How to build a People Vision at L’Oréal: from a “Top-Down” Model to a “Tech-Collaborative” Model

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Bertrand de Laleu will share the output of L’Oréal's worldwide employees’ contribution at UNLEASH World. All thanks to a digital platform co-built by different stakeholders. Here, Bertrand shares the story of how L’Oréal successfully overcame the boundaries of countries and languages to generate its People Vision 2030 strategy with this collective intelligence.

Five years ago, our CEO asked each Executive Committee (COMEX) member to design his or her Vision for 2020 to reach 1 Billion more consumers.

Within HR, with the help of an external consultant, a small group of senior HR Directors drafted a vision for our employees, called Our People Vision 2020. It was clearly a “top-down” approach, with very rich content and some disruptive ideas, and good insights from leading countries.

Three years ago, our CEO launched, along with COMEX, a major Transformation program called “Simplicity”. The purpose was to be better prepared to our VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) world, better equipped to cope with all the 6 major shifts we had to go through: the Consumer Shift, the Competition Shift, the Channel Shift, the Digital Shift, the Sustainability Shift and last but not least the Employee Shift. This Simplicity program was intending to change the way we were working, the way we were interacting to bring more collaboration and more freedom within a framework.

Two years ago, the senior Corporate HR team designed an incubator for People Innovations called “Disrupt HR” with the idea of having an innovation platform enabling “test and learn” initiatives in various countries of the Globe. The selection criteria to be part of Disrupt HR were focused on 3 simple ideas: 1. Does the project serve the acceleration of the People 2020 Vision; 2. Is the project immediately actionable in a couple of countries with reasonable resources; 3. Is the project scalable at the global level in the near future?

With the launch of Disrupt HR, we initiated a new way of working, empowering local resources as well as Corporate, empowering group of people ideas as well as individuals, empowering junior profiles as well as seniors. We started paving the way of a new collaborative spirit, making the Simplicity mindset a living reality within the HR Community.

Our People Vision 2020 that we designed 5 years ago is about to be renewed as we are closing 2019, in a very different perspective and mindset. That is why we made the decision 6 months ago to launch our new People Vision 2030 with our new levers. For the first time at L’Oréal, we launched an Ideation Platform based on a new technology that allows us to reach the entire HR Community (i.e.1600 people) and analyze the data with no major language barriers to design our Vision for the next 10 years.

We cannot share with you the result of our ideation platform since we just closed the consultation this summer. Nevertheless, the participation rate and the number of active contributors is a clear demonstration that our HR Community was very responsive and fully empowered to be part of our People Vision 2030. There is probably a lot of learning of how to move from a top-down approach to an open, collaborative, diverse and inclusive way of building our future together.

Now, we take the opportunity of UNLEASH, held in Paris for the first time, to enable and promote discussions towards our 2030 People Vision – we are organizing the “HR Lab” (our global HR Forum) for around 100 L’Oréal HR top leaders around the globe, including those who contributed the most to the platform during the ideation stage.  We are sure UNLEASH is the ideal landscape to foster relevant conversations and to go the extra mile for refining our People Vision 2030.

About the author:

Bertrand de Laleu is the Global Vice President, HR Development & Animation for L’Oréal

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