@St. Norbert April 2010 - The Packers organization huddles its staff around common goals St. Norbert College
@St. Norbert
CEO Breakfast
Mark Murphy

Mark Murphy

Betsy Mitchell

Betsy Mitchell



The Packers organization huddles its staff around common goals

While the Green Bay Packers are known the world over, the 180-member Packers organization is at its heart a small business, said Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy at St. Norbert College’s CEO Breakfast and Strategy Series in March.

Murphy shared the podium with colleague Betsy Mitchell, vice president of organizational/staff development and a 17-year Packers employee. Their combined presentation, “Championship Planning for the Packers,” provided personal philosophies and a blueprint for sustained success in business that included setting specific short- and long-term goals, setting the tone as CEO, motivating employees and constantly monitoring results.

Murphy and Mitchell explained the ways their strategies can be applied to virtually any business, stressing similarities between their organization and other enterprises. They also spoke of the unique conundrum and pressure they face in managing a community-owned organization.

“We don’t have a ‘deep pocket’ owner,” said Murphy. “We’re community-owned, so I think for us, we really need to make sure that we’re well-managed and really make smart decisions in terms of our business and how we’re playing for the future.”

Murphy said he picked up much of his strategic-planning philosophy from legendary NFL coach Joe Gibbs, under whose leadership the former All-Pro played during his eight years (1977-1984) with the Washington Redskins.

He praised Gibbs for getting “everyone” within the Redskins organization to focus on very specific goals; he claimed that once all employees were focused on the same objectives, it was easier to move that organization forward.

“(The Packers) want to focus on championships but underneath must be measurable goals or metrics that make it easy on a day-to-day basis for people to line up and say, ‘These are the things that we need to do to be successful,’” said Murphy.

Mitchell said that after only two years with the Packers, Murphy has changed the organization’s strategic planning process from a once-a-year meeting to a daily project.

“Our team had talked about having objectives and goals but we hadn’t talked much about initiatives (before Murphy),” said Mitchell. “We hadn’t talked about the differences between day-to-day business and the business planning that we were doing, and the driving initiatives that were going to try to push us toward true north. And true north for us is winning championships and really doing that within our core values.”

Mitchell’s “true north” aligns with the philosophy Murphy learned from Gibbs: getting all employees in all sectors to pinpoint definitive goals that lead the business in the proper direction. Once goals are set, Mitchell said, it is the CEO’s duty to motivate his or her employees and direct their passion toward the business’s main objective in order to keep things moving forward.

Both Murphy and Mitchell agree that constant employee involvement and building workplace camaraderie are keys to spiking happiness and productivity toward “true north.” By interconnecting all cultures of the business, everyone holds a better understanding of their duties and their colleagues’ duties so all perform more effectively.

“We really felt we needed to define what were we, as an entire organization, heading toward and how were we going to get there,” Mitchell said.

The nine-part
CEO Breakfast and Strategy Series calls on local professionals in high-profile businesses to speak of their entrepreneurial ventures and latest strategies for improving the workplace. The series has provided area executives the opportunity to hear from their peers on strategic issues for the past 13 years.

Featured speaker at the next event is David Kohler, COO of Kohler Company. The event is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on May 5 at Riverview Country Club in Appleton.

  St. Norbert College • De Pere, Wisconsin http://www.snc.edu/communications/enews/0410/ceobreakfast.html