Culture Transformation Success Story: How we helped a global food processing and distribution company unlock the potential of its people and build a unified culture built on alignment, collaboration, and trust.

Cultural Transformation

The Challenge

A multi-billion-dollar food processing and distribution company with 45,000 employees in 18 countries experienced significant growth in the USA and Europe through M&A 2010-2015. However, in 2017, the CEO discovered that the Regional BUs and Global & Transversal Functions needed a new culture to support innovation, growth, and a new global business strategy. The company needed a unified culture, but internal efforts to enhance their identity, purpose & principles were not enough to drive change. The company was at risk of losing talent and placing the future of the organization at risk.

Our Approach

A multiple-year Culture Transformation Journey to accelerate the full potential of the company and its people by transforming the way leaders and employees think, work, and interact. With the strong and powerful drive of the CEO and working alongside the External Communications and Talent & Culture teams, we designed a 2019-2021 Culture Transformation Journey to drive behavior and mindset shifts, involving all levels of the organization, from leadership to operational staff and factory employees. We began by defining 5 essential behaviors aligned with their strategy:

  1. Honoring our commitments
  2. Collaborating effectively
  3. Being a player
  4. Being a learner
  5. Making productive requests

Through the Culture Transformation Journey and a truly effective co-construction approach, we helped our client:

  • Redefine its organizational culture (design and implement practices: “new way of working”)
  • Develop and implement a Growth Mindset
  • Foster an environment of alignment, collaboration, and trust
  • Empower employees to address change and learn from one another

Modeling Success for Sustainable Change

We utilized Axialent’s Conscious Business methodology and frameworks as well as the ADKAR Change model to help leaders model the desired culture and ensure successful knowledge transfer to employees. Our client also developed and implemented a new operating model helping employees from top to bottom connect their day-to-day work and accountability to company business imperatives and strategy. Key program elements included:

  • A 2-day offsite (in 2019) for the External Communications team, focused on accelerating the organization’s potential (culture, agility/innovation, basic processes and transformation); participants reflected on their leadership style and strategy and discussed the Conscious Business mindsets and behaviors.
  • Conducted the Conscious Leaders Program for Senior Leaders of six Regional BUs (in 2020-2021). Due to the pandemic, this was structured as a series of 6 online synchronous webinars, focused on their case for change and role as leaders, the Player and Learner mental models, Authentic Communication, and Effective Coordination. Additionally, we provided 200+ leaders with a toolkit to increase effectiveness in day-to-day management, communication, and decision-making.
  • A Train the Trainer program to accredit internal facilitators, ensuring scalability and transfer of skills to the remainder of the organization
  • Internal Culture Dynamics: 1-hour meetings conducted through cascading and facilitated by managers for teams to reflect on the behaviors that drive culture and help achieve professional and personal goals.

Our Impact

In terms of reach, we worked with 200+ Global Leaders in Europe, LatAm and the USA, introducing the behavior changes required for the desired culture shift. We also trained approximately 95+ internal facilitators, co-facilitators & Culture Champions who delivered the Conscious Leaders program to over 600 managers. The internal Culture Dynamic modules reached 11500+ people in 2022 and the plan for 2023 is to impact 100% of its operations. The company established clear measurements to assess progress: business KPIs, internal Leadership and Culture Assessment and individual and collective feedback (quarterly surveys/ pulse-checks). The successful transfer of the Conscious Business concepts into the organization, at the individual, Regional BUs, and global level, resulted in outcomes such as:

  • Breaking “old habits”
  • Improved people skills
  • Breaking down silos: better connections, improved collaboration
  • Improved accountability
  • Increased efficiency

For our client, Cultural Transformation allowed them to move from linear to circular thinking, to become a learning organization, and better adapt to changing environments. The true success of culture transformation rests in the people. Our approach empowers internal resources to make things happen, with managers preaching what they learned, and individuals at all levels putting new systems into practice and holding one another accountable. We sincerely value the hard work and contribution of our client to make this project and this journey a success.

“Axialent’s help is for a real process of structural change. They have the listening skills to understand what is required, the subject-matter knowledge and openness to comprehend other topics if required, and the skills to support and make them a reality in an organization.”
-Group President, CEO

Reaching 11500+ people, redefining culture and improving communication, collaboration, accountability, and efficiency at every level