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Members become 'masters of change' in Cincinnati

Wednesday, May 7, 2014  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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Senior consumer goods and retail executives shared advice for "mastering the changing marketplace” with more than 500 NEW members at sold-out NEW Cincinnati learning event, May 1, 2014 at the Westin Cincinnati.

Panelists Michele Buck, president, North America at The Hershey Company; The Kroger Co. CEO Rodney McMullen; Carolyn Tastad, global customer business development officer for Procter & Gamble; and David Williams, CEO of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, offered their approach to leveraging change. NEW Cincinnati Co-chairs Amy Eskoff Garrett, director, e-commerce channel at Procter & Gamble, moderated the discussion.

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The executives shared their organizations’ approach to the changing marketplace and workplace. Deloitte, for instance, "champions our talent, and particularly women and people of color,” Williams said. "Leadership is not a hierarchical event. Everyone can be a leader.”

More than a decade ago, Kroger’s leadership team decided diversity was more than just gender, color and ethnicity, McMullen said. "Now it's a person’s personal circumstances, budget and experience that is meaningful.”

Tastad reminded NEW members that it’s "important to understand Millennials and the work/life balance needs they have.” Effective leadership plays a critical role in navigating change, she said. "[Successful] leaders have a natural curiosity. They embrace [and] thrive in change. They embrace diversity. They see things differently and have the ability to see around corners.”

"The best trait of a great CEO is a passionate curiosity,” Buck agreed. "The world is changing faster and we have to be change agents.”

Work/life balance is increasingly a challenge, with many integrating work into home life and vice versa. "Asking questions when deadlines are unreasonable or too demanding can lead to a better understanding of the real timeline and need,” Williams said.

To motivate, manage and retain women in today’s work environment, Williams said Deloitte began "asking women what worked for them vs. asking men what worked for women.”

"Seventy percent of customers are women,” Buck added. "It takes women to understand women and be role models for other women.”

Organizations sending large delegations to the event include Accenture, Catalina, The Clorox Company, The Coca-Cola Company, dunnhumby, General Mills Inc., The Hershey Company, Kellogg Company, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kraft Foods Group, The Kroger Co., Nestlé Group, Nielsen, PL Marketing and Procter & Gamble.

NEW Cincinnati Co-Chair Amy Eskoff Garrett of Procter & Gamble joined Michele
Buck of The Hershey Co., Carolyn Tastad of Procter & Gamble, David Williams of
Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP and The Kroger Co.'s Rodney McMullen
and Lisa Holsclaw, NEW Cincinnati co-chair.

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