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WK Kellogg foundation: Organizational realignment to new strategy

Read how Accenture helped the WK Kellogg foundation align its talent management and organizational structure to support a new strategy.


Accenture helped the WK Kellogg Foundation develop a framework for organizing, attracting and developing the right talent to support its new strategic objectives, thus positioning the foundation to achieve high performance in the future.


From modest beginnings in 1930 with programs that served the health and education needs of youth in south-central Michigan, the WK Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) has grown into one of the world’s largest private, nonprofit foundations.

In recent years, WKKF’s programming interests have expanded into a vast portfolio, creating complex organizational structures and processes as a result. Leaders decided to clarify the foundation’s unique mission and vision and subsequently adopted a new mission statement and strategic framework. In so doing, WKKF needed to reshape and align the organization and its staff to the new strategies. Once aligned, WKKF sought to establish talent management processes that would allow them to operate effectively, at a lower cost, by developing its staff and providing incentives that would both retain existing staff and attract skilled new employees.


WKKF’s leaders began the organizational realignment by designing and implementing a voluntary retirement incentive program to reduce the size of the organization. While organizational leaders were clear on their goals, they recognized the need for specialized skills to fully implement the organizational changes they envisioned. So they turned to Accenture.

Accenture helped transition departing staff in a way that was respectful, effective and consistent with WKKF’s core values. Accenture also worked with leaders to design and implement a streamlined organizational structure.

After the voluntary programs and reorganization were completed, WKKF turned its attention to the next goal of filling positions with the right skill sets for current needs. For this effort, Accenture helped build an overall talent framework and specific elements including a streamlined governance structure, guiding principles, job families, career levels, salary grades and a competency model.

Accenture and WKKF then used these elements to redesign and implement key talent management processes.

In order to attract and retain the best talent for achieving its mission, Accenture helped it rationalize all its benefits programs, aligning them to WKKF’s core values and streamlining the number of vendors it interacted with.

After updating its talent management processes, WKKF was ready to focus on talent development. To this end, Accenture helped with a gap analysis in order to understand the organization’s current state and what learning it needed to develop for its new mission-driven environment.


By teaming with Accenture, the WK Kellogg Foundation has been able to focus on enhancing its programming execution while decreasing the size and complexity of the organization.

  • Organizational leaders have greater insight into their workforce allowing them to plan ahead for known vacancies and needs, proactively develop, and manage movement and interactions among teams. The organization delivered on its philosophy of linking pay to performance by providing performance-based pay to about 98 percent of employees. Supervisors have access to information and tools when giving performance feedback, documenting development plans, providing career guidance and giving on-the-job support to their employees.

  • Employees have additional and consistent information regarding their role, how it fits into the overall talent framework and future opportunities within the organization. In the most recent fiscal year, employees had the opportunity to document self-input as part of the performance management process, and about 95 percent of employees did so.

  • HR team members are involved in fewer one-off, individualized requests and decisions, which allows them to increase the level of support they are able to provide to leaders and supervisors.

  • WKKF’s new training curriculum allows all employees to view the overall development plan for the organization and its leaders, helping illustrate the courses available and how they contribute to the mission.

  • The new mission-aligned, streamlined benefits package enables WKKF to attract the talent they need and retain them.