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5C’s – Context, Culture, Construct, Commitment, and Calibrate, essential for managing innovation – Suresh Narayanan, CMD, Nestle India

New Delhi. 23 May 2022: Large corporates need to get over the fear of failure, said Suresh Narayanan, Chairman & Managing Director, Nestle India, during a fireside chat on Leadership- The force Multiplier for Innovation in Organisations at the Innovation Summit- Creative Disruption & Creative Resurrectionorganised by the industry chamber FICCI.

“This starts with the leadership”, he said, speaking on innovation in the context of big organisations.

Narayanan said leadership, irrespective of geography and economic reality, must look at 5C’s – Context, Culture, Construct, Commitment, and Calibrate – concerning innovation.

He said innovation must have a context, which must be interwoven with the purpose and values of the organisation. Further, companies must have an innovation culture embedded in a construct where people, processes, and the reward mechanism are in place. He added that innovation requires a long-term commitment and the ability to calibrate based on evolving realities.

He said that Nestle is innovating at three times the pace it was about six years ago. “We launched 90 to 100 new products in the last couple of years. It would have taken us a couple of decades to launch”, he said, and added, “Nothing has been updated, same processes, brands, propositions and testing mechanisms, but teams have been recalibrated. What we have tried to do is to walk the talk, and I do it personally”.

Narayanan said that leadership needs to be authentic. “Authentic behaviour means to say what you mean and mean what you say”, he said, adding, “leadership is not leading others; it is being increasingly confident in yourself”.

Speaking on occasion, Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, Chair of FICCI HR Committee & Director HR, Indian Oil Corp Limited, said disruptions provide us with an opportunity to respond differently. He alluded to the COVID crisis where the three A’s – agility, adoption of new technology, and alignment of purpose led to Indian Oil Corporation delivering despite the challenges.

“None of us knew how to supply LPG cylinders to your residences during COVID; can you believe Indian Oil delivered 33 lakh cylinders to homes on a day?” he said, adding, “it was made possible because the workforce was agile”.

Talking about the role of the HR fraternity during the pandemic, Manoj Sharma, Member, FICCI HR Committee & Joint President and CHRO, Aarti Industries, said human resource professionals have innovated quite a lot of practices during this time.

 Speaking on occasion, Anuradha Razdan, Co- Chair, FICCI HR Committee & Executive Director, HR, HUL & CHRO, Unilever South Asia, said, “You can invent alone but you can’t innovate alone”.

An Industry Compendium on HR Best Practices was also released on occasion. The compendium, is a result of an industry survey and outlines innovative and forward looking HR policies. The report is attached.

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