Global Chief Communications Officer
YUM! Brands, Inc.
Jerilan Greene has a unique understanding of what makes people and organizations tick. “We’re more the same than we are different. There’s tremendous diversity if you look at people externally, and then there’s tremendous diversity inside people. As someone that’s leading a team of people, you want to try to understand how people are the same and different in terms of the strengths that they bring to the table.”
The global chief communications officer of Yum! Brands, Inc. will be participating in a panel discussion, The Power of You, on Thursday, May 3, at 11 a.m.
Big changes came to Yum! Brands, Inc. when, in 2015, they made the decision to spin off their China unit as its own publicly traded company. At the same time, they were working to refocus their growth strategy as a global franchisor and strengthen the brand relevance of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in 135+ countries and territories around the world.
“We launched a process to begin transforming the mindset of our leaders and employees to understand the need for change and help us co-create how we would be a franchisor in the future. Lots of diverse perspectives went into figuring out how we would move forward.”
Making a successful strategic shift meant listening to voices from each brand and every key function from Finance, Information Technology and Legal to HR, Marketing, Communications and Operations. That listening was key, Greene said, in “articulating the kind of company that we wanted to be.”
”It’s a requirement for leaders and communicators in today’s world to understand, reconcile and make the most of diverse perspectives,” she said. “My experience doing this really helped me work with our leadership team to rearticulate who we wanted to be. We now have a new vision, a new mission, a new set of values, and a new set of growth priorities that are the framework for how each of our brands are building their businesses into the future, which is now even influencing how we approach inclusion and diversity.”
On a macro level, that strategy was key in Greene’s role as architect of the positioning of Yum! Brands’ transformation plan, messaging and global communications. However, the process of driving change isn’t only applicable on a global scale. Greene coaches a team of 30 and mentors and uplifts other employees to drive change in their piece of the company. Outside work, she also works as a leadership and life coach with individuals, helping people assess their strengths and maximize their personal potential.
“A lot of people believe that wherever they are is fixed. I believe that by understanding more about how you view the world, how you’re showing up, and what your true strengths are, that you can lean into that and grow as an individual, as a leader. Transforming your potential is core to how I coach people.”
“You may decide to do something that’s far afield from where you are and you have a faith or a hope that you can get there, but you have to figure out a plan. It will require knowing what tools you have at your disposal: ones that you were born with, ones that you cultivated through your work or life experience, or ones that you went and developed. Transforming your potential is an absolute possibility. You just have to know yourself and grow yourself.”
Greene said, “What excites me most about the Derby Diversity Business Summit is that a group of smart, passionate people are building relationships with one another, but also advancing big ideas. That’s always a formula for success.”