Winning hearts and minds drives change at Quorn
Whether your business has gone through a little or a lot of change, it’s always a challenge to ask your colleagues to adapt how they work. Amongst all the plans and additional workload, engagement can fall to the bottom of the list, placing progress at risk and denying your business of all the associated benefits. As Quorn discovered, successful change programmes prioritise communications and place engagement at their core.
Quorn is a global food manufacturing business that was set up to service the world’s growing need for protein. Before veganism and meat free Mondays became as popular as they are today, Quorn created a mycoprotein that can be formed into different products, such as mince and even vegan sausages or chicken style pieces. Today, they provide their products to a long list of countries around the world and Quorn is even a key ingredient in the now famous Gregg’s vegan sausage roll!
With ambitious growth targets - Quorn has an ambition to become a billion-dollar business (recognised as a consequence of our purpose rather than its purpose on its own) - the manufacturer could no longer rely on organic growth. They knew they needed to find new ways to continue to drive innovation in order to grow sales.
To do this, Quorn introduced a recognised business process, based on Stage-Gate and innovation performance management theory, which when applied effectively, drives the development and launch of a steady stream of successful new products.
Initially, Stage-Gateâ had been communicated using technical language with a focus on process. However, this had resulted in leaders and teams perceiving the programme as too corporate, bureaucratic and a threat to Quorn’s culture of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.
Meetings had ended up with a focus on problems rather than solutions. Despite the clear line of sight between the process and the organisation’s growth ambitions, the levels of buy-in and cross-functional collaboration required to make the new process a success were not being generated.
Having previously worked with Enthuse at another organisation, Quorn’s Head of Activity Management, knew where to turn to support this major change programme.
Quorn wanted its people to have a consistent level of understanding about the new product development process and to understand the role they would play. Both leaders and employees needed to become involved in developing new ways of working and Quorn wanted them to believe that the process was right for the business.
Enthuse also wanted to move employees from feeling intimidated by the new process, to feeling excited about it and part of the new approach.
Enthuse began by taking a strategic overview of the business, including its objectives, culture, and the organisational and individual ‘pains’. This enabled Enthuse to establish the pros and cons of Stage-Gateâ and to identify what everyone would have to gain from the change.
Instead of continuing with technical, process-focussed language and text-heavy slides that were intimidating the audience, Enthuse developed a new, accessible brand for the process now known as ‘Amplify’.
Communications were stripped of complexity. They were redesigned to focus on a simple message, to deliver a concept that people wanted to engage with and to create a sense of ownership around Amplify. To do this, Enthuse carried out a range of activities including:
Stakeholder mapping - by understanding who the key influencers were, their impact and position on Amplify, it was possible to identify natural supporters and those with more sceptical views. This revealed a number of strategies that Enthuse and Quorn could use to move each leader forward.
Developing a compelling narrative - the basis for any Enthuse transformation. By telling the story of where the business had come from, where it was and where it was going, it was possible to explain the project’s what, why and how. This enabled the creation of reasons to believe in the new process that would resonate with employees.
Tone of voice development - instead of 500-word presentation slides, Enthuse distilled the key messages around the change into an infographic. Easy to understand and well designed, this was a good looking and engaging piece.
Senior leadership buy-in - to avoid death by PowerPoint, a few impactful slides were created for the senior leadership team meeting. Enthuse facilitated the session, which included face-to-face working groups to help people better engage - in person and cross-functionally. Interactive discussions repositioned leaders to become part of the solution by considering how they could make the new process work in their teams. At the leadership conference, ‘reverse invitations’ were handed out so that managers could invite the project team to their meetings to talk about the Amplify project.
Creating high impact training sessions - Enthuse partnered to transform a technical process into a fun, succinct and informative video and online training, to get everyone up-to-speed with the aims of Amplify, before they were invited to attend face-to-face training. During the high energy session, colleagues worked in different job roles to what they would normally do, in cross-functional teams, to appreciate how different roles impact on others. Tasked with following specific steps, the teams used their creativity and innovation to create a new toy. The big reveal - that they had been using the Amplify process and had enjoyed it - proved that the new approach was a great fit for Quorn. Armed with training scripts and following a first run-through by Enthuse, Quorn was fully equipped to run the remainder of the sessions themselves.
Ongoing communications - Enthuse set up a newsletter template, wrote the first newsletter and developed a year-long content plan, giving Quorn everything it needed to continue the initial engagement throughout the project.
Amplify was such a success that it is now embedded at Quorn with over 60 projects following the process. Ideas are now risk assessed and rejected, as appropriate, and instead of having to push people to use the approach, employees now leverage the process to ensure work happens in the way it should.
To arrive at this destination, Enthuse successfully changed the behaviour of Quorn’s employees who now:
Have a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities
Benefit from greater cross-functional working
Increasingly make fact-based decisions
Deliver in line with the behaviours that were focussed on in training
The online course has been rated 8.1 out of 10 and employees love the clear, concise language without the use of jargon. Plus, the appealing look and feel of the communications and the focus on creating engaging content and discussion opportunities really stood out from Quorn’s usual communication tactics.
Feedback from leaders has also been extremely positive. So much so that another leader in Quorn has briefed Enthuse to work on a different project in the business.
The Enthuse Difference
Many people jump straight into tactics, without fully comprehending the strategic background. Enthuse brings a deep understanding of people and change, in their entirety, taking communications to new levels. It’s this level of insight that enables Enthuse to create and share the right messages, helping organisations to shift opinions and nudge people in the right direction.
Les Hamilton, Quorn’s Head of Activity Management, said: “Enthuse brought this change to life by winning hearts and minds. Their work and delivery was exemplary and delivered significant change that will support Quorn’s business performance.”
To get your change programme across the line with expert communications support, contact Enthuse on 07812 343310.