Danone is an international food company, headquartered in France, operating four business lines focusing on bringing health through food: Early Life Nutrition, Waters, Medical Nutrition, and Essential Dairy and Plant Based Products. The Early Life Nutrition business holds a market-leading position in the UK, in highly regulated categories.
In January of 2016, it was announced that the Early Life Nutrition business would be moving from their long-standing home in Trowbridge, England the following January. As with any change of this magnitude, there were number of logistics and process aspects to take into account, as well as the people side of change management, in which Danone invested strongly.
In 2009, Danone began their partnership with Insights and since then, every new employee has experienced the magic of the Insights Discovery profile. From an initial exploration in sales training and team building, the Early Life Nutrition business decided to profile all employees; using every opportunity to keep awareness high through team building sessions, alignment within other programmes and re-profiling every two-three years. As a result, the language of the colour energies became embedded across the organisation.
When asked why Danone chose to work with Insights, Paula Ashfield, Organisational Development Manager for Danone Early Life Nutrition UK, said that:
Insights works really well in terms of its simplicity so long as you can embed it in your organisation as we have done at Danone. Being able to see the colour energies on a team level is massively helpful in determining how we are relating to a situation and each other. It allows leaders to look at their preferences compared to the rest of the organisation and as a whole we can determine how to best adapt our natural preferences and style.
With the change of location on the horizon, Danone Early Life Nutrition embarked on a wide-scale change program. As part of the program, the Client Practitioners used the language of the colour energies to enable individuals to understand their reactions to change and as teams were starting to form and reform, the practitioners used Insights to help teams to understand the changes.
Teams were able to look at their profiles and determine their challenges, opportunities, and their strengths across the team; in new teams it accelerated the process of getting to know one another to become more effective, more quickly.
When asked about the return on investment for using Insights, Paula noted that,
it’s huge given what we have done and how we have used it. People are using and talking about Insights every day and we are making the most of our initial investment. The agility of usage has allowed a low cost per use as our practitioners can support people at different stages of the change curve. If a follow-up intervention is required, in a short amount of time we can use the language of the colour energies to come up with targeted inputs and actions to take the team forward. Insights has enabled individuals to see the world from a different perspective making us a more agile business.
Having moved to their new location, they are in the process of delivering the next phase of their strategy which means new projects to undertake and new deliverables to meet. As such, the Client Practitioners will be working with project teams to understand each other, help the teams understand how the colour energies can help and where they need to pay attention. Paula mentions that “it’s all about how we work together across the different areas of Danone that enables success.”