Korn Ferry

Our culture transformation solutions help

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Culture Transformation Case Studies

Our culture transformation solutions help address the critical human and cultural integration issues inherent in major strategic initiatives. We invite you to learn more about the work we have done by the following case studies.

Global acquisition of a European medical supply company.

When a Danish medical products company purchased a U.S.-based competitor with subsidiaries in France and German, the organization experienced post-merger concerns around cultural integration, both corporate and nation-state. Integrating quickly was critical in order to realize the cost benefits of purchasing a competitor, eliminate redundancies, avoid loss of key talent, and secure profitable sales. To develop an integration strategy, the client requested a map of Danish corporate and national culture, as contrasted with the U.S. company and its French and German operations. Through 1:1 interviews, focus groups, and an online cultural assessment tool, we provided a comprehensive summary of similarities and differences between multiple locations, corporate cultures, and the leadership styles prevalent in each operation. The client then used this data to inform and accelerate the full integration strategy.

Global supply chain consolidation for US-based multinational.

A U.S.-based multinational replaced a previous third-party supplier of thousands of retail brands by “insourcing” a majority of its suppliers. As a result, 29 managers from two corporate cultures and 19 country cultures were consolidated into one global procurement culture (ONE GP). This one global procurement center needed to be up and running in 21 countries, supplying hundreds of distribution centers and thousands of stores, in more than a dozen country operations, within nine months.

Supply chain would come to a halt if products were not produced against new standards and joined the distribution pathway "just in time." Without tight inventory management, controls, and adequate supply at new cost-of-goods levels, customer satisfaction and profitability would decrease.

Korn Ferry built a new global procurement culture with contribution from the 29 key leaders that was reflective of global supply chain and global procurement best practices. The new culture allowed for global standards which honor the non-negotiables from the new parent company, while enabling localization at the regional and country level to achieve maximum results.

To achieve this, we conducted a dozen diagnostic interviews with key stakeholders, followed by facilitation of a four-day offsite meeting where senior leadership laid out the vision, followed by strategic work-outs in small break-outs clustered by line of business. Cultural integration was achieved by each individual gaining a deeper understanding of their new colleagues’ personal cultural profiles.

The supplier insourcing initiative led to a cost savings of more than 20%, and the organization avoided government penalties by consolidating its global procurement process on time. Increased control over the supply chain management process decreased inventory management cycle times and improved scrap rates and idle inventory, positively impacting the bottom line.

Cultural challenges within multinational joint project partners.

A UK/US/Turkish joint venture was hired as general contractor to build a 100km motorway in a Baltic country within 24 months, prior to elections in that developing nation. The organization was challenged by working alongside a British project management firm and French and Italian design engineering firms, in addition to local nationals joining the construction teams, while maintaining European Union standards.

With mounting pressures, the client requested us to get the project back on track as quickly as possible. Our solution was to build a high performance team in order to meet the tight deadlines and financial restrictions. Success on this project also meant access to additional contracts up for bid.

When Korn Ferry was called, the project was behind schedule and over-budget, a major red flag as the work was won based on a flat project fee. There was great dissension among the disparate partners and government ministries. Delays in integration would lead to delays in completing the motorway, and cost overruns would lead to loss of public confidence in the government administration and private funding sources’ willingness to fund future projects.

Through 1:1 interviews, focus groups, and an online cultural assessment tool, we provided the client with a comprehensive summary of similarities and differences between corporate cultures, national differences impacting relationships, and individual styles prevalent across the project team. We then conducted two sessions: a summit of all key stakeholders to develop a roadmap for completing this project on time and on budget, and a second teambuilding session where we built a “Motorway Culture”―a human operating system for how the project team would interact moving forward. This included a team decision-making and meeting management process, models for communications, roles and responsibilities chart, and more.

Integration of the team into a new culture immediately improved team interactions, providing open communication, improving efficiency of meetings, and overall, quicker decision-making in the field.

Korn Ferry is committed to confidentiality. For this reason, we do not disclose the identities of our clients.

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