Focus on behaviour during IBP meeting at Mondelēz

“It’s important to take note of other people’s behaviour during a meeting,” says Alex Elberg, Business Operations Director at Mondelēz International. At SCL Europe in Berlin, Germany, from 25-27 June 2013, he held an insightful presentation on how 1,500 stakeholders determine the success of the company’s decision-making.

During its global roll-out of Integrated Business Planning (IBP), Mondelēz International, known for its A-brands including Toblerone, Cadbury, Milka, Côte D’or and Lu, is receiving support from Oliver Wight. “IBP is about people. The consultants from Oliver Wight also talk in terms of people and behaviour – that accounts for 80 percent of the success factor,” comments Elberg. He explains that behaviour is usually associated with people wanting others to do something in a certain way and then punishing them if they don’t behave. But IBP is all about the holistic approach, about group dynamics: interest in each other’s business and shared responsibilities.

Punishment

Elberg observes people during a meeting: whether they are well prepared and how they behave. “Telling it like it is seems to be the hardest thing to do. But if you punish people for their honesty, they will no longer be prepared to tell you how things really are. So be open and truthful, realistic and give feedback. Listen actively and show that you understand what the other person is saying. If you’re not happy with a certain decision, show it and say so during the meeting.”

Since the roll-out, the quality of decision-making within Mondelēz International has improved. Elberg: “We make three to four key decisions per meeting, and we don’t leave the room until we’ve done so.” The manufacturer has developed an app which lists for each meeting the organiser’s aim, who is present and a detailed description of the scope.