Transforming how we lead cheese

(yep, it’s a thing…) If you like a bit of Philly on your bagels – or perhaps a cheese triangle in your kids’ lunchboxes – you’re not alone. But it had been a while since Kraft had come up with a successful new product and the whole team needed an ‘innovation restart’.

Re-inspiring and refocusing 2000 people in a category crying out for a powerful new vision

Across Europe, there is a very skilled group of people working on… you’ve got it, cheese. There are loads of them. It had been a long time since their latest new product ‘hit’. Chocolate Philadelphia was great – but most people bought it once but didn’t buy it a second time. The category had become pretty jaded and had a some odds and ends lobbed in there including some meat products and even cling film.

Time to acknowledge the past and shift gear to the future

Kraft knew that their people were top notch. They just needed re-engerising and re-inspiring. And they needed to be able to move on from some frustrating years without feeling like they were being whitewashed over. The annual conference was coming up which felt like a huge opportunity for a rethink. The conference had typically been a hugely enjoyable get together … with lots of presentations from big podiums at the front of a big conference hall. Time to shake things up….

open workbook featuring campfire exercise

A story by candelight and then some choose-your-own-adventure

We worked together with the Head of Strategy and the HR lead with responsibility for cheese and coffee (basically anything you shouldn’t consume late at night!). Were we brave enough to throw out the presentation format and shake every single conference-goer into action with a fully hands-on, self-organising agenda. Yes we were. Eek…

The three days were held in Austria – and perhaps belied the three MONTHS we had spent crafting the story of the journey so far which would get every person on the same page and ready to let go of the past and move into the future. That story was literally a story – written and designed by Onefish Twofish in a beautiful illustrated book given to every attendee and read aloud by candlelight on the first evening by a member of the leadership team to a rapt audience.

The rest of the conference escorted attendees on a journey full of choices and opportunities for their own creativity and input. They dropped past frustrations into a bowl which ‘consumed’ them, dreamed in future ideas, made videos and social media entries for 8 years in the future and then self-organised into teams on day three to start to prototype and build new, innovative dairy products.

And if you’ve stirred some delicious sweet chilli (or one of many many other flavours) Philly into your pasta recently, you’ll know how successful that team has been since…


Hear Michelle Roborg-Sondergard explain the story in full at our conference


“Onefish Twofish are like a guiding light for organisations trying to find their way in a new world”