Anand Mahindra’s Clever Brand Movement for Coping with Hellacious Change

Dec 14, 2018

nyc-ad-agencyThe most powerful Indian brand taps StrawberryFrog to design brand-fueled Movement Marketing that may, momentarily, inspire you to join in and Rise amidst the challenges of modern life.

It’s one of the great pleasures of life. But the act of innovating and creation shouldn’t be a limiting experience. This is why Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra incited the Rise movement to transform his corporation, his teammates, his customers, and his consumers.

The Mahindra Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai, with operations in over 100 countries around the globe. The group has a presence in aerospace, agribusiness, aftermarket, automotive, components, construction equipment, defense, energy, farm equipment, finance and insurance, industrial equipment, information technology, leisure and hospitality, logistics, real estate, retail, and two-wheelers. It is considered to be one of the most reputable Indian industrial corporations. With over 40,000 employees, decision making had grown more convoluted and branches of the organization had become misaligned. Over the years, Mahindra had built in lots of procedures, and for many good reasons. But, those procedures had also slowed it down.

Anand sought to evolve Mahindra’s culture to be nimble, innovative, and customer-centered. He knew it required a journey to align and galvanize all employees. His leadership team began with a search for purpose together with StrawberryFrog. Over the course of several months, the Mahindra team led Ruzbeh Irani, who worked with Scott Goodson and his StrawberryFrog team to learn about the needs of everyone, from factory workers to scientists, external partners, customers, and investors. Together they defined and distilled the purpose of the company, paring it down to three simple pillars that underpinned the “RISE” movement: Use your ingenuity. Accept no limits. Drive positive change. The key strategy we used to align all the different interests and activate a solution which was good for all, was to focus on an idea on the rise in culture, to buttress the RISE movement idea. And this is what everyone could get behind. The motivation was pride, not dictated from the top down. And instead of plastering this new slogan on motivational posters, the leadership team began by quietly using it to start guiding their own decisions. The goal was to demonstrate this idea in action, not talk about it. StrawberryFrog designed management training and role-playing sessions over several months across all companies. Projects were selected across channels to highlight the pillar of RISE and Mahindra teams were rewarded for their alignment with the movement. Then we went global, involving their largest offices in key markets like the USA, Chile, Europe and South Africa. A comprehensive internal RISE team and platform was developed to help Mahindra employees be proactive with their customer requests and innovate around problems in an agile way.

After the launch of RISE, StrawberryFrog led large-scale interactive workshops to onboard employees to RISE. Post the workshop, we worked to develop Mahindra Leadership University, and created the Leadership Competencies, keeping RISE in mind.

The 3 Rise Pillars were divided into 5 Leadership Characteristics, and 16 attributes. Rise Behaviors were defined for each of the attributes. Mahindra integrated the Rise Behaviors into HR so that RISE emerged in the life of employees.

As a part of this intervention, the Performance Management System was redesigned, the Recruitment process was revamped. Interview questions during recruitment were recreated to evaluate talent on the RISE Behaviors. Development Centers using RISE evaluated Leadership competencies in employees.
Currently, Mahindra is working on a journey which is designed to bring RISE to the forefront by facilitating small behavioral changes in the lives of employees to enable them to RISE. After the introduction of RISE, Mahindra saw a significant shift in employees behaviors. This conclusion is not merely a daily observation, but it is indicated by the data we collected. Some of the indicators of this change are mentioned above:

The Mahindra Cares survey measures the engagement levels of our officers. Our Employee engagement scores have increased year on year from FY15 to FY18.

MCARES Score for FY15 was 3.76, for FY16 was 3.92, for FY17 was 4.05 and FY18 was 4.13.

The Future Leaders Program was rolled out, an Integrated Talent management and Leadership development intervention building a Leadership Talent pool. The FLP was an 18-month developmental journey in collaboration with Yale School of Management and IMD Lausanne.

Apart from FLP, we have seen a rise in the strength of our talent pipeline and as a group, we have been able to achieve a target of having succession cover more than 60% of our critical positions which is the highest level of achievement as per our defined targets.

Mahindra employees have become more sensitive to the 3 RISE Pillars and 5 Leadership Characteristics and the employees are living RISE. The RISE 360 survey measures this, which has reached more than 16,000 employees with more than 50% of the leadership. The analysis of the data points showed that the employees are rated high on sensitive, trusting and trustworthy. The data shows that employees are high on whole brain thinking and are highly focused on driving positive change.

By StrawberryFrog