EMI Case Study

Engaging everyone across the world in a shared understanding of how the business works and new ways of working.

The context

The music industry was facing significant disruption mainly caused by digitization and the effects of new ways to buy / access music e.g. iTunes. The format of music was changing, consumers’ preferences and ways of listening to music were changing and there was an explosion in music products and services. Within the business there was an urgent need to make more sense of things, in a simple way, then adapt and act on it.

What we did

We worked with the global executive team to construct a digital model of How the EMI business worked, with each of its key players (the Recording Artist, EMI’s Customers and EMI’s people).

We mapped out the value chain of activities over the life cycle of a single music product (from creation, to production, to marketing, to delivery), and how they connected up. The cycle recognized the competing tension between artistic creativity and financial/commercial performance and the power of getting the balance right between them.

Tools that transform

How the business works
A graphical and interactive digital model of how the business works – the key players, the value flows and how they are connected in a single view. And a physical conversation sheet for teams gather around and work with. This stimulated thousands of conversations, that wouldn’t have normally happened, within and across teams.


The outcome

For the first time, over 7,000 EMI employees could see the flows and connectivity across the business in one picture. This built a shared understanding of employees around the world, transforming how they viewed the business and generated new ideas and approaches to what was needed to make music more valuable.

This was a driver of improved ways of working:

  • Greater understanding and focus on the music consumer
  • Managers equipped to bring about faster change
  • Improving decision making
  • Increasing effectiveness and efficiency day-to-day.