As a 168-year-old legacy brand in the retail industry, Levi has survived and thrived through adversity through resilient, agile, creative, and spirited leadership, and there was a need to cascade and reinvigorate these values into new markets during a time of growth and acute crisis. In 2019, Levi Strauss’ global leadership team built the first Beacon Flagship store in Wuhan, China. In the face of a rising global pandemic and the extraordinary challenges that come with it, this also meant that mental fitness and organizational health were imperative to sustaining growth and emerging stronger.
We continue to embrace disruption, which could be the best stimulus for transformation. Change is usually hard but in a moment of crisis, it is a given. This crisis also gives us unique opportunities to take moves which in normal times could have been impossible.
Managing Director of Greater China, Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co. appointed CorporateDNA to deliver an intense and intimately engaged leadership development and executive coaching programme across 2018-2020. The burning platform was in integrating a reconfigured Greater China LT under the leadership of a new MD, building trust and collaboration while unlearning siloed and pressure-based ways of working, and fighting through a fragmented and “split” team culture, and navigating uncertainties with courage and care.
Concurrently, Levi Strauss China also suffered from a reputation as a ‘dark market,’ rather than a winning team. Despite the leadership team’s keen development of strategy, there was an even greater need to build resilience, courage, trust, and credibility in the leadership team, to unleash the growth of the market.
In partnership CorporateDNA was deeply involved in activating inclusive, collaborative, and trust-centric behaviours that were much needed for the Greater China LT, to breathe strategy and execution to life through motivation and trust, and managing interferences, such as limiting beliefs and egos. Fundamentally CorporateDNA helped them define what winning would look like and what it would take and broke it down into tangible ways of ‘just doing it’.
As a result, 36 leaders in the China leadership team were able to directly apply their learnings from the program and saw increased performance and motivation in their team members. CorporateDNA acted and allies and coaches through this personal and organizational development journey, where these leaders were inspired to be catalysts in shaping organizational culture and behaviours:
A team that possesses the readiness and credibility to successfully deliver large-scale growth in the China market, multiple times
A renewed reputation as a Winning Team, and recognition in global leadership and by the CEO of Levi Strauss for their deep and committed transformation
A sustainable and psychologically safe working relationship in the team, fuelled by connection, motivation, and based on what each leader values the most
Clear alignment of organizational values and mindsets, that opened hearts and built self-awareness, for breakthrough performance during a crisis
A sense of a strengthened inner self in each leader, with resilient business mindsets that put the organization first
The agility and confidence to look to bring a positive spin to adversity and frustrations; to fail forward so that a legacy can be built upon challenges faced today
A ‘dream team’ and winning culture for the Levi Strauss China leadership team
It was a series of great sessions filled with “Super-Charge”. It was awesome the way you lead this, and I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m confident you will both challenge and develop us, and we will be all the stronger for it. Not all of it is comfortable but it is what we need!