At Henkel Japan, sales had been slow for the past two years and the company was in a difficult situation. The general manager had the difficult task of developing a plan to rebuild the business in the short period of a few years, with the ultimate aim of achieving a successful business recovery.
In order to accomplish this, it was necessary to develop leadership within the members of the sales management team and to strengthen their solidarity.
The company conducted internal interviews with the manager of each department and with employees at each of the different Henkel Japan sites, in order to try to identify and understand the specific problems they were facing. These problems included:
- Employees tended not to challenge anything new and tried to maintain the status quo without discord
- Employees were not aware of ongoing communication failures within the wider organisation
- No one, including managers, took the initiative to think or act independently
Henkel Japan worked in partnership with Impact in order to design a programme that would help managers to identify organisational problems, develop leadership capability, improve problem solving skills and strengthen trust, collaboration and solidarity between managers and within the wider business.
A two-day off-site programme was designed with the intention of addressing these objectives.
On the first day the participants worked in teams to solve a range of complex problems, some of which reflected their current business challenges.
On the second day, participants took part in a discussion led by the general manager. They were encouraged to discuss and reflect upon different problems and resolutions.
As a result of the programme, the participants acquired an accurate understanding of a business recovery strategy, which substantially changed their mindsets. They understood that they were the ones that had to act, and that the change had to come from them.
The participants presented proposals, took action, and communicated effectively together. With the leadership and encouragement of their line managers, participants voluntarily set more challenging goals for themselves. They showed solidarity and a positive attitude toward solving problems.
“Because of our great results, we were awarded Country of the Year, which was a first for Asia as an in-house commendation.”