FEBRUARY 2019 / NO. 2

Is your company doing its “Corporate Fitness”?

Efficiency can propel a company to industry dominance. But I am leading Ford toward a different goal and I call this: Corporate Fitness

— Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford Motor Company, HBR J/F 2019
CEO Jim Hackett found himself in a wave pattern during the last decades: shrinking the company during recessions, then growing it, then shrinking it, then growing it. That’s not healthy. The business environment changes continuous, so Ford has to perform better than in 2018 and in 2020 better than in 2019. It’s extremely dynamic. It’s not enough to look at market share, profits, earnings per share versus those of other car manufacturers that count. What if Amazon starts to sell cars/car parts? You probably don’t lose to the standard competitors, but it’s the mutation coming at you that matters. Being competitive is about a lot of drivers and being ahead of the game is all about Corporate Fitness, according to Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford Motor Company.
After ten years of unbridled growth also Big Tech Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Amazon have to work on their Corporate Fitness as profits/per share have fallen in 2018. Economic growth in China is decreasing and in the EU-countries it’s getting flat in 2019. This implies that the majority of companies have to work at their corporate fitness soonest. We always told management that Strategic Intelligence is a perfect way to create corporate fitness by establishing a ‘Company Intelligence Team with a Tenth Man of Woman’.
Core activity of this Intelligence Team is to deliver Countervailing Power to senior management with Strategic Intelligence solutions. Aim is to identify future changes & structural uncertainties of all factors in the business environment that might have an impact on the company. Last step is creating proactively the courses of action to counteract.

You need to design the company for all states by lowering your average costs. That a crucial part of what Jim Hackett calls ‘corporate fitness’.

— Joseph H.A.M. Rodenberg

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