CRU is a privately held research, analysis, and consultancy business that serves the global metals, mining, and fertilizer industries. The business was facing a number of challenges including low-profit growth, a paper-based portfolio, a silo culture (silo by commodity and by business function), and production inefficiencies.
Whilst the customer base was becoming more and more multi-commodity, CRU struggled to achieve the sort of cross-company collaboration required to meet this need. The possible upsides of cross-commodity collaboration and the upsides of collaborating across analysis, consultancy, and events were not being realized.
The new CEO, Nick Morgan, sought first to deal with the short-term by reducing costs where appropriate and then developing a clear strategy for the business going forward.
This meant getting the Executive Team to work together on the strategic plan, including a digital and technology strategy, and creating a more coherent approach to the management of the business and communication across the business.
Traditionally, the ‘management’ role at CRU was seen as unimportant, almost an administrative role to be performed when time permitted.
These important issues led to the management team working with Tess (O’Kane) Cope to conduct CRU’s first Culture Assessment.
Tess, an external Barrett Certified consultant, worked very closely with the CEO and the Head of HR to conduct the Culture Assessment and plan follow-up action. This section highlights their course of action to reduce Cultural Entropy®, create greater alignment within CRU International to accomplish their goals, and become more relevant, responsive, and profitable in today’s marketplace.
There is more clarity at CRU International about where they are going and why, as well as significantly increased transparency around how they are doing against targets/budgets, etc. Additionally, and importantly, CRU is in the process of implementing a cohesive digital strategy supported by appropriate technology platforms and high caliber IT expertise.
The Executive Team’s investment of time to listen to, involve and engage their staff has facilitated a significant shift in Cultural Entropy, as well as a positive improvement in the perception and importance of people management and culture. People can be more open with their views, frustrations, and concerns because they know they will be listened to, and the Executive team has proactively asked for this on a regular basis, on the condition that it is supported with constructive recommendations. It’s a significantly different organization. The most notable results include the following:
“The values survey has been a powerful means of validating that the changes the management team sought are being acknowledged by employees. It has helped create a more open atmosphere for discussion of the things we need to change.” -Dave Price, HR Manager