Essay Preview: The Challenge
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Over the next two and a half decades the company added 80 staff, introduced new product lines, and extended distribution to where it now has 42 franchises. However, it became apparent that, while the original recipe was still delivering the taste that customers loved, the organisation itself wasnt capable of sustaining the growth.
CEO, Lincoln Booth, describes it as realignment; “Everyone needed to understand what the business was about and why we were the way we were. We needed to innovate and to introduce specialised functions. But we didnt want to lose the special characteristics that we valued. To do that we needed a common language. Herrmann® Whole Brain Thinking was the perfect way of bringing everyone together as one. It helped people understand why everyone did what they did.”Defining the need
Cookie Time had its first experience of the HBDI® (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument®) in late 2006 when eTime profiled members of the senior management team. Guy Pope-Mayell, one of the two brothers who started the company, had seen Whole Brain Thinking in action and learned the benefits of profiling.
Now the company faced a bigger challenge; transforming the entire business. It wasnt good enough just to introduce a new structure and explain to people what their role would be. What Cookie Time needed was a total cultural transformation. “We needed a lot of change management so people could understand where we were heading and how they could play their part.
“We wanted to adopt a new strategic approach and develop an organisational structure to support it. But at the same time we had to make sure that what we did was embedded into our cultural values. So we integrated Herrmann Whole Brain Thinking alongside the process we used to define our cultural values.”
The vision was to create New Zealands most loved snack food brands by winning the hearts and minds of consumers. Articulating it was a defining moment for the company.
“I have seen before how frustrating it can be when youre trying to transform an organisation if someone doesnt see the bigger picture,” says Lincoln. “Its often just because theyre not wired that way. Now, understanding how they think, we can play to their strengths.
“The key was having a common language that supported all we wanted to achieve. The Herrmann model helped us to articulate our vision, values and guiding principles so people could then understand how they fit together.”
Herrmann provided the underlying language for communicating the vision, values and guiding principles, and the modes of thinking preference represented by the four coloured quadrants also suggested a way of exploring and elaborating on different elements of the culture.
“When we factored