The crucial ingredient: mindset change at Ricola

Leadership programme established global player mindset

Berlin, February 23, 2023 – Ricola cough drops and herbal sweets are a real export hit: Since it was founded in 1930, the family company has expanded from its headquarters in Laufen, Switzerland, to over 45 countries worldwide. In May 2019, Ricola welcomed a new CEO „from outside“ the family, Thomas P. Meier, for the first time in its history. His declared goal: to act with the necessary determination and speed of a global player.

To develop the necessary leadership culture, which Thomas Meier describes as „the crucial ingredient“, he enlisted the support of TheNextWe. „It all starts with the mindset,“ says Meier. The mindset that suits a global player was successfully developed individually and implemented sustainably in global management coaching sessions, in which the Board of Directors also took part.

„We export 90% of our products around the world and have retained the internal feeling of a family business in which cooperation is a top priority. At the same time, we can step on the gas with our brand. Together with TheNextWe, we have succeeded in realising the necessary mindset. Everyone has been looking at themselves and asked, ‚What’s stopping me from taking this step?‘ This was the liberation we were looking for,“ said Thomas P. Meier, CEO of Ricola.

Rene Schori, Chief Human Resources Officer, adds: „That was the main task: that we transform from an export-oriented Swiss SME to a global company that has a play-to-win mindset.“

The entire Executive Board and executives who work at the headquarters in Laufen as well as in the USA, Singapore, Italy, France and Belgium took part in the twelve-week programme. In the first four weeks, TheNextWe worked with them at an individual level to understand their reservations and develop new mindsets on the topic of leadership. Each participant was assigned their own coach. TheNextWe helped to establish a new collective mindset across all areas that befits the pioneering character of a global player.

The new behaviour that results from this mindset work was practiced and consolidated for the following eight weeks. TheNextWe app served as the central space for the coaching, where the participants were also guided through inspiring exercises, coaching discussions and the setting and tracking of personal milestones.

The end of the programme was marked by an event where all the participants could exchange their experiences. Together they noticed an incredible collective change that resulted in being freed of self-limiting mindsets. Managers reported, for example, that they were now able to raise difficult issues directly and use the talent in their teams more effectively.

Rosa Riera, Co-CEO of TheNextWe, sums it up: „Big changes are imminent in family-run medium-sized companies, which often go hand in hand with a change in management from the owner to an external manager. This transformation is not trivial. Maintaining real togetherness and at the same time establishing the idea of performance – this enables a traditional company to remain successful as a global player.“

Insa Klasing, co-founder of TheNextWe: „At Ricola, the CEO and board have made the mindset change programme a top priority and completed it themselves. This ‚walking the talk‘ will catch on.“

Case study films
English: The magic ingredient: Breakthrough with mindset change

German: Die entscheidende Ingredienz: Aufbruch durch Mindset-Wandel

Swiss German: Die entscheidende Ingredienz: Aufbruch durch Mindset-Wandel

Keywords:TheNextWe, Ricola, global player, leadership, Thomas Meier, Rene Schori, Rosa Riera