103. How redefining boundaries drives performance, w/former Unilever CEO Paul Polman

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

Dec 7 2021 • 33 mins

When Paul Polman joined Unilever as CEO in 2009, the consumer goods company – home to 400-plus brands including Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s, and Vaseline – had been stagnated with years of lackluster performance. His famous turnaround of the company centered around his ability to redraw the boundaries of Unilever’s mission to emphasize sustainability and long-term growth. He’s a perfect example of why every leader should consistently reexamine the boundaries that limit their business – and be prepared to redraw them as you grow. By redrawing boundaries, you can reinvigorate your team with a new sense of power. As Polman says, “You cannot change people's behaviors if you only work on the purpose – and don’t change the boundaries around it that drive people's behavior.”

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