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A fast-moving journey on steroids

Beer is South Africa’s favourite tipple and many South Africans have very fond memories of the world-famous HEINEKEN Brewery tour in Amsterdam. So, the opportunity to attend a Talenttalks Networking Breakfast, hosted by HEINEKEN was not to be missed.

The weather played along and views from the rooftop of their head office in Sandton were spectacular -jacarandas in bloom, the Sandton skyline, golfers and horses in the distance. Networking opportunities were excellent as guests represented a range of diverse industries.

HEINEKEN HR Director, Njabulo Mashigo, Head: People and Organisational Development, Pam Veeran and Catalyst Consulting CEO, Debbie Craig provided insights into the challenges in the company’s journey to develop a unique Heineken culture, following its “separation” from Brand House.

Njabulo described the journey as “a fast-moving journey on steroids.”

Catalyst has made the slides from the breakfast presentation available to our readers. The link was published on the Talentalks website on the 5th October. The summary that follows is therefore very brief.

The journey proved extremely challenging. Part of the challenge emanated from the fact that there was no HEINEKEN culture as “everyone came from diverse backgrounds.” Despite the complexities involved, during the course of the past eighteen months HEINEKEN has exceeded many of its expectations.

The model that was implemented had three legs – engage, enable and empower.

Engaging focused on engaging and aligning the organisation in terms of the strategy. The focus was on strategy, leadership and culture.

Enable was about how one builds high performance teams and empowers individuals within the organisation. For the HR team, enabling was about the People agenda and enhancing people practices. Enable was about HR getting the various teams to talk and engage across functions. Performance management was key and was one of the first things that were put in place.

Catalyst worked with individuals, teams and at an organisational level. Initiatives included coaching.

Debbie provided some insights into the tools and methodologies that were deployed. She cited leadership, culture and engagement are some of the key drivers for building a high performance organisation.

People were also taken along an emotional change journey.  The process included building ability, leadership and personal mastery. This constituted the empowering component.

Talenttalks received very positive feedback from its guests. Comments to the question: “What stood out for you?” included:

  • Value of act like an entrepreneur
  • How dedicated the HEINEKEN MT was in terms of collaborating with each other and taking forward the same consistent message to the rest of the organisations.
  • HR leadership. Strong team and leader
  • The willingness to share and learn from the HEINEKEN journey
  • The amazing journey that HEINEKEN SA has travelled in such a short space

Responses to the question: “What can you apply in your own organisation?” included the following:

  • More consistency – transparency
  • Integration of culture across brands
  • Share with colleagues
  • Communicate and give feedback as much as possible
  • Leadership Forums
  • Employee engagement initiatives

Talenttalks salutes HEINEKEN South Africa for its trailblazing achievements; these achievements attest to exceptional leadership within the organisation.

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