One day during the strawberry season, the COO of a large supermarket chain decided that strawberry cakes should be promoted in all shops. The next week, he noticed that 40% of shops didn’t have any strawberry cakes on offer at all. The strawberry cake was but the tip of the iceberg.

A large supermarket chain is a complex organisation, where every detail counts and where everything can change from one day to the next. Operational communication is paramount on all levels.

The strawberry incident was only one of the many examples where it went wrong. The organisation decided to call for our help to improve communication from top to bottom and back. We pulled together the ideal team of consultants and coaches to come up with a durable solution. 

Step 1:
Analysis and solutions

After analyses, ideas and plans were developed: limited but effective changes in processes, tools and  job descriptions. Often the most simple solutions were the best like a standardised ‘communicationbook’ per department.

Step 2:
The war room

Skills and behaviour are key to success. First central and local managers had to change. We created a ‘war room’ where central managers could practice in managing and motivating their troops in a fast changing VUCA environment with high complexity.

Step 3:
Operation Communication

Then a few hundred department managers practiced to operate in a difficult and changing environment. A huge operational ‘game’ was set up where cooperation, communication and peer coaching were key to success. 

Step 4:
Real life

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Through a system of 360 degree coaching we ensured that the new skills, behaviours and processes were anchored into the organisation identity. Everything to give the customer the best experience possible.

The CEO:
“This program was an an unparalleled succes. The impact was much more than what we had hoped for. We can feel the change in the organisation and see it in the business results.” 

The HR director:
“We have tried so many unsuccessful things to change this organisation. And finally with this project we did it! People are engaged and everything runs like a clockwork. Well… almost…”

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