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Can you teach a 150 year
old dog new tricks?
Don Monk
CIO, VP Technology and Solutions General Mills
Me
My Loves
• Married, 3 children (30,27,15)
• Love technology
• Love to learn
• Love sports
• Love to Coach
– baseball, B...
Why Technology is Exploding…
Computer processing power has
doubled every two years.
Physical things are virtualized and
pr...
Cast of Characters
Key Messages
• Every company is a tech company
• Companies need to change “how we work” to be more like a tech company
• S...
General Mills Overview
General Mills at a Glance
• $17.0 billion in fiscal 2018 net sales
• Our eight largest brands each generate +$1 billion in...
Our Beloved Brands
…and many more.
General Mills Giving
Pioneers in Natural & Organic
• General Mills is the 2nd
largest branded natural and
organic food producer in the
U.S.
• G...
A Focus in Sustainability Around:
HEALTHY
WATERSHEDS
HEALTHY
SOIL
STRONG
ECOSYSTEMS
STABLE
CLIMATE
We’ve Pledged to:
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our full value chain by
28% by 2025.
➢ We’ve decreased it 11% s...
Changing How We Work
Why should every
company be a tech
company?
Why Do we Need to Reinvent?
What is the Barrier to Reinvention?
The Answer to Scale Is…Democratization of
Data
Our consumers, products and business are becoming more and more digital. In...
How We Work: Product Teams
Product
Owner
Scrum
Master
Coach
Execution
Team
Product
Manager
Delivery
Manager
PRODUCT
What d...
How We Work: Product Teams
• Accelerate our operating rhythm
and cadence
• Speed to market - deliver more
iteratively and ...
Changing How We Work…
2013
2012 2018
2019
1st Agile Team:
Marketing
7 Functional Agile practitioners
create best practices...
How We Work in Action
• Business Teams + Technology Teams =
1 Team
• New Tech Released in Sprints
• Testing and Learning
•...
Challenges
• Where did my manager go?
• Where is my home team?
• Wait, my entire product just moved?
• Does anyone own thi...
Every Company is a Tech Company…
Tech and
Data
Strategy
Business
Strategy
How We
Work
✓ Awesome People
✓ Agile
✓ Product T...
Can you teach a 150 year old dog new tricks?
Yes!You Can!
Questions
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Keynote: Can you teach a 150-year-old dog new tricks?

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Recording of Don Monk (General Mills) presenting at Twin Cities Product Conf 2019.

Published in: Technology
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Keynote: Can you teach a 150-year-old dog new tricks?

  1. 1. Can you teach a 150 year old dog new tricks? Don Monk CIO, VP Technology and Solutions General Mills
  2. 2. Me My Loves • Married, 3 children (30,27,15) • Love technology • Love to learn • Love sports • Love to Coach – baseball, Basketball, Football, running, employees • Love video games General Mills • ~29 years at GMI – Current job since June (CIO) – 2014 Head of IT (CTO) – 2011-2014 Marketing solutions – Many, many roles across IT and business functions Education • Undergrad - computer science, Master - Software Engineering Giving Back College Possible Coaching This is the greatest time ever to be in IT!
  3. 3. Why Technology is Exploding… Computer processing power has doubled every two years. Physical things are virtualized and processes are automated. Connected people and things are creating vast amounts of data. Moore’s Law Software Defined Everything Ubiquitous Internet “Not only are the new technologies exponential, digital, and combinatorial, but most of the gains are still ahead of us. In the next twenty-four months, the planet will add more computer power than it did in all previous history. Over the next twenty-four years, the increase will likely be over a thousand- fold.” ― Erik Brynjolfsson, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
  4. 4. Cast of Characters
  5. 5. Key Messages • Every company is a tech company • Companies need to change “how we work” to be more like a tech company • Size is not the enemy • The key is purpose driven #Awesome People • You can teach a 150 year old dog new tricks!
  6. 6. General Mills Overview
  7. 7. General Mills at a Glance • $17.0 billion in fiscal 2018 net sales • Our eight largest brands each generate +$1 billion in annual retail sales • Our brands are enjoyed by people in +100 markets globally • Our team of 38,000 employees brings passion & creativity to work each day
  8. 8. Our Beloved Brands …and many more.
  9. 9. General Mills Giving
  10. 10. Pioneers in Natural & Organic • General Mills is the 2nd largest branded natural and organic food producer in the U.S. • General Mills has been making natural and organic foods since 2000 when it acquired Small Planet Foods • We’ve since expanded our portfolio to include 9 brands
  11. 11. A Focus in Sustainability Around: HEALTHY WATERSHEDS HEALTHY SOIL STRONG ECOSYSTEMS STABLE CLIMATE
  12. 12. We’ve Pledged to: • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our full value chain by 28% by 2025. ➢ We’ve decreased it 11% since 2010 • Help improve soil health on +50% of U.S. cropland by 2025. ➢ We’ve invested $3 million to advance on-farm practices • Sustainably source 100% of our 10 priority ingredients by 2020. ➢ In 2017, we achieved 76% • Protect and establish +100,000 acres of pollinator habitat through 2021. ➢ 49% of General Mills brand commitments are complete • Help restore key at-risk watersheds to health by 2025. ➢ We have a four-step plan in place, and we’re ranked #5 of 42 food companies on how we’re responding to water risk
  13. 13. Changing How We Work
  14. 14. Why should every company be a tech company?
  15. 15. Why Do we Need to Reinvent?
  16. 16. What is the Barrier to Reinvention?
  17. 17. The Answer to Scale Is…Democratization of Data Our consumers, products and business are becoming more and more digital. In order to win, we must transform. ;” Right Time, Right Place, Right Offer o Ecommerce o Digital Shelf o Real-time Pricing o Real-time Merchandising Consumer Precision Marketing o 1,000s of brand champions given content digitally at the right time and place o Dynamic Advertising and creative Create Food People Love o Digitally listening to consumer needs o Identifying trends early o Predictive models on new products o Consumer framework for jobs to do (Food GPS) Consumer Centric Supply Chain o Transparency o Balance of Scale and Agility o Global Sourcing Visibility Awesome People and How We Work
  18. 18. How We Work: Product Teams Product Owner Scrum Master Coach Execution Team Product Manager Delivery Manager PRODUCT What do we mean by a product? What is a Product Team? ✓ A capability that is necessary to run our company and/or delivers competitive / comparative advantage ✓ This capability is optimized via both business / functional context and technical expertise working in combination ✓ This is NOT a project ✓ A dedicated and focused entity that combines business / functional and technical expertise in order to deliver iteratively and incrementally ✓ Daily cadence (standup) ✓ Iterate every 2-4 weeks
  19. 19. How We Work: Product Teams • Accelerate our operating rhythm and cadence • Speed to market - deliver more iteratively and react more quickly • Activate against the combinatorial impact of capabilities AGILE DESIGN BUILD CONFIGTEST RELEASE What do product teams deliver?
  20. 20. Changing How We Work… 2013 2012 2018 2019 1st Agile Team: Marketing 7 Functional Agile practitioners create best practices team 20% of Org in Product Teams 40% of Org in Product Teams 2016 Leaders Trained in Agile 2017 Formalized Agile Transformation Office Leader + Coaches Future 80% of Org In Product Teams
  21. 21. How We Work in Action • Business Teams + Technology Teams = 1 Team • New Tech Released in Sprints • Testing and Learning • Reprioritizing to ensure we are always working on the most important things • Failing or Scaling • Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery Strategic Revenue Management eCommerce Human Resources Digital Marketing Sourcing Supply Chain Reporting Collaboration Tech and Data Strategy Business Strategy Differential Business Results Better Engagement and Development of Awesome People
  22. 22. Challenges • Where did my manager go? • Where is my home team? • Wait, my entire product just moved? • Does anyone own this product thing?
  23. 23. Every Company is a Tech Company… Tech and Data Strategy Business Strategy How We Work ✓ Awesome People ✓ Agile ✓ Product Teams ✓ Like a Tech Company
  24. 24. Can you teach a 150 year old dog new tricks? Yes!You Can!
  25. 25. Questions

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