Charting a New Course


Client Overview

Multi-national consumer package goods company in the food/nutrition space.

The Project

Brand, company and culture transformation


This 80-year-old brand had been bought and sold multiple times in recent years. Consequently investment, strategic focus, and marketing investments were inconsistent. Facing declining share and profits, the board hired a new CEO with a mandate to turn the business around.

Within 12 months a new leadership team was on-board, a new strategy was defined, and an aggressive implementation timetable put in place. Achieving success required a significant ramp-up in capabilities, flawless execution of a demanding plan, as well as restoring a winning spirit in an employee team that had repeatedly witnessed the swift arrival and departure of new leaders, their programs and promises. 

Critical Actions to Drive Change

With the help of IMS, many actions were taken in the first year to stabilize the core business and the bottom line, while laying the foundation for transformation. Key actions included:

  • Creation of a new, best-in-category product line and rebranding campaign
  • Hiring new players in critical roles across the company
  • Institution of regular Town Hall (all company) meetings to set a new tone of transparency, collaboration, and urgency
  • Creation of a Transformation Team of cross-functional directors and managers to refine and implement the execution plan
  • Use of a third-party project manager to bring discipline, accountability, and to discover issues that might otherwise have remained hidden

Climate Assessment Survey as a Catalyst

As the demands of implementation intensified and resistance began to surface, the company launched the first Climate Assessment Survey. Its objectives were to assess organization readiness for change, identify issues that put transformation at risk, and establish a baseline metric against which to assess progress. IMS partnered with the vice president of human resources and the executive leadership team to design the survey and lead the feedback process.

The survey uncovered major risks to transformation: weak enlistment in the Transformation Plan, dysfunctional silos, and lack of trust. In light of these risks, IMS designed and led a feedback process that created a more authentic dialogue between executives and employees and created a space where trust, ownership, and enthusiasm could take root. The CEO acted swiftly in response to the issues that surfaced from the dialogues. Implementation of the action plan enlisted people at every level in real change – building collaboration and trust.

The Results

The second Climate Survey was launched and results showed significant improvement in all aspects of organizational engagement as well as identifying new areas for action in the next phase of change, increasing the odds of success for transformation.

"With the help of IMS, we were able to quickly identify cultural barriers to our transformation effort and take swift and impactful action. It is clear that IMS really cares about our success." -Client