Rhone-Poulenc Sector Agro: Simplify, Decentralize, Manage

Published 08 Jan 1996
Reference 4565

When Alain Godard, Director General of Rhone-Poulenc's agricultural chemical business, saw the 1993 annual profit projection reduced halfway through the year to about 30% of the original forecast, he concluded that he must act quickly to address the problems underlying the sector's continuing poor performance. Although sector agro presented itself as a multinational, it could be argued that it was a very centralized French company maintaining operations on a world-wide basis. Employees could not respond quickly to customers or act entrepreneurally due to the controls placed on them by headquarters. The company was suffocating from too much bureaucratic management and Godard felt that this was the core issue to attack. His response was a comprehensive transformation program which he personally designed and initiated, labelled meaningfully Simplify, Decentralize, Manage (SDM).