Keynote: Can you teach a 150-year-old dog new tricks?
Can you teach a 150 year
old dog new tricks?
CIO, VP Technology and Solutions General Mills
• Married, 3 children (30,27,15)
• Love technology
• Love to learn
• Love sports
• Love to Coach
– baseball, Basketball, Football, running, employees
• Love video games
• ~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
• Undergrad - computer science, Master - Software Engineering
This is the greatest time ever to be in IT!
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
“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-
― Erik Brynjolfsson, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
• 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!
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
Pioneers in Natural & Organic
• General Mills is the 2nd
largest branded natural and
organic food producer in the
• 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
A Focus in Sustainability Around:
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
➢ 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
The Answer to Scale Is…Democratization of
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 Digital Shelf
o Real-time Pricing
o Real-time Merchandising
o 1,000s of brand champions given
content digitally at the right time
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
Consumer Centric Supply Chain
o Balance of Scale and Agility
o Global Sourcing Visibility
Awesome People and How We Work
How We Work: Product Teams
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 /
✓ 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
How We Work: Product Teams
• Accelerate our operating rhythm
• Speed to market - deliver more
iteratively and react more quickly
• Activate against the combinatorial
impact of capabilities AGILE
What do product
Changing How We Work…
1st Agile Team:
7 Functional Agile practitioners
create best practices team
20% of Org
in Product Teams
40% of Org
in Product Teams
Leader + Coaches
80% of Org
In Product Teams
How We Work in Action
• Business Teams + Technology Teams =
• New Tech Released in Sprints
• Testing and Learning
• Reprioritizing to ensure we are always
working on the most important things
• Failing or Scaling
Marketing Sourcing Supply Chain
Differential Business Results
Better Engagement and Development of Awesome People
• Where did my manager go?
• Where is my home team?
• Wait, my entire product just moved?
• Does anyone own this product thing?
Every Company is a Tech Company…
✓ Awesome People
✓ Product Teams
✓ Like a Tech Company
Can you teach a 150 year old dog new tricks?