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Accenture helped this global energy company develop a new set of corporate values that were aligned both to its stakeholder environment and its overall strategic direction. Accenture then helped the company create a rigorous framework for embedding these new values into the way the company works, thus positioning it to achieve high performance.
At the beginning of 2011, faced with numerous economic, regulatory and marketplace challenges, this global energy company set out to implement a comprehensive set of strategic initiatives to drive consistent value growth for the long term. A new executive leadership team that had recently taken the helm was especially focused on the company’s longer-term journey of change, and on the values, behaviors and corporate culture that would be necessary to sustain that change.
Accenture had been engaged with the energy company for many years, working through the strategic and human capital implications of the global economic climate and energy industry trends. The energy company had been impressed with recent research conducted by the Accenture Institute for High Performance into macroeconomic industry and talent issues. The company asked Accenture to extend that research specifically into the energy industry and to explore its implications for a large, global organization.
With this background and experience, Accenture was an ideal choice to work with the company on its plan to revisit and update its statement of corporate values and behaviors. Accenture also brought to the table the tools and methods from its “Journey Management” capability—experience in helping clients deliver successful transformational change programs that extend in time across multiple economic cycles and that require management of an integrated and complex portfolio of initiatives.
Accenture worked closely with the energy company team to plan and execute a comprehensive program of data analysis, followed by implementation of the new values and behaviors program along with a metrics initiative to assess progress in a rigorous manner along the journey.
Throughout the work, Accenture was one of three allies (the others were a design and creative communications agency, and an innovation partnership), all with specific roles in the process.
strong>Data Analysis An important first step, in both a comprehensive journey management program and in an initiative to align core values and behaviors with business goals, is an accurate assessment of the organization’s existing state. The energy company has previously conducted extensive sessions, workshops and surveys across the business to gauge employees’ perceptions about the company’s current statements of values and behaviors. The company had collected a great deal of data from engagement with 1,500 employees across 6 months, but most of it was raw and unstructured. Accenture leveraged innovative tools and methods to enable a more rigorous analysis of the input from the workforce.
Values Development Phase Accenture worked with the energy company team to use the results from the data analysis— together with secondary research and information about leading industry practices—as input into a series of leadership workshops which created the raw themes from which the new statements about values and behaviors were created.
Stakeholder Analysis and Support Accenture also worked with the company to implement a stakeholder analysis, identifying key individual stakeholders and stakeholder groups, determining their level of influence on the initiative, and assessing their current levels of commitment to the values program.
Measuring Progress and Effectiveness Another distinctive feature of Accenture’s work with the energy company was the ability to put in place a comprehensive measurement framework for the values and behaviors project work, including a reporting “dashboard” that assisted executives to gain insight into progress along the overall change journey and the extent to which the values were starting to be adopted.
Accenture has brought rigor and scientific methods to the manner in which the energy company has re-energized its core values, linked them to desired behaviors and then measured progress along the overall change journey. According to the company’s Head of Organizational Effectiveness, “Accenture’s work in stakeholder segmentation and analysis will be essential as we move into the crucial activity this year and beyond of embedding these values within our culture and behaviors. Accenture has brought insights to our measurement framework, and helped define the baseline against which we will track progress. Accenture has played a crucial role in verifying that we are rigorous in the application of project management tools, applying a thorough and systematic approach to everything we do.”
Accenture’s broad range of experience in journey management and in human capital strategy has proved vital, as well. As the energy company’s executive notes, “Accenture has brought a wealth of experience in managing large-scale, values-based culture change. A distinctive strength lies in their design and application of practical, systematic tools to support the embedding of change.”
Throughout this work, the quality of the collaboration has been noteworthy. The Accenture team worked within the energy company in a way that made them indistinguishable from the rest of the organization. At the same time, they continuously brought fresh thinking to the initiative. As the company executive notes, “Accenture has maintained a fine balance between integrating into our way of working, while never losing the wider perspective they bring to this work.”
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