PRLog - May 28, 2009 - LONDON -- Kraft, the second largest food and beverage company in the world, decided that it was time to renew its mission for the 21st century. The challenges confronting change in such a large company were intimidating:
- How do you settle on a new higher purpose which reflects the aspirations of your employees?
- How do you implement real change without alienating the people who have to realise it?
- How do you achieve buy-in across such an enormous organization?
Nitro, who led the Kraft “repositioning”
In order to solve this challenge, Promise Communities developed ‘Big Talk Online’: a private online collaboration community that enabled the simultaneous participation of thousands of employees over an extended period to debate, develop and decide ideas. Promise launched a bespoke internal marketing campaign, inviting Kraft’s top management to the community, across all countries and brands. In the ensuing three months over 4000 employees from over 50 countries collaborated on designing, debating and filtering the future mission, vision and values of the company.
The approach to Kraft’s challenge comprised of four stages on the community:
1. Warming up: introducing the global workforce to one another, preparing the ground for co-creation and initiating trust-building exercises. The community was also asked about Kraft’s strengths and weaknesses.
2. Idea generation: the community was then tasked to develop a number of different ‘higher purposes’ for Kraft. Employees discussed, debated and developed what they thought the biggest idea Kraft could own was? Through detailed analysis, 15 territories where identified, which were then narrowed to a remaining 5.
3. Probing: quantitatively and qualitatively input was provided on the 5 ‘territories’
4. Bringing to life: community members were asked to describe how they would act differently to ‘bring to life’ the higher purpose they had co-created. This generated implementation ideas and validated the final higher purpose.
The results achieved by Big Talk Online were as follows:
- A co-created new corporate mission, vision and values, signed off by the board in under three months. What’s more, the community de-risked change, by providing a mission which emerged from within the organization.
- High levels of buy-in were delivered across the organisation:
- Cultural and linguistic barriers were clearly identified that would not have been uncovered using conventional methods. The community was able to engage with groups on an individual basis, recognise their concerns and ensure these were incorporated into the development process.
- Insights on how to achieve change were provided at the grass roots, and informed Kraft’s implementation strategy by bringing frontline market information into the process: staff were close to the realities of their markets.
Perry Yeatman, SVP Corporate Affairs at Kraft Foods in Chicago said of the process: “Using co-creation was one of the single most important decisions we made. It was key to developing a higher purpose that was resonant and compelling to employees around the world.”
Kraft can now legitimately lay claim to being the first multinational corporation to have co-created their mission, vision and values.
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Promise Communities specialises in online co-creation. They build and manage private online communities to solve brand, innovation and research challenges. Through these online communities, Promise Communities have revolutionised the way organisations and brands problem-solve, by bringing together customers, staff, stakeholders and experts to generate insights and to co-create solutions and innovations.