Lighting the beacon of values to align on purpose

Case Study

Life after merger - it’s a delicate moment for organisations and demands great care and attention. But what does this attention look like? How do you align disparate teams on purpose and culture? With one multinational brand, it was all about activating executive leaders as culture multipliers.

Following a merger and the appointment of a new CEO at this language services organisation, the leadership team realised a concerted effort was needed to integrate their colleagues and align teams so they could deliver for the customer. At the beginning of the partnership, Sheppard Moscow established a clear mandate to work with the leadership community to discover and articulate their unique values, alongside broad approaches for embedding them. A core part of the leader responsibility was to create the conditions for colleagues to translate values into behaviours, and to work across teams in a cohesive way.  

Igniting ‘culture multipliers’

As part of a wide-ranging assignment involving Executive Team effectiveness and process facilitation of the new post-merger culture, we worked with the ‘Top 100’ Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to breathe life into their new values. Through our leadership programme we ignited this SLT cohort of ‘culture multipliers’, leaders with the drive and ability to bring people together and live shared values.

Visible role-modelling was crucial for the success of this programme. The SLT worked with their teams to align personal purpose with the organisation’s purpose, with everything underpinned by the values everyone was relating to.

It has certainly been a challenging year and there’s been quite a few twists and turns along the way; however your expert guidance and support have helped us navigate through those.


Purpose enlivened by values

Foundational to our methodology was appreciative inquiry and large group engagement approaches. In workshops, the SLT envisioned compelling pictures of the future when the values are fully lived, identified.

This approach allowed leaders to articulate how behaviour informed by values can help the organisation to live its purpose. It also encouraged alignment across previously siloed teams. Being explicit around how values are experienced in everyday behaviours and actions is enabling teams to focus on what’s important to customers and how best to align in delivering those priorities. 

The work you have done with us on both how we work together as an Exec Team and in terms of our new values was very much in evidence this week.


Shared purpose, shared passion

Coherent leadership that was aligned, energetic and role-modelling desired behaviours made the difference in getting the culture right post-merger. After our leadership programme, teams were able to deliver effectively for the customer and had the cultural infrastructure to do their best work in a connected environment.​​​​ 

The impact is clear - the values are now the common creed for how people in the merged business think, behave and act.