Storytelling for easy access to abstract themes.

Sabee brings emotions to the development of the Sapp work culture.

With SPE&I, Sappi has created an internal training programme that should radically improve in-house work culture and optimise internal processes. SPE&i stands for ‘Sappi Performance Engine and I’. It’s about improving the work culture in order to motivate employees and exploit their potential to the full.

However, this programme was comprised more or less of just text with a few confusing charts.

Therefore, the biggest challenge for us was how to illustrate the highly abstract ideas and concepts in a way that was intelligible and transparent for all employees. For only in this way can everyone engage themselves with this programme in a willing and motivated manner. And that is essential for the success of such measures.
Storytelling was clearly the best option for us to bring Sappi’s employees closer to abstract and emotionless issues at SPE&I. Analogies in particular should help to create easier access to these issues. It also helps everyone to remember better what they have learned and they gain a sense of feeling for the new way of working.

Sabee presentation.

Sabee represents the Sappi employees. Bees are generally associated with characteristics such as diligence, endurance, community spirit, orderliness and dedication to the community. The bee helps Sappi’s employees with their development towards a new way of working and optimised processes. It experiences these same processes in the diagrams and is thus see as a popular figure.

The bee can be used repeatedly to remind staff in an unobtrusive manner of what they have learned. Posters, stickers and other measures ensure that Sabee is becoming a constant positive companion.

The combination of illustration and photography creates a strong effect, notwithstanding the everyday situations presented.

In short, Sabee makes the whole issue more intelligible, plausible, emotional and positive.


Michael Barthelme
Group Head Art


Jessica Holly
Communication Design


Agnes Pilar
Project Management

Sabee the role model

Sabee has been well received by management and all employees. In the first SPE&I workshops, participants even gave the bees in the various scenes their own names. Sabee is now a proper part of Sappi and all employees are on a journey towards a new work culture, and are optimising their processes.
More information is available from:
Michael Meier
Managing Director
michael.meier (at)