Making things better
A Philips case study

Page 1: Introduction

This study focuses on the way in which Philips has transformed its organisation and culture in order to flourish in the modern competitive world. Organisations today operate within an environment of change. As this environment is so dynamic, it is crucial for organisations to constantly ‘reinvent themselves.’The biologist Brian Goodwin drew a parallel with the natural world when he...
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Page 2: Benchmarking performance

Jan Timmer called the top 100 managers of the company together for the first time, which included the Board of Management, Product Division and Country Managers. They decided to benchmark the performance of Philips against their competitors. This involves comparing key indicators against those of other organisations. They were forced to conclude that drastic changes were required as Philips&rsquo...
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Page 3: Culture

The series of meetings and the communication process that was created by Centurion acted as a catalyst and created a framework for thousands of improvement projects by teams at all levels. At Centurion I meetings, task forces were appointed to create sweeping changes on company-wide issues. Managers at the next level made a commitment to improving business performance through ambitious...
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Page 4: Evaluation

At the end of 1992 a survey was carried out of the Centurion project, involving 1,500 Philips people in 15 countries. The results of the survey were mixed: On the critical side - the evaluation showed that there was still a long way to go in managing cultural change, but at least the benefits were starting to materialise. This can be seen by a number of financial indicators.Philips decided to move...
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Page 5: Communications strategy

In September 1995 Philips introduced “Let’s make things better,” its new global communications strategy. Philips’ image as a provider of technically advanced, quality products remains relatively strong. The company believes, however, that its new “Let’s make things better” campaign can further strengthen brand image in the eyes of tomorrow’s...
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Page 6: Conclusion

After five years of focusing on internal restructuring to make Philips lean and competitive, it was felt that the time was right to “go public” with a simple, hard-hitting expression - “Let’s make things better.” What this statement says about Philips is that at Philips: they strive to be the best at what they do and refuse to accept that their best efforts cannot be...
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