Building an Innovation Culture: A New & Innovative Approach for HR Leaders with PepsiCo

Today's podcast with Miguel Premoli, Vice President, Talent Management and Talent Acquisition for PepsiCo Europe and Sub Saharan Africa, which is their largest international division with operations in 40 countries, with more than 80 manufacturing sites, 46,000 employees, and revenues of $12 billion.

Miguel Premoli shares how HR can adapt to an increasingly connected world, and how organisations can leverage both technology and entrepreneurs to drive innovation.

Most of the tools and knowledge used today by Human Resource leaders were created in post-World War II environments, by large corporations, with defined markets, and little change.

So leaders created tools such as annual performance reviews and long-term succession planning, which were relevant for the big corporations of that time, but the world has changed over the past 70 or so years and those programs are no longer relevant, nor are they effective tools to lead teams to greatness.

Today, with an almost completely globalized world – speed to market and innovation are critical, and the pace of change is dramatic. We need to start considering the new tools that will drive future organizations.

Miguel believes that, when developing new tools, focus on three areas:

  1. The frequency by which tools are leveraged. Move away from annual processes, and take the pulse of your organization frequently. Set objectives and/or performance measures on a quarterly basis, and check them regularly.
  2. The second component is how and when leaders use technology to enable engagement. Move away from bureaucratic processes and towards “always-on” tools, where leaders check the pulse and communicate with team members regularly by leveraging technology.
  3. Probably the most important quality of these new tools is how these tools sustain your strategy and create the right culture within your organization.

Forward-thinking companies can innovate even faster, and find new tools they may not considered otherwise, if they create programs and partnerships that encourage internal entrepreneurs to innovate (intrapreneurs).

PepsiCo, for example, has a successful program called Nutrition Greenhouse, in which they partner with entrepreneurs in the nutrition space to share the knowledge, technology, and resources that only a large company can provide.

In return, these entrepreneurs infuse their ideas to PepsiCo. In this way, they create a win-win environment between entrepreneurs and the company.

“We're constantly looking for ways to sustain the entrepreneur’s spirit, as well as building capabilities for innovation.” –Miguel Premoli

Three Things To Discuss With Your Team:

  1. Beware of your tools. Make sure they are suited for the new economy, that you check in frequently that you sustain the strategy you want, and you are leveraging technology.
  2. In the new knowledge economy, innovation is the ultimate competitive advantage -- ensure that as people and talent leaders, you are driving forward momentum within your organizations.
  3. Most importantly, tap into your own teams’ innovative ideas because you will discover great things.

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And remember… Develop. Always.




Production & Development for Top Employers Institute’s Talent is Transforming by Podcast Masters