On average, a person will spend one-third of their time at work over a lifetime. That’s far too much time to do something you don’t love.
As Global CIO at Kellogg Company, I think a lot about how to keep my team engaged, growing, and delivering the best results for our stakeholders – both internally and externally. My worst nightmare is to have people on my team thinking, “oh no, I have to go to that place again.”
Sheryl Sandberg once said, “leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence." These are words that I live by. Leading people is a privilege; when you do so with passion and empathy, the entire organization will reap the rewards.
Unsurprisingly, an engaged team produces better results, regardless of the industry and company size. Here are a few ways we’ve approached building our company culture within our IT department:
Cultivate a Continuous Learning Culture – A successful IT team must create value by marrying IT investments that match the business strategy and drive growth outcomes. At Kellogg, we know that to achieve this, we must focus on growing the talents of our team.
We invest heavily in skills and leadership development. In 2021 we launched YODA (Year of Development, Always), which is about creating career-long learning opportunities to help our team learn new skills around technology, data and analytics as technology is forever evolving.
Purpose – In times of change, purpose is a grounding for resilience, giving people a reason to get up and go the extra mile every day. At Kellogg, our vision is a good and just world where people are not just fed but fulfilled. Our purpose is to create better days and a place at the table (or keyboard) for everyone. That sense of purpose is the bedrock for how we approach everything – from people, processes, technology, and data – and, ultimately, how we’re creating the future of food.
One Team Mantra – Regardless of whether you report to the IT function, we are continuously breaking down silos, partnering, and experimenting with the commercial teams to drive business outcomes.
For example, in 2020, a team member attended an event and learned that more than 2 million people in the UK live with sight loss and cannot read the information on the packaging. It sparked an idea to add Navilens technology to our packaging, allowing visually impaired people to access all of the information on our cereal packaging via their smartphones – either by having it played aloud or using accessibility tools.
Kellogg became the first company in the world to include NaviLens on our packaging, and later this year we’re expanding the offering in the United States.
My leadership team and I model an inclusive culture that invites colleagues at every level of the team to play their part in creating the future of Kellogg IT.
A Winning Strategy – Earlier this year, Kellogg announced it would spin off our North American cereal and plant-based foods businesses to result in three independent public companies. This strategy will allow us to build tighter connections across the consumer journey and presents a massive opportunity for the IT team to make the company future-ready with suitable systems and capabilities.
By focusing on these four strategies, we’re creating a workplace defined by personalized solutions, well-being, and a focus on experimentation, culture, and inclusivity. A team becomes the competitive advantage when you get this right. Are you interested in helping us create the future of food? Learn about what exciting opportunities we have here.