Case study: Pöyry
Pöyry is a global consulting and engineering company dedicated to balanced sustainability. Following a period of rapid growth, which included significant acquisitions, the company realised it faced some key challenges:
- How could they continue to be entrepreneurial now that they were so much larger?
- How could they harness the incredible expertise that existed within the company, but which was dispersed in many different locations across their global business?
- How could they become a truly global company rather than simply a multinational one (meaning a company which operates in many countries but is run centrally from one country)?
- How could they move from being a collection of local companies to a truly global group?
- What would it take to work successfully within this larger more diverse organisation?
- What should be harmonised or standardized across the company, and what should remain independent?
In all of these areas, people issues run deep. It was clearly going to be important to help people at Pöyry grasp all the opportunities presented by the new scale of the company. How could they help them adjust to life in a much bigger organisation with a different way of doing things?
Pöyry delivers best-in-class management consulting, total solutions, and design and supervision. Its in-depth expertise in the fields of management consulting, energy, industry, urban & mobility and water & environment is delivered to its clients by its 7,000 experts who are based in local offices in about 50 countries. Pöyry has diversified and grown through acquisition as well as its own organic growth, and these acquisitions have presented greater challenges than average, since their growth has been very rapid and has involved specialist companies from right around the World.
Key members of their Group Executive Committee (GEC) recognised the need to provide support to all senior staff facing the above questions. Working with Global Integration they developed a highly innovative leadership programme (Leading in the Global Network) to change the mind-set of their top 300 people and to provide these people with the tools, tips and concepts to lead and manage their organisations and teams in the globally networked company that Pöyry has become.
John Bland of Global Integration initially ran a two and a half day workshop session for GEC members to expose them to the tool kits and concepts that would form the basis of the whole rollout programme. This was so that GEC members would both understand the challenges that their people face more clearly and also be able to fully support them. Not only did this help kick-start and evolve their own thinking, it also began to create a common language and framework to describe the situation, the problems and the solutions. So starting from the very top, the whole organisation began to reach for the future together.
The success of this workshop lead to a programme that is being rolled out through the most senior three hundred people in the company. The programme comprises several elements including the most up to date thinking on global organization structures (like matrices); leading globally; working across global cultures; leading remote and virtual teams; and skills for matrix working.
Pöyry is evolving and growing fast, despite a backdrop of a global recession, and it faces many challenges and questions. Pöyry needs flexibility, and Pöyry’s people need to lead in an environment of constant change and diversification. At the same time, the company needs to find innovative solutions with an entrepreneurial edge. With this in mind, people development is at the very heart of their thinking.