In 2011, Coca-Cola went through a reorganization and formed a new business unit from four European territories. They called the new unit the Northwest Europe and Nordics or NWEN. In the reorganization, teams that once were geographically intact working together in the same offices, are now spread out across Europe and working in virtual teams.
Ncite was called in to create an initiative that would help their leaders re-invent the business unit, set the culture, and catalyze the team so they could continue to be on track to reach the ambitious goals for 2020. Key problems were that leaders felt "Corporate did this to us" and "It's impossible to lead this way". Engagement scores across the business unit fell in regards to believing in the leadership's strategy and ability to lead the business. Concerns were high around the ability to reach the ambitious goals set by the Executive Leadership team for 2020.
Ncite's response to this set of challenges was to create a program to drive accountability in the new business unit. "If I see a leadership void, I will step in and fill it. I will own the future." The goal was to educate Leaders with Coca-Cola's key leadership principles to help them better engage and lead their new virtual teams. Including coaching skills, communications skills, and cognitive style awareness. In partnership with the innovation agency Storyworks we created an interactive learning site with a series of leadership films designed to ignite a passion and instill learnings for a new way of leading teams.
Ncite developed GO 4 GOLD, a simulation game designed to reinforce learnings, share new learnings, and give the leaders a safe environment to practice their new leadership skills.
In GO 4 GOLD players assume the role of an Olympic swimming coach. The goal of the game is to lead your team to victory in weekly races. Players have to build capacity in their team by assigning them trainings, while managing their engagement and energy. Team management skills were embedded in the game through a manager mode. Here players had to manage team finances, hire and fire team members and select team members for the weekly races. Players managed engagement through conversations with their team members. Frequent touch points and listening to learn were keys to winning in the game and to leading virtual teams.
The impact of GO 4 GOLD correlated with a shift in performance that year and resulted in the business unit being invited to the prestigious Woodruff Cup competition: a competition for Coca-Cola's top performing business units worldwide. GO 4 GOLD successfully cultivated a new culture of collaboration, ownership, values-driven leadership and team at NWEN.