Estée Lauder

Developing an Agile Organization Through Collaborative Leadership

An exponentially growing work force building the #1 production hub for a global supply chain of top cosmetic products.


by Lieven Callewaert


The challenge for the plant was to establish itself as a benchmark facility within Estée Lauder’s global supply chain, with the goal of safeguarding the employment of over 1,000 people and ideally growing to 1,500 within 5 years. This required a leadership culture focused on agility, entrepreneurship, and collaboration, with a performance driven by care for the workforce and their future.

The VP and his broad leadership team were tasked with balancing external pressures and uncertainties while building trust and a sense of belonging internally, creating a loyal and long-lasting workforce that could meet the challenge.


Upon being appointed as the plant manager and VP operations, the new leader recognized that successfully managing the challenge ahead required a bold yet adaptive strategy, led by a strong and embedded leadership team. Thus, a co-creative leadership journey was created, providing a safe space for the 25-person leadership team to develop the strategy while also allowing them to process any challenges or tensions that arose in the changing environment.

This process was both process- and results-oriented, resulting in an even stronger performance culture driven by care and an unprecedented growth of the site to 1,500 employees, with a doubling in facility size within just five years.

The uniqueness of this partnership is that anytime you think, or feel being stuck, together a new way of thinking and acting emerges. And this makes toughness transform into resilience, change a joy instead of a hassle.

Kris Van Deurzel, VP operations

"Organising is not about putting things in order. It is giving life."

Lieven Callewaert


Lieven is a leadership and collaboration expert who partners with businesses to unlock their full collaborative potential. With a wealth of experience in systemic innovation and as an exceptional facilitator, teacher, and entrepreneur, Lieven excels in mobilizing collective intelligence that executives often overlook.



get in touch