Evolving L&D at Mattel

by | Apr 15, 2015 | Case Studies

Towards Maturity and the CIPD have recently launched a new report L&D Evolving Roles: Enhancing Skills that considers the future direction of L&D and the skills that they need to get there.

The report included a number of detailed interviews including this one with Rob Carder – Organisational Development Manager, Europe and Simon Watt – Director of Organisational Development, Mattel International.

Mattel is a global kids’ company, founded in 1945 with headquarters in California. The organisation employs 30,000 people across 40 countries worldwide, and sells toys in more than 150 countries. Mattel aims to achieve its vision, ‘creating the future of play’, through the development of kids’ brands such as Barbie, HotWheels, Fisher Price, Monster High, Thomas and MEGA.

Mattel has created regional centres of excellence for organisation development designed to build OD and L&D capability, facilitate connections and drive change across the international business. The team are focusing on outcomes and impact, not inputs, and are celebrating success as they go.

Quick tips from Simon Watt

– Director of Organisational Development at Mattel

  • ‘There’s no better way to understand someone’s (or an organisation’s) world than understanding their biggest challenge, and therefore you know that you’re going to concentrate on the right thing.’
  • ‘A few years ago my un-stated objective was that when I ask the business leaders what they think about organisation development, I don’t want them to talk about activities such as workshops, projects or development initiatives. I want them to talk about tangible business outcomes made possible by sustainable behaviour change.’
  • Use storytelling techniques to celebrate success and enable good practice to spread through the HR and OD population: ‘When someone delivers something great, you make sure that everyone else hears about it.’
  • ‘The two most important things in structuring the team were being really clear on the scope of the roles, and getting proactive buyin. Not only from the leaders, the general managers and the functional leads, but also from the existing generalists. Supportive and collaborative relationships with the HR directors have been a crucial enabler.’


To view the full case study and discover how Mattel acheived success, download the pdf below.

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