Rio Tinto

'Foundations for Success'
strategy campaign

How do you get chalk and cheese to see what they have in common?

The challenge

Rio Tinto, the global mining and commodities giant, rebooted their business strategy with a new ‘Foundations for Success’ framework, clarifying the overall direction of the group and how its large, distinct Product Groups played their part in the wider company agenda.

The individual businesses across Rio Tinto – including Diamonds & Minerals, Aluminium, Iron & Titanium, and Copper & Coal – needed support to engage their employee groups on the new strategy. This engagement took place against a global downturn in commodities prices.

Each Product Group had its own unique challenges. For Diamonds & Minerals, the challenge was to emotionally and intellectually engage colleagues on a strategy across a real diversity of business units. The Product Group includes Rio Tinto Diamonds, Minerals, Iron & Titanium, Salt, the Simandou Project and Uranium, and these businesses operate across a truly global range – with operations in the American mid-West, Canada, Europe, Guinea, China and Western Australia.

The solution

Instead of avoiding the core ‘problem’ of this challenge – the diversity of the businesses within Diamonds & Minerals – our team turned this to an advantage. After all, it is this diversity which makes Diamonds & Minerals unique, and which provides a strong international network of connections and resources that all the businesses can draw on.

Nevertheless, it was equally important to tell a consistent story and define a core set of business principles that each business could translate to its specific requirements.

Working with stakeholders from each individual business, we created an integrated message framework that articulated both a shared story and, within that, the specific context and priorities that each business had.

The campaign used a combination of offline materials and online resources to engage employees whatever their access to technology. It gave Diamonds & Minerals a meaningful identity that resonated with leaders and employees across the business, while also involving colleagues in an action-focused conversations about the strategic direction of their business.