Nike De Mexico

Recurring Offsite Workshop for Marketing Team
August 2003-2006

Situation
A new marketing director joined Nike de Mexico in April 2003 to lead a team of 13 people who were relatively new to the Nike organization. With recent organizational changes within the department, there were no clear, short-term successors for several key positions. Circumstances were made more challenging because half the marketing team worked in Guadalajara and the other half in Mexico City. With an annual budget of about US$10 million and a formal market share of approximately 30 percent, performance expectations were high, and the team members were being pushed to raise their level of execution in all aspects of their roles.

The Approach
The marketing director hired Ann Marie Lei to assist with the development and implementation of a new marketing planning process, with a strong emphasis on training and development of the marketing team. The resulting program, named MIND (marketing integración y desarrollo), was launched at Nike de Mexico in October 2003. Its objectives were to accelerate the professional growth and integration of marketing team members; improve communication, efficiencies, and processes; use resources more effectively; and spark individual and team creativity.

Ann Marie collaborated with the marketing director and his successor to design and facilitate five three-day MIND meetings, each tailored to the current business priorities and interpersonal dynamics within the changing team. She used the Insights Discovery System to help team members identify and make the most of the strengths of their personality styles and understand how to work together to achieve success.

The Results
The MIND program represented a departure from business as usual. “We knew the first meeting would be challenging because the whole team already felt overworked and budgets were stretched, so people were understandably skeptical as to why we should take the time and resources to pursue it,” says Henry Rabello, former Marketing Director for Nike de Mexico and current Director of Brand Management for Nike’s Asia Pacific Region.

Yet the sessions gave the two separate halves of the marketing team a great opportunity to brainstorm, tackle issues, and have fun together in person. Since the very first meeting, there have been marked improvements in the relationships between team members, much better execution in the market, more effective communication between offices, and a greater understanding of goals and expectations.

Nike de Mexico always planned to make MIND a long-term, ongoing program; even when the marketing director moved on to a different position, the whole team and upper management felt MIND was valuable and important enough to continue. Overall, there continues to be very positive response from participants. Evaluations conducted at the end of each three-day meeting show increased satisfaction with each session. “Ann Marie really raised the bar with each meeting to repeatedly achieve business value,” says Rabello. “That’s especially impressive considering that participants’ expectations also rose with every meeting.”

But it wasn’t just participants who noticed the immediate benefits of these sessions.“Departments such as sales and human resources commented on our improved performance and asked for insight as to how their teams might achieve the same successes,” says Rabello. “That was an unexpected but welcome result of the MIND program. It became clear that this program was one of the best things we’ve done.”

Before MIND, the Nike de Mexico marketing team struggled to deliver things on time.Since starting the program, the team has hit nearly all of its deadlines, many times accomplishing their objectives even before the deadlines. “The Nike de Mexico marketing team works so much more efficiently and effectively now that it saves both time and money,” says Rabello. “Everyone comes away from each session with specific strategies to deploy, as well as a renewed commitment to continually improving daily interactions and carrying on the positive feelings engendered in the sessions.”