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How a rapidly growing business managed to deliver more projects on time and in full
Challenge: When you are growing at pace, how do you deliver more projects on-time and in-full?
Solution: A Breakthrough lab designed and delivered in partnership with BRIDGE.
Impact: On-time and in-full rate improved from 43% to 70%; Gallup engagement scores increased from 87th to 95th percentile.
To read the full details, see below.
Mars Wrigley is a confectionery and chocolate manufacturing brand established over 100 years ago. The company is known for iconic products such as M&Ms, Snickers, Orbit and Skittles.
We at BRIDGE worked with the fastest growing business unit within the Mars Wrigley organisation. The pace of growth was generating cracks and tensions across the unit. With more than 50 strategic projects and activities underway, inadequate planning and imperfect execution was leading to frequent last-minute delays. When we met them, only 43% of projects were delivered on-time and in-full. They wanted to make a step change as a business in order to increase their delivery rate and sustain their pace of growth.
In partnership with the General Manager and his team, BRIDGE designed a Breakthrough Lab to address this challenge. The BRIDGE Breakthrough Lab is an intensive engagement in which a business team unlocks a previously unsolvable problem or inaccessible opportunity and increases their capacity to lead together to make the breakthrough a reality. The Breakthrough Lab had three phases:
Phase 1 involved attendees gathering data in relation to the challenge from customers, the top 40 leaders in the business, and other key stakeholders. External provocation was provided by a start-up specialising in disruptive innovation.
Phase 2 was a two-day workshop focused on making sense of the data, generating insight, and developing test-and-learn experiments to make rapid progress against the challenge.
Phase 3 comprised a series of action learning reviews with Lab participants. The reviews culminated in a follow up leadership team retreat six months later.
The Breakthrough Lab had a significant business impact: by the time of the follow up leadership team retreat, the project on-time in-full delivery rate had improved from 43% to 70%. In addition, the leadership team’s Gallup engagement scores had shifted from the 87th to the 95th percentile.
There were other, less quantifiable but very real benefits too. The Lab served as a catalyst for the evolution of the unit’s leadership team, who matured significantly compared to where they were at the start of the journey. The team reported the following attitudinal, behavioural and capability shifts: much greater collaboration and alignment across functions, greater ability to have courageous conversations to make choices and trade-offs (as opposed to avoiding these conversations in the past), prioritising effectively (quality over quantity) and increased understanding how other external businesses address similar challenges.
“While there were other factors that helped the unit shift the on-time and in-full rates and the Gallup scores, the behaviour shift sessions powered by the Adaptive problem-solving approach were a key enabler of the change.”
— Director, Mars Wrigley People & Organization