by Alford Beck, Jr., Ignite Louisville Class of 2014 (May – November 2014) –
“Give a Y, give me a U, give me a M…. what does that spell? …YUM!” YUM Brands, Inc. is definitely a company that has its own unique corporate culture. Focused around recognition, YUM prides itself on acknowledging the hard work of their associates and pushing them toward excellence. We started off our visit with an inspiring introduction from Chief People Office John Kurnick (LL ’09) who gave us his perspective on what it means to work for the company and their overall mission to feed the world.
Next we learned about YUM’s Achieving Breakthrough Results (ABR) tool kit that gave us insight on the tools and exercises Yum uses to motivate employees to be successful. I truly enjoyed the “X3 Ching” exercise because it gave me the opportunity to learn more about my teammate Stephanie Wesley. We were able to talk and share information that we otherwise may not have. The same can be said for the “Schedule Thinking Time” tool as well. Often we become so focused on our tasks that we forget to take time to ourselves to just think. I will definitely be taking time twice a week from now on to just think and plan my ideas/events for the week.
After our lunch break, which lived up to the company’s namesake…YUM (pun intended), we listened to Jason Marker’s leadership story. Jason, general manager of KFC US, candidly shared details of his professional career and the trials and tribulations he experienced. One thing he said that really spoke to me was that you have to have “intellectual horsepower and cultural fit as it relates to your role in your company. It’s important to find the right fit within your organization, because if you do not love what you do, you need to get out of it.” Those are words I’ll remember throughout my career.
Overall I truly enjoyed the visit to YUM Brands. It was a pleasure to hear the stories from leaders within the organization, to learn about their ABR tools and about the work they do locally and worldwide through the YUM! Brands Foundation. I can’t wait to see what next month’s program day has in store.