May 20, 2015 – by Edwin Winter and Jeroen Geelhoed &samhoud consultancy
Montblanc is a manufacturer of writing accessories, watches, jewelry and leather products. By now, the company is almost a hundred years old and very successful, located in more than seventy countries. Among the 3.500 employees a feeling of connectedness, pride and passion dominates. Nevertheless, they did not have that much compassion with the strategic goals of the organization.
In order to achieve the strategic and audacious goal to become a ‘one billion euro Global Luxery Maison’, the organization had to create clear core values. The departments in Europe, Asia and the United States acted as separate clusters, which did not make them behave like a team. Montblanc asked &samhoud to help creating core values and to unite all people within the organization.
Montblanc, together with &samhoud, set up seven workshop in Hong Kong, the United States and Europe with about twenty participants. Every team, organized by a board member, existed out of employees from all over the world, from all functions, all cultures and all hierarchies. Questions like ‘What is necessary to achieve the audacious goal in terms of the company’s culture and core qualities?’ and ‘Where do we currently stand and what direction do we have to go?’ were discussed in these workshops.
In order to trigger the discussion, participants were sent out on the shopping streets of Hong Kong, Barcelona, Dallas or New York to see what the values of other shops and brands were. It was very interesting to see how people experienced the different cities. In addition, participants asked themselves the question ‘How, on a scale from one to ten, do I grade myself, my manager and the board in living up to our core values?’ to clarify where Montblanc was standing at that moment. The organizing board members took all this feedback to their board meeting. At the end of the meeting, the results of the workshop and the formulated core values were presented to the board by several employees. The core values that were chosen by the employees were brought back to five main ones: excellence, entrepreneurship, integrity, passion and costumer focus.
Based on these values a video was made about the strategy of Montblanc; where does the company stand at the moment, where does it want to go to and what are the its core values. In addition, the core values have been put into practice through local workshops and the concretizing of these values. In these workshops, everyone formulated what they should stop doing, start doing or keep on doing in order to live up to the core values as good as possible.
Through these workshops all employees have become very enthusiastic and the core values are lived by globally. There is an important task for the managers to make these values apparent worldwide in order to implement them sustainably. The core values are adopted into the recruitment of new employees, in the performance measurement and its evaluation.