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A global culture programme

DSM-Firmenich (formerly Royal DSM) is a global leader in science-based nutrition, health and beauty, with 30,000 colleagues operating in more than 50 countries.

In early 2020, DSM asked for our help to engage its diverse global workforce in a wide-ranging culture programme to inspire employees to adopt behaviours and ways of working that would bring to life DSM’s purpose of creating brighter lives for all. Our recommendation was to create a story-driven, business-wide conversation on what it means to be a DSM colleague, with a new DSM Culture Compass at its heart.

We helped to create and shape this cultural model, which weaves together DSM’s core purpose and its six desired behavioural themes. The model’s simple, elegant nature is a key factor in its ongoing success, allowing not only the flexibility for local interpretation, but also the scope to resonate across the global business.

We worked with the global team at DSM to create a Resource Centre of conversation guides, creative assets and tools to help managers implement the Compass in their parts of the business, and the online Culture Hub, where DSM employees and leaders can share stories of how they’ve utilised the Culture Compass.

The programme is a timely and ongoing success, with the Compass a constant touchstone across the business. For example, the elements of the Compass continue to set the context for ongoing one-on-one and group cultural conversations facilitated by DSM Culture Champions on topics including values alignment and shared purpose.



DSM colleagues approval of the company’s approach to valuing diverse perspectives jumped 6% during the cultural programme.


DSM’s Glassdoor rating for its culture and values increased from 3.5/5 to 4+/5 during the programme.