October 4,, 2011

Making HR the Major Driver of Organizational Innovation Arun Leslie George
13th annual Thought Leaders Retreat, SHRM Chicago



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Merger of many corporate cultures – 224 / 50 / 21 Major businesses include Fertilisers, Specialty Nutrients, Crop Protection and Retail Revenues: US$ 2 billions ROE in 09-10: 46%

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India’s 3rd fastest growing company in 2010-11
Over 7,000 employees in 509 locations Ranked among the Top 10 Greenest companies in India by TERI. Winner of several International and National awards in the areas of HR Excellence, Innovation, People Engagement, Communication, Environment Protection, Energy Conservation, etc Top 20 Best Employers to work for by MERCER-TNS Business Today.


The Context


The Context
Rapid growth and a series of M&A’s Set itself the target of doubling revenues every 3 years Strong cash reserves and almost debt free Risk of Size, Age and Success pulling Coromandel towards stability

Pipeline of ideas not commensurate with investment potential
Turbulent environment
Slow down in growth of the world economy Government regulations


Inflation and volatility in commodity prices


The debate!
Innovation journey is risky in turbulent Leaner, meaner, or more tightly run times; we have a good thing going – companies may temporarily keep the lets not make big changes ship afloat, but just as you cannot shrink a company in order to grow it Let us continue to focus on areas where we are successful Look at our past failures; lets think continuous improvement The keys to past success may also be the seeds of future failure Real success in the future will lie with those who can innovate and tap into the power of creativity. What kind of innovation journey should we pursue?

Is Innovation about throwing money and praying?

Can a good innovation program reduce Through the Innovation Program can the risk and increase the chances of we double revenues every 3 years success?


Innovation @


Innovation @ Coromandel
Launch Innovation Readiness Assessment

Organize Innovation Roadmap workshop Adopt Frame Train Venturing Process Innovation Structure Identified employees as i-Leads / innovation styles
i-Council i-Sponsors i-Leads i-Teams

Context for Innovation

Facilitate Ideas of individuals/team by i-Leads Review Approve Conduct Decide Ideas by i-Sponsor IC chairman for i-Pitch i-Pitch day – teams present 90 days Plan to IC IC makes decision & informs teams

Launch New Business

Execution of Strategic Plans


90 days plan by i-teams and present findings
Additional 90 days to approved i-teams

Deep Dive in to idea Business Plan (BP)

Role of HR - what has HR done?


Role of HR - what has HR done?

Set Context
• Pushed the need for an innovation program • Identified the potential partners for innovation program • Change mindsets • Carried out extensive communication and training across org.

Build an innovation culture
• Attracting, identifying and retaining people with innovation orientation • Redefining leadership framework to include innovation • Reward & Recognize innovators • Capabilities building • Openness to new ideas • Reduce fear of failure • Complying to challenging

Align Innovation to Business Goals
• Facilitated collaboration • Deployed right process & structure • Part of 3+1+3 Business Plan • Innovation part of Balanced Scorecard and incentives • Innovation part of competency framework



Where are we?
The Gate 4 ideas have an NPV of nearly a billion dollars EVP includes innovation. Improved employer branding.

More enthusiasm among people of innovation teams

More focused understanding of business by HR executives – net exporter of talent

Encourage “Fruitful Failures” . Failure is no more a bad word

“ATM -Any Time Meeting”: Leaders are open minded to new ideas & encourage


The Road Ahead

- Capabilities - Unique Identity

- Box 3 business to Box 2

- Policy Deployment Linkage

Handling new ventures
- Staffing

- Structure
- Reviews



Make innovation a strategic focus

Challenge orthodoxies and be open to innovation

Empower & support people to innovate

Get speed and momentum in to innovation

Set achievable targets & review closely

takeaways Set aggressive Vision to drive people towards innovation


For any clarification please contact: arunlgeorge@coromandel.murugappa.com


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