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VIDEO: In Conversation with PepsiCo’s Mehmood Khan: Ideating and Innovating Better and Faster with the Right Leadership Ecosystem

Posted by Kevin Pang on May 7, 2015 11:28:51 AM

13 minutes, 55 seconds

Dr. Mehmood Khan, Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, Global Research and Development at PepsiCo, explained to us the excitement and challenges facing many companies today. For Pepsi, there is huge excitement in terms of global population growth set to increase the number of consumers by 2 billion in 2050. To better access this growth, the company is addressing the challenge of increasing scarcity of resources in order to meet this demand while also responding to increasing consumer diversity of demand, urbanization, and consumer connectedness.

Mehmood warns us that, contrary to the past, meeting the needs of scarcity -- whether water, agriculture, energy, or managerial talent -- is no longer a single variable activity, but one that requires multivariate optimization. Companies must learn to learn, adapt, and innovate with increasing speed and coordination. Yet, Mehmood hastens to inform us, innovation and ideation is not a linear, controllable process.

So how can companies ideate and innovate in order to learn and adapt better and faster? In this one-on-one conversation, Mehmood speaks to us about creating a leadership ecosystem; one that balances internal institutional “know how” with outside perspective, knowledge, and technologies; and yet one with clear channels and directions. As an example of how disparate discipline collaboration can result in significant synergy, Mehmood illustrates how computer modelers from the oil and gas industry helped PepsiCo’s food scientists redesign a core process for better capex ROI.