Discipline Fosters Creativity. Nick Shreiber Talks about Innovation with Prof. Paddy Miller


To build a strong culture of innovation in the leading firm Tetra Pak, company leaders first had to disprove the widely accepted idea that "you can't put a straight jacket on creativity," explains former CEO Nick Shreiber in this interview with IESE Prof. Paddy Miller. Convincing innovation executives that disciplined processes would actually boost creativity was a hard sell, he says.

Yet disciplined process result in more ideas, better prioritization and a greater success ratio in the market. Shreiber also discusses how Tetra Pak draws ideas from managers and customers around the globe, while maintaining strong central processes. The matrix organization structure continues to work for the company because it allows employees who manage multiple product lines and geographies to communicate and reap other diverse benefits.

"To be successful, you need a balance between central processes and empowering the field, which is a bit of a paradox, but it can be achieved," he says.