The legal services outsourcing and intellectual property management organisation CPA Global, has undergone a period of significant growth over the past decade, expanding headcount throughout its international offices, strengthening its presence in key markets through an aggressive acquisition programme, and diversifying into new business areas. Since 2000, CPA Global has taken a controlling share in five companies in different parts of the world, providing senior management with the challenge of integrating hundreds of new employees into the Group without any adverse effects on working relationships and productivity.

In January 2009, CPA Global’s diverse businesses around the world were brought together as one through the launch of a new corporate identity and single global brand. While the new identity helped the company’s 1400 employees worldwide feel part of the same family, focus still needed to be placed on helping regional teams and individual offices concentrate on delivering great results for the company as a whole and take them away from the product, country or company silo-thinking that had gone before.

Having distilled the feedback taken from across the business, the team developed a set of three simple Values that they knew would resonate with employees worldwide.

The Values were: taking ownership, succeeding together and achieving excellence. For each Value, a set of recommended working behaviours was drawn up to help guide employees towards understanding the meaning of the Values and how the Values might be reflected in their day-to-day working environment. A strong internal communications programme and a series of detailed launch workshops in each of the company’s offices helped raise awareness and embed the Values into individual teams’ working practices.

CPA Global engaged the services of Mark Edwards at Co-Create in early February 2009 to help develop and embed a company-wide set of values, which would speak to each of the company’s employees across the world and put in place a consistent set of behaviours and standards that would transcend national boundaries. Recognising the need for employees to create their own values, rather than having values forced upon them, a team of managers from across the business was brought together to run focus groups and workshops with employees across the world, gaining feedback on what strong corporate values looked like to them and identifying the behaviours that supported those values.

Today CPA Global’s Values play an integral role in the day-to-day work of the company’s employees. Teams continually asses how they are performing against the Values and all individual performance reviews must demonstrate how, in meeting their goals, employees are living the Values. The Values play an important part in the company’s recruitment process, too, helping potential employees appreciate more about the culture of the company, while enabling the company’s HR teams to better understand how candidates might fit in with that culture.

Nearly a year into the new set of Values, CPA Global has seen a significant internal change from a country or product specific focus to a true global team approach. Cultural change doesn’t happen overnight, and this is reflected in the ten months of reinforcement work that has taken place with CPA Global’s teams across the world, ensuring that all employees are comfortable using the Values to guide their behaviour and performance in the workplace.