While not Canada’s largest transportation provider, CP Rail (CPR) is certainly the most innovative. Since appointing E. Hunter Harrison CEO in June 2012, the company has transformed itself by challenging countless industry conventions.
The focus of the transformation has been primarily on becoming a service-led organization that provides a premium, reliable and efficient transportation solution. Those may sound like obvious goals, but changing the culture of an organization with the tenure and success of CPR is anything but easy.
CPR leadership has been focusing on the internal workings of the organization, particularly those concerning clarity and responsiveness. Clarity has been achieved by aligning the overall business strategy with the brand’s desired reputation. In doing so, various divisions, and indeed the organization’s entire culture, were aligned on what was needed for CPR to achieve its big ambitions.
With clarity comes responsibility. CPR has centralized planning but decentralized execution, giving employees the framework – but not the solutions – for responding to customer needs. This level of ownership and autonomy ensures that all internal stakeholders are becoming service-driven.
While the strategy has been in place for only a short time, CPR has realized significant increases in hard and soft metrics – revenue and margins, and employee engagement and satisfaction. All of which are increasing returns to shareholders.
After only two years, CPR is clearly on the right track to innovation. Now they must make sure CPR continues to pick up steam along the way.