Engage for Success Cross Cultures Thought and Action Group
Engaging employees in closing the strategy
execution gap across cultures
Identifying and sharing best practice
The Strategy Group
Part of the Cross Cultures Group, Engage for Success
1. Tell your story
2. Why is this project important?
3. Mind the gap
4. The team who will tell your story
5. About Engage for Success
6. Frequently Asked Questions
7. How to find out more
In this document
We’d like to share what you’ve achieved and
• We’ve heard about some of the great things
you’ve done to engage stakeholders in
developing and implementing strategy across
• We want to share your story with others – so we
can help them too.
• We just need an hour or so of your time.
1. Tell your story
• Please read on and let us know if you would like to be part of this great
Engage for Success, UK Government-backed initiative.
How will you benefit?
• We will share your story and success, you will be associated with Engage
for Success and you’ll receive the full research findings and insights.
• Draw on tried and tested
approaches, the insights and
the learning from
• Develop an accessible
‘resource bank’ for use by
the wider community.
• Provide tools for leaders,
managers and employees to
help close the strategy
execution gap to enhance
employee engagement and
“64% of business leaders lack confidence in their
organisation’s ability to close the gap between strategy
and execution.” OnPoint’s Strategy Execution Gap Study
Strategic plans are developed but are not actually
being fully delivered. This strategy execution gap
presents an opportunity cost for many organisations.
The challenge is greater when trying to do this across
Through truly engaging employees in strategy
development and delivery, we can help to close this
gap and create value. We also know that engaged
employees are more efficient and effective, are more
customer focused, are more creative at work, take less
time off sick, care about the future of their
organisation and put in greater effort to meet its
2. Why is this project important?
* Across cultures is defined as across international boundaries and countries. 4
3. Mind the gap
Developed by Donnie MacNicol through discussions with Karen Dempster. 5
Traditional HQ develops strategy
and passes down the line to deliver.
Traditional McKinsey world of
developing strategy. In government
this is Policy Creation.
- new and fast
Growing area of interest / knowledge:
Bodies/orgs being set up to ensure effective
translation. Emerging role of SE Director or
similar in orgs. Middle ranking consultancies
typically focus here.
PMI / UK based Association of Project
Management professional bodies sit
here. Considerable body of knowledge.
Biggest issue: Are we doing the right
projects / programmes at the right
time for the right reason?
How to involve people in
conceiving and devising an
effective organisational strategy.
In addition how to do this in a
Key focus for the Strategy Group
is how we can communicate and
engage with people more
effectively to close this gap.
A secondary focus is on the
multicultural aspect of this.
How to powerfully involve those in
the delivery process to improve
effectiveness . In addition how to
do this in a multicultural context.
4. The team who will share your story (1 of 3)
Sara Wilbourne – Strategy Group Lead
Former Director of Strategic Communications for Amnesty International, Sara led the
development of the global identity for the organization during a period of global transition. She is
a communications specialist, and writer with over thirty years of international publishing and
communications experience at her back. Currently Director with a small communications agency
Becoming Us Sara specializes in brand development for mission-driven SMEs.
Karen Dempster – Strategy Group Member
A Communications practitioner (and professional photographer) with nearly 20 years’ experience
who recently set up Fit2Communicate working with clients on fast-paced, global transformation
programmes, developing ways to improve communication in education and introducing a robust
approach to employee health and performance. Previously she worked for Zurich Financial
Services in UK, European and global roles, and also at The Natural History Museum, The
Wellcome Trust and PPP Lifetime Care. She is passionate about translating strategy into ‘what’s
in it for me’ for employees.
Stephen Spencer – Practitioner
Stephen has seen many developments and approaches in employee engagement over 20 years
operating at divisional level HRD level. He has operated in many manufacturing business
environments (mainly automotive supply, chemical and textiles) and varied cultures (world-wide
operations, different management styles). Currently he is working at GKN plc (£7.5bn sales,
51,400 people, 33 countries) as HRD with a focus on Group special projects. Stephen believes
that the ‘engagement mission’ combines the ever present drive for sustainable business
improvement with doing things the right way for people and the+F29 E4S activity will generate
academically rigorous research, from which will come an internationally deliverable expertise
which will enhance business performance and the experience of those involved.
4. The team who will share your story (2 of 3)
Nicole Utzinger – Strategy Group Member
Nicole has been working internationally as change communications professional, executive
coach and facilitator for over 20 years.
As part of the initial start–up team of the Dubai International Financial Centre, she was
responsible for the design and creation of DIFC’s organisational culture and employee
As director at EMEA Communications Consulting she now focuses her attention on cross-
cultural employee engagement & change programmes as well as designing and delivering high-
profile organisational development projects across Europe and the Middle East.
Deborah Goodall – Strategy Group Member
As a former Director of Communications for Merck , a multinational pharmaceuticals company,
Deborah has led communications and change programmes in culturally and technically complex
environments. In the last ten years she has continued to work internationally as a trained
communications coach and change facilitator. She has a particular interest in the impact of
language , storytelling, narrative and organisational and relationships systems at work . Now a
Director at Fruitful Conversations, she helps organisations develop the skills of productive and
Donnie MacNicol – Strategy Group Member
Donnie leads consultancy, training, facilitation and mentoring assignments for Team Animation.
He specializes in developing an organization’s project leadership capability. Widely recognized
as contributing to the ‘people and organizational side’ of project management thinking, he is in
much demand as a speaker and writer. He is passionate about delivering value by incorporating
the latest behavioural, organisational, cultural and human resources thinking. Donnie’s book,
Project Leadership (with Sarah Coleman), will soon be followed by a second on Organisational
Project Management, which is primarily focused on closing the Strategy Execution Gap.
5. The team who will share your story (3 of 3)
Céline Berger – Strategy Group Member
Director and founder of RécréAction
For 15 years, Céline has been passionate about:
• Facilitating communication across large organisations.
• Empowering individuals to achieve their goals.
• Getting the best out of people using creative, collaborative and fun approaches.
• Inspiring them to feel, think and act differently.
• Making organisations happier and more effective.
This is all she cares about!
Cinthya Quijano, Thought & Action Group Chair
Cinthya is an Organisation Development practitioner with over 10 years of experience within the
field both as an external and internal consultant. She has had a multicultural life, having lived in
5 countries and working in 2. Her experience expands change projects in multinationals and
SMEs to working in the Higher Education sector. She is currently the Chair of the Engage for
Success Cross Cultures Thought & Action Group and Director of Change Differently Ltd which
focuses on inclusive change and inspiring sustainable success for organisation through their
And the Cross Cultures Group
The Cross Cultures Group launched in February 2013 with the
aspiration to become the go-to source of practical advice and
guidance about how to increase engagement internationally.
We have practitioners with extensive experience of working with
global companies to do this, and are developing a larger network of
people passionate about this topic and actively working with it. We
are especially interested in linking up with people outside the UK who
are working to increase engagement.
• That growing British business through international expansion is
a critical part of strengthening the British economy
• That there are better and smarter ways to work across
international boundaries, countries and multi-cultural businesses
• A happy and motivated workforce releases more of the capability
and potential of people at work both here in the UK and abroad,
which serves to unlock the potential of business and
international markets – and that there is an undeniable business
case to support this
Who are Engage for Success?
We are a growing, dynamic,
voluntary and UK Government-
backed movement promoting
employee engagement as a better
way to work that benefits
individual employees, teams, and
We want everyone working in the
UK to want, and be able, to give
their best each day, so that each
day is a great day at work, and that
workplaces in the UK are thriving,
growing and developing through
the commitment, energy, and
creativity of the people that work
6. Frequently asked questions (1 of 2)
1. What types of organisations are you looking for?
Organisations that operate across international cultures, who have rolled out
strategy within the last five years. We would like representation across many
different sectors from not-for-profit to corporate.
2. Can I be part of this work but remain anonymous?
Ideally we would like to share the organisations who have taken part but if
this is a problem then you can remain anonymous and we would refer to ‘an
organisation from x sector’ instead.
3. How will you make the ‘resource bank’ available to the wider
We’ll share the best practice, dos and don’ts and more on the Engage for
Success website: http://engageforsuccess.org/
6. Frequently asked questions (2 of 2)
4. What areas are you particularly interested in?
We are interested in areas such as how you have engaged employees in the
development and delivery of strategy, including the role of language,
interesting methods and approaches, the leadership approach, the burning
platform to take an engaging approach and how you measured success.
5. How will you carry out the discussions?
We will share questions for discussion at least three working days beforehand
a pre arranged meeting. This can be face-to-face or by Skype or similar.
6. How will organisations benefit who take part?
We will share your story and success, you will be associated with Engage for
Success and you’ll receive the full research findings and insights.
7. How to find out more
Sara Wilbourne on xxx
Karen Dempster: +44(0) 7920 752192
• Find out more about Engage for Success here