‘Scandinavia Stories created a truly successful, energising and visionary programme – I found it hugely motivating and the team with whom they were working responded with enthusiasm and energy.’
Bill Anderson, Senior Vice President Product, Pearson English
Pearson English is Pearson plc.’s fastest growing business unit; a £500 million business with a portfolio of products covering printed textbooks, online learning platforms and teaching services in private language schools. Its key markets cover Asia, North and South America, and Europe, and its customer base ranges from young children to adult professionals who are reached via B2B and B2C channels.
We designed and led the transformation programme for the Product and Technology departments following the integration of three acquisitions, formerly known as Pearson ELT, Wall Street English, and GlobalEnglish.
How we developed the transformation programme
Prior to the consolidation of the three acquisitions, each business had its own product development function. Following the integration, the decision was made to centralise all product development roles – a total of 500 people in 13 different locations across the UK, US, Spain, Poland, India and China – into two new departments called Product and Technology. We were contracted to create and implement the transformation programme for this process.
Investigate and research
We worked with the SVP Product to frame the problem into three key areas – designing a new organisation structure; designing a new operating model to meet the Pearson English vision of personalising learning programmes for individual learners; and defining governance and reporting mechanisms to measure the effectiveness of the new organisation structure.
Storyboard the narrative
We ran a series of workshops to design the operating model and test the proposed new organisation structure, creating a RACI profile for all Product and Technology departments and other stakeholders and aligning them to each of the stages in the Pearson product development lifecycle with the Product and Technology management group. From there, we storyboarded the master narrative, collating work from the Product and Technology workshops, consumer and market research commissioned by Marketing and Strategy departments respectively, and aligning it with the Pearson English vision to create a who, what, when, how and why rationale for the organisation restructure.
Write the script
We updated the three key areas of focus to create our implementation plan – map product and technology roles from the old organisation structure to the new structure and manage the transition; introduce the new operating model incrementally, moving from a ‘business as usual’ model to a ‘blended’ model, to a ‘delivering the vision’ model; and set-up a number of ‘product council’ bodies, who would each make investment decisions to meet the learning needs of their core customers. We launched a learning & development programme to coach people on how the new product development process would work, and how to craft product pitches and stories for sales and marketing teams. We created a communications campaign to inform internal staff across Pearson about the changes, which resulted in a visual summary of the master narrative in the form of video titled ‘Introducing Pearson English’ that was used to inform and engage staff across Pearson.