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Best Practiceworkshop

How a bold vision leads to a happy culture movement

With a participative culture movement, MERA started the development towards a new way of leadership and collaboration, with new structures and processes, so that all employees can grow beyond themselves.
At the same time, the cultural movement serves as an accelerator for the implementation of Strategy 2025, which was developed in part in parallel. Speed and quality are the decisive success criteria for the development process and the individual phases due to the market dynamics.
Consistency, focus, openness and courage are four relevant cultural factors. The best practice is about the path from vision to successful corporate culture.
workshop - keyfacts
Medium-sized companies
pet food
20 participatns

Start of the cultural movement
- "MERA - Happier and Happier"

he launch of the MERA culture movement began in 2020, at which time most employees were working from home offices due to the Corona pandemic, and the company's DNA still contained many industrial-style elements in terms of the nature of collaboration, leadership, and employee ownership and initiative following the generational change in leadership. Parallel to the cultural movement, the development of Strategy 2025 also began.
Right from the start, it was clear that the culture movement would be designed in a participatory way and that employees would be involved as stakeholders from the very beginning. To generate an appetite for the culture movement and the changes that go with it - including leaving one's own comfort zones - an impulse and interactive digital workshop was held at the start with around 20 participants (managers and employees) and the workshop tool eigenland® Online.

work & win

  • Market changes not only require companies to realign their strategy - the corporate culture that has grown over the years must also actively shape the external change on the inside. This is the only way to ensure that reaching the next level of development of the organization is carried and actively supported by all employees.
  • MERA is passionately committed to providing the best dog and cat food and achieves appealing growth rates every year. As a successful third-generation family business with approximately 160 employees, MERA's corporate culture is transforming from industrialized mindsets and structures to self-organized teams.
  • The challenge was that MERA has always been successful, the number of employees is continuously increasing and the company affiliation is high. The employees therefore had no "pain of change", but rather wanted the development to be moderate as before.
  • Start of the MERA culture movement began in 2020, at which time most employees were working from home offices due to the Corona pandemic, and the company's DNA still contained many industrial-style elements in terms of the nature of collaboration, leadership, and employee ownership and initiative after the generational change in leadership.
  • Shaping the cultural movement in a participatory manner and involving employees as stakeholders from the very beginning.
  • Further strengthening of the market position, long-term securing of independence and space for development and happiness for all employees. Through more self-organization, personal responsibility, initiative and desire to realize the vision and implementation of Strategy 2025, MERA develops faster, more efficient, more creative and stronger as a result of the cultural movement.
  • The aspiration was that the vision or the image of the future would touch people emotionally, that it would lead to discussions and that it might first have to sink in for some. In this way it should be achieved that for all employees not only clear orientation regarding the "where to" is offered, but emotion & ratio are addressed and activated.
  • In order to achieve the difference between normal cultural development and maximally successful cultural development, a holistic view and holistic thinking and designing with regard to the two fields of action "people" and organization" is crucial. 
  • MERA has followed this path and acted according to a "both, and" approach, consistently developing both the human and organizational level issues.
    Conducting a digital eigenland® workshop with about 20 participants (managers and employees) at the start to whet appetites for the culture movement and generate associated change.
  • In two subsequent digital workshops with an expanded group of participants, the vision, mission and guiding principles were developed with a cross-functional and cross-hierarchical team.
  • In all workshops, the participants first answered theses playfully, digitally and intuitively in the context of the topics of vision, mission, guiding principles and values, without naming them directly as such. The goal was to find out and develop which vision touches people emotionally and with which framework and guiding principles this can best be achieved.
  • The evaluations generated automatically with eigenland® Online were discussed in the team and measures and ideas developed.
  • The result after the first half-day eigenland® workshop was a common picture on "What is culture exactly?", "Why do we need this and why now?" and "What do we get out of it?" and the interest of the employees to start a culture movement.
  • Along the way, initial ideas for the vision "where to" and the mission "how to" were gathered.
  • In the next two successive workshops, the existing values were examined for relevance and meaning and kept mostly unchanged, but with new and sometimes significantly different explanatory guiding principles.
  • There were concrete results on the vision, the mission, the guiding principles and for the further way of implementation, including possible obstacles and criteria for success. One important result was old principles of faith, which were assessed by the participants themselves as not being purposeful and were in part directly replaced by new principles of faith in the form of a "from...to...".
  • The workshop results were aggregated in the next step and formed the basis for the second workshop. 
  • The result for one part of the vision "MERA - Always Happier" was at first irritating and interesting at the same time for many of our own employees.
  • For others, it was immediately clear and acted like a magnet with which people immediately want to connect.
Felix Vos MERA Tiernahrung eigenland Academy
Felix Vos, Managing Director MERA Tiernahrung GmbH

»The feeling was fitting. From the bottom of my heart I knew
this is the right thing to do.«

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