How OTD collaborative reshaped their values with Acadal

See how the global consulting firm refreshed their values inside the fast-growing organization, by having their people leading the discussion and reshaping the culture collaborative.

“We’ve grown pretty fast. From a handful of people to more than 100 international business coaches. So we wanted to explore; how did that change our culture?”

That’s Ali Barker from the consulting firm OTD. She is Head of Outcome and as many of her coullges, she is working remotely most of the time.

“Being distributed globally and growing fast means our culture is shifting and to figure out how we had Intenz running a culture-survey internally. Overall, it was a great result, but a couple of areas jumped out at us.

One of those areas was values as Ali explains;

“Living the values” was rated high by our people in the survey, but also answered we didn’t live them as strongly as we wanted.

So, we wanted to explore that further and what it meant to us. What is wellbeing to us, what does teamwork mean and so on. Our 5 values have to matter. Otherwise it’s just words.”

Alison Barker, Head of Outcome at OTD

To do that, OTD turned to Acadal.

Ali Barker on the choice of Acadal:

“Just having a survey and knowing your baseline doesn’t change anything for you. So, by doing short bust of prompting, learning, challenging, discussing, we start to understand each other perceptions of the values more and also hold each other more accountable on working on it. Acadal is a perfect match for that.”

Design of the process on Acadal

OTD used the process automation on the platform to design an in-the-flow-of-work process that continuously prompted new learnings and discussions trough 6 weeks. That kept working on the work on the values top-of-mind daily around the organization.

It was based our the challenge for everyone to solve together:

“What is the most important thing you need to do to ensure our values live better within the OTD team so it increases from 3.86 to 4.2 in the survey at the end of July?”

Everyone was given a framework of understanding called “what, why, how” and a tool to understand how to mentally keep being positive. Then they dived into the 5 values of OTD with different reflection, exercises, and creative nudges to spark new ideas to the challenge.

“Working like that, we know we are far more likely to capture some real change. The process with short sharp bursts mirrors or own way of thinking and the fact people have can have own opinions and build on top of each other’s, without having a lot of meetings is really valuable.”

says Ali on the process.

“Working like that, we know we are far more likely to capture some real change”

The concerns with Acadal before starting

Ali had two main concerns about Acadal when she started and enrolled her people into a 6-week process.

My first concern was: New IT. That’s just always a hard thing. But the remote onboarding experience worked really well, although we could have focused a bit more on the mission than how to use the software, but it helped people learn it straight away.

Designing the process on the platform went really smooth and the whole setup was quite easy to do. And we did it in a really short space of time. It’s dead simple and quick to do.”

Secondly, I was thinking about how much engagement we would create. But Acadal really prompts engagement, because of the short bursts of learning.

In the first few weeks we had loads and loads of input and then the timing of summer vacation hit us and people was more spread out on the process. My learning from that was thinking more about the timeframe and making it no longer than 6 weeks.”

Asked how she would have solved the challenge without Acadal, Ali replies:

“If we didn’t have the platform, we would have held another team meeting and come up with actions, which we might not have followed up as much and we certainly wouldn’t have done some of things we did do: for example, actually doing our own values. We found a lot of innovative ways for people to explore what their values were, and we would never have done that in 1 or 2 team meetings.”

More done faster, with less time

“The fact that we are at a point now where the feedback is happening more routinely, our wellbeing plan is in place and we made things like the 7 habits workshop and the project planner. That kind of stuff would have taken a lot longer without Acadal. And we did it with less time than if we would have done it the old way with team meetings.” 

Ali continues on the way Acadal works:

“The blending learning prompts you to do things in the flow of work and make room to move things forward. Normally we don’t make time for this. But the process motivates you. It just opened the discussion — it’s not measurable, but I think we have a lot more openness in the company now. People ask for feedback now and are open to getting it and that didn’t happen before.”

“That kind of stuff would have taken a lot longer without Acadal. And we did it with less time than the old way”

“Acadal allowed us to have the discussion across the distributed team and be valued for our opinion. It also gives us an understanding of what’s been said and not being said. That encourages more conversations which is good for business.”

Benchmarking the results

“We had 3 culture surveys after we started the sprint and the overarching line is still going up. Because we had a strong focus on reintroducing our values and living them, we see a continual raise in all 4 values, when we measure them.”


Ali knows they successfully reshaped their values to matter again. The numbers tell a story, but the real proff comes from the employees:

“Morale seems higher… the team seem very content within their roles”

“The environment is a pleasure and we have gone back to having a bit of fun”

“Staff are thankful, and praise others on their hard work”

“I am confident in being able to speak honestly, to both my colleagues and management, which is quite refreshing to me”

About OTD

Grundfos is the world’s largest pump company with an market share of approximately 50%. In 2019, the Danish owned giant had a revenue of almost 4 billion USD. The company is present in more than 45 countries and employs more than 19.000 in 80 companies. 


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Morten Dalum
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