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Wrong Lars Fournais?

Lars - Sgdd Fournais




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Find other employees at this company (6)

Background Information

Employment History


Aarhus Elite A/S


LAKexperten Plus ApS

Manager of the Region


Grundfos GmbH

Chief Executive Officer

Saint-Gobain Corporation

Chief Executive Officer

Brødrene Dahl

Group Senior Vice President

Grundfos GmbH


Stibo Systems GmbH

Board Member


Board Member

WindowMaster NV

Board Member

Web References(17 Total References)

Organization | [cached]

Lars Fournais, Professional board member in a number of Danish companies

Clients | Implement Consulting Group [cached]

An interview with Brødrene Dahl's CEO, Lars Fournais, on strategic transformation

An interview with Brødrene Dahl's CEO, Lars Fournais, on strategic transformation
On the contrary, the 2007 results were excellent, and also very good compared with our competitors, says Lars Fournais. All the same, he saw huge untapped potential in the company. "I actually had a luxury problem because I didn't have to rescue a sinking ship. The challenge was to make a good company even better. On the other hand, it can be extremely difficult to convince the organisation of the need to do anything new when what we're already doing is good. The problems may not be pressing, but if you don't meet the challenge, you're already well on the way to creating your own burning platform. And although this is good for motivation, it is not a situation a responsible management wants to put its company in," says Lars Fournais. WITO - Winning together Specifically, one of the first things that Lars Fournais did was to meet individually with every single member of his management team and other selected managers and ask them five questions: According to Lars Fournais, this process triggered many things in the management team. "I had asked them to answer honestly, and I did get some very honest answers. And although I obviously expected the task to be taken seriously, I was still impressed at how much was put into it and how much valuable information and how many ideas it generated," says Lars Fournais. Ownership in the organisation is the be-all-and-end-all if a strategy is to be developed and implemented," says Lars Fournais. The next big step on the journey was Brødrene Dahl's annual management conference, attended by all of the company's 150 employees with management responsibility. Traditionally these conferences had been characterised by one-way communication from top management down concerning the status of the company and key figures, and without any real involvement from the management layers below top management. This was changed radically. The opening to the conference was an 'interview on DR in 2013' (DR is the Danish Broadcasting Corporation) in which Lars Fournais discussed Brødrene Dahl's journey from 2008 to 2013. At this time Lars Fournais had also put together the right team of managers around him. A good mix of experienced people with a long history at Brødrene Dahl and new people from outside. "The right team is just as important - perhaps even more important - than the right strategy. Supplementing the management team with new faces was not a given beforehand. "Today all 150 managers are involved in our strategy work, and both they and I value this. But not everyone felt the same, and you have to respect that. Involvement requires commitment the other way round; otherwise the decisions aren't implemented wholeheartedly. This creates uncertainty and frustration among the employees concerned, and that's unacceptable," says Lars Fournais, who admits that it has been necessary to say goodbye to a number of employees in the course of this process. So it's at least as important to work with a general direction and a strategic preparedness as it is to have a detailed strategy plan," says Lars Fournais. The climate sector is a good example. Here, Brødrene Dahl has a general ambition to become the leading wholesaler within the next five years. At the same time, there is a need to take the time to develop the strategy and the efforts as the market evolves in this area. According to Lars Fournais, a good example of the new way of working is that the company's monthly management meetings always have two fixed but very different items on the agenda, namely: By waiting to discuss operations until we're ready to work on development, we force ourselves to think strategically and not just get drowned in operations," says Lars Fournais, stressing that this way of working and thinking is a major contributor to establishing a permanent strategic preparedness. A preparedness that he believes is the precondition for creating the flexibility needed to run a company today. According to Lars Fournais, the biggest strategic change for Brødrene Dahl has probably been the movement away from an organisation consisting of 52 decentralised, independent shops to being a chain-driven wholesale company where the central functions comprising the core of the company's services - purchasing, marketing and sales - have gone from being support functions to being more strategy-setting, while the focus in the shops is aimed at giving customers the best possible service. Lars Fournais also believes that the increased coordination from the head office has really helped to support a development where branch managers have had some of their previous power removed. "It goes without saying that it's never easy to take away responsibilities and authority from employees who are often highly independent. It hasn't been easy here either, and we're still not quite where we want to be. But we're getting a lot of understanding from the shops, and I believe this is clearly down to the fact that they can see they're getting something in return, and at the same time they're being given new responsibilities and new authority under the new set-up," says Lars Fournais. Specifically, Lars Fournais believes that the new way of working, including better category control and price management, is the direct reason why the company's gross profit has risen by two percentage points in less than a year. An increase that is appreciable with sales just under DKK 4 billion. "We've become a much more focused and competent company. Our campaigns have become much more effective, and we've been able to create a really fantastic team to run the company. When I could see that the teamwork had begun to function, I knew we would be much harder to beat - and don't forget we've only just started out on our journey," concludes Lars Fournais.

Board and Management [cached]

Lars Fournais
Vice Chairman

Lars Fournais: Member of the board of directors
Chairman for Aarhus Elite A/S Board member in Danske Invest and Stibo A/S. Management of WindowMaster A/S

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