Wednesday, March 29, 2017

KaBOOM! - showcasing "Core Ideology" to forming partnerships



Collins and Porras describe the core values and core purpose (together called the core ideology) of a company as the principles that will govern the company's direction and strategy for as long as the company is to exist [1]. From the case study conducted by Austin and Porraz, I find that KaBOOM!'s core ideology consists of more than just building parks for children. I would define it as "To improve the overall welfare of children and communities", since KaBOOM! is also responsible for community-building, raising awareness, and coordinating resources between different organizations, in addition to the creation of recreational facilities for children. The company's core strategy of "lead, educate, and advocate (in that order)" also reflects this core ideology [2].

It is important to note that the company did not plan confine itself to simply building parks. The management behind KaBOOM! was smart to understand the importance of communicating the core ideology of the company to like-minded firms and organizations, and this, in my opinion, is what led to the company's many successful partnerships. Moreover, it is highly likely that a large number of partners and managers were drawn to KaBOOM! mainly because they share the company's core ideology - note that almost all of the staff and board members listed in Exhibits 5 and 6 have fond memories of playing in parks as children and are therefore likely to share and support the ideas behind KaBOOM! Companies also likely partnered up with KaBOOM! to improve their own public image - since KaBOOM!'s core ideology is readily apparent to the public from its actions, partner companies that were not previously engaged in community improvement understood that they could improve their apparent "niceness" in the public eye.

Thus, by displaying their core strategy of "lead, advocate, educate (in that order)" KaBOOM! was able to showcase its "nice" core ideology to the public. This could have been part of the "shaping" strategy that allowed the company to succeed [3]. I call KaBOOM!'s strategy a "shaping" strategy because it is evident from Exhibit 1 and the "History" section of the case study that the market for non-profits engaging in volunteer restoration and construction was hardly predictable when KaBOOM! began approaching partners and volunteers (late 1990s, early 2000s) - in 1998 and 1999, the company simply did not understand how to use all the resources it had acquired, consequently lost partners as a result. Later, only by communicating and popularizing the core ideology of the company, I believe that KaBOOM! was able to attract strong partnerships and widespread support from like-minded firms and organizations.

[1] Collins, J., Porras, J. Building Your Company's Vision. Harvard Business Review, Sept.-Oct. 1996

[2] Austin, J., Porras, J. KaBOOM! - case study. Harvard Business Review, Sept. 2002

[3]  Reeves, J., Love, C., Tillmanns, P. Your Strategy Needs a Strategy. Harvard Business Review, Sept. 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.