Strategic Alignment And Culture Change For A Global Chemicals Company

The Problem

A mid-sized US specialty-chemicals company faced a difficult strategic challenge. The firm had been a successful innovator and competitor for several decades, but now it faced surging competition in its global marketplace. At the same time, the President recognized that the necessarily strategic alignment did not exist between the US Executive Group, the firm’s family owners, and its regional offices around the world. He also recognized that the organization’s culture was not adequately supporting the business or its people.

The Project

Using our Team Development Process, supplemented by Executive Coaching for the President, we worked with the top management group until they became a cohesive leadership team. As this team developed, they used our Shared Vision Process to come together and create a clear and compelling shared mission, long-range objectives, and an updated set of operating values. We then assisted the larger global leadership team in linking the new vision with a forward-looking, world-wide strategy that capitalized on the firm’s core competencies.

We also worked on a substantial culture-change effort that included a culture audit, continued work on alignment between the firm’s founders and its Executive Group, helping the top executives learn how to put their newly articulated values into practice in their own meetings and leadership activities, and coaching in how to communicate the new vision and strategy to the rest of the organization in a manner that build common understanding and commitment.

The Results

This engagement resulted in tremendous improvement in strategic alignment, strategic decision-making and organizational problem-solving; clearer top-level roles; increased trust; and better communication within and across organizational levels.

As we completed our work with the company, the President wrote us the following note of thanks: “We have been most pleased with the work you have performed for us. You have truly operated as an extension of our company, with concern, caring, and dedication. There has been a continuity to this work that has modified our culture slowly but steadfastly in a positive way.”