Teaching a Culture to Tango
In late 2014 Daymon Worldwide, the pioneer in private brand development and in-store demonstrations, realized that new industry challenges and massive shifts in market were forcing the company to change or be changed. Variables such as the emergence of large online retailers like Amazon, the emergence of niche physical and online retailers, and the global spread of “hard discount” chains created a saturated market that was difficult to navigate. Something needed to be done. It was time for a change in Daymon’s culture.
Leveraging powerful social learning tools helped transform this company’s culture from the C-suite to its 5,000 full-time employees.
The senior team, comprised of several new generic brand products outside leaders including the CEO Carla Cooper, realized the company’s 45 year-old “smaller, family-owned culture” wasn’t the culprit but was potentially the barrier to facing the future. The company not only needed more efficient structures and modern business processes to embrace its future, it needed its 5,000+ service-minded associates to participate heavily in evolving Daymon into a company that could continue to adapt, sustain, and scale to the ever-changing retail environment.
In order to execute this sweeping cultural transformation, Daymon’s senior team partnered with Partners In Leadership to deliver the company’s Culture Track training. The leadership team labeled the cultural transformation initiative “Tango.” They first went to work with Partners In Leadership to define a set of overarching Key Results and develop Cultural Beliefs that the entire organization could get behind and that would drive the desired culture into place. Beginning with numerous former key performance indicators, Daymon defined three Key Results around revenue growth, profit growth, and certifying all 5,000 full-time associates in the Cultural Transition Process. As soon as the Key Results were placed, Daymon’s culture instantly began moving in the desired direction towards a culture of accountability in which everyone is accountable to deliver the company’s Key Results.
For a cultural transformation of this magnitude to be successful, there had to be a “lead by example” strategy in play for the rest of the enterprise to become indoctrinated. To put this into action, the Executive Leadership Team (top ten leaders), Global Leadership Team (top 50 leaders), and direct reports of executive leaders were the first Daymon employees trained in the Culture Track curriculum.
The next step in rolling out Tango to the enterprise, Daymon launched a program in January 2015 in which 120 leaders went through a “train-the-facilitator” program, commonly known as “train-the-trainer,” to become internal facilitators of the training. Many of these train-the-facilitator sessions were global and took place in countries like China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, and Portugal.
These leaders were to be the Tango champions responsible for rolling out the initiative to the rest of the workforce and tasked with getting 5,000 full-time employees certified in the Cultural Transition Process using Partners In Leadership’s digital collaboration platform, PILtools.
The next stage in the roll-out was doing in-person training at workshops around the globe, totaling in approximately 150 training sessions. After the training sessions, participants had 90 days to enroll onto PILtools and complete the Cultural Transition Process certification.
For new hires, Daymon put in place an online training program that consists of eight 15-minute video modules. These video modules are from a recorded Tango training session and help provide a virtual training experience. This program helps get people indoctrinated into Tango and the Daymon culture as soon as they begin working for the company.
Since the implementation of Tango, the transformation is apparent all across the organization. Daymon Worldwide finally has found an initiative that is not “flavor of the month” and can help the organization grow and scale. The Cultural Beliefs and Tango are becoming more and more embedded into the company culture as the roll-out continues throughout the enterprise. Tango has now become a part of every employee’s daily activities, all of which are focused on achieving the company’s Key Results of increased profits, revenues, and PILtools certification enterprise-wide. Through the first five months of 2015, Daymon was on track or ahead of all of its Key Results for the year, indicating strong adoption of the culture of accountability and a clear path to ongoing success.