With 38 different nationalities and two fundamentally different corporate cultures, MVOW needed a tailored leadership training programme to create a sense of community, a shared toolbox and not least a shared language.
Any healthy and thriving corporate culture is founded on a solid strategy, and that was exactly what the management of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind (MVOW) was looking for when Vestas and Mitsubishi in 2014 entered into a joint venture, establishing a company that delivers some of the market’s most advanced offshore wind turbines.
“We fairly quickly decided that leadership training was to be an enabler of our strategy – both in terms of reaching our business objectives, but also in terms of creating and promoting a culture where the entire company uses the same tools and shares the same language,” says Stine Würtz Jepsen, Vice President of HR & HSE in MVOW.
Leadership requires training
In a merger, focus is typically on quantifiable and “hard” parameters, and making a strategy and setting goals are often priorities. This means that softer areas such as cultural differences and leadership styles and traditions are often forced to take a back seat – even though it may result in business-critical challenges.
“Hardcore strategy work can be decided at the negotiating table, but leadership styles and traditions require training. Faced with the task of finding a supplier and business partner for leadership training, we found it essential that the training be anchored in our strategy and that we were able to train our leaders at different levels and from different functional areas. Therefore, we were looking for a tailored training programme which would also give our leaders a shared toolbox and a shared language, and we found that with People & Performance,” says Stine Würtz Jepsen.
The programme which People & Performance facilitated in cooperation with MVOW was based on a systematic identification of needs in which 15 leaders at different organisational levels provided input on current challenges. This gave People & Performance unique insight into the daily work, the culture and the current challenges, which were then made the natural focal point of the leadership programme. In addition to a specific leadership development programme, the scope also includes leadership assessments. The purpose of the assessments is to provide a “here and now” view of the experienced behaviour of the individual leader in the organisation – a unique personal development tool, which also maintains focus on ensuring that leadership behaviour supports MVOW’s strategic ambition.
38 nationalities – one corporate culture
There is a long way from Japan to MVOW’s offices in the northern part of Aarhus, and there is more to consider than the Danish-Japanese culture gap. MVOW employs 38 different nationalities, and that is a significant aspect to consider when training the organisation’s leaders.
“When we teamed up with People & Performance, it was a decisive factor that they were experienced in working with large, international organisations. Being an international organisation, having to accommodate so many different cultural backgrounds must be reflected in the leadership training for everyone to find the programme relevant and engaging and for the programme to make a difference for each and every one,” says Stine Würtz Jepsen, who believes that the link between strategy and everyday work has been essential.
“People & Performance’s training consultants are very skilled at ensuring that the leaders bring their everyday work into the training room, making them work with specific things that have an impact on their work. This puts the problems and dilemmas, which exist in our as well as all other organisations, into play, and the leadership training thus becomes an enabler in our strategy work,” says Stine Würtz Jepsen.