Nestlé Canada head cites importance of values-based leadership
No matter how big a company gets, it needs to be prepared to change course if the environment calls for it.
That was the message from Tim Brown, President and CEO of Nestlé Canada, during a presentation at Ivey on March 6 for the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership MBA Leadership speaker series.
Likening the situation to that of a big powerful ship needing to make a 15-degree turn to avoid a lighthouse, Brown said when he joined Nestlé Canada in 2010, he knew the company needed to make a 15-degree turn and focus more on values-based leadership in order to continue to grow. Brown, who was previously Executive Vice President, Retail Operations for Nestlé Waters North America, Inc., had witnessed how values-based leadership had helped to position Nestlé Waters as a leader and grew its market share and wanted to do the same with Nestlé Canada.
“It was easy to say Nestlé, globally, is a great company, but what was important was to be a great company in Canada,” he said. “Values shape your culture and they shape your future.”
Brown said he began transforming the culture from a top-down, siloed environment to one with a set vision, purpose and values that worked together with the company’s strategy. One of the key components of that was the Nestlé Continuous Excellence Program, a management program that focuses on achieving high standards across all operations and, in doing so, recognizes that every Nestlé Canada employee is an important brand builder.
“This created an immense sense of solidarity because every cog in the wheel is important and it’s not just what is the most visible. We all want recognition. It gives people a sense of value and intrinsic purpose and that’s how you get ownership. You get people invested in your business and its outcome,” he said. “Buy-in isn’t enough, you need ownership. We wanted people to feel this is their company and they are accountable.”
Below: Watch a video interview between Gerard Seijts and Tim Brown on leadership at Nestlé Canada