Case 22 – Herman Miller Inc.
The Reinvention and Renewal of an Iconic Manufacturer of Office Furniture
Herman Miller Inc. CEO Brian Walker has employed you as a strategic consultant to evaluate the company’s approaches to executing its strategy and to make strategy-supportive recommendations for improvement.
Specifically, he has asked you to advise him on what policies and operating practices have worked particularly well and what changes might be needed to improve Herman Miller’s poor performance in 2009-2010.
Please present Mr. Walker with a 5-6 page report (double-spaced/12 point font/1” margin maximum) that addresses the following:
Your discussion and analysis should include (but not be limited to): Identify and assess the company’s current strategy; Is there evidence it has produced a competitive advantage?
How have the company’s values shaped its strategy and approach to strategy execution? Provide examples of how these values are reflected in company policies. What is your evaluation of HMI’s financial performance? How does its performance compare to prior years? the competition? Until 2003, HMI offered lifelong employment. How did this practice affect the company’s ability to staff the organization with managers and employees capable of executing the strategy? How did this practice build the organizational capabilities required for successful strategy execution? Do non-monetary incentives facilitate strategy execution at HMI? Describe the culture at HMI. Would you characterize HMI’s culture as healthy and largely supportive of good strategy execution? Offer and discuss your overall strategy-supportive recommendations. Must address but not be limited to: Does the company need to radically alter its strategy because of poor economic conditions? Should it improve its approach to implementing the strategy to reduce costs and improve efficiency?