Six Rules for Transforming a Trusty Elephant. (News, Trends, People)

New Zealand Management, August 2002 | Go to article overview

Six Rules for Transforming a Trusty Elephant. (News, Trends, People)


It sounds like the branding exercise from hell. Take one century-old corporate monolith (trusty, reliable) cut into 33 pieces (of varied age and size), give each of those pieces a unique ID, and simultaneously create a compelling new brand for the corporate core (leading, innovative).

Her success in doing all the above has just earned Carter Holt Harvey's general manager of corporate affairs Dellwyn Stuart a coveted Gold Quill Award from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). And her recipe, outlined for delegates at the recent Strategic Branding Conference in Auckland, started with the permission to dream.

"My observation is that many, if not most, organisations don't allow their people to dream. It's not just on the agenda. It's positively discouraged. Management is seen to be about maintaining the present, not imagining the future."

So her first rule for change management is to work for a CEO (in her case Chris Liddell) who allows dreaming and embraces change.

Second rule is to understand where you are now and define where you want to be, says Stuart.

Market research suggested Carter Holt Harvey's image was a hybrid cross of labrador (friendly, reliable) and elephant (solid, large and slow-moving).

The challenge was to introduce a sense of dynamism, innovation and leadership.

Third rule: "get good help", in this case by building internal team capacity and finding key business partners--R Cubed to help with research and Designworks with branding. …

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