IdeaScale Nation

Clorox: The Value Comes From Doing

September 25, 2019 IdeaScale Season 1 Episode 6
IdeaScale Nation
Clorox: The Value Comes From Doing
Chapters
IdeaScale Nation
Clorox: The Value Comes From Doing
Sep 25, 2019 Season 1 Episode 6
IdeaScale

In this conversation about optimism, curiosity, resilience, data and action, we speak to Navin Kunde. Dr. Navin Kunde currently leads the Open Innovation group at The Clorox Company, a US-based consumer goods company in the Fortune 500.

The Open Innovation group enables business leaders and innovation teams to make better decisions by helping them access and synthesize data, learn from external experts, and build partnerships. Navin has delivered over 500 speaking engagements and workshop presentations to senior executives and their staff across North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

Before joining Clorox, Navin spent seven years at The Corporate Executive Board in Washington DC, advising Global 1000 innovation and operations executives.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two daughters and has been known to have some of his best inspiration while thinking in a park outside even if he's being interrupted by wild turkeys.

Show Notes Transcript

In this conversation about optimism, curiosity, resilience, data and action, we speak to Navin Kunde. Dr. Navin Kunde currently leads the Open Innovation group at The Clorox Company, a US-based consumer goods company in the Fortune 500.

The Open Innovation group enables business leaders and innovation teams to make better decisions by helping them access and synthesize data, learn from external experts, and build partnerships. Navin has delivered over 500 speaking engagements and workshop presentations to senior executives and their staff across North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

Before joining Clorox, Navin spent seven years at The Corporate Executive Board in Washington DC, advising Global 1000 innovation and operations executives.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two daughters and has been known to have some of his best inspiration while thinking in a park outside even if he's being interrupted by wild turkeys.

Navin Kunde:

It is an evolution of how we do open innovation. When I joined we were sort of transitioning from using open innovation for doing to using open innovation for learning-before-doing or let's learn what's happening outside before we do things in. When you are in the learning mode , you can learn from suppliers, you can learn from universities, you can learn from startups, you can learn from academic editors or competitors of course. And it is getting to the point of "are we even asking the right questions?"

Jessica Day:

Welcome to our IdeaScale nation podcast where we're talking to change makers, innovation program leaders, futurists and other intrepreneurs. This week we've invited Navin Kunde who manages Clorox's open innovation department. This team runs innovation challenges at the company and I'm sure most of you familiar, but for those of you that aren't, Clorox is a multinational brand with hundreds of products. So you're probably familiar with some of them already: Clorox, Burt's bees, hidden valley, fresh step Glad, pine Sol and one of the things that I found interesting when I was researching for this podcast is more than 80% of the company's sales are generated from products that hold number one or number two spots for market share positions in their category. But thing that I personally love most about Clorox as a company is their commitment to sustainability. It's not always typical of a products company. The Clorox open innovation team's mission is to enable better decisions that help the business consumer, society, and planet. So the team's role is to learn and effectively connect internal Clorox teams to the outside world. And they do that through data networks, partnerships. And for an organization with over 8,000 employees, we're going to find out how Navin leads this charge today and how other innovation leaders can adopt some of his techniques and bring it into their own innovation programs. So first off, thank you for joining Navin. Could you tell us a little bit about your career path? You started out in product, but how did you end up in innovation?

Navin Kunde:

Good question. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm really excited to be a part of this podcast and Jessica and team, this is a beautiful facility over here in Berkeley and I can see the ocean and it's awesome here, so thanks for having me. I started out , you know, obviously nobody starts out saying they'll end up in innovation. You kind of just eventually end up there. I'm an engineer by training. I did my bachelor's in India and then I came here to go to graduate school and my original plan was to sort of stay in academia. I love teaching, I love kind of a , you know, framing things and solving problems. But I realized I also had a knack for getting out of the lab and connecting with people and just finding out what made them tick or why they did what they did. And so I decided to work in industry for a few years after my phd and I really liked it. And very soon they pulled me out of the lab and sent me off on a bunch of cross functional projects because I could communicate and I just was connecting with people. And after a few years of doing that at Cessna, I was working in the aerospace industry; 911 happened and I realized there was a lot more than my deep technical stuff that mattered. And I took a step back. And I taught in a community college for a few months, j ust got a sense for the world really. And decided to go to business school and just b roaden myself. And coming out of business school, I decided to stay very general. I didn't want to go and be a W all Street trader or be a marketer or do something super deep. I wanted to stay as an engineer, as an operations person, but broad. And eventually that took me to a corporate executive board where I worked for a few years as an executive advisor to operations and innovation executives. And then the opportunity came up to work at my, one of my favorite clients. That was Clorox , believe it or not. And Clorox is one of the companies that I had in my little black book as one of those that was both smart and nice. There's a lot of companies that are nice but not that smart and vice versa. And I always wanted to work for one that was both. And so I was in the Bay Area for personal reasons my wife is from the bay area. And when I decided to switch out of consulting and get a life, I approached Clorox and lo and behold, they had an open innovation position and I love open innovation. It's , it's, it aligns with where I, what I believe in. So that's where I ended up. I pretty much went and we wrote my own job description, kind of ended up on the team, so I'm still there. It wasn't a new discipline, but they were sort of thinking of morphing it. They were morphing it from something called technology brokerage, which was very much about just working with suppliers to something much more broad. And I had been working with their team as they were going through that journey as a consultant. I was working with them. And then when I joined the team, I became a part of that journey and I was able to steer it and be part of that in the trenches in a way that was very satisfying and I'm still there. And now, recently I am now leading the team. I switched over to the management role so I can now guide in a stronger way than just being influencing from the side. So it's very satisfying.

Jessica Day:

It's so interesting. So you come out of school and you think, I'm going to stay in academia. And so you lean into the research side of things, eventually go into teaching, and then you're in this advisory role. All of those things feed really well, I think into an innovation role because you like the teaching, the partnerships, the research that goes into this role. So what was it like when you first joined the open innovation team? How is it different than your previous positions?

Navin Kunde:

It was very refreshing. You know , previously when I worked in R&D back in the 90s, it was very closed. It was a , you know, in the aerospace and defense industry especially, it was very much like, what do we have protecting the IP? Just being very close to , you know, very competitive and not very open to what's happening outside your four walls. What I found at Clorox and, of course, in the intervening 10 or 12 years, t here was a lot of change that had happened and I was n ow in the CPG industry, which is a lot faster and you have to be open to what's happening outside. But I saw an element of curiosity and humility that I really liked. And that's one of the reasons I originally liked the company to begin with was because they, they had that humility about them. The " aw shucks. I don't know any better. Let's see what other people are doing" kind of mindset. And , you know, it's, it's, there's a saying which is it's not about thinking of yourself less, it's thinking less of yourself. So that's kind of what I really liked about that humble and curious mindset that I saw. So it was very refreshing. They were very open to what's happening outside the four walls and I fit right in. And I kind of knew that going in. I'd been working with these guys for a few years, so it was not a surprise.

Jessica Day:

You get to sort of test drive what it would be like at that company.

Navin Kunde:

Right . That's the nice thing about being a consultant. I think any consultant who's a, you eventually wants to land somewhere and have a work life balance.

Jessica Day:

Well it's interesting too , the , the curiosity and humility being some of the key aspects of what drew you to that program I was reading about intrepreneurs that curiosity is one of those like what's considered a softer skill that's actually, you know , intrinsic to a really good intrepreneur and see we're able to get that feeling even from outside the company from them is pretty impressive.

Navin Kunde:

Yes. Yes. And you know, the thing is you don't always get humility in the groups in a company that have curiosity. So you, when I was in R& D before, there was a lot of curiosity, but there was not much humility. There was a lot of like ours is the best way. Whereas there are other groups that have humility that not have a lot of curiosity about what's happening outside. So that combination is very powerful. And then on top of that, one thing I learned was you have to have resilience because a lot of those ideas don't go anywhere. Short term thinking versus his longterm thinking. And it's necessary because you've got to run today's business y , y and plowing the fields and planting the seeds for tomorrow. But you need to be able to bounce back and have that longterm mindset. You won't get the short term rewards that everybody else around you is carrying . If you have the longterm mindset, you're going to do really well.

Jessica Day:

Well, so one of the other interesting things I think is you've been at Clorox for awhile now. But they already had an open innovation discipline, which I don't think is characteristic of all the CPG companies out there. So, but now you've been with them awhile . What's changed since you joined?

Navin Kunde:

What's changed is an evolution of how we do open innovation. So when I joined, we were sort of transitioning from doing, using open innovation for doing, to using open innovation for learning before doing so if you think about, you know, more, we w ere more execution focused and using open innovation supplier partners, et Cetera to do things. And then we w ere now about let's learn what's happening outside before we do things. And when y ou a re in the learning m ode, you can learn from suppliers, you can learn from universities, you can learn from startups, you can learn from academics, competitors of course. And so that learning before doing mindset was a shift. And now we are again doing a shift and now you hear that a lot of companies are doing it. You hear the term ecosystems and, you know, innovation ecosystems and so on. It's become more and more accepted, but it was very new when we , we were doing it back about 10 years ago. Now the shift is more towards data analytics and it is getting to the point of are we even asking the right questions? Where does the data telling us that is different from what I got is telling us or what we want to do as a business maybe different from what everybody else is doing. So being more data centric then learning, then doing so kind of going further upstream if you will. Sort of the frame up I am putting, and I actually shared that with Henry Chesborough couple of months ago and he really liked that framework, this ever expanding world and, and like sort of being open to the all the, all the data that's out there making sense of the data, connecting across silos. I want to almost correct . Sense- making before learning, before doing. So that's sort of how, how I have it in my own head and that's the shift we are making now is let's make sense of what's going on out there. Then learn in some of those areas and then do as needed because there's too much to learn. Otherwise you don't, it's hard to focus.

Jessica Day:

Right. It makes, I'm sure you've heard this quote before, we have a, we do a workshop on how to pick the right problems to solve, but one of our favorite quotes is Albert Einstein saying, "if I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and only five minutes thinking about the solution." I think for that reason, there's only so much you can do. You have to make sure that you're approaching it from the right direction that it has meaning for you. And so that's interesting that, is that something that you've led or a sea change that you felt?

Navin Kunde:

It's something that I felt and I'm seeing outside and we are reacting to it and we are building the capabilities to be able to take advantage of it. And so then leading it internally is what I'm doing and driving my team in that direction while, while holding onto the other stuff. You kind of abandoned the doing and the learning. Yep . You're just building on that foundation because the value eventually comes from doing, you can't be in analysis paralysis, land framing up the problem all the time or, or in learning more the entire time you have to eventually translate to doing. But you know , there's another saying since we are throwing out sayings today by Sun Tzu, which I think it's attributed to him , which says , you need to have a strategy that basically what it means is like he says, "strategy without tactics is the slowest road to victory tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." And so it really gets to, you eventually need to have a strategy, but you need to make sure that you are climbing the right wall instead of just executing on it.

Jessica Day:

So, so before it was just like, you know, like what idea can we move on next? But now, now there's a lot more room for reflection first and then that doing,

Navin Kunde:

That's right. That's right. Before it was we , at least that's how open innovation as we was used, I think there was always a reflection and the strategies were always formed, but open innovation was not involved in those. Yeah. So the external part of it was missing. So in the beginning, before I even came on board, open innovation technology brokerage we used to call it back then was used in the execution part. We don't need to execute everything, let's work with others then it went to, we don't need to have all the answers. Let's learn from others before executing. Right now it's going to, we don't need to have all the data. We need to learn how to manage the data, connect the dots between the data, make sense of all that data, then learn where needed then go to does make sense. So open innovation used in this context is what I'm pointing out

Jessica Day:

and I, and I'm glad you're leading into the data as it's , one of the things that you know, you measure impact and that's probably one of the data points that you're looking at too . And that's something that all of our customers want to get better at. So how are you doing that? Are you, how are you measuring innovation and how has , has that changed over time? Is that part of the shift as well?

Navin Kunde:

You know , measuring impact is, is hard, but it's necessary, you know, like what , what's that? Yeah, not all that matters can be measured. Not all that can be measured matters, right? There's another saying. But what we are doing, it's a very crude way, but it's effective. We are making one pagers of every project that we are working on. So I don't want folks on our team to be activity focused. We need to be impact focused. So if there are 10 activities that are needed to make the project successful and impactful, then do those 10 don't stop at six or don't do 14 because you're measured on activity and do the right 10 activities. Or if it's only two needed, don't waste your time on the remaining eight activities. So we are, we, we figured out what it is that we are trying to do before just rushing headlong and doing it and we are capturing all that in a single page. And if you can't express that in a single page, then that's a problem. And we are even at my ultimate goal is to get to a point when some people on the team are doing it well, is do a 32nd pitch. Like, can you express in 30 seconds what you, what this was all about. And some people can and other people tend to ramble or get distracted like I am in this interview. But that's part of being the innovator.

Jessica Day:

Is that like part of the training that you give to, to help people better articulate, you know, a pitch or value?

Navin Kunde:

I , I don't know if I'm the right person to train that. We , we, I recognize that that's needed. So we find that people who can come and help train that or tell stories or et cetera. But I, I'm not the right person to train, but I can see that that's needed,

Jessica Day:

Right? I mean, communications continues to be a part of the innovation and particularly the open innovation space.

Navin Kunde:

That's what I do. You need to be able to tell a story. You know, even when I talked earlier about data, you see all this data, but the data tells a story. If you can't tell a story from that data, there's no point. It's just a bunch of data. And if you just throw the data at somebody, they won't be able to, they will make up their own story. So you have to tell the story. If you're immersed deep in the data and then you need to be able to influence the decision makers with that story that you are seeing in that data. So you cannot shy away telling that story to the people who can make the decisions. So don't steal the story to people who have no impact on the direction of the company. Have the courage to go tell that story to the right folks within the company. And that's not always easy to access. And those are not always easy decisions to access or influence. So you have to combine whatever we are doing with storytelling , which requires synthesis and then you have to influence. So there are these soft elements that come in. Yeah, I talk about data, but if you don't combine the, the machine with the mind and the human, you , you're leaving a bunch on the table,

Jessica Day:

Right. You need to give a narrative to give that information shape. Yes. Makes Sense. And you know, I was gonna ask you this question later, but you brought in this need to express to leadership something in the form of story or you know, using that data. So have you ever had to argue or make a case to leadership in order to bring a good idea forward and how, how'd that go?

Navin Kunde:

I wouldn't say argue. We don't argue much. We, we, we discuss passionately and we bring different points of view and options to the table. You know, our culture and one of the things I love about the company I work for, Clorox is we are an input driven culture. So they seek input from everyone. It's not consensus driven. It's not like everybody has to be on the same page. We can all be in different places. But then we commit once we decide this is the direction everybody's going into, but everybody's input is sock and it's very inclusive. And you know, we have everybody talks about inclusion and diversity nowadays, but what's the point of having a bunch of diversity if you're not including those people in the conversation? Right? So the inclusiveness, the input culture is very valuable. So you are allowed to bring that external input, which may be different than everybody else at the table has and that's respected and heard , which I love. So when there is a different point of view, we will bring that to the table. Sometimes I will use our team. We will go find the right external expert who can express that in a better way than we can bring that to the table, that person to the table because you know, you just kind of take what they said and put it in a PowerPoint and share it when you can actually engage that person a nd having that conversation. Because if the conversation goes beyond, then they can have that discussion in a much more organic way than we can just saying, oh, I didn't ask that question. Let me go back and talk to him. That's j ust too slow and, and it doesn't work as well.

Jessica Day:

So you don't kick the door down and say, "listen to m", you'll match. Make them with the people that are going to have the most meaningful information.

Navin Kunde:

Absolutely. Because that is the right thing for the business. They need to hear these different points of view and then they decide to go left when this person is saying you should have gone right. Or You may think about going right. At least they've heard it. And made a balanced decision and a choice. What we don't want is this culture of ignorance where ignorance is bliss, right? Like I never heard about that, so I'm protected and I can go back and say, well, I didn't know about that , that other options. So I went left. No, we're going to make sure that you know about the other option. And then you can consider that along with everything else. And then later if you find that going left was the wrong choice, you can quickly back up and go right instead. And so that's sort of what we are trying to bring to the outside because you could have these echo chamber effects. You see that in society nowadays. You see that in politics. You see that everywhere.

Jessica Day:

I think that's one of the things that I liked when I was reading about you and your team that I loved that your purview is to enable better decisions. I mean that , that, that's really kind of where the heart of innovation lies sometimes is the decisions that are made. And so you guys have to make sure that those are informed decisions. That's great. And well rounded decisions. One of the things that I love that you said when we were at a conference once was that, you know , "people don't care about your solution, they care about their problems." And I think that that customer empathy is definitely like something you need to keep at the heart of innovation. So how do you bring that into the process? Is it just sitting near your customers that you said or you have other practices that you follow for that,

Navin Kunde:

You know sitting near customers is one thing that we do. So I encourage, you know, for example, if I have the person who's supporting the Brita Business Unit or the foods business unit, I encourage them to be co located with those folks. So that they are, you know, building those connections there , you know, sharing a coffee maker and run into each other in. There's some research which shows that you have to be 90 feet away from somebody to have the personal interaction. If it's further than that, people will, it's 92 feet or something like that. Then if it's beyond that, you will pick up a phone or send a text or a message. So you need those human collisions. The other tech tactic that I'm trying, which is something that I've, you know, I've had these lists of things that I've always had in my mind. I, that's something that I've made an impression on me many years ago and you know, you say, you know, one day when I grow up, I'll do this. Right? And one of the things when I was at Cessna - one of the things the company used to do in assessment makes business jets and , you know, mixed our single engine aircraft. And one of the reasons I decided to go to Kansas and work there was I wanted to learn how to fly and , and so on. But one of the things they always did was bringing the happiest and the least happy customer to talk to the entire company on an annual during the annual meeting. And I loved that. So on the one hand you have this person who's amazing is they're happy and they're like, I love this, I love that. And everything went smoothly. And then you have the other person. It was a nightmare, right? He talks about how he was up in the air with his four year old and his wife and this place started beeping and this didn't work and that didn't work in, he almost lost his family. And, and it's, it's heart wrenching and you go, wow, you know, I better be like on top of my game when it comes to making my aircraft and making sure that drawing is done perfectly and making sure that people are not rushing products to the line. You know, just to get through part because safety is so important and so on. You hear that unhappy customer. And that's one thing that I'm trying to do is as I interview a lot of our customers, I listen for those people who say, why do I need you guys? You didn't do that for me. Or , you know the first instinct is you kind of, you know, nobody likes to be criticized or you know, not understood. But I try my best to listen and what I tried to do is invite them to come speak to us about what is not working. Yeah. And I almost see that as a future customer B. Cause if I can get that person who cares enough to criticize us, to talk to us about what's not working, that can be my future customer. I can, I can actually help them in ways that otherwise we are not helping all the happy customers we are already serving today. Right. What's the unhappy customer? Obviously if they were so unhappy and they had somebody else , they would've gone to somebody else, but they're still with us. And that's the opportunity to innovate and improve.

Jessica Day:

That's kind of part of the culture of humility to that. That says, I want to here where we don't meet up together.

Navin Kunde:

That's correct . And a curiosity about why they are unhappy. Right . So I think curiosity unlocks a lot. Yeah. When somebody is fighting with you or disagreeing with, you know, for whatever , it might be, I use curiosity as a means to have a conversation because even if I disagree with them, I'm still curious about why they think that way. What life experiences led them to that point of view. I lived in Kansas for many years. I, I, I met people on both sides of the political divide, moved to Washington, lived in New York, I lived all over the place. I've been to every state except North Dakota, I think. And it's , it's, you see people across the country and there is no dialogue because people are, people are not curious about why the other party is thinking the way.

Jessica Day:

Yeah . Maybe that's what's happening is a crisis of curiosity more than anything.

Navin Kunde:

I love that crisis of curiosity. That's right.

Jessica Day:

So let's talk about the people on your team that make this possible. Tell me about someone else in your team that you couldn't get your job done without their help and what makes them indispensable? Who are they?

Navin Kunde:

You know, I think you can't take any one name. I think everybody on my team is, is indispensable because they all are complimentary . We have seven people on our team and they support different business units and each of them has various, a different hat . Like there's this one lady who was in charge of all our tools. There's one lady who's, who's owning metrics. This is one gentleman who's pushing into data analytics. Another one whose building startup ecosystems, another person who's helping us cross pollinate somebody else who's taken on onboarding, somebody else who's passionate about knowledge management. It's all these things that they do in addition to their day jobs that makes them precious and each of them brings a different style. We do a lot of this Myers Briggs and we look at in all these personality things, we love doing that, but it's that diversity and making sure everybody's heard. I think I will have failed as a manager. If people stop sharing bad news with me or stop criticizing me. I am really sensitive to it. I love it when people go, that was dumb. Or why did you do it that way? Or you're telling us to make these one pages that are clean and look at the one you made that's got so much text in it, my eyes glaze over. I love that. So you know, everybody is important in la . A couple of months ago we did this a training session on synthesis cause I'm trying to push synthesis and influence as the next skills we need to build . And I gave each one on my team a little three d printed Yoda in the orange colors. We have the orange colors for the open innovation group. And I got it done from somebody on the east coast and we three d printed is finding your it as a , because that's sort of the symbol and for each person, I, I had something that they did that was very unique and different. It wasn't like a here's a Y oda for you and one for, you k now, it was like, this is why you deserve this and it's this idea of, of being powerful, yet humble, strong enough to be gentle. You know, having this pioneer yet influencer mindset, t hat in my mind, Yoda represents it. I think Yoda's cool

Jessica Day:

Yeah, he's a pretty good cultural touchstone to use that for it especially, yeah. For that, for that power and humility in the same package. That's right . If you can, could you tell me a story about a strategic partnership that led to some breakthrough innovation? How did you make sure that everyone in that process drive benefit?

Navin Kunde:

We spent some strategic partnerships overseas with an engineering partner. We , we looked at many engineering firms and we finally picked one that was able to do things for us fast and cheap. And we have maintained that relationship for several years. We've had some products go to market that came out of that early relationship. And I think that's something that is, you know, capability building is an under valued tool. Companies have to not just be project focused but capability focused. So only when there's a certain project at mine they go and build that capability. And then if that, the next project does a need or that capability sits there, you gotta be thoughtful about what capabilities you need. And that particular partnership was born from a desire to build a capability to rapidly prototype something quickly and cheaply. So if you think about it, you know, a lot of the early prototype ideas are going to fail, but, and eventually you're going to succeed, but most likely you're going to run out of time or money before you succeed. So if you have, if you have the ability to do something very quickly and cheaply, you can have a lot more cycles, if you will. Right before you run out of time and money, you can allow more shots on the Golden Rod, more shots on the goal . Yeah. So the had that mindset and we, we went and we, with that mindset, we found the right forms for that. I mean, if you go too cheap, then you're not going to get quality. So you got to stay at that edge of that cliff. And if you go too fast, you're going to leave some things on the table there. So you've got to stay on that edge of the cliff again. But when you find that right balance and the right partner, we built that relationship that helps us a lot. We've, we've taken things to market like at a 10th of the cost a 10th of the time and then it's given us a hundred times shots at goal and we get them at the 20th chartered goal. But you know, otherwise we would have not gotten there. So that's a strategic partnership that I can, I can point to a , it's an engineering form that we have a partnership with.

Jessica Day:

That's that capability building that you were talking about too. Right? You know, you need to figure out a way that you can be digital transformation thinking all the time. And so it, it's great that you're attaching that to culture. I feel like so many of our customers are trying to figure out how to embed some of those modes and methodologies into their culture.

Navin Kunde:

That's right. You know, the culture, you know, there's somebody said it takes seven years to build culture or something that suddenly to coordinate somewhere, a capabilities. It probably takes three or four years. Yeah . But if you have a culture that's open to what's coming next, yep . Then then you can keep embedding the next set of capabilities. Right. So they go hand in hand, the culture and the capabilities and there's always a tension there because you know, you're not saying abandon your existing capabilities. This is in addition to what you already have. And that's always hard because you know, we are trying to balance so many things and one thing that I always get excited by is this idea that the culture or whatever we are trying to do in our team will live long after we are gone. Yes. You know, back to the concept of humility. There are so people in corporate innovation that goes strutting around and they, you know, they, they feel that they have done this, they have done that, but not really. They are standing on the shoulders of all those people who built that company years and years ago. Right . It's the core of the company. You know, we make bleach, we make hidden valley ranch. We make some of these core products that pay our paychecks. And if those people hadn't built those businesses, we wouldn't be able to do what we do in the, in the center with open innovation and so on. So be humble. You know, it's not necessarily that you can take all these things and go somewhere else and be successful. You may not, so respect what you have, understand the constraints that they face, right. And at the same time be aware of the chaos of the external world and you need to Mattie , that chaos to the constraints and find a way through it. You, it's not one or the other. It's both. It's chaos and constraints. And that's what I see a lot of corporations struggling with. You have to maintain what you currently have while building the future. Startups don't have that limitation. They can just start from scratch. Yeah . Yeah . Legacy information. There's a great book, there's a great book I'm reading right now by Charlene Lee. She gave it to me last month at a conference in New York as a, you know, a pretty copy kind of thing. And, yeah, and one of the quotes in there made me laugh. It said, you know , God was able to you know build the world in seven days because he didn't have to worry about an install base. Right. So I love that. Yeah. You don't have your install base to worry about. You can start from scratch. Sorry . So you have, it's a lot harder to innovate in the corporate world, in an established company than it is when you have, you're starting with a blank sheet of paper,.

Jessica Day:

Well, we ask all of our guests of the guests on our podcast this question and we ask you what, what does the word innovation mean to you? Is it just a buzz word or does it inform your job? What do you, what does it mean?

Navin Kunde:

you know, innovation comes from the Latin word innovare which means into the new, so it's into the new, right? And you can say, okay, there's inventions. You are making something new, but innovation a s an invention brought to life and you're taking something that is accessible to the public, that makes the world better, that they can buy w here they want or they can use in some way that is useful to them. And then with that mindset you can apply all these other things. It has to be high q ualities a s a re sustainable, et Cetera, et cetera. But innovation is a tangible representation of a better way of doing things. It's not in s omebody's concept. So, you know, learn how to, Davinci might have drawn a diagram o f an, but the Wright brothers actually made that go to market. So innovation is making that a practical reality that then the world can use. And then it becomes like d oe. W hy, why didn't people think of this before? It seems so obvious in hindsight t hat as an invention feels like, o h, that's something w ay out there.

Jessica Day:

As we close up here, would you like to offer some advice to other first time open innovation managers?

Navin Kunde:

I think my biggest piece of advice would be don't self-censor self-edit yourself. To shoot for the moon, shoot for a very high bar and you will not most likely get there and that's a good thing, but you will achieve way more than you would have if you set your goals too low and then achieved it because then you don't know what you could have achieved. So just go ahead and set those stretch goals at, but then execute. So it's almost like you need to have that vision of where you are headed, but then what's the one thing that's going to get you there this month, next month, the month after that, next quarter, the quarter after that and so on. So it's that marrying of that longterm audacious vision of what's possible based on your imagination and what you read and talk to people with. But then what are the steps to get there and just start doing it. I don't stay in La , La land too long. Just start, just start doing it and and talk to other people. You will be able to inspire some, you are scared others and both of them are useful because the ones who inspire are going to come along with you on the journey and that's helpful. And the ones who are scared, we'll point out the 10 things that'll go wrong and that'll actually make you better. So our dream, that big dream and frame it up as best as you can and then share it and go for it. That would be my advice. Don't think small. Think big.

Jessica Day:

really interesting to hear how you guys are thinking about it. I'm really impressed with Clorox and , and they're working open innovation. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.

Navin Kunde:

Thank you for having me. Jessica.