MCDONALD We’ve discovered that people join this company
because their personal purpose is about improving lives. It gives
them a way to execute that purpose on a bigger stage with more
resources. This purpose is what provides meaning to their lives.
That means if I as a leader can tie every behavior the person has
back to that purpose, their life would be fulfilled.
You don’t compartmentalize that. The more pervasive we make
our purpose of improving lives, the more fulfilled the people are and
the better the business results. What we’re really trying to show is
the virtuous cycle, where companies do well financially and do good
at the same time.
What you should do as a company is provide opportunities for
employees to do community service—through that, they become
more fulfilled. They improve lives but they also have an experience.
We sent a team of people to Mexico to build homes for Habitat
for Humanity. We sponsored the trip. People came back totally
fulfilled—a life-changing experience. They learned about low-income consumers in Mexico. When we go to hire people around the
world, we need to give them opportunities to learn how the majority
of the world lives.
VISCONTI You’re leading the diversity council personally. Why is
this important to you?
MCDONALD It’s so fundamental with everything that we do. If your
purpose is to improve lives, you’ve got to have the leadership, the strategies, the system and the cultures to do that. You can’t ignore diversity.
Diversity for us is a strategy. If I’m trying to improve someone’s
life, wouldn’t I be better off having somebody in the organization
who is of that representation so they can help the company be
empathetic to the consumer? Consumers can never tell us exactly
what they need. We’re trying to find the unarticulated need. That’s
where we develop our best products.
We believe that we have five strengths: consumer knowledge,
innovation, branding, go-to-market and global scale. That innovation
strength is the primary way we improve
lives. The more diverse your organization,
the better your innovation. We try to be
very deliberate about setting up diverse
teams of people in order to accelerate the
innovation that comes from them.
VISCONTI What do you expect out of your
MCDONALD A much more deliberate goal,
objectives, strategies. We’ve done that.
We’ve put together a scorecard. The other
thing that comes out is insights.
Watch video clips from Luke Visconti’s interview with Bob McDonald at
becomes a very powerful
concept: forcing yourself to
learn things that are new
or very difficult is a
powerful concept. If we
don’t do that, we won’t
get the most out of life.”