Reshaping Growth Strategy

Strategy Case Study

We helped a leading Fortune 100 company reshape its growth strategy in line with changing consumer tastes and buying habits. Unlike previous transformations, North Highland enabled the organization to ensure that the changes they make would actually enable growth and build the foundation for a culture that sustains its evolution.

Client Situation 

As part of the transformation, the Global Finance team with 4,500 employees globally was seeking a way to simplify and streamline the organization so employees are empowered to think, work, and act differently to accelerate value and growth. 

The leadership team launched a new operating model and transformation journey to resolve key sources of complexity impeding value creation, including organizational confusion, friction, gridlock, internal competition, and low performance. 

The CFO was specifically looking to:

  • Bring the operating model to life for leaders and employees
  • Agree on ways of working their power collaboration
  • Align the value of Finance work and employee contribution to the company value chain
  • Clarify job accountability and co-create a competency-based career framework that empowers employees to own their professional development
  • Create an engaging way for leaders and employees to start a dialogue around how they make growth happen

Our Approach 

Previous transformations were top down and “put on” employees.  North Highland was brought in to help with a bottoms up approach this time around to ensure change would stick.  That meant working with all levels of the organization to co-create the transformation story and define how they think, work, and act differently to sustain the transformation. 

Our research shows that “lack of cultural buy-in at all levels of the organization” is the most common roadblock to transformation.  North Highland approached the project by using our Professionalizing framework and human-centric methodology to focus on the “why” and “how” to make transformation changes stick in the long-term. To do this, we partnered with Global Finance leaders to further define their operating model and a set of key behaviors that provide the right culture for growth. With this defined, we moved into simplifying their job architecture.  This enables Finance talent to move across the Finance organization seamlessly and helps leaders place the right talent in the right place at the right time as the company evolves. 

To bring this to life, we created a transformation story from an employee perspective. To tell the story, we answered key questions around contribution, role clarity, and development from an employee’s point of view.

Additionally, we facilitated 20 sessions with different stakeholder groups from visioning with senior leaders, engaging global finance leaders, managers, and individual contributors in co-creation of the transformation story, and engaging CFO direct leaders and Controllership team in finding new ways to collaborate. We also brought 6 major Finance functions to the table to improve Finance processes. 

Value Delivered 

As a result, we helped the client reduce 21 job families to 11 to increase standardization and ease of talent movement across the Global Finance organization. Because of our approach, the client was able to accelerate the realization of their transformation by engaging the hearts and minds of leaders and employees through definition of new cultural behaviors and Finance work to drive company growth.  

Our human-centric approach with leading-edge experience design allowed us to co-create with leaders and employees on the client’s future, as well as build tools (playbooks, leader guides, employee materials) and actionable plans (launch schedule, ‘train the trainer’ materials) for execution in the short and long-term to move their organization forward. 

Because of this, a broader group of Finance leaders are actively engaged in delivering on their Finance vision and operating model.  In addition, the organization is now focusing on addressing employee needs and the opportunities to grow and develop during a time of transition.  Due to the project’s success, other departments within the company are now interested in leveraging our transformation strategy work to apply it to their line of business as well.

"We helped the client reduce 21 job families to 11 to increase standardization and ease of talent movement."