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Changing Company Culture Requires a Movement, Not a Mandate

Dec 27, 2018

nyc-ad-agencySince 1999, we’ve proven at StrawberryFrog, that the most significant change often comes through societal movements, so we apply those principles to mobilize your associates and institutionalize new behaviors.

Since 1999, we have been designing Movement Inside programs for organizations wishing to ignite behavioral change and quality decision making among employees. Changing employee mindsets, behaviors and actions requires a Movement Inside, not a top down mandate…and certainly not your average boring email.

StrawberryFrog follows a different path. We start by empathizing with all the reasons people might NOT change, treating their perspectives, attitudes, habits and competing commitments as reasonable responses in their own interest. We create a Movement not traditional communications. The movement moves people and we address concerns, and crystallize it all with a soaring, heartfelt rallying cry with specific, step-by-step behavioral goals that don’t hide difficult choices, trade-offs and uncertainties, but addresses them head on. Change requires leadership. Leadership requires trust. Trust requires honesty and momentum. If we can do this, we will gain engagement.

At StrawberryFrog, we’ve helped some of the world’s leading global companies—Emirates Airlines, Google, SunTrust Bank and Mahindra—change internal behavior and culture for better performance. We’ve learned a few valuable lessons.

Mahindra: A Movement-Minded Case Study
One leader who understands our approach well is Anand Mahindra, chairman of The Mahindra Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai, with operations in over 100 countries around the globe. The group has a presence in aerospace, agribusiness, aftermarket, automotive, components, construction equipment, defense, energy, farm equipment, finance and insurance, industrial equipment, information technology, leisure and hospitality, logistics, real estate, retail, and two wheelers. It is considered to be one of the most reputable Indian industrial corporations. With over 40,000 employees. decision making had grown more convoluted and branches of the organization had become misaligned. Over the years, Mahindra’s had built in lots of procedures, and for many good reasons. But those procedures had also slowed it down.

Anand Mahindra sought to evolve Mahindra’s culture to be nimble, innovative, and customer-centered. He knew it required a journey to align and galvanize all employees. His leadership team began with a search for purpose together with StrawberryFrog. Over the course of several months, the Mahindra team led Ruzbeh Irani, worked with Scott Goodson and his StrawberryFrog team to learn about the needs of everyone, from factory workers to scientists, external partners, customers, and investors. Together they defined and distilled the purpose of the company, paring it down to three simple pillars that unpinned the “RISE” movement: Use your ingenuity. Accept no limits. To Drive positive change. The key strategy we used to align all the different interests and activate a solution which was good for all, was to focus on an idea on the rise in culture to buttress the RISE movement idea. And this is what everyone could get behind. The motivation was pride not dictates from the top down. And instead of plastering this new slogan on motivational posters, the leadership team began by quietly using it to start guiding their own decisions. The goal was to demonstrate this idea in action, not talk about it. StrawberryFrog designed management training and role playing sessions over several month across all companies. Projects were selected across channels to highlight the pillar of RISE and Mahindra teams were rewarded for their alignment with the movement. Then we went global involving their largest offices in key markets like the USA and Chile, Europe and South Africa. A comprehensive internal RISE team and platform was developed to help Mahindra employees be proactive with their customer requests and innovate around problems in an agile way.

By StrawberryFrog

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