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“It really gets down to the internal core of what drives and motivates people, and that’s really the complexity that I think that’s hidden whenever we’re trying to solve these big business challenges.”

Sheryl Roy

Global Organizational Effectiveness Consultant

The Challenge

ExxonMobil’s corporate strategy has been focused on increasing organizational speed, agility, level of innovation and the ability to bring new ideas to market effectively. Sheryl Roy, Global Organizational Effectiveness Consultant at ExxonMobil, and her team have been tasked with working with the business to develop leaders, managers and individual contributors to support the organization’s strategy. Doing so is a tall task considering ExxonMobil is a 70,000 person global company consisting of 14 subsidiaries.

One particular challenge is the project nature of ExxonMobil’s business which brings together subject matter experts to work on discrete initiatives. It is critical that these temporary teams work together effectively to achieve project-specific outcomes. While the culture encourages opposition, discussion and debate in a respectful and productive manner, the reality was projects were often slowed or derailed by unproductive conflict.

ExxonMobil’s people strategy has been focused on improving interpersonal and team dynamics to support the success of project teams and the company’s overall business strategy. Roy and her team considered multiple solutions but found that most work on the surface level, and ExxonMobil needed a way to delve into the core of what drives and motivates people. Ultimately, ExxonMobil selected Core Strengths as the solution to do so.

The Core Strengths Answer

ExxonMobil introduced the Core Strengths: Results through Relationships workshop to help employees and managers gain greater insight into their motives and those of their team members as well as to improve dialogue and better prevent and manage conflict within teams and between colleagues. Project teams, armed with Core Strengths’ relationship intelligence, transformed what were previously unproductive conversations into interactions that yielded greater innovation and efficiencies.

“It really gets down to the internal core of what drives and motivates people, and that’s really the complexity that I think that’s hidden whenever we’re trying to solve these big business challenges.

Over time, ExxonMobil has rapidly expanded the program by certifying over 100 internal facilitators who can deliver the Results through Relationships workshop to its global employee base. The support tools have been lauded for their simplicity and ability to enable facilitators, ranging from 6 months on the job to 20 year ExxonMobil veterans, to deliver the course seamlessly and consistently to its diverse employee population.


By deploying Core Strengths, ExxonMobil has gained a number of key benefits:
  • Transformed project teams’ unproductive conversations into dynamic dialogue that promotes healthy opposition to see all sides of an issue and create alternatives
  • Built resilient relationships inside teams that are responsive to challenges and opportunities
  • Harnessed the internal drives of teams to deliver personal and group performance
  • Created greater alignment between ExxonMobil’s corporate objectives and people strategy to deliver on the organization’s brand promise of fueling the world safely and responsibly

About the Company:

ExxonMobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, the company was founded almost a hundred years ago and has evolved from a regional marketer of kerosene to an advanced energy and chemical innovator. ExxonMobil is an industry leader in almost every aspect of the energy and chemical manufacturing businesses and operates facilities or markets products in most countries across the globe. Its research and development of next-generation technologies help meet the dual challenge of fueling global economies while addressing the risks of climate change.
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When relationships work, there isn’t a problem that can’t be solved.

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