"There has really been a change from within.

So surprising.

So exciting.'

Sherana Santokhi

HR Director Global Operations, DSM DRF


DSM Resins & Functional Materials (DRF) is the market leader in high-quality resins for paint and coatings, and they are the first company to introduce UV curable coatings - a critical ingredient in today's high-speed fiber optic cables.
This division of DSM employs approximately 1,800 employees spread over 15 locations around the world.

A new strategy has been formulated within DSM DRF: this strategy effectuates more market-driven, customer-oriented innovations. Elements such as purpose, sustainability, customer centricity, and innovation have been identified as crucial to remain a healthy company in 2022. This vision has been widely rolled out throughout the organization, supported by a big drawn visual with an accompanying game, the Vision2022 Experience.

DSM Resin's challenge

DSM wondered how they could ensure that employees are not only aware of the new strategy, but also how to communicate it in such a way that everyone is involved and actually gets moving on the important themes. And that is an internationally operating company. The question was: how do we get 1,800 people moving?


What have we done:

De Droomfabriek believes in the power of FrontRunners. These are people who have ideas of themselves how things can be substantially improved and have the motivation to do something about it. Unfortunately, they sometimes run into the inertia of an organization and lack of confidence, leading to fewer initiatives being taken. We have a proven approach that gives space and direction to the frontrunners' energy and DSM was interested in this.

With a good internal team, 33 FrontRunners have been selected from all over the world and with a diverse background. In a 2-day kick-off in Amsterdam, these FrontRunners took a deep dive into the strategy, their purpose, and how to create a movement in the DSM organization. With initiatives of their choosing and full of inspiration, the FrontRunners left for their workplaces and started working on topics with which they can make a difference in their experience.

The group met in virtual training every 6 weeks. It discussed the progress and resistance of the initiatives with each other and were new tools and insights given to take the next steps. Participants were challenged to make the movement bigger and to involve people in their initiatives. Senior leaders in different areas were involved to sponsor.
In the meantime, continuous attention was paid from the top to the roll-out of the strategy. In short, a top-down and bottom-up movement that greatly strengthened each other and thus made the implementation better.


The result

First of all, a group of 33 very enthusiastic people who found the energy and experience that they can change something. They have involved many people in their initiatives and it is estimated that at least 500 people are now actively involved in and contribute to the new strategy.


The awareness of the new strategy among all employees is high and growing every day. The poster of the strategy drawing made is made visible everywhere and everyone can tell the story. From the organization's Leadership Team, this poster is also often used as a means of communication to make decisions clear.
Some initiatives are of course more impactful than others.

Some stand out:

  • For example, customer centricity in North America has really got off the ground and a large team is now really committed to this. Customers notice the difference.

  • In the Netherlands, an initiative has been taken to set up a research database where all knowledge is collected and structured, to make faster decisions, and to make fewer mistakes.

  • Various efficiency steps have also been taken in the factories that have yielded significant cost savings.

  • And last but not least, the collaboration between departments has greatly improved. 

  • And …. because of all the successes and energy, a second FrontRunners group has started new experiments to further shape the new strategy!

Wanna know more?

Would you like more information about such a FrontRunners program or do you have a similar issue? Please contact Yves Ancher or one of our colleagues.