Changing culture from the top

Defining the Diversity & Inclusion Story to Create Understanding and Buy-In


Illinois Tool Works (ITW), a 100-year-old manufacturing conglomerate worldwide realized it needed a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) program to be able to recruit and retain the best employees for the next generation. With 850 autonomous businesses scattered across the globe, the newly- formed cross-functional team charged with implementing D&I practices across all business units faced a difficult challenge in spreading the word to create buy-in and action.


The Grossman Group was engaged to develop a strategic messagemap, which defines the D&I story at ITW and provides the case for why it’s a critical business initiative.

Using the messagemap as a foundation, The Grossman Group developed an internal brand to build recognition for what D&I is and means for employees across the company. The Grossman Group also helped develop and design the new D&I Resource Guide, which helps D&I professionals in various business units and sites.


During the first year, the cross-functional team has enjoyed great success working with the business units to help them understand the business case for D&I and implement the strategies.

The internal brand is recognized across the company, and the Resource Guide has been cited as a hugely valuable tool to enable this important imperative at the local level.

“My thanks to the team at The Grossman Group for your support of ITW’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative. We could not have made the progress that we did without the fine tools that you helped us develop.” - Cheri Chappelle, Director, Diversity and Inclusion