How Mars Inc. HR Dept Drove Alignment in a Business

In our last post, we talked about the efforts of Carlos Valdes-Dapena, a former Director of Organizational and Group Effectiveness at Mars, Inc. from a recent HBR article  Stop Wasting Money on Team Building. The post before that, we discussed connecting HR strategy with business strategy.

Carlos did a great job of connecting the efforts of HR and OE to the needs of the business in a way that drove greater alignment and performance.

In the post, Carlos talks about how leaders had a huge sense of personal accountability. This desire to succeed at what they did was so strong, they felt they could, and needed to accomplish tasks on their own, actively excluding others from their efforts.

This imbalance stresses how the 9 key alignment constructs we measure can get out of whack if one plays too dominent of a role compared to the others. In this case, personal accountability (not even joint accountability) hampered teamwork, communication, creativity and best practices.

Carlos and his team devised a plan that got leaders from the team they worked with to intellectually understand the need and value of collaboration and then worked through the tougher aspect of getting them to buy into changing practices by using the leaders’ own desire to personally strive towards a goal in front of them to gain buy-in and commitment.

Results were outstanding with leadership stating the work Carlos’ team did with them was massively impactful for performance. What they did was use an alignment strength and create more balance in the organization, because imbalance cannot be aligned.