Dawn Riley at America True - Case Analysis

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 07/26/2010 08:27 AM

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Executive Summary

Dawn Riley CEO America True (coed syndicate challenging for the America’s cup) is at a crucial point with her organization. She has scheduled a meeting with her Sr. Management team to discuss upgrading Tag (the training boat). This upgrade will require a significant amount of fundraising and stretch an already thin design team even further. The upgrades are proposed due to significant improvements in the racing boat. The America True Racing Consultant feels the difference in boat capabilities is detracting from the race boat crews potential.

In addition to the Tag upgrade decision. Dawn has been made aware of other organization issues that need to be resolved.

My analysis of this case lead to 3 areas of proposed change: Organizational, Management and Leadership.


Dawn needs to make title changes and promotions to create organizational clarity and address accountability issues. Also Dawn needs to require a sailing crew change to field the best team possible.


Dawn has a strong management team but when gaps appear Dawn jumps in. Dawn needs to create structure and predictability to increase the effective execution of her organization. Dawn also needs to personally engage and resolve a communication issue with one of her direct reports on the Afterguard team.


Dawn needs to step up and become a leader, not a consensus brokering participant. Dawn must clearly communicate these changes to the organization to ensure alignment is maintained and strengthened.

Background and Issues

Dawn Riley CEO America True is at a pivotal point with the syndicate. She has scheduled a Sr. Management meeting to make a decision about upgrading Tag (the training boat). The primary upgrade driver is the effectiveness of Tag. David Barnes – Logistical and Racing Consultant for America True, has stated on numerous occasions the need to upgrade the training boat. David feels the difference in...