Client Profile & Challenge

From its corporate headquarters in Norway, Yara runs world production and support operations. It has a major share of the global mineral fertilizer market, and also provides emission protection products and other environmental protection agents. Due to the nature of its industry, compliance with laws and regulations around the world is an important business function.

Ezekiel Ward, Yara’s chief compliance officer, and his senior team had developed a compliance framework and culture that for years met the needs of the company. They had developed a rules-based approach that involved setting clear policies and procedures and then enforcing them. But as the compliance culture matured and the company’s needs changed, a new approach was necessary.

Partnering to Enable Culture Shift

Yara sought to transition from a “rules and enforcement mentality” to a “value-driven” approach. The senior compliance team would shift from “doing” compliance to monitoring and supporting compliance efforts around the world. The way individuals on the compliance team worked and collaborated would need to change. In addition, they needed to involve regional management teams and empower them to take ownership of compliance.

Yara turned to CCL for help assessing the compliance culture and then changing it to something that better suited the company’s evolving compliance needs.

Solution & Results

CCL partnered with key Yara stakeholders to help them change the compliance culture. Team member interviews revealed the need for more collaboration, greater clarity around the new vision, and skill building with the larger organization to cocreate the new culture.

An initial 2-day session in Oslo facilitated by CCL brought the entire Ethics and Compliance Team together. Over the 2 days, the team clarified the vision and gained new perspectives and awareness individually and as a group.

The team used these experiences and insights to understand what others throughout the business might be feeling or thinking regarding the new vision. They also started to anticipate how regional business leaders might react as they went about working in new ways. Through this new “other person” lens, the team had a chance to practice change conversations with one another by leveraging CCL’s Change Leadership Framework.

This framework helps people think about leadership as a collective, social process in which all members of an organization can participate. Thus, the onus is not just on the formal group leader to “create a vision” and “make changes.” It is also the responsibility of each team member and the business managers outside of the team to collaborate through new behaviors that benefit the larger organization.

Improvements in Direction, Alignment & Commitment Over 3 Months


– Direction


– Alignment


– Commitment

Three major outcomes of CCL’s Change Leadership Framework are Direction, Alignment, and Commitment (DAC), which were assessed throughout the change initiative. CCL’s framework focuses on the leadership behaviors and practices that are important to create DAC, as well as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, experiences, and knowledge (i.e., Leadership Beliefs) that best inform effective leadership practices. The team spent time exploring the leadership beliefs and practices most likely to result in sustainable transformation.

While the team continues the change work, follow-up sessions and a reassessment of DAC after just 3 months reveal a number of important business results.

Individuals also noted increased communication and collaboration within the team. For example, the team highlighted greater support, interaction, and collaboration between those working in the field and in headquarters. Field managers have shifted from asking for support to also offering support, signaling an important mindset change.

Business units outside the Ethics and Compliance Team are also experiencing the impact of the new approach to change. According to one team member, the business managers outside of the team responded so well to the change conversation that, “Now they are pushing me to go faster!” she said that this was a good problem to have.

Partner With Us

We can work with you to strengthen your leadership culture, connecting your organization’s goals to a solution that will drive impact for leaders at all levels. Learn more about our Change Leadership solutions today.

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