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Alps Telecom: Communication

3.Background: You have recently joined "Alps Telecom", a leading European provider of telecommunication services. You are the new "Finance Director" for the CEE region which includes Austria (HQ), Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. According to your Job Profile you report to both the Managing Director of the CEE Region and to the CFO at Corporate Headquarters in Switzerland.

On your first day in your new role, you have had an initial meeting with the Managing Director and agreed on an intensive orientation week, followed by a goal setting meeting for the upcoming months. The Corporate CFO did not attend this meeting, because he was on holidays and expected to be back in the office one week after your start with the company. The orientation week was intended to be lead by the Managing Director and your co-management team members (Head of Marketing, Head of IT, Head of Business Development). They were supposed to guide you through all relevant departments, systems & processes.

Things turned out unexpected from your perspective:

he orientation week never took place as intended because none of the planned participants had sufficient time and/or willingness to attend and support.

You basically had to rely on your own proactivity and tried to orient yourself on your own. Any attempt to gather information from your colleagues has been turned down because of "time pressures".

The CFO, after being back from his holidays was apparently overwhelmed by the follow-up work he had to do upon his return. Therefore he did not allocate any time for mentoring and supporting you. Only 3 weeks later you were able to meet the CFO for the first time. This meeting lasted for less than an hour.

No milestones and tasks have been agreed upon by you and your superiors.

Given your own level of professionalism and past managerial experience, you got acquainted with the core processes on your own and managed to find your way around. The CFO at corporate headquarters was quite happy with your performance since he always received his reports and ad-hoc requests on time in a very accurate manner.

However after 3 months at the company, your Managing Director requested a meeting with you. You have been confronted with feedback that he has no clear understanding about the benefit you are providing in his business unit (CEE Region). He has the impression that you focus much more on corporate issues rather than his regional level. The managing director made clear that if you are not able to prove yourself as a clear benefit to his region and thus increase the region's standing at headquarters, he will re-evaluate the need for a regional Financial Director.

Problem Set: (Important: make sure to provide us with the formats, media types, and outlines that you would utilize in an actual business environment)

Analyse the situation. What happened, and why did it happen in your point of view?
Which Communication issues do you see in this situation?
How are you going to cope with the situation now after your meeting with the Managing Director?
Provide feedback:
Who is going to receive feedback from you?
How are you going to provide feedback?
Written?
Oral?
Both?

Write down/summarize your feedback for each person you choose to give feedback

Design your own proposal/action plan for a proactive approach to improve the situation between yourself and your environment (colleagues, superiors, others)

Before presenting your proposal/action plan, prepare an agenda (in a professional format) for each meeting (with the different people) you are planning to have.

Following these meeting(s), prepare meeting minutes and an action log (in a professional format)

Solution Preview

Problem Set: (Important: make sure to provide us with the formats, media types, and outlines that you would utilize in an actual business environment)

Analyze the situation. What happened, and why did it happen in your point of view?
In my point of view this situation happened because there was no goal setting for you and you were not aware of what the managing director expected of you. If you are aware of your goals you will strive to achieve them and you will be perceived as successful.

Which Communication issues do you see in this situation?
The first communication issue is that of the objective of having a Financial Director for the CEE region. The second is to know exactly what the managing director expected of you. How will your contribution be measured? What constitutes poor performance and what constitutes excellent performance. What steps can you take to 'improve' your performance/

How are you going to cope with the situation now after your meeting with the Managing Director?
I will cope with the situation now after the meeting with the Managing director by arranging another meeting with the Managing director and find out what my objectives will be. In addition, I will find out the criteria by which my performance will be evaluated. I will request the MD to give weights to the criteria he suggests and write down what constitutes good performance for each criterion. I will repeat the process for the CFO

Provide feedback:

Who is going to receive feedback from you?
The Head of Marketing, Head of IT and Head of Business Development are going to receive feedback from me.
How are you going to provide feedback?
Written?
Oral?
Both?

My feedback will ...

Solution Summary

Alps Telecom: Communication is discussed very comprehensively in this explanation.

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