Developing Global Acumen, Locally & Globally


General Mills, General Mills is a global leader in the Food and Consumer Products Industry and one of the world’s largest food companies. Their products are marketed in more than 100 countries on six continents, and it employs over 39,000 people. In fiscal year 2013, they reported 17.8 billion in net sales. 


  • Tasked with providing meaningful and relevant information and strategies to support global leaders and a very wide range of participant needs, LCW produced a version of “Building Your Intercultural Competence” (BYIC) for General Mills.
  • A key requirement was to design, develop, and implement a highly-complex, multi-phased program for global delivery in less than 3-months’ time. 
  • General Mills first tested the program with a small group of high-potential employees, and then with 300 global leaders from around the world who participated in a 2013 Global Leadership conference. 
  • LCW then scaled the experience with these two test groups, to produce a companywide solution available to employees around the world.


General Mills needed to provide global leaders and high potential employees with a deeper understanding of intercultural competence and the impact it has on building stronger, more effective relationships with their team members and counterparts around the world. The company as a whole was growing through mergers and acquisitions outside the U.S., as well as within growing global markets for its products. One of the challenges was to re-align employee competencies to focus more on operating in a global environment.


The BYIC solution was broken down into three stages utilizing three different delivery methods and platforms:

Stage 1: Pre-work to taking the IDI assessment (e-learning module)

Stage 2: Benchmarking cross-cultural competence (group IDI Debrief, face-to-face or virtual)

Stage 3: Staged development of intercultural competence, action planning and ongoing resources (face-to-face or virtual)


  • LCW conducted internal interviews to assess organizational needs and explore how leadership and teamwork were being influenced within the organization. 
  • LCW then strategically focused on a few key organizational needs identified in the one-on-one interviews, while still providing additional tools and resources (as a tool-kit) for the items not emphasized during the training. Client specific challenges were incorporated into the solution developed “Building Your Intercultural Competence” (BYIC).


Here are a few examples of key takeaways from the training:

  • Delivered tools and resources to enable global leaders and employees to leverage their industry and functional expertise on a global scale, while driving global impact. 
  • Provided a deeper understanding of global acumen and the impact it has on building stronger, more effective relationships with a multicultural workforce.
  • Demonstrated how leadership and teamwork are influenced by culture.
  • Identified strategies that can be utilized when working with different work styles and cultural groups.
  • Presented client specific solutions that were developed for driving collaboration and innovative outcomes across teams, in ways that take cultural similarities and differences into account.
  • Identified tools and resources that can be utilized for developing global acumen.


Piloting the BYIC program created an opportunity to refine the material with a sampling of corporate employees across a number of functions. One of the key learnings from this process was the need to convert the pre-work prior to the IDI® assessment into an e-learning. For the corporate pilot group, the information was presented in a 30 minute virtual training which was later converted to the Culture & Identity  and Managing with Intercultural Competence eLearning modules.


  • The training is currently being offered companywide 
  • The tools utilized in the training are now used to benchmark or quantify intercultural competence and identify development opportunities on an individual, functional team, department, or organizational level. 
  • In 2014, the Linkage Institute featured the ‘Developing Global Acumen’ program as a best practice workshop at the Leading Diversity & Inclusion Conference. 

Can we help you?

Learning & Development Coordinators:
Try to build a new curriculum to address diversity and unconscious bias?

E-learning Designers:
“Translating” your course from a classroom experience to a web-based experience? Concerned your eLearning won’t resonate with international locations as well as it does at home?

Contact us

Can we help you?

Delivering training in 30 countries
over 3 months?

Contact Us