Case Study

General Mills

Developing Global Acumen, Locally & Globally

Following multiple mergers and acquisitions outside the U.S., global leaders and high potential employees at General Mills sought a deeper understanding of intercultural competence and its impact on building stronger relationships. LCW worked with General Mills to create “Building Your Intercultural Competence” — a program designed to empower employees to collaborate more effectively with different work styles and cultural groups. General Mills continues to offer BYIC as an ongoing program to help employees leverage their industry and functional expertise on a global scale.

Services Performed

Cultural Competence Training IDI® Coaching

The Challenge

As a CPG leader with a presence in over 100 countries, General Mills has experienced its share of rapid global expansion. Along with this expansion came the challenge of realigning employee competencies to focus on operating in a global environment. To meet this objective, General Mills partnered with us to design, develop, and implement a highly-complex, multi-phased program for global delivery to leaders and high-potential employees — all in less than 3-months’ time.

Our Approach

To begin, we conducted internal interviews to assess organizational needs and explore how leadership and teamwork were being influenced within General Mills. We then identified and focused on a few key organizational needs and also incorporated client-specific challenges into a program titled “Building Your Intercultural Competence” (BYIC). Within three months, we developed a three-tiered program:

  • Stage 1: Pre-work to taking the IDI assessment (e-Learning module)
  • Stage 2: Benchmarking cross-cultural competence (group IDI Debrief, face-to-face or virtual)
  • Stage 3: Staged development of intercultural competence, action planning and ongoing resources (face-to-face or virtual)

After launching the program to 300 global leaders at General Mills’ 2013 Global Leadership Conference, we scaled the experience to General Mills employees around the world.

The Impact

Participants came away with a deeper understanding of global acumen and its impact on building stronger, more effective relationships with a multicultural workforce. They learned effective strategies for driving collaboration and innovation across teams in ways that take cultural similarities and differences into account. The tools utilized in the training are now used to benchmark or quantify intercultural competence and identify development opportunities on an individual, functional team, department, or organizational level at General Mills.