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Evolving Self, Team & Brand in the Midst of a Pandemic

Using the Be Well Lead Well Pulse® framework of thriving the Barilla Group advanced employee and consumer wellbeing in the pandemic.

During the height of the pandemic, the Italian brand team leading Barilla Group’s beloved bakery brand, Mulino Bianco, embarked on a 5-month transformational wellbeing journey designed by Wisdom Works to support team performance and the brand’s relevancy in this new global context.

Discover how this brand team turned their stresses into new opportunities for advancing wellbeing in the Be Well Lead Well® case study, Evolving Self, Team & Brand in the Midst of a Pandemic: A Transformational Wellbeing Journey for Barilla’s Mulino Bianco.

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Mulino Bianco’s Vice President of Marketing Julia Schwoerer believes that a brand is a mirror of the people who work on it. She has a history of leading off-sites to reenergize and renew the commitment of Mulino Bianco team members to the brand and to each other. But COVID turned the world upside down. Italy was critically impacted by the pandemic with strict and lengthy lockdowns and team members experienced isolation, anxiety, and stress to a degree that they hadn’t before, negatively affecting their lives and teamwork. Without opportunities for face-to-face meetings, Julia worried about the team’s connection with each other and their alignment and innovation for the brand.

Julia asked Wisdom Works to address:

  • How would Mulino Bianco continue to be meaningful and relevant in this new context—a world in which consumers also increasingly expect brands to care for their wellbeing?
  • How would Mulino Bianco team members, individually and collectively, bring high energy to activating the brand’s mission, particularly during a protracted lockdown?

Wisdom Works designed and delivered a bespoke wellbeing journey for the Mulino Bianco team, centered around the use of Be Well Lead Well Pulse®, the firm’s science-based assessment measuring 19 psychometrics factors that facilitate thriving and stress resilience. After using this tool, Mulino Bianco team members were supported with coaching and team sessions to apply the science and practices of wellbeing at home, at work, and with the brand.

“Addressing wellbeing is not a separate conversation from work. It’s about people seeing each other as whole human beings,” says Schwoerer, “It means creating an environment that integrates work and life, plus supporting each other in our journey to thrive.”

The results?

  • Stability of the team’s performance during this very challenging time,
  • Greater resilience for dealing with disruptions and increased wellbeing at work,
  • A significant boost in team culture and collaboration, and
  • A reawakening of the brand’s purpose for caregiving which led to inspiring brand activations honoring Italy’s frontline nurses as pandemic heroes.

“At Wisdom Works, we believe thriving is a new standard of leadership success. Why? When we focus on cultivating the innate capacity of all people to thrive, we are better able, individually and collectively, to use the complexities and demands we face as new possibilities for evolution and growth—in brand performance, workforce engagement, business results, and human and cultural development.” – Renee Moorefield, CEO of Wisdom Works and Director of Be Well Lead Well®.


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