Case study: ICA

Helping the Nordics’ largest retailer move from good to great

What was the problem?

ICA is the largest retail company in the Nordic countries, turning over £9 billion and with more than 70,000 staff across 2,000 stores, offices and logistic sites. ICA’s core focus is food retailing but the Group also includes real estate, financial services and pharmacy businesses.

In 2009, ICA was in the process of transformation. As part of the business’ improvement plans, they wanted a common leadership language to help them clarify and develop the leadership required for the future of the business. The language also needed to reflect their culture and business model, which emphasise collaboration and consultation.

What did we do?

ICA’s senior team liked our “incomplete leader” approach and ideas for building diverse, complementary teams. Starting at the top, we assessed each senior leader against our Primary Colours® Model of leadership (PCM), providing individual feedback and development support.

We then ran alignment workshops with each team to help them play to their strengths and make leadership a ‘team game’. And we designed a week-long programme with Oxford Saïd Business School, to develop the senior leadership group as a whole. The programme runs annually and is built around PCM.

Once we had worked with the top 90 leaders, ICA decided to embed the model and ideas throughout the Group, and we have trained 70 of their people to use the Primary Colours® tools. This has helped ICA to ‘live’ the approach throughout the Group.

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What was the outcome?

Since we started working with ICA in 2009 the Group’s performance has gone from strength to strength, reflected in the share price rising by 400% and employee engagement results going from good to great!

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Share price in September 2009
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Share price in September 2019

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