At A Glance
Over the last three years, Unilever has experienced a bold and gritty transformation in their ways of working. Marked by the shadow of Covid-19, Unilever has adapted to major interferences and disruptions in their commercial, supply, and technological processes, powered by purpose and innovation. While Unilever possesses a distinct position as a global leader in the retail industry, that cares for its consumers and people, thriving as a business and driving performance meant it needed to become really intentional in remaining future-fit and purpose-led business that is committed to being a force of good in the world. Significant developments in Unilever’s business include:
Putting purpose at the heart of all our brands is not only the right thing to do; we know it drives superior performance and growth.
Sunny Jain
President, Beauty & Personal Care
Client Challenge

With the global challenges and pressures that Unilever faced, there was a deep-seated and urgent need to revitalize and invigorate the organization to not only adapt to new requirements and contingencies, but to thrive within this unprecedented landscape. From 2020 to 2021, CorporateDNA was invited to partner closely with Unilever in undertaking an ambitious and necessary merger of two essential functions in the organization – Supply Chain and Procurement, under a new Leadership Team with the leader being a Global Executive Team member.

Our work with Unilever spanned 4 culturally and commercially diverse continents and 6 countries, including: North America, South America (Argentina), Europe (Italy), the U.K., and Asia (Singapore and the Philippines). At the peak of this major transformation, our mandate was to focus on 4 key areas of change:

As an industry leader and winning brand, Unilever did not compromise its ambition to win internally through its leadership, people, and culture despite being challenged externally on performance during the pandemic!
Our people have been our absolute priority throughout 2020, and because of them we’ve been able to meet the needs of consumers and grow our business.
Leena Nair
Chief HR Officer

In our pre-work, CorporateDNA partnered closely with Unilever to deliver a strategy for identified the “what and how” for the Leadership Team to activate Unilever’s purpose while leveraging on their strengths, including:

CorporateDNA Solution:
Here’s how we have partnered with Unilever globally:
  • INNER AND OUTER GAME - LEADERS AND TEAMS
  • LEADING THROUGH CHANGE
  • PARTNERING THROUGH CHANGE
  • THRIVING THROUGH CHANGE
  • BOARD DEVELOPMENT COACHING – UNILEVER PHILIPPINES
  • COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS: CHANGE TRANSFORMATION
THE INNER AND OUTER GAME FOR LEADERS AND TEAMS

A 2-part model was applied for the transformation of Unilever’s Standards of Leadership: the inner and outer game.

The inner game focused on how leaders can harness their ability to tune in and lead from that inner place, not a place of reactivity. Leading with a sense of purpose, personal mastery and agility to pivot decisions was the first half of this successful approach.

The second half, the outer game, focused on how leaders can sharpen their business acumen to deliver effective solutions. Generating value, mentoring talent and inspiring others from genuine love and passion have all contributed to Unilever’s global success.

LEADING THROUGH CHANGE WORKSHOP

Leading Through Change was a 2-day face to face workshop for in-tact teams pursuing a strategic transformation. The workshop looked at exploring Unilever’s approach to change, applying the approach to a current situation and arming the team with tools that could help them continue implementing the changes in the future.

Within the 2-day workshop, areas of focus included defining impact, success measures, connecting change to purpose, identifying shifts and integrating improved systems, behaviours and mindsets.

As Unilever’s global partner, this flagship program was created and rolled out globally.

PARTNERING THROUGH CHANGE WORKSHOP

Partnering Through Change was a 1-day face to face workshop for partnering teams in strategic transformation, but not necessarily working on a shared change right away. The workshop looked at exploring Unilever’s approach to change, building expertise with new tools and creating a plan on how to support teams for impact.

Within the 1-day workshop, areas of focus included defining impact, connecting to purpose, identifying shifts/planned interventions, understanding mindset blocks, and enabling mindset and behavioural change.

As Unilever’s global partner, this flagship program was created and rolled out globally.

THRIVING THROUGH CHANGE WORKSHOP

Thriving Through Change was a 2–3-hour face to face or virtual workshop for up to 20 line leaders leading change of any scale. The workshop looked at the impact of change on one’s well-being, gaining practical tools to help teams thrive during changes and develop a simple plan to lead change with energy.

As Unilever’s global partner, this flagship program was created and rolled out globally.

BOARD DEVELOPMENT AND SENIOR-LEVEL COACHING – UNILEVER PHILIPPINES

Over a 3-month coaching journey, CorporateDNA created a strategic partnership with the PHP Board built on trust and challenge, which enabled them to identify their personal and organizational goals with increased productivity and brand visibility.

For Unilever Philippines, we helped take the Board to the next level of leadership – by focusing on areas of development and excellence in their inner game and outer game. We developed the teams future focus and breakthrough habits for a dramatic impact on leadership effectiveness, market performance, and marking a culture change for the organization.

COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS: CHANGE TRANSFORMATION JOURNEY

The Change Transformation Journey for Unilever’s Commercial Operations was a comprehensive program that prepared a brand-new high-profile team for major changes and adaptations in the Supply Chain and Procurement functions in late 2020.

After 2-months of stagnation, CorporateDNA delivered 2 days of delivery in 24 hours, with program objectives that gave concrete outcomes for key stakeholders. The program primarily consisted of 3 intensive sessions, and was a significant opportunity for the well-teamed Unilever leaders to discover and authentically show up to each other, and in this understanding, build performance metrics that played to each member’s strengths and ambitions.

This program also included a 7-hour virtual activity with 35 high-performing members of the LT-1, supported by the LT, which got everyone on board and on track for new Standards of Leadership that were essential to Unilever’s growth and commitments to their stakeholders

Results

Through the work we undertake with Unilever across teams and businesses, the results include:

Being purpose and values-led enabled Unilever to make quicker, conscious decisions in a challenging global landscape, and revitalized the organization, a sustainable way of working, and emerging stronger through the Standards of Leadership expected of individual leaders.
Unilever Testimonials:

Everyone at the Unilever Philippines board said this was an AMAZING two days! The way you are able to create safety quickly while keeping us honest and yet pulling out the uncomfortable truths was really impressive

Chairman, Unilever Philippines

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