Organizational Change
The ‘Secret Sauce’ of Inclusion, Governance — Inside and Outside the Brand

At SB’19 Detroit, Burt's Bees, Caesars Entertainment, Dave’s Killer Bread, Gap, Kellogg, Patagonia, P&G and more shared insights and strategies aimed at addressing governance inside and outside their organizations.

Workplace equality — it’s not just about gender

By Shannon Houde

L-R: ALDO Group's Valérie Martin, Lora Picini, Porter Novelli's Soon Mee Kim (moderator), Anna Blue, Lisa Kenney | Image credit: SB

This panel on DE&I was diverse in and of itself — with a Korean American, a Quebequois, a Canadian American immigrant and a gender non-binary representative. These speakers made us think differently and challenge our unconscious biases, as well as our use of terminology when discussing diversity. The covered issues such as representation of women in the workplace, Gen Z, getting a sponsor vs. a mentor, and non-binary gender definitions.

According to Anna Blue, Co-Executive Director of GirlUp, diversity is not just about women — it also includes race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, politics, age, generation, mental health & wellbeing.

Women are underrepresented at every level of the corporate hierarchy — and women of color are the most underrepresented group of all, lagging behind white men, men of color and white women. Two-thirds of women experience what is called “micro aggressions” — subtle, indirect discrimination — in the workplace; and, fun fact: Fortune 500 companies are more likely to have a CEO named John than a female CEO.

McKinsey did its first “Women in the Workplace” study in 2015; since then, corporate America has done little to improve women’s representation. The 2018 McKinsey report, “Delivering Through Diversity” proved how diversity delivers financial results.

Caesars Entertainment’s VP of Equity, Strategic Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Lora Picini, noted that having a sponsor, rather than a mentor, is the most important thing a woman can do to advance:

“A mentor is someone who gives you advice, whereas a sponsor invites you to a meeting and introduces you to senior leadership to give you exposure.” — Lora Picini, Caesars Entertainment

Blue shared some impressive statistics about the next generation of talent, after Millennials: Gen Z. At 70 million, they are the largest generation in existence — which means that they will be 30 percent of the workforce and 40 percent of the consumer market by 2020. 65 percent of them will work in jobs that don’t yet exist, and that 67 percent support brands that take a stand on social issues.

Gender Spectrum Executive Director Lisa Kenney challenged the fact that we have been talking about gender from a binary perspective — men and women. On challenges around inclusion, Kenney pointed out, “We are talking about the fact that it’s not working but not about why it’s not working.” They noted that 12 percent of Millennials identify as transgender/gender non-conforming (according to a GLAAD-Harris Poll survey), and that they are the first generation to say they see gender as non-binary. Kenney also noted that we are excluding men from the gender conversation.

The takeaway: It’s not all about boys or girls, blue or pink; our world is no longer binary when it comes to gender and diversity.


The SB Brand Transformation Roadmap: How to take your sustainability journey to the next level

By Shannon Houde

This Monday morning workshop kicked off with Kevin Hagen, VP of ESG Strategy at Iron Mountain, asking the packed room, “So, why haven’t all companies been able to become sustainable? We’ve been doing this a long time — why aren’t we there yet?

There is a notion that many companies experience a plateau in their sustainability journey and the data backs it up. Hagen and SB’s Director of Knowledge & Insights, Dimitar Vlahov, sit on the SB Working Group — with 10 colleagues and an advisory board of 50 — that has created a new orientation and navigation tool, the SB Brand Transformation Roadmap, to help business leaders become inspired, informed and equipped to succeed and stand out. The Roadmap:

· Works for beginners and advanced practitioners

· Is user-friendly and comprehensive

· Enables internal and external engagement

So, after surveying the thinking in the field, the Council designed the Roadmap with 5 characteristics of a sustainable brand, and at the 5 levels of the journey to become a Sustainable Brand:

Hagen and Vlahov asked: “How many sustainable brands are in the US? The world? The answer: (Almost) None.”

All businesses start at Level 1. When a company reaches a plateau on its journey, it is a sign that it is time to jump to the next step. We are all trying to move the bell curve of the organization up on these 5x5. Each phase has clear and consistent behaviors that mark where you are on the journey.

Companies can self-assess where they are in each box to ask:

  • Where am I today?

  • What can I be doing differently?

  • What can I do to help my company make the jump to the next phase?

The tool has a one-pager on each of the 5 Characteristics and what it looks like to move from Level 1 to Level 5 for each.

A visual report is then mapped to show consolidated results to help companies see more clearly their areas for improvement.

The destination for all of our companies is to become sustainable — no one is there yet, but we are all heading in the right direction.

SB’19 Detroit attendees have FREE ACCESS to the SB Brand Transformation Roadmap ntil June 14 — use the Self-Assessment Tool to uncover and define where your company is on the journey. The Council welcomes feedback! Contact [email protected] for the link.


Kellogg’s pledges “Next Generation Better Days” by 2030

By Mia Overall

Steve Cahillane | Image credit: SB

Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane took center stage Monday afternoon to launch new company goals that address food insecurity — which affects a shocking 821 million people (1 in 9) around the world.

Kellogg’s “Next Generation for Better Days” commitment intends to literally take a bite out of this problem. By 2030, Kellogg’s has committed to create better days for three billion people around the world, or roughly 41 percent of the global population. Drilling down, the company has committed to:

  • supporting one million farmers

  • conserving natural resources along the food chain

  • reducing food waste, and

  • transitioning to 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging

  • providing food to 1 billion hungry people, including 375 million through food donation

  • ensuring an ethical supply chain

  • increasing employee volunteerism and supplier diversity.

To accomplish all of this, Kellogg’s is partnering with organizations around the world — including Feeding America and The Nature Conservancy, amongst others.

The company’s previous strategy — the “Breakfast for Better Days” platform — was launched in 2013, towards which Kellogg’s has already achieved 1.2 billion better days by donating 1.1 billion servings of food, along with a range of other contributions.

Cahillane reminded the audience that “sustainable brands” are world-class brands that deliver superior quality now, and help deliver the “good life” of tomorrow. He ended with a call to action:

“We need to make collective commitment to go farther. All of us in this room can look for ways to go farther than we could otherwise go alone.” — Steve Cahillane

One brand, he noted, can create incremental progress, but many can create sustained progress.


America’s got hidden talent: Bringing purpose to your workforce strategy

By Shannon Houde

These three panelists’ companies are investing in the future and diversity of their talent base by recruiting and developing opportunity youth and ex-convicts. As Head of FSG’s Talent Rewire program, moderator Kimberly Shin kicked off the session with some shocking statistics:

  • 1 in 7 youth are opportunity youth

  • 1 in 3 American adults have a criminal record

  • 2030 is the year that the majority of young workers under 30 will be people of color

  • We are in the tightest labor market in the last 50 years

Gap Foundation is committed to providing opportunity youth their first jobs with a goal of hiring 10K youth through “This Way Ahead” program by 2020. Manager Allie Barwise mentioned that getting and then keeping that first job is really important. She sees four ingredients to Gap Foundation’s secret sauce of expanding the diversity of their workforce at an early-career stage:

  1. Work with a community partners in 70 cities around the world
  2. Employees volunteer with that community partner
  3. Hire for potential
  4. Offer post-hire support for youth

Barwise said Old Navy is already getting 130 percent ROI on the work it is doing with this program.

Patagonia is running an internship program to attract opportunity youth to work at its retail stores. Carly Huey, HR Manager for Retail and Corporate Employees, said she found that existing retail store staff, who go through a rigorous inclusion training program in order to serve as mentors, got as much out of mentoring the youth as the interns did.

“Inclusion training is critical to everyone on the team, and creates a commitment and energy in everyone.” — Carly Huey, Patagonia

Meanwhile, Dave’s Killer Bread’s Second Chance Employment program hires those who have a criminal background that are ready to change their lives for the better. Executive Director Genevieve Martin shared that Dave’s Killer Bread is #1 sliced organic bread in the US and Canada. Consumers are fans and they care; the Second Change program and cause has allowed the company to attract and maintain customers. Dave’s believes that we should hire for skills — whoever can do the job — not excluding those with a troubled past. 40 percent of Dave’s workforce has a criminal record, but the data show that people with convictions perform at the same level as counterparts, their tenure is longer, and they promote at a higher pace than others.


Advancing the brand transformation journey across the organization

By Hope Freedman

L-R: Paula Alexander, Rachel Kaufman, Eunice Heath and Virginie Helias | Image credit: SB

On Thursday morning, this powerhouse panel brought together Paula Alexander, Director of Sustainable Business & Innovation for Burt’s Bees; Rachel Kaufman, Global Director of Environmental Sustainability for Johnson & Johnson; Eunice Heath, Global Director for Environment Health Safety and Sustainability for Consumer Solutions at Dow; and Virginie Helias, VP and Chief Sustainability Officer at P&G to share emerging best practices in building necessary capacity across different functions to drive company-wide sustainability progress.

As innovation is a driver of sustainability, the panelists spoke about the innovation conversation with other functions, such as R&D and Marketing – and what safety nets are in place. A decades-long innovator, P&G is looking more closely at how sustainability fits in its product pipeline and has potential for greater impact. Helias provided the example of the new EC30 home and personal care product collection — where consumers activate a “swatch” with a small amount of water. For Dow, it is about understanding how to translate changing market needs into chemistry and material science — collaborating with other companies and brands.

Alexander stated that Burt’s Bees makes certain to put a sustainability hook into the product brief:

“We go back to rigorous standards. We educate and reeducate with the changing landscape. It ensures we’re raising the bar.”

When it was apparent there was ‘white space’ for a natural player, the brand entered the colored cosmetics category with its “I Am Not Synthetic” campaign. Sustainability innovation at J&J comes from other internal sources — tapping into employees’ resourcefulness, where innovation processes already exist. Kaufman explained that through an internal Challenge program with seed money, employees look for and develop solutions based on provided strategies and issues.

The panel discussed different ways to scale and harness employee input. J&J maintains a network of sustainability ambassadors; as a broad-based healthcare company, employee health and wellness are very relevant. Kaufman expressed that the challenge is now making the environment relevant to employees. However, enabling super ambassadors who want to do this work well can help reach a large portion of employees. Dow also leverages its existing sustainability ambassador network. Besides awards and recognition, Heath spoke about bringing cross-functional teams from other businesses to work on strategic products, such as addressing scrap optimization.

Helias related that P&G incorporated employee goals as parts of its Ambition 2030 strategic framework. Now, people better understand sustainability’s link to their respective job, how they can do many experiential things and potentially be recognized by business leaders. As Alexander revealed, a common culture of sustainability is essential throughout Burt’s Bees; aspects include formal programs and annual events to revisit and recommit to company values. Even the reconstructed cabin of founder Burt Shavitz helps create a palpable culture. Alexander expanded:

“It is critical to be in the mindset when at work, so employees can carry out those values outside of the office.”

Similar perspectives arose about pre-competitive collaboration. As Kaufman stated: “You can’t do it on your own. It is too expensive, and the amount of investment is smaller for some companies. We’re driving toward the same thing, including definitions and quality standards.” Heath shared that Dow and its largest competitor, BASF, received the Green Challenge Chemistry award together. She pointed out that “it didn’t matter what we did downstream — it mattered what we did upfront to reach a lower HHPO footprint.”

Helias asserted that competitors should still compete on innovation from a product delivery and creative communications standpoint — therefore, there is still tension. Alexander raised a retailer perspective with the example of Walmart and Target under third-party guidance, such as defining standards and metrics. In this case, fostering improvement across the system will help the industry eliminate waste and drive efficiency.

With respect to challenges, Heath said that Dow is looking at Net Present Value versus investment measures — she acknowledged that it is a different conversation and requires difficult decisions about infrastructure. Cost perceptions are a concern for Kaufman at J&J, where she encounters the perspective that sustainability efforts increase cost of goods. However, she countered, using less packaging saves money. Kaufman also stated that moving past legacy situations is another challenge — ex: when more sustainable products were not successful, despite data indicating many consumers are willing to pay a higher price. Kaufman raised a universal question: “How do we do it in a smart way to meet consumer needs and do it efficiently?”

On an optimistic note, panelists shared what occurrences signaled traction within their respective organizations. Helias related her efforts to establish an external advisory board at P&G. She recounted, “The purpose was to inspire and challenge the C-Suite. I learned a lot on who to put on the board and how to manage — the trust that has been established has been a tipping point for the C-Suite.” Kaufman has seen a shift when the J&J consumer group signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which pulled in the packaging, procurement and communications functions; also it was the most “liked” internal article. At Burt’s Bees, some of its sustainability reporting was integrated into reporting from its parent company, The Clorox Company. However, it was recognized that Burt’s Bees needed to maintain separate goals — ones that are central to the business yet amplify corporate objectives — in order to measure its public commitments.

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