Cultural Change: Dairy Crest

How to guarantee your Vision and Values are ambitious and engaging?

Using the principles and behaviours of top-performing companies will help to set ambitious standards for your own Vision and Values. But to engage people deeply companies must explore what would change if they truly lived by them.

Context

Dairy Crest is Britain’s leading dairy company. The company’s success is driven by a large portfolio of brands and products across all dairy categories. The rich and varied nature of the business means the company has a large number of internal and external stakeholders it has to satisfy, from farmers and milkmen to investors.

In the past, the absence of Vision and Values meant that the company could, for example, shape itself at pace to meet the needs of its retail customers (it is still true that most of Dairy Crest’s volume across dairy categories is own label). But stakeholders were beginning to ask: What does Dairy Crest believe in?

The time was right to define the principles that would make Dairy Crest a stronger and more successful company in future.

Creative Facilitation

We interviewed a large cross-section of stakeholders and devised a series of workshops for the leadership team.

The output of the first workshop set the agenda for our work over the next twelve months. We focussed the team on our analysis of the key behaviours of top-performing companies, which:

  1. Align their business with big picture market trends
  2. Surprise investors with the bigness of their vision
  3. Make bold plays in pursuit of well-thought-through strategies
  4. Find unique solutions to universal business challenges
  5. Over-deliver against expectations

We explored the structure and principles of developing exemplary Vision and Values, thought through how Dairy Crest measured up against the above five criteria, then asked them to set goals and strategies to close the gaps, not as Dairy Crest, but as if Dairy Crest was thinking and behaving according to the Vision and Values of a different leading brand.

The question was: What would Dairy Crest have to change to live this other company’s Vision and Values?

The output was the spark that ignited the subsequent developmental process. We tailored the thinking to Dairy Crest, agreed the final Vision and Values, set goals and strategies, and developed the programme to cascade them throughout the company and to external stakeholders, so everybody could understand clearly how the Vision and Values applied to them and the implications for changes in their own behaviour and improved performance.

Result

Now the Dairy Crest Vision and Values underpins everything the company thinks, says and does:

Our Vision

We are proud of our links to the countryside, our dairy heritage and the part they play in everyday life.

We believe we should earn the right to consumer’s loyalty by providing healthy, enjoyable and convenient products.

We aim to meet consumers’ needs and go where this takes us.

As we grow, we will look after our people and the communities where we work.

Our Values

WE LISTEN

Consumers are the heart of our business

WE RESPECT

We value our people and are stronger together

WE CARE

We act responsibly with a passion to do the right thing

WE CREATE

We constantly look for new and better ways of doing things

WE LEAD

We value success and strive to be the best