Hari Nair, Former Group Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Sime Darby Berhad and Tracy Skousen, Senior Partner and President International at Partners In Leadership.
Hari Nair has 25 years of experience leading innovation across large, multinational organizations. He is a thought leader and expert in applying various innovations and new business models in emerging markets. He has worked for and advised several Fortune 500 companies, most notably The Procter and Gamble Company, Kimberly-Clark, and Sime Darby Berhad. At Innosight, Nair collaborated with companies to devise growth strategies, build innovation capabilities, and create products and services that improve people’s lives. Nair serves as a faculty member for innovation and emerging markets for Duke Corporate Education and Tuck School of Business Executive Education programs.
TRACY SKOUSEN: Leaders spend a lot of time and resources on strategy and innovation to future-proof their company from disruption. What’s the role of organizational culture in all this?
HARI NAIR: Executing strategy and innovation starts and ends with culture. Culture is the framework by which strategy and innovation become reality. The famous quote attributed to Peter Drucker says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Culture eats just about everything; if you don’t get the culture right, you don’t get anything right.
To future-proof a company from disruption requires leaders to work on culture every single day. I’m often surprised how little time is devoted to getting culture right. There are several aspects to that: Having the right mindset and being open to new ideas that embrace agility, recognition, and feedback—all vital to driving and executing a strategic vision.