One Fonterra – Where the sum is greater than its parts



Where the sum is greater than its parts


“I always want to compare us to the All Blacks, everyone knows what they stand for. We’ve got to get to that position.”

Executive Leadership Team member


fonterra logo

New Zealand success story

Dairy co-operative owned and supplied by over 10,000 farmer shareholders
16,000 people employed globally
Over $18 billion global revenue

Fonterra’s vision for the new way of working was to bring five Auckland offices into one purpose-built building under the banner ‘One Fonterra’.

From Fonterra’s full set of values, V+C worked with users to identify the most important ones for supporting One Fonterra and its new way of working:

  • Visible and authentic leadership
  • Being customer led
  • Trust

“The intention was to bring all of our people together so that they could all be living the same values and collaborating more.”

Mike Saint, Head of Virtual Stream, Fonterra Ways of Working Project (The tech behind Fonterra’s move to ABW, ComputerWorld magazine, May 2016)


One Fonterra and its new way of working was identified as opportunity to challenge several cultural limitations:

  • Departments are politically siloed
  • Employees didn’t have a strong sense how they and their teams connected to the customer experience
  • There is tension between employees, on one hand, being held to account and, on the other, not always being given trust to make decisions/take action.
  • Due to the office layout and cultural norms, senior leaders struggled to be visible and 100% attuned to how their people were living the values.
  • The direction for the brand was not coherent

“What we’ve actually landed has exceeded my expectations – I thought it would be good because we stress-tested everything but to get to that point and realise that it’s almost a step beyond, that is fantastic.”

Ben Coleman, Manager Property Projects, Fonterra


At the new Fonterra Centre, the public, shareholders, customers and employees were welcomed into the trusting, barrier-free environment with hubs and cafes providing social meeting places reflecting the Fonterra story and product lines.

The open and transparent nature of the new way of working enabled leaders to be highly visible within the organisation and promoted greater connection with leadership. Spatially, the building created the ability to host events and important business announcements within the new environment and make these visible to Fonterra’s people.

The supply of a variety of fit for purpose activity-based settings enabled a dynamic agility for the people of Fonterra to keep organising differently in and between teams. The workspace and the employee’s willingness to, years after the move, reorganise people and teams in support of ongoing cultural evolution and strategic direction, has provided the opportunity for Fonterra to continually strive for greatness. An increase in employee engagement and a more robust sense of what they stand for has been the consequence and arguably its greatest success.

Project gallery

Some images from our work in this space

Photos by: Jason Mann Photography

“We’ve got a 98% satisfaction rating from our employees that moved. They said they would not go back to a non-activity based working environment given the choice.”

Mike Saint, Head of Virtual Stream, Fonterra Ways of Working

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