Case: Svevia

During the fall of 2016, WATSD helped Sweden’s largest infrastructure company, Svevia, engage their whole workforce around diversity and inclusion.

Step 1: The Wake-Up Call

The first step was to get the management team on board, making sure the company of nearly 3,000 employees was really up for kick-starting a large-scale change process. We did this through a Wake-Up Call session with the management team. The outcome of the session was a decision to engage the organization’s top managers in a two-day interactive workshop.


Step 2: 400 managers, 1 room

So we did just that: We gathered 400 Svevia managers in the same room and over the course of two days conducted two 3-hour lab sessions.

Our first day had a systemic approach. We helped the managers conduct a reality check of their own unit, and a diversity and inclusion fitness estimation of its processes, routines and ways of interacting. At the end of the day, the managers presented ideas on how to revise the processes and routines that hinder them from tapping into a diverse set of skills, know-how and perspectives – and they left the session with an action plan that would help them begin to implement these ideas.

The second day centred on inclusive leadership. All of the managers did a due diligence of their everyday behaviour, seen from a diversity and inclusion perspective. With help from their colleagues, they then got to reflect on what inclusive and exclusive behaviour they manifest in their leadership. We finished off by letting the managers design an individual plan to incorporate more inclusive behaviours in their everyday work.


Step 3: Bringing in HR

During our two-day workshop, we identified common denominators in Svevia’s people processes that needed to be updated on a wider scale in order to help the organization tap into a diverse pool of talent. To implement these changes, we conducted an HR due diligence workshop with all of Svevia’s HR business partners. The outcome of this workshop was a detailed action plan for how to adjust their existing people practices, invent new ones and get rid of some – all with the purpose of creating a systemic approach to attracting, retaining, developing and optimizing diverse talent.

Step 4: Making it stick

The last part of our process, which was performed to make the change at Svevia stick, was to design and roll out a standardized workshop concept to be used by the 400 managers that we got to know during our two-day workshop. The purpose of the concept was to make it possible for the managers to now conduct their own workshops with their respective employees. The workshop concept included three main products: a tailor-made movie that increases awareness around diversity and inclusion and explains how it matters for business; dialogue charts that enable the managers to have the right discussions in their teams; and a step-by-step guide to plan, conduct and report results from each workshop.