To have innovative products, you need talented people to develop them. To sell those products, you need skilled people to merchandise them. Without a constant stream of cultivated talent, this industry will fall apart.
That’s why it’s reassuring to see efforts like the new global leadership development center opened in Singapore by worldwide CPG giant Unilever.
The marketer of such center store brands as Hellmann’s, Lipton and Dove aims to double the size of its business while halving its environmental impact and increasing its positive social impact. Obviously, key to such an aggressive undertaking is having the right people to lead it.
The company’s first leadership development center outside the United Kingdom, Four Acres Singapore, highlights Unilever’s increasing focus on developing and emerging markets, which now account for over 55 percent of its global revenue. Unilever expects the new center will help increase the supply of talented leaders to sustain this momentum.
“In an increasingly volatile and uncertain world, a new type of leader is being called for – both in Unilever and society as a whole,” said Paul Polman, Unilever’s CEO. “These leaders must be guided by values and understand the responsibility of leadership for the 21st century. We will actively seek and develop these leaders through Four Acres.”
Unilever’s endeavors should be an example to the industry, retailers and brand marketers alike. Keeping your company or brand innovative, viable and sustainable for years to come takes fresh ideas and skilled marketers from each successive generation bringing the mindset of each to the table.
Who knows – your company’s CEO 20 years from now might be one of those baggers you hired when school let out for the summer.