A case study in Organisational Culture Change


Coaching as the catalyst of change in management style...

Kraft Foods International


Kraft Foods has a major presence in food manufacture and distribution and some of the world's best recognised and familiar brands. ChangeMaker has a history of working with KFI that goes back many years, our involvement in this project was born in autumn 2000 as a result of our reputation in getting sustained results from "soft-skills" programmes.

Working within this large pan-European organisation our strategy was to involve the most senior leaders from across the business, to build up a critical mass, before developing a coaching initiative in each of the countries or business areas, which then had executive level support. Through consultation we focused on the key objectives and desired outputs but the most important question was: what will make this course different from things that have happened before?

Techniques and processes may have been taught but the missing link is usually the context within which these operate: the understanding of human nature as a foundation for understanding how the organisation functions.

To rollout the project across a range of countries we developed a "core-team" from our international associates who delivered the senior level, cross-boundary courses and then were in a position to work in their own countries delivering the programmes in local language. An intensive Coach The Coach programme prepared these associates for the programme delivery and developed their skills in handling personal process issues. Each country runs as a project, administered by ChangeMaker and we have clear responsibility for quality control and the intellectual integrity of the programme material.

More than 200 senior managers attended the pan-European programmes and now local roll-out programmes have been run in CEMA, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Benelux and the UK . Whilst maintaining consistency with the central messages local needs have led to programme modifications. In the UK for instance we now run an Advanced Coaching Skills course which builds on an existing introductory programme.

"Coaching is a tool for cultural change - and a skill for life"

Our success with KRAFT proves:

That a well conceived strategic approach with a consistent programme can have significant effect on one of the key areas of need in Leader Development. Coaching is a much needed skill often in short supply in organisations:

"Data collected across 6 years in 140 organisations and with 50,000 people reveals that the level of managers' skill "at being good coaches and helping others develop their long-term careers" comes in 67 th position out of 67 competencies." (Lombardo & Eichinger 2002)

Feedback from our current project with Kraft Foods in Europe taken after a period of between 4 and 7 months back at work:
Skill/Ability Area % Who Believed Program Has Helped Improve Their Level of Skill/Ability  
Your ability to recognise & understand different types of behaviour 85%
Your coaching skills in a business context 92%
Your skill in giving and receiving feedback 87%
Your skill in assisting others in reaching their goals 84%
Your skill in unlocking the potential of direct reports 83%

"If anybody doesn't understand that leadership and people development is an essential contributor to business success I can't help them. I have certainly become a better coach and I believe many would benefit from this programme. The course should be mandatory for all managers” Recent Course Delegate: Senior Manager from Kraft Foods