A business change management and culture transformation story.

Turning Toyota Motor North America into ‘One Toyota’

When Jim Lentz was named CEO of Toyota North America back in 2013, one of his first priorities was to consolidate the three different headquarters under his purview into a single unified team—one that was better poised to compete in a crowded marketplace. At the heart of that ambitious undertaking was a brand new campus based in Plano, Texas, that would bring all North American operations under one roof.

But in order to get to the new initiative up and running, Lentz and his senior leadership team first had to inform all 32,000 U.S.-based employees of the move and get them ready for it, and that meant—first things first—communicating the news in a way that got everyone excited.

A business change management and culture transformation story

They are strategic, responsive, and create communication initiatives that the organization can learn from, adapt as their own and turn into lasting processes. Along with their communications expertise, ROI has significant change management experience. They are great partners.

– Julie Hamp, CCO, Toyota Motor North America

What was needed

In order to make the new “One Toyota” a success, Lentz and his team knew that it was essential that employees and their families understood the rationale for the move and the company’s vision for the future. To do that, the team felt it was imperative that every single employee heard the announcement on the same day and time, which meant coordinating the message in a very careful and thoughtful way—no different than if it was a product launch.

Toyota also needed to quickly establish several new communication channels, such as websites and video tutorials, so that when the announcement was made, employees and their managers would have ample resources to go to for information. It was a lot to do, even for a change management and culture transformation project, and there wasn’t a whole lot of time to do it. So naturally ROI stepped in to help.

Services provided

Change management and culture transformation

Communication strategy

Senior leader meetings (design, facilitate)

Executive and leadership communication

Training (executive, manager, employee)

HR programs (design, execute)

Communication toolkits and resources

Event design and support (in person, live-streaming)

Employee relocation and onboarding

Project management

Visual identity development

Intranet and external websites

Video creation

Move announcement

What we did

From the outset, ROI came in to help with the initial announcement, developing emails from CEO Lentz, as well as a whole host of leader communications to not only explain the move but also get employees excited. From there we then assisted with every aspect of One Toyota, helping to coordinate timelines, managing communication plans, designing informational mailers sent to employee homes, writing the copy on flyers left on employees’ desks, and even personally helping answer more than sixteen hundred email questions.

It was a big, comprehensive, multi-year project that began with Toyota operating in several major markets in California, Kentucky, and New York and ended with one unified organization—Toyota Motor North America—based in Plano.

Relocation campaign support

How it turned out

Immediately following the initial announcement, 83% of employees said they understood the reasons for the move and unifying the company’s headquarters. More than 96% of managers felt the communications provided to them were helpful, and employee use of the relocation website and “ask a question” mailbox remained consistently high throughout the project.

The company completed the move to Plano in 2017.

Culture support

The team that made it happen

Melanie Barna

Senior Vice President

Mark Briggs ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Mark Briggs

Senior Graphic Designer

Catherine Forman ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Catherine Forman

Vice President

Lesli Gee ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Lesli Gee

Executive Vice President

Catherine Jordan ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Catherine Jordan

Vice President, Strategist

Kerstin King ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Kerstin King

Senior Consultant

Tonia King ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Tonia King

Vice President

Sheryl Lewis ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Sheryl Lewis