Unilever’s Approach to Leadership
The fundamental approach to leadership at Unilever has been evolving in the last twenty years from traditional leadership development systems to the current sophisticated Standards of Leadership model, and it continues to evolve. During this evolution in the early 2000s, Leadership Growth Profile (LGP) emerged as the most important stage in bridging corporate growth strategy (Path to Growth) and leadership competencies.Unilever‘s Path to Growth integrated strategy combined marketing, supply chain, customer development, and other key organizational assets. One of its primary targets was effective enterprise culture aimed at encouraging employees to demonstrate winning behaviors in the marketplace through their mindset, passion, and motivation. In the long run, the company was willing to knit major activities for (a) growth in the international markets with behaviors that deliver this growth, and (b) the use of leadership competency as an important tool in winning from the competition Unilever‘s Leadership Growth Profile was the most important component of strategic redirection in the field of human resources. It combined the following elements: 1. To create a growth vision (growth served as the key criteria for employees‘ behaviors at Unilever); 2. To drive growth through implementation and to energize others for growth; and 3. To secure employees‘ commitment to growth.
By defining the new set of LGP competencies and using them for management development, performance reviews, and recruitment, Unilever tried to change managers‘ behaviors and to increase behaviors which were linked to achieving strategic goals for growth (Figure 2).
Unilever‘s Corporate Purpose Statement at that time described what Unilever ―aspired to be, as well as expressed its values and beliefs‖ and pointed out Unilever‘s focus on local culture within a global framework. In this multi-local multinational company, foreign subsidiaries were able to draw on...
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