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CASE - Revival of local entrepreneurship after a regional centralization of the operating model

One of the world’s leading food and beverage companies prides itself on its entrepreneurial culture, one of the key drivers behind their business success. They aspire to be an organization where each and every employee exhibits the restless desire to make the most out of every opportunity, and only demands the very best.

In order to accelerate its future growth, the European regional leadership adopted a more centralized, integrated matrix form where R&D and marketing were pulled at the central sector level. As an upside, these functions are now more forceful to continue the aspired growth pace. But, the downside was that locally operating entrepreneurial employees felt having less room to manoeuvre autonomously. As management wanted to stress the importance of entrepreneurship within the new operating model, they decided to launch a Culture Re-Ignition program, bringing the desired cultural attributes on entrepreneurship to life (e.g. dynamism, pragmatism, curiosity, can-do attitude and constructive debate).

“It is very important to us that we can involve everyone in working on the competitive advantage of our company” - CEO


Venture Spirit initiated “The Next Big Idea”, a regional campaign simulating participants to co-define and elaborate new product portfolio ideas for short-term top-line growth, and enhanced business process concepts for mid-term bottom-line improvement. More than 2000 employees, across ranks and functions were challenged to team up with colleagues across the region, convert initial ideas into qualified plans, and prepare them to be further taken up into the organization.

Via an in-game virtual investment mechanism, the one- pagers were ranked based on customer value and feasibility criteria. The Venture Spirit project team actively steered the community to the best possible results via in- game advisory messages and personal team guidance. In the end, all top ideas were mapped on an intuitive framework to facilitate decision-making on the winning business concepts. To also measure the impact the aspired cultural attributes, in-game KPIs and activities were mapped onto the predefined values, to verify to what extent the campaign resulted in a company culture shift.


End-of-game results clearly showed a significant strengthening of the aspired cultural attributes, with a particularly strong push for can-do attitude and constructive debate. In total, “The Next Big Idea” inspired more than 500 participants from all across the regional organization to bring forward 92 bottom- up initiatives to tackle the selected Must Win Battles. During the selection and filtering process, 47 were deemed sufficiently elaborated and eligible for further assessment by the management Jury. After a final selection and deliberation session, three winning teams got the opportunity to present their innovative venture during a final event in Stockholm in front of the top-40 of regional management. They are now further elaborated in the company together with the idea initiators. Additionally, as a personal reward, the winning teams could attend several innovation conferences in Silicon Valley and Barcelona to further expand their entrepreneurial skill set.


  • Acceleration of the Culture Re-ignition program, bringing the aspired culture to life, with a particular focus on what it can bring for the business

  • Re-establish cross-functional and cross-regional collaboration to incentivize people to continue working on future business success together

  • Quick and effective identification of promising new product concepts and process improvement proposals, by making smarter use of all collective expertises

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