Cooking up a social business treat

Grundfos is the world’s largest pump manufacturer, it has more than 18,000 employees globally and has embarked on something new.

In 2013, the company launched Global Working Culture & Social Business with the goal of “accelerating a new culture of empowerment, networked collaboration, and innovation.”

One of its first major projects was to consolidate the launch of Yammer. By December 2013, more than 6000 colleagues were working together across geographic, hierarchical, and departmental boundaries. 

Grundfos From reinventing global meetings to changing the way their products are designed, Grundfos says it is reducing time to market and lowering costs through more effective collaboration.

Another key activity was release of the Social Business Cooking at Grundfos booklet.

Here, ingredients (concepts), recipes (how-to-guidelines), and case examples are gathered in order to inspire the organisation and give easy access to ‘model’ behaviours and insights.

I’ve found it interesting to read about the progress Grundfos has already made on its ‘social journey’ – and to see their thinking.

Writing in the cookbook, Thomas Asger Hansen, @Thomasager, Head of Global Working Culture and Social Business, and Christian Carlsson, @chris_carlsson, Social Business Lead Consultant state:

Global Working Culture and Social Business are all about getting more out of the work we already do. It is about executing faster and better than we do today. It is about taking full advantage of our collective know-how. It is about engaging with the world around us to move ourselves and our business forward.

Internal and external social businesses are two equally important ‘must-win’ battles for Grundfos.

In 2013 we identified some of the key recipes and ingredients of what a successful and highly effective ‘global working and social business culture’ in Grundfos could look like.

We have not invented it. We’ve simply looked at what was already going on, added new technology or methods, and – in some cases – guidance, coaching and sparring. 

I like the way the information has been presented, particularly the fact they’ve included a glossary to ensure there is understanding among their employees.

Their emphasis on scale is a smart one, as the book highlights the sustainability of their plans and thought processes. What struck me from reading through was how open they have been in a publicly available document.

I think it’s an excellent example and would love to see others. If you have discovered something you think I’d enjoy reading or you’d like to write a guest article on what you’re doing in your organisation, do please get in touch.

Social business cookbook

GrundfosWriting on the Grundfos blog, Thomas says: “Since we presented our Social Business Cookbook in the form of a hard copy booklet, a lot of people have been asking if we would release a soft version.

“We made the public version because it can enable a rich discussion with other passionate professionals and thought leaders. However, it’s also important to understand that we selected parts of a bigger piece of work.

“Hence, not all models and ingredients are shown, and not nearly all cases are shared. However, it does make it possible to publicly share it.

“Some parts of the Cookbook are self-explanatory, and some are not. We’ll start discussing each page and theme a little deeper over the next month, and thereby try to facilitate better discussions and reflections. Do join!”

Some of the stats in the cookbook are impressive, such as those highlighted in the blue image on this page (it opens larger in SlideShare so you can read it). For example, the potential cost savings of $10m annual.

I’m looking forward to hearing their story in person next week as Thomas will be at Social Media In the Large Enterprise (SMILE) in London on 17 March, which I am moderating a table at.

See below for the public version of the Social Business Cooking at Grundfos booklet.

What do you think of it? Well done to the team for making it public, I certainly enjoyed reading through.

You’re welcome to comment below or you can Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Further reading 
Post author: Rachel Miller.


  1. Very nice summary and well done Grundfos. The combination of engagement at scale, focus on business processes, and baselines / metrics are all important lessons. Thanks for the tip about SMILE I can’t be there but will tune in.

  2. Thank you for your comment Walter, glad to hear you enjoyed it as much I did reading the info and writing the article. SMILE is an insightful day, am looking forward to what Monday brings, Rachel

  3. Amee Kent says:

    Thanks for sharing! What worker types were included in the yammer rollout (i.e., corporate/desk workers, manufacturing/non-desk workers, etc)?

    Thanks, Amee

  4. Thank you very much Amee. I asked Thomas and he said: “Everyone with a email is in on the roll-out. In practice it’s basically office workers. We have not solved the manufacturing/non-desk worker issue!”

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