PepsiCo is going big in Design Thinking. Indra Nooyi’s interview is one of the the most comprehensive advocate-notes I have come across about Design Thinking and about how to bring about Design Thinking to a company and the benefits that come out of it. The full interview is here – https://hbr.org/2015/09/how-indra-nooyi-turned-design-thinking-into-strategy
I picked out a few lines I thought was wonderful from her interview and am reposting them here for a quick snapshot of what she said:
First, I gave each of my direct reports an empty photo album and a camera. I asked them to take pictures of anything they thought represented good design. After six weeks, only a few people returned the albums. Some had their wives take pictures. Many did nothing at all. They didn’t know what design was. Every time I tried to talk about design within the company, people would refer to packaging: “Should we go to a different blue?” It was like putting lipstick on a pig, as opposed to redesigning the pig itself. I realized we needed to bring a designer into the company.
Mauro Porcini – He said he wanted resources, a design studio, and a seat at the table. We gave him all of that. Now our teams are pushing design through the entire system, from product creation, to packaging and labeling, to how a product looks on the shelf, to how consumers interact with it.
For me, a well-designed product is one you fall in love with. Or you hate. It may be polarizing, but it has to provoke a real reaction.
Women worry about how much the product may stain—they won’t rub it on a chair, which a lot of guys do……. The chip is also less noisy to eat: Women don’t want people to hear them crunching away.
In the past, user experience wasn’t part of our lexicon. Focusing on crunch, taste, and everything else now pushes us to rethink shape, packaging, form, and function. All of that has consequences for what machinery we put in place—to produce, say, a plastic tray instead of a flex bag. We’re forcing the design thinking way back in the supply chain.
I don’t care if our mold can only cut one inch by one inch. We don’t sell products based on the manufacturing we have, but on how our target consumers can fall in love with them.
The China-Japan model (test, prove, launch) may have to come to the U.S. at some point.
MountainDew Kickstart comes in a slim can and doesn’t look or taste like the old Mountain Dew. It’s bringing new users into the franchise: women who say, “Hey, this is an 80 calorie product with juice in a package I can walk around with.” It has generated more than $200 million in two years, which in our business is hard to do.
Ideally, design leads to innovation and innovation demands design. We’re just getting started. Innovation accounted for 9% of our net revenue last year. I’d like to raise that to the mid teens, because I think the marketplace is getting more creative. To get there, we’ll have to be willing to tolerate more failure and shorter cycles of adaptation.
The rule used to be that you’d reinvent yourself once every seven to 10 years. Now it’s every two to three years.
We’ve given our people 24 to 36 months to adapt. I told everyone that if they don’t change, I’d be happy to attend their retirement parties.
Purpose is not about giving money away for social responsibility. It’s about fundamentally changing how to make money in order to deliver performance—to help ensure that PepsiCo is a “good” company where young people want to work. Purpose is how you drive transformation.
Pretty good words there from her, isnt it?