer credit cards. Looking into interest rates and possibly additional rewards offered......

Words: 269 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Doc, Docx, Pdf, Wps, Rtf, Odt

...SWOT Analysis for Apple’s new iphones Apple is a very successful producer of computer software and hardware that leads in its competitive industry. To evaluate the progress, success, and faults of the company, the SWOT analysis is used. The SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the organization. This model is used to help it identify internal and external areas that need improvement and internal and external areas that prove to be successful. Strengths: Over the years, Apple has grown by offering superior products compared to competitors. Apple has positioned itself to be a pioneer in the personal computer industry. It is one of the original hardware producers in the market that controls both the manufacturing of its products as well as its operating system. Apple is self- sufficient and creates its own internal components for the core of its iphones. Apple has set standards for high quality products in order to meet customer satisfaction. It is dedicated to research and development in order to create new products, which are expected to make Apple’s products more efficient and feasible to use. As a result of the company’s commitment to excellence, most of its products are compact and simple to operate. Apple is known for its loyal consumers who purchase its products for quality, regardless of price. Apple has ascended to a brand of distinction in the computer industry, which yielded a......

Words: 975 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Mac Memory Manacement

...Mac Memory Management For rough draft Mac OS is available on two processor architectures: the Motorola 68k series and the PowerPC. Mac OS has a flat address space, shared between all processes. There is no per-process memory protection. Application code runs in supervisor mode, so there is no instruction protection. Mac OS has virtual memory, in the limited sense that a larger fixed address space can be simulated, by storing the entire address space on disc. This size of this address space is fixed at boot time. The lowest part of memory is occupied by the system partition. This contains some system global values which applications should not access directly, although there is nothing to prevent them doing so. Historically, the Mac OS used a form of memory management that has fallen out of favor in modern systems. Criticism of this approach was one of the key areas addressed by the change to OS X. The original problem for the engineers of the Macintosh was how to make optimum use of the 128 KB of RAM that the machine was equipped with. Since at that time the machine could only run one application program at a time, and there was no fixed secondary storage, the engineers implemented a simple scheme which worked well with those particular constraints. However, that design choice did not scale well with the development of the machine, creating various difficulties for both programmers and users. References: The Memory Management Reference Memory management in Mac......

Words: 1794 - Pages: 8