Giving the Autodesk Culture Wings

An organizational culture change
communication strategy and execution story

For nearly four decades, Autodesk has navigated disruptive technology changes and platform shifts to become a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software.

In 2017, the company began a new era by making the Autodesk customer experience the focal point for its product and business innovation. Newly appointed CEO Andrew Anagnost gathered the Autodesk leadership team to identify the core elements Autodesk must have to fulfill its vision of helping people imagine, design and make a better world. They defined what they called the Autodesk Culture Code: the “Values” and “Ways We Work” that would enable Autodesk to become a “Customer Company.”

What was needed

The challenge: how to communicate this foundational shift in the company’s collective mindset so employees would not only be inspired by it but would embrace it? And more immediately, how to introduce the Autodesk Culture Code at an all-hands meeting that was coming up in just two weeks’ time?

But tall orders with short timeframes have never stopped ROI. In fact, you could say we specialize in them. So when Autodesk called and said they needed help introducing their Culture Code, we gathered our people and got to work on a communication strategy and execution.

Services Provided

  • Communication strategy
  • Key messaging
  • Executive writing
  • Creative direction
  • Visual identity
  • Presentation design
  • Digital and print assets
  • SharePoint site design & development
Master Culture Presentation designed by ROI, presented by Autodesk CEO, Andrew Anagnost

Like what you see? Contact ROI for help on your project.

What we did

For the launch to succeed, we knew the initial all-hands presentation had to stand apart. It had to be bold, genuine and so visually compelling that it took on a life of its own—one that embodied the aspiration of the Culture Code itself. In lightning speed, we pulled together an Ocean’s 11-like team of experts across many fields, including writing, visual design and communication strategy, and we worked alongside Autodesk’s head of culture, diversity and belonging and her team to create a presentation that Anagnost himself called “some of the best imagery” he had ever seen.

But we didn’t stop there. We devised a comprehensive communication strategy and execution plan that would inspire employees at every turn, and we developed a range of communications to help bring this new culture to life, including websites, visual branding, manager toolkits, performance guides, posters, leader emails, articles and so much more. If Autodesk was going to change its way of working by embarking on this culture journey, we were going to join them by providing the communication tools they would need along the way.

“ROI quickly ascertained our objectives, captured our voice, and created a visual identity that even our CEO said is some of the best imagery he has seen at our company.”
– Rita Giacalone, Autodesk Global Head of Culture, Diversity and Belonging

Communication Strategy and Execution Plan to rollout new culture initiative
Autodesk Culture Code Visual Identity

How it turned out

As a result of the work the joint ROI and Autodesk team did, the organizational culture change became real—so much so that leaders heard from employees about how much they love the direction the company is heading.

And that was just the beginning. Since that initial roll out, Autodesk partnered closely with ROI to integrate its culture into company programs and processes, and we continue to work with Autodesk on a number of fronts, making sure the changes that began three years ago remain just as effective today.

So whether it’s jumping in last minute to aid with a presentation or devising a communication strategy and execution to roll out a new way of working, there’s really no order too tall or project too big if it will help make our clients successful. You could say that’s the kind of thing we specialize in, but really, it’s just what we do.

Autodesk Culture Code Sprints Communications & Creative Support
organizational culture change

The team that made it happen

Laura Dantes

Senior Vice President, Account Director

Laura Dantes

Senior Vice President, Account Director

Laura Dantes is a Senior Vice President at ROI Communication, and has been in the communications business for over 25 years. She helps large and small companies alike define their brand, vision, and positioning and execute strategic campaigns, as well as guide organizational development, knowledge management systems, best practices and talent engagement and training programs. Before joining ROI in 2010, Laura took a leadership position at a boutique marketing firm, The Linus Group, as Director of Client Services. Laura is a graduate of Willamette University, and has completed post-graduate coursework in several fields at American University, Pepperdine University’s executive business school, San Francisco State and UC Berkeley.

Catherine Forman headshot

Catherine Forman

Vice President

Catherine Forman headshot

Catherine Forman

Vice President

Catherine Forman is a Vice President at ROI Communication, and has worked in corporate communications for nearly two decades, developing a deep expertise in strategic planning and employee engagement. Since joining ROI Communication in 2003, Catherine has helped manage a wide range of projects, with a special focus on strategy, communications and change management, and measuring the effectiveness of communications within large organizations. Before joining ROI, Catherine held a number of roles including the Vice President of Corporate Communications at Quantum Corporation. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary, and an M.A. in Economics from Stanford University.

Jacqueline Justice

Art Director

Jacqueline Justice

Art Director

As a graphic designer, Jacqueline Justice believes that less is more. Not just because she personally prefers a cleaner visual aesthetic, but also because simplicity makes a bigger impact. “I consider myself a minimalist,” she said. “My studio is very spare. My desktop is clean, and I try to be as organized as possible.” Having eliminated most distractions from her peripheral vision, she is able to focus more intensely on client projects – creative work that often her absorbs her for hours on end. “I love what I do, especially the variety.”

Scott Kaul

Sr. Consultant

Scott Kaul

Sr. Consultant

As a Sr. Consultant at ROI Communication, Scott Kaul is a trusted advisor and project manager, working closely with clients to develop and execute communication initiatives that are engaging, proactive and effective. Before joining ROI Communication in 2009, Scott worked closely on industry reports for Tiburon Strategic Advisors, a financial consulting firm. Prior to that, he spent three years as a staff writer and copy editor for the Lodi News-Sentinel, covering news, editing stories and updating the paper’s website. While at the paper, he also helped launch a series of blogs, engaged readers to produce content, and collaborated on the redesign of the publication’s front page. In addition to writing, Scott is passionate about strategic board games, which build his critical thinking skills – skills that make him a better communicator.

Emery Lees

Director, Strategist

Emery Lees

Director, Strategist

As a Director at ROI Communication, Emery Lees provides strategic counsel and program implementation for ROI clients in the areas of employee engagement, community building, social media, collaboration and digital strategy. An expert in social media, Emery works to help companies make the most of enterprise social networks such as Yammer, Jive and Chatter. Prior to joining ROI, Emery spent six years at URS Corporation, an $11 billion global design, engineering, construction and technical services company. Emery earned a B.A. in Mass Communications from the University of California at Berkeley and studied in Italy at the Università degli Studi di Siena. When she’s not working, Emery enjoys listening to live music, reading, trying new restaurants and polishing her Italian.

Rosanna Menza

Senior Graphic Designer

Rosanna Menza

Senior Graphic Designer

Rosanna Menza has a passion for designing mazes – a challenge that is not only aesthetic but also rigorously intellectual. “Good design can’t just be decorative; it should be functional,” she said. “It has to solve a problem, and I love solving problems.” Over the past three decades as a graphic designer, Rosanna has helped hundreds of clients solve their problems – engaging customers, developing brands, and achieving business goals through an array of visual tools and strategies. “I start projects by trying to understand a client’s intentions,” she said. “Intention is everything. Intention guides mood, character and impact. Most importantly, it defines how the world sees you.”

Beth Miller Thiel headshot
Beth Miller Thiel headshot

Beth Miller Thiel

Director

In the age of social media, Beth Miller Thiel believes that companies need good writing more than ever – in part because it’s relatively rare. “The most successful people and organizations articulate what they believe succinctly and clearly, then follow through,” she said. “I love to help leaders find those words and ways to connect with their teams, customers and communities.” A former journalist, Beth has served in senior corporate communication roles across Silicon Valley for more than 20 years, applying deep expertise in employee engagement, internal communication, digital marketing and public relations. She joined the ROI Communication team in 2018 from Plex Systems, where she served as Senior Director of Corporate Communications.

Denise Rotman

Creative Director

Denise Rotman

Creative Director

Adept at a wide range of design-related software packages, Denise’s skills include creative direction, visual and web design, front-end development, motion graphics, video editing, design strategy, product design, copywriting, storyboarding and branding. She is also fluent in English and Spanish, and proficient in Portuguese – languages she acquired from her parents and living abroad.

Ready for your own communication strategy and execution?