Purpose and Culture Reframe – M&G Investments Limited
M&G Investments is a leading Asset Management firm that launched Europe’s first mutual fund in 1931. The arrival of a new CEO, who wanted to reshape the organisation to meet the future needs of a changing marketing, led the organisation to review its ‘Corporate DNA’ that had been created 15 years previously in a quite different financial and regulatory landscape.
Approach: We were invited to help M&G develop a shared language to articulate the firms’ purpose, principles and behaviours in a way that would resonate with both existing and future colleagues. It was essential to create participation and gain buy in across the whole organisation. Partnering with an internal project team of SME’s we engaged multiple internal audiences to build a new purpose-centered narrative, grounded in demonstrable behaviours, for the whole organisation. By keeping the changing needs of customers, clients, and the regulator at the heart of the process, we were able to balance the real strengths of the existing culture with the future needs of the market. The new purpose, principles, and behaviours were launched with more than 1400 people taking part in workshops across 3 continents, and with over 90 team leaders equipped to lead a discussion on how to embed these in the teams’ day-to-day work.
Impact: Six months on, an impact assessment showed leaders and colleagues were overwhelmingly positive about the purpose-led narrative and the way it had been brought to life across the business. Non-customer facing teams reported that the customer had been brought into sharper focus, helping them understand their impact on customer outcomes, and colleagues reported that they now felt more empowered to constructively challenge behaviours and decisions that did not reflect M&G’s principles and behaviours.
“As an Executive sponsor of the project I found that Cara showed exceptional focus, creativity and determination to ensure that it had a sustained impact. She led a strong, multi-disciplinary team and ensured the project was one of co-creation, rather than top-down imposition, which meant that teams across the business and across the globe shared a sense of ownership and pride in the framework. This measurably impacted employee engagement and was also something customer facing teams would engage with their clients on. On occasion. I have seen ‘culture change’ done badly with limited impact, but I can only describe Cara’s approach as exemplary in creating something truly authentic and with wide-spread buy-in.”
Gareth Jones, previously HR Director, M&G Investments