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Interview

Interview: Can you be both big and fast? with Angela Mangiapane, President, Mars Global Services at Mars

Angela Mangiapane, President, Mars Global Services at Mars on how to simplify, standardize, and automate to achieve both speed and scale.

Transcript

Peter: Welcome to unpacking the digital shelf where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age. Molly Schnothal and I were able to sit down with Angela Mangiapane, president Mars global services at Mars about the principles that have guided their transformation to be both big and fast. Angela, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today. And I have to start by asking you what is your favorite Mars product and why?

Angela: Ah, okay, great. Thank you, Peter. So I actually have two. One, it would be the M. And. M's. I love M and. M's because it allows me and gives me permission to actually eat a great indulgence, especially in the middle of the afternoon when I need a little pick me up. As well as it actually provides me an opportunity that when I have people coming over, it's great to just see the smile on people's faces. What I, when I take out a bowl of M and. M's.

Peter: Now are you, wait, are you a traditional M and Ms, are you the, are you go, do you go Reese's peanut? Like what's happening? Dark chocolate? 

Angela: So I do like the dark chocolate, but I have to say I'm partial to peanut. I like, I like the evidence peanut

Peter: It most substantial of the M and M family. So what's your, well you said you had two. 

Angela: Yes, I do have. Then the second one actually would be one of our pet care brands which is well connect. And the reason that is is because my cavalier King Charles a lady back home loves loves it. And I've also seen just a remarkable difference in in how she in terms of the quality of her, of her coat and skin. Obviously for a pet parent who is listening on this podcast can relate the importance of having great nutritional food and the diet that you give your dog or your cat and how they look and how they act and feel the, it's attributed greatly to what they're eating. So that's my that's my other product and the fact that I actually had a chance also to live in France working for Royal Canadian. I have to say also has made me partial to the, to this branch.

Peter: Oh my gosh. We will have to get a picture of that. Beautiful. She sounds gorgeous.

Angela: Yeah.

Peter: So I'm sure she means so thank you. And as I said, I'm having you come on with a role such as you know, leading global services at Mars. Sounds like a big job. I'm assuming this. So I would love it if you would just tell our listeners kind of what that encompasses and what's your focus right now? Like, where are you, where are you putting your energies?

Angela: Yeah, so I head up what's called Marsh global services. So just maybe tobacco, right? Mars is a, is a $35 billion business privately owned with obviously many of, of the brands that I'm sure your listeners enjoy and consume. Many people don't know. We're actually the largest pet care company in the world. And and that encompasses not just the, the, the food products but also encompasses veterinary health services. So in having these various segments, whether that's pet confectionary or even food, cause we have uncle Ben Rice's, for example it decision was made there probably about three years ago and saying, Hey, we want to run this business. And and companies have a choice, right? You can say, I want to run this business as a, as a holding company and therefore I had these three distinct ones and I want to just let them go off and run the way they need, or I still want to ensure that I retain the culture of Mars.

Angela: And so the decision was made that where things are very common and, and where they need to be held together to still espouse what Mars represents. There was this creation called Mars global services. So what it encompasses, essentially, I'd call it, it's the spine for the business. We do a lot of the operational side of it which would include the the, the financial operations. HR, which actually also includes for us talent acquisition. We do procurement and we also do it operations. So roughly right now, today we're about a a close to 3000 associates. So we call actually our employees associates here at Mars. And so we, we, we really are always working on creating value for the segments. And we do that through a unique set of skills that we bring.

Angela: We do that through scale. And we do that through a technology and especially today with with, with digital and kind of being that word that that gets thrown out there. The technology part provides us tremendous opportunities of achieving a scale as well as value creation for the business that we never had an opportunity to do so before. So that's the, the organization. If you say to me, you know, where are we at after, you know, we've been on a, on a three year journey because it wasn't something that really I would say was a muscle that Mars had because Mars historically has, has operated with really a very decentralized operating model where the markets could more or less do their own thing. And so over the course of the years we've, we've, we've had to change that.

Angela: And so, and in particular, in the past three, we have a model we call, you know, what, where, where are we running the business? Where do we want to increase the scope uptaking on areas of the business that we can actually provide value back. And then the third part is how do we actually be a catalyst not only within our, our organization called Mars global services, but for the rest of Mars in really building some new capabilities. So we have this program run, grow, transform, right? And then with that we've come out with real clarity on what we do best for our associates, right? We want to free up hours for them so they can focus on growing the business. That's what we want. The, the, the associates were on the segments. So what we do best is we simplify, we standardize and we automate.

Peter: I love the clarity of that mission,

Angela: Right? And then doing that provides us a great opportunity to really understand where are the areas of opportunity for, for the operational side to continue to becoming leaner and what are some things potentially that we're doing as a business that maybe actually either makes no sense and we should still have, right? Or we actually have to amplify even further.

Peter: So that really takes us to the topic of, of agility, right? When you talk about trying to simplify, standardize, automate, I would imagine that part of that, that the, the output, the result that you want from that is that your business can speed up. You know, it's can, can a company be both big and fast? What are you discovering and, and how do you think about that? Why is that important right now?

Angela: Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, you know, it's interesting when you look at the history of the CPG industry. So you think back to some of the brands that people are aware of today, that they're, they're, they're strong brands, right? The cereal, Brad's Cheerios for example, right? You have grown up with Cheerio's and, and, and, and you, you know, the P and G side, they've got some very strong brands and then you have Mars have very strong brands. And there was a belief that said you know, you had to get scale you had high barriers of entry. So think about you know, making chocolate, that consistency I've saying around the world, when you pick up a Snickers bar, it's going to taste the same. It's going to ha it. The packaging is the same and so forth. So we have that consistency.

Angela: So there was a belief that said, you know, I, I'm, I'm going to market to the masses. And, and that being big was the way that you actually were able to then reduce your costs and prove your margins and provide, I would say the maximum footprint to the consumers who love, let's say chocolate. I think what has happened, and I would say, you know, I would hazard to say probably in the past 20 years, but it has more so over the past 10 years, which is with the advent of, we'll call it digital, right? You can get people to come in, I'll call them the insurgents, you know, the insurgence can come in and, and they bust all those core limiting beliefs. You look at at today, it is relatively quite easy to get into the pet care industry, right?

Angela: You don't need massive TV advertising. I mean, I would argue that while I know still people watch TV, it's interesting to see how, you know, especially that the new generation, the YouTube versus so forth, right? It's, it's relatively easy now to just get on there and you have your influencers out there. They're the ones that are, are really talking about the brand. So I called him these insurgents and I would, I would say that in the past five years, most of the growth in CPG has come from these insurgents. So what happens then is you say, okay, it obviously it's being small, being fast, right? You, you can, you can, you're closer to the customer. So it leaves out a big companies, right? These were two are too slow. By the time we figured out we have a, we have many layers, right, of the organization.

Angela: By the time we figured out, guess what already didn't the surgeons have gone to the next piece. Now I think interestingly, what happens though is even surgeons also get to a point where they can't grow further because they then recognize either a, hold on a minute, I've got you know, I've got my own issues of scale. Like I need some consistency here so that I am now going to be much more, you know, reliable to the, to the consumer. Because all of a sudden people are saying, I want more. So how do you, how do you bring that to life? You, you have to understand how do I replicate now this model that goes beyond just maybe a founder being able to manage everything. So they come looking for the big companies. And, and what you're seeing is a lot of large companies including Mars are, are, are able now to take a look and say, Hey, let me, let me put some seed money into some of these smaller businesses and let me see how we can actually further develop and using the resources of a bigger organization.

Angela: So I would say the new model that we need to look at as a large company is there is something about being big, right? And, and we have a positive impact by being big in the community. You could influence, make change. If I think about what's going on lately with plastics, right? I mean, Mars can have a huge impact that a smaller company can have. But at the same time, there is a recognition that says we just simply can't sit there and not address consumer needs. And so we, so what will you talk about how today I really do think we need to be big and we need to be baptized because if you're not, yeah, if we get into some of the principles of before we get into some of the principles of what it takes to be big and fast, you glossed over a term that I think is really important for the audience to understand.

Angela: And of course you mentioned it just in a plight of conversation limiting beliefs. You, you spent a lot of time and people management people development. Can you tell us a little bit about what the limiting belief is and what the consequences can be? Have limiting beliefs? Yeah. So a limiting belief could be something, something that says, you know what, it, we've never been able to do it. Or you know, the, the owners won't want us to do it. You know, management won't want us to do it as a core limiting belief. I would say a core limiting belief has been we, we need to have everything perfect right before we can launch something as opposed to are we really clear where we want to maybe do test and learn and, and it's okay to fail. Right? That's been a, a core limiting belief. I think of ours where we really are looking at how do I ensure that everything is just perfect before we launch it. And by that time, unfortunately it could be 18 months later and you're finding out that maybe what we thought was a good idea is not so, and you spent all the resources so that, that's at the core limiting belief, a core limiting belief of of the fact that,

Peter: Sorry to interrupt. I, I think actually let's talk about the five principles at Mars that kind of lead this, this this transformation for you. Like how, what, what are the things that you talk about, and I know one of the ones that you mentioned to us was the quality principle. And I think you just started talking about that, which was sort of don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good or something like that. Like how do you describe that to your, to your folks and think about it in the context of digital.

Angela: Yeah. so if I just, if I just pause for a second, right? Cause cause Molly talked about the core limiting beliefs and then you brought in the principles, which is really an excellent tie in because at times, you know, we have, so Mark does operate by what we call the five principles, right? So there's, there's, if there's anything that I can leave you with is in the past 100 years, this organization has, has really lived by, by these you know, quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency and freedom. And I'll talk to each one of those. At the same time, we're very much driven by our purpose. And again, I think I mentioned probably earlier that the purpose really being that the way, the way that we do business the way to do business tomorrow is how we do it today. Right. and, and it's all centered around not just the financial side of it, but it's, but it's around the impact that we have on the planet.

Angela: What, how we treat our own associates and our, and our vendor partners. And then we also have the, the, the social side of it, which is what we're doing in the community, right? So I think I did at first want to start off with like, this is what drives us our purpose and then guided by those five principles. Now when we then think about the core limiting beliefs and tying that in is, well, you know, we talked about, you know, quality. So there was a belief that says everything has to be 100%. I would say to you that where, where the mindset needs to be is around expecting this perfection to actually saying it's okay to be 70% and that is still quality because again, it's defining what, what am I actually tried to test and learn from and then going forward with it.

Angela: It's also tried to define, well, what do I mean by quality? It's one thing, you know, I don't want to launch a product that's got a problem that I'm going to make people sick, right? So that has to be right. But perhaps launching a product that I can actually experiment and see, okay, what's resonating with people in terms of it, the packaging, the ease of let's say opening a package up. It could be an example. So that's, that's on the, on the quality side and, and being much more agile for us to to, to, to say I can pick stuff up quickly and change it. And that in one sense you think about it is actually quality. Cause if I put a bad product out in the market that, that the consumer doesn't want you think about it, that's not being very high quality. Right. So 

Peter: And then when you think about, yeah, sorry, I was just going to say it. When you think about then taking that quality principle and thinking, cause part of that is agility and efficiency, but you also have to think about efficiency across probably every process that's guiding towards digital, right?

Angela: That's right. I mean, yes, yes. Cause you have, you know, any company probably has something like I'll say 10 to 15 processes and processes. Again, sometimes people see it as a bad word to me it's like how do you, how do you make the organization run? And, and so if you think again, in terms of of what digital has helped us do is, is to reduce the number of steps, right? So if I can automate, if I think about a [inaudible] goes to something as basic as a journal entry, right? Every company has to, has to do their accounting, but you can remove the steps of of, of bringing that manual process and moving that to automating, that's going to save hours for the associate and then the associate can actually focus on what do I need to do to drive the business. The other one would be if I think about rework of I have to set up a, a purchase order and then I, something happens where the person puts in the wrong information and then they have to call those supplier.

Angela: And then that has to be corrected. If you think about it, it's two fold. It's the, the quality hasn't been very good cause why was it not entered in the first place? But is it not under, in the first place? Because unfortunately there's been too much manual touching and we're all humans and we make mistakes as therefore can you reduce the number of steps by also automating it. So this is really ties in a lot with our efficiency principle. And the efficiency principle should not be seen as, gosh, it's only about cost. Actually. We can use innovation in, in, in how we drive efficiency. So it's really saying, how do I do things differently so I reduce the amount of time I need to work on some, on something such as work to get done so that I can free me up to actually see what is it that I need to do to respond to my consumer, which is the part about being fast because now I have time. I freed up time to be looking at what the consumer wants or what the, so

Molly: What's so interesting about what you're saying is that a lot of companies believe that they have to adopt a whole new set of operating principles in order to compete. What you're describing is using some of the same core Mars values and adding

Angela: Modern

Molly: Operations to them. So you're S you're maintaining the same core Mars five principles and then you've added another layer. And can you tell us a little bit about that, that other layer that you've added?

Angela: So if I think about the other layer let's go back to the, the, the essence of, we talk about that, the, how we want to run the business is always been guided by those five principles. So I, I agree with you Molly. We would never, we would never want to change that piece of it. I think what, what I'm saying though is the layer that I've thought that I've added is an ability for us to really look at how is the work getting done? Is this work actually driving value? Is it driving the growth? And if I can't answer that question, then it means I probably don't need that work to be done. Right. And I'm going to separate things for like compliance, right? I mean

Molly: I'm hearing this as sort of like a lot to do with the how sort of the, what are the principles have stayed the same, the how may have shifted a little bit.

Angela: Correct? Correct. So if I think about, so one of our principles is responsibility, right? I actually think it behooves all of our associates to look at and say, okay, how do I upscale myself? Right? So, and I, I have a good example of that. We have a, an associate who has been with the business for probably about 15 years. And one of the great things that she did is she taught herself how to do coding and completely automated the billing system for a third party that we, that we were utilizing. And so I look back and say, what made her do that is she looked at the five principles, right? The responsibility that she had was, Hey, I'm going to upskill myself. There's some new technology out there that I can utilize and I've been doing a piece of work here that are, that, you know what, I need to change that because I'm not providing a value like a, or I'm not providing an insight that's going to help the business run differently free up hours.

Angela: I'm going to talk a lot about productivity, right? The spring of hours so that our associates actually have the time to redirect themselves. Whether that means in, in doing more work. Whether that means that addressing a problem with the segment without even means, giving them time to learn a new skill. So that, that's where I think there's a, there's a, there's that tie in the the other, the other layer we've added in. I in particular would be we've, we've had much more of an external focus. So I think in the past we've tended to see ourselves as, or Mars and we've got great products, we've got great people. We'll figure it out. And I think that in today's world the complexity of it, you know, the volatility, the uncertainty of it has, has caused us now to look beyond our four walls and really establish true partnerships, true strategic partnerships, whether that's with customers, whether that's with with suppliers.

Angela: And, and, and again, this goes back from neutrality principle that says, how do I optimize the overall ecosystem? If I think about pet care, that should become from the moment that I have the puppy all the way to the moment that unfortunately, you know, my, my 17 year old, you know, Pat is no longer than with us. Right? So, so that, that whole ecosystem then you think about all the, all the folks that interact in there how do we actually optimize that? And again, back to the purpose though, with those through the lenses that I talked about earlier, social, human, natural and financial.

Peter: So Angela have you found that that shift from internal to external mindset, the, the realization that that needed to happen, did that create a lot of fear or has it really created kind of a new energy or is it probably, is it some mix of both?

Angela: I would say it's a mix of both. I mean, I'm a big believer that if something doesn't make you be uncomfortable, then you don't learn. Yeah. So actually fear should not always be seen as a bad thing. Like the body is set up that when there's fear, right, it does something. Right. And so I, I think I would say that yes, it is absolutely uncomfortable. I mean, I look at my own career at Mars, you know, I, I've been here I'm missing over 20 years. Right. And so then all of a sudden you start to say, okay, do I need to look at things in a different way? It's, it's not comfortable right now. Having said that, it's also really been reenergizing and rejuvenating because what I'm seeing also here is that, you know, no one seems to have like the silver bullet answer.

Angela: Right? So that's, that's the one thing I, I, I've certainly have come to the conclusion, I think we have to be also careful when we use the word digital, what it means. And you have to go back, what is the essence of the business that you're in and why are you in it and what are you trying to accomplish? And, and I think that today, at least while yes, there's confusion, I think if you're really clear about, about your purpose and who you're trying to serve what you have now in front of us. If it, I, if I go back to some of the, the, the digital behaviors as well. You know, not just the tools, but the, the mindset that says I'm using now the data. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm analyzing the data. I'm able to use a different methodology. And with a mindset of being agile a curiosity mindset.

Angela: I think it's really exciting. I have to say, I think for, for everyone, both the big companies, small companies, I think it creates a real opportunities for us to truly, I would say you know, drive value across the entire ecosystem. I know particularly in my area right now trade historically people have seen it as, Oh, it's all about cost. I would say Mars, global services, you know, cost. Everybody has to be focused and ensure that they're being cost conscious. But what it's actually opened up more so is why are we doing some of the things that we're doing in the organization? It is, it, is it, is it still relevant? Is it still driving value? What are some of the new things we should be doing? I, I go back to, you know, the, the driving of new capabilities, certainly we, we've driven some, some some new capabilities back into the, into the segment, just with the introduction of a lot of the of a digital mindset as an example. So

Molly: Angela, you and I were part of the same organization when we began to make the transformation from looking at internal services is on time, on budget functions to functions that also needed to continue to provide value. And so can you talk us through what that transformation has looked like? What it continues to look like? How you combine operational excellence with you driving.

Angela: Hmm. Yeah. so first off I'm going to say that in the spirit of agile, I would say we've gone through a lot of different sprints. The sprint stop test and learn to say, okay, what, what, what do we push? Right? And, and, and versus what do we pull? Cause you're right, when, when you were here with us you know, many of my conversations, where are you on budget and are you lowest cost? Certainly that conversation has changed to much more of let's look at the outcome that we're trying to achieve. And, and there's two areas that actually we're really focusing on is one is what does the associate experience. So if I look at right now, our HR side, yes, we've implemented add, centralized, we have, we have the we do a lot of processing of transactions and so forth.

Angela: But what we've also done is looked at and said, how do I make the application? Like, let's get an app on my mobile phone now so our associates can go in and do a lot of the transactions that were historically having to be done in a very cumbersome way, quite honestly, or having to involve a lot of people that had to kind of go through one email iteration to another to now they simply just update what they need to get done by using the mobile app. And, and that has been a tremendous change for us and it's been a locker because all of a sudden you hear people saying, this has made it easier for us. So, so that associate experience has, has been an area where we, we, we continue to make progress. I would say going forward, we absolutely are going to ensure that that continues to be one of our, our major areas of focus.

Molly: And I think because again, it's really interesting that you describe it as an associate experience. Cause I think that's also evolved. There's a lot of, I think modern place conversation around streamlining operations, you know, and you've placed a distinct value on experience, which is a different kind of a language.

Angela: Yeah. I would say, I would say that you have to do both. I mean, and when I say streamlining operations, we shouldn't actually see that as, as a bad thing because let's face it, you think about how work over the past 50 years has actually exhausted people. And I mean, Gallup will tell you that there's a lot of people are just engage, right? So I look at actually is I'm streamlining to have associates thrive in the workplace so that they could actually work more on analyzing the data. You know, and, and again, we have a perfect example of where we were looking at our outstanding accounts receivable balances that mostly would say, okay, is this something that, you know, it's like watching paint dry. Well, no, the account receivable balance all of a sudden by having automated the the, the cash collection of it, we had that our associates able to get into the details of, all right, why do I have an outstanding claim here?

Angela: And they were able to get with the sales person, they were able to get the customer. All of a sudden, you know, we find out where we're actually getting of our outstanding claims. 25% of them were not legitimate. And so we're going back to our customer and, and, and it's also been helpful for them because we're correcting some of the issues that they have in their system. And, and, and, and we're getting this money to go back and reinvest in the business. So that's makes it very exciting for our associates who are now really seeing the impact that I've found this money. I'm now, you know, with the sales person and now we can take that money and reinvested into driving for the business so that the person is in, is in Mars global not only has this great experience what they're doing, but they can see the value.

Angela: The person in the, in, in the segment that is using our services gets a great associate experience. And then they can look at how do I, how do I do better in what I'm doing? So I don't, I don't see the streamlining as one or the other. I actually see it that as you streamline, you actually will get a better associate experience. But I do focus it on that outcome. How do I ensure that that the all of associates across Mars, well, we'll have hours freed up so that they can do and focus on what they do best.

Peter: And is that why you called this last principle? The freedom principle? Is it, is, is the sense of it that it actually freed up, it frees you to do your best work to collaborate more effectively. Like what, what does that, what does that mean at, at Mars?

Angela: Yeah. So the freedom principle, it's an interesting one because many people will say it's the freedom to do what I want or the freedom. But it's not really the case. What freedom for us is the freedom to shape our future, right? It's the freedom to look at the longer term because we're not subjected to quarterly earning calls with the stock market, right? We can make some decisions. That may mean, you know, losing some money in the short term because we know where we need to go for the longterm. I would say where the tie in right now for me on freedom is the freedom up in going to value creation, right? So everything we do, we need, we look at it from the context of am I returning? So she, so for me, shareholder return at Mars, it goes back to those four buckets that I talked about on the purpose, right?

Angela: So the lens of social, human, natural, and financial. And we're also looking at it from am I creating value? And therefore when you think about it, the value creation has to be on outcome. It's not on the input, it's on the output. So what I always say to the rest of the segments, I tell you, I going back to the original imagery of where the spine for the segments is, you know, this, the spine will, will ensure that that body is strong for them to do the work. But don't tell me necessarily how I need to do the work. Right. But as long as that spine stays healthy, it can direct the rest of the body.

Peter: Yeah. Let me ask you about that as a, as a way to close the, there as, when I think of our listeners out there and there's some people in it, roles leading it roles. There are some people leading business roles in eCommerce or are in sales or in marketing. For the companies that are trying to figure out this sort of centralization of functions and and or empowerment of, as you talked about earlier, business units or even even regions or something like that. I can imagine as you through that transition and sort of created this spine that there were probably a lot of hard conversations about, you guys are going to hold us back. You're going to slow us down or you know, or you're saying you guys can't be the wild West out there anymore. Tell me a little bit, if you can just about as to our listeners as they think about these conversations of how to transform, what, what would be your how you would explore that topic internally and and, and how to know what the right path is for, for our company.

Angela: Right. so a couple of thoughts. First off just when you were describing saying you got it listeners and then you may have like business listeners. I just want to really be clear that to me the business is made up of all these different functions, including it. And I think that every function has the responsibility to be on the forefront. So so for example, I, I don't like the imagery about back office versus the front office. It's, it's one office, it's, it's one team, right? We're playing, we're playing whether you want to use soccer, hockey would ever play in the game, right? No one's going to be the, in the, in, in the spectators is cheering the team on. We're all part of it. And if you think about also from a sports analogy perspective there are a set of, of of rules, right?

Angela: You, you, you call it, you're off your offside, right? You can't just punch somebody in you, you get a penalty, right? So there's all these, these rules that come into play and why are they meant to be put in places so that you actually watch a great game? Because if, if everything was just a penalty, you have no game, right? You have a very long game and you have no players playing at the end. Right? so, so to me, I think it's, it's being very, very clear about what is your, what's, what's the goal? Like what, what are you trying to do? Why are you trying to do it? And then also being clear on where are you wanting to be different and then where are the areas that there is no competitive ad advantage in being different, but there is a competitive advantage and what I'd call running running the business to be at its best.

Peter: Yes. That, I mean that really resonates

Angela: If that helps.

Peter: No, it totally does. And I, and the, the sort of the spine of your argument throughout has really been about that focus of am I creating value? And, and I think what hopefully it, what it sounds like from you is that when you arrive at that shared vision of how does everyone's role contribute to value, then the silos can start to break down because you're not protecting a different outcome. You are all focused on the same outcome. Is that, is that a fair capture of it?

Angela: Absolutely. And I think the other part I would add is, is that in, in that vein of value capture, so creation and then making sure your capture, you need to make sure that you are rewarding the people who have been able to drive that value. And that's where I think you bust some of the silos because if you then have everybody with a clear mission of where we want to go and here's going to be what everyone will get out of that, it doesn't actually have to be money. Right? But I'm just talking about that there's a clear sense of we're all going to win at this. I, I think you're going to get that. And, and then the other thing I think is important to mention here is is this, there's something around choice, right? I think we have to be clear.

Angela: So whatever business you're in, whatever stage in maturity of a business you're in, I think we're all faced with choices. And I think the failure making a choice is in what creates I think that either the inefficiencies, attention and so forth, and it goes back to the, this, the street of agile. You can test a lots of different areas I call it. Like, you know, you can do lots of seeds, but then once you start to see a few of them germinate, you have to make the choice of taking those and then continuing to fertilize. If I can use that gardening analogy, you have to continue fertilizing. It have continued to grow so that eventually will will grow to being a tree or whatever and you have to then say the other seedlings that didn't mature, you have to, unfortunately you got to kill them or else you'll, you'll never, you'll never end up strengthening the few that have actually had those green shoots come up. And this is probably the hardest thing I think for a lot of people because you, you, you want to,

Peter: You're pouring your heart into it, right? Right. Yeah. And you pour your heart into envisioning and creating a product and what is going to do for your consumer and you describe it and bring it to market. And then to only have it be ego cause it's easy to spot the failures. It's probably somewhat easy to spot the, Oh my gosh, this is going to be, but the ones in between where you really have to make the call must be very heartbreaking.

Angela: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. and I think in creating, again, an environment where you can celebrate all, all the shoots that you've put out there but equally celebrating the ones that actually are gonna are going to grow. And, and so that's again, it's, it's, to me, leadership is about choices. And, and being very clear about not only what you're going to do but what you're not going to do. So so I think that this is, this is really where, where our journey has led us to today. You know, if you go back to simplifying, standardizing, automating, we had to make a choice. That's what we're going to focus on. And you know, you're going back to your point, am I blocking the business by standardizing? Actually, you free it up and I'll, I'll, I'll I'll say like my, my started, my famous reference to this is a democracy, right? A lot of people think well, you know, I, I can do whatever I want in a, in a democracy. While the reality is a democracy has a certain amount of, of, of rules around it. And if you don't follow those rules, you'll have anarchy. Can you explain that to my son? Angela, could you give him that speech?

Angela: It's not a democracy. When you have key actors forget democracy. You're military. Yeah.

Peter: Well certainly we can end on that point, which is I think that that inspiration of leadership, the way we work through this is, is leadership clarity, a common sense of purpose. And of course the metaphors of dog's hockey and trees can get us through anything. So Angela, thank you for being here, for sharing all those metaphors. Your, your vision and how you are implementing these principles. We really appreciate you sharing it with our audience.

Angela: Oh, well thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here and keep eating those M and. M's.

Peter: Oh, you can count on it. Send me some. No, I'm kidding. Angela, thank you again and and thanks for being with us. Well, that's it on our deep dive into digital transformation at Mars. If these are the kinds of strategic challenges that are on your mind in 2020, I want to encourage you to attend the upcoming digital shelf summit in Boston on May 20th check out the agenda@digitalshelfsummit.com slash register it's the only conference focused entirely on brand manufacturer leaders driving success on the digital shelf. Really hope you'll join us. In the meantime, follow us on the institutes LinkedIn page tweeted us at wind digital shelf, and as always, if our content is useful to you, please leave a review wherever you get your podcast. Thanks again for being part of our community.