This multi-national brand leader is well respected not only for its consistently high performance but also for the strength of its underlying culture. So much so that it has been the subject of business school case studies on how performance and culture go hand-in-hand.
Faced with a desire to manage its pipeline more effectively – and so bring product to market more quickly – it decided to reorganise a large and already well-functioning global advisory department.
Using Zeta principles the core 200 senior leaders – in the United States and Northern Europe – quickly identified the beliefs and values that drive current behaviour and how these would impact the planned changes. In common with many enterprises with strong positive brand images, they discovered that the reality did not match the image.
What they wanted was to improve decision making and drive it further down through the organization. When examining the beliefs that would both support as well as pose potential barriers to these plans they identified a number of common themes. On the positive side there were high standards and a real desire to offer quality to their end-users. Potential challenges might arise from ‘fear’ and lack of clear ‘empowerment’.
One result – and strength – of following Zeta principles was that these underlying influences were now placed firmly ‘on the table’ and could not be denied; the most senior leaders ‘had spoken’. It had implications in many areas from leadership style to focus of attention of key work-groups.
This clarity lent momentum to the actions of the most influential leaders in both the US and Europe. They started to schedule these new challenges as a regular item on the agendas for their working teams.
It will be a long process and needs support and follow-up as the ideas are cascaded and embedded into the fabric of the way things work. What became clear early-on was that addressing the underlying beliefs would help lay a strong foundation as the new decision making structure came into play; it would speed-up the adoption of radically new ways of thinking and working.
What is more, the principles offered clear guidelines. They ensured that the need to address beliefs and mind-set was not lost in the day-to-day drive to manage already complex projects.