In a business that runs on relationships and empowers entrepreneurial spirit and ambition, aligning stakeholders spanning 12 distinct sub-regions is no small undertaking. Especially when an organization’s compensation structure has remained unchanged for decades. But those with the most influence across the Americas, Asia-Pacific, the Greater China region, Europe, India, and Russia needed to buy into — and become advocates for — a comprehensive global initiative that represented a fundamental shift in its business model.

With the introduction of a new earnings program, this nearly $9 billion organization faced a substantial hurdle to revamp and streamline its operations related to its core compensation model. Monetary incentives, recognition, advancement, and the development of future leaders are the tenets that drive company growth. Yet a system riddled with complexity and inscrutability over the years was leading to short-term focus at the expense of long-term sustainability and profitability.

Grounded in change management principles, a systemwide launch was met with careful handling and executional planning. A multi-phased, multi-dimensional program built on consistent global metrics, compelling communication, internal branding and packaging, and multi-tiered training and support tools was a prerequisite. As well as a trustworthy partner that could comprehend the intricacies of its business.

Foundational to its onset, a series of executive strategy sessions set the initiative up for success by identifying champions in each market and essential messaging strategies to overcome early barriers to adoption. Throughout the process, ROI needed to be proved out through the measurement of results during planning and design phases. This would ensure the sustained progress through feedback loops and adapting approaches along the way. Furthermore, continuity among compensation plans across global markets amid varying monetary systems and governmental regulations had to be thoroughly interpreted and illustrated for enterprise-wide compliance.

Beyond a wide and deep internal communications and educational campaign, playbooks and collateral were developed and adopted by global sales and marketing teams, and aligned with best practices within regions. Lastly, top-tier executives in the organization were armed with materials for in-market presentations with key stakeholders. Not only did this bring clarity to complexity, it created a platform of respect built on the organization’s long-held values.

Preliminary results of the roll-out indicated that the plan was more readily adopted than any other in its history. The company has also experienced a substantial decrease in back-tracking and re-training, thereby reducing operational costs.

Ultimately, the implementation of the program led to a new formula that motivates and rewards stakeholders not only for generating profit, but long-term stability and growth. Moreover, it established itself as a viable and pivotal point by which the organization has reoriented itself for the next generation of its business.