Corporate Leader:

Change Management

Case Study:  Unilever

Building Culture Change into Leadership Development

By Vadim Kotelnikov. Main source of information: The New Leaders, Daniel Goleman

"Executives need to be emotionally engaged in the change process if it is to be successful." ~ Daniel Goleman

Key Features of the Transformational Change at Unilever

  1. Transformation of corporate culture

  2. Passionate, emotionally charged corporate leaders

  3. Tremendous clarity throughout the organization about what is being done and why



Need for Radical Change

When team members at Unilever began to design a new leadership development initiative for top managers, they knew that the global company needed something to help it become a more enterprising and competitive industry leader.

So, they proposed to fundamentally change leadership behaviors and create an entirely new, enterprising corporate culture. The process called on leaders to rethink everything from their personal dreams to their visions for their business and how to execute leadership.

Why Change Fails: 8 Common Errors

New Culture, New Leadership Mindset

"As we launched into our growth strategy, I realized that I didn't feel right: something was missing," says Antony Burgmans, Co-chairman of Unilever. "We were doing all the right things: a new, focused strategy; shareholder support; a new organization structure; and good people in place. But something was wrong the critical piece was missing. What I saw was that even though we had an excellent change strategy, and an inspiring vision, what was really required to bring about change at Uniliver was a new culture, a new leadership mindset, and new behaviors."

Leadership vs. Management

The Power of Passion

"Our leaders have done every kind of strategic planning in the book, facilitated by the best business school professors and management gurus. They don't need another strategy, and the last thing they need is another stakeholder analysis! What the company's leaders need most is to become emotionally engaged with their own passion and their dreams with each other and with the strategy," said a top manager of Unilever when the corporate transformation team began to design a program to help the company become more enterprising and competitive industry leader.