I love this message from Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo Chairman, in her fireside chat at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Enjoy the interchange between Ms. Nooyi and CEO Doug McMilon of Walmart.
I think there are many important points you may take from their talk. There are a couple that got my attention. Part of this is due to my background which consists of Fashion, both retail and wholesale, being the CEO of my own corporations for many years, and the importance of presentation and design in the marketing of my past products and my current business–writing novels.
Fashion: well, of course, that’s easy. We know design and creativity are integral to fashion.
We don’t have to think about it all. And we all know the expression, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” But we still do! The marketplace is saturated with competition for your reading dollar. So if my covers don’t stand out from the crowd, no matter how great the stories will be, my work will not be noticed. Packaging is important. It’s really that simple.
When Indra Nooyi took over PepsiCo, she had a history to live up to, a brand image that was doing well, an iconic product.
So her challenge in 2006 was to set the tone of change, moving forward with the times without rocking the financial boat in the process. She set about doing this by gentle persuasion. Many silently ignored her and kept on doing what they had always done. But that wasn’t good enough. One of the comments Ms. Nooyi made was she wished she had done more executive buy-outs sooner instead of waiting, hoping that she could persuade the people running different parts of the company, for the need to move forward, the need to change.
I was quite fascinated by this chat. One of my ongoing challenges as an author in this era of fast-paced-technology is how quickly things change.
When I think I’ve mastered a way of doing something, someone moves the bar, and I need to learn a new approach. The task is challenging. But as Indra Nooyi states, it doesn’t matter how successful you are, the market is continuously expecting you to be miles ahead anticipating new tastes, trends, and styles.
At minute 14 she discusses design.
It jogged my memory of this summer when the hype for FIFA2018 hit the marketplace. One of the first things I noticed was how Coca-Cola–my brand of choice–immediately had their design team incorporate the soccer ball onto their product packaging. Subliminally it reminded us of the excitement we all felt here in Mexico and the pride worldwide for our teams who would be participating in this amazing event.
The history of change is openly and transparently discussed.
At the beginning of her tenure, the board and executives were hesitant for change. They didn’t see the need. But slowly over time, they got it! And now, not unlike you and I in our prospective careers, the market is moving so quickly the common challenge we all face is that we aren’t running fast enough to keep up!
I also enjoyed listening to the banter between Ms. Nooyi and Doug McMilon, CEO of Walmart. I’ve been out of the fashion business for many years now, but I admire the job that Walmart has done to update, stay current, and provide what the consumer wants in the manner the consumer expects to get it in today’s fast-moving marketplace.
This video is well worth the time you may take to watch–or in my case, I listen–while getting ready to start my work-day.
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