From an Entrepreneur to a Matrix Organization by Shinyoung Lyu

LS International

What is it like to come back to a “job” in RB after having your own business? I get that question sometimes. In case you’re wondering as well, here’s my short answer: it’s not that different!

Of course – there’s more than that. The obvious & fundamental difference in my situation is the number of decision makers. Back in my own home-office, the decision maker was ultimately just me. That’s simply not true for a FTSE company with 40,000 employees worldwide.

Then why is it not too different? It’s because of RB’s unique entrepreneurial culture. In RB we say we have FREEDOM TO SUCCEED. Go for it. Make it happen. Everyone is empowered to shape their plans and create success. It’s up to you.

In my current role as global innovation director for E-business, this attitude and mindset are ever more important. I would say it is even critical. Many things are new to the organization, we are growing so fast and the market is changing at rapid rate.

So how do I go about building innovation in this uncertainty and lightning speed of change? You can guess. It starts with entrepreneurship: vision, extreme focus, passion, and persistence. I’d add partnership to that. It is an important element both for entrepreneurs and “intreprenuers” (a corporate entrepreneur). The world is evolving faster than one’s current expertise and, no one can do it alone. I was then and am now building my network and collaborating for meaningful success.

In that sense, my transition as an entrepreneur to a corporate director has been a smooth one. (By the way, so it was from a Senior manager to an entrepreneur prior to that.) The journey has also been as challenging, requires just as much energy and patience, too.

So how about the reward? The reward I got from doing my own business came from one-to-one interaction with my customers and the sense of creating something under my own vision.

Luckily, in RB we have a collective vision that I personally relate to. We are here to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world. Under this umbrella, I and we as a team have the mandate to deliver healthier and sustainable e-commerce solutions. I still speak to our consumers both online and in real world. All of these contribute to the double-digit growth of our E-Business. We are outperforming the market growth. Looking at the results and ever-expanding e-Business unit, I feel my endeavor is rewarded.

The thing is – it is not so black and white in this era. There are multiple ex- or current entrepreneur colleagues in RB. This environment inspires me to be more entrepreneurial and to become a better entrepreneur.

So, are you thinking of hiring a current entrepreneur? I think it is a great idea. Thinking of joining a company after an entrepreneurial effort? Choose for the culture of the company. Thinking of how to create more meaningful reward in your career? You have FREEDOM TO SUCCEED. Be bold and don’t worry too much.


Shinyoung Lyu is a Global Innovation Director for eBusiness in RB. In her current role, her mission is to help RB’s renown brands such as Finish, Lysol, Airwick etc. bring powerful digital innovation and to build and launch new e-commerce brands.

Prior to joining RB, she set up and ran her own company in London, promoting drinking experience that are “free from empty calories, hangover and peer pressure”.

In the past 11 years Shinyoung has worked across the globe in various marketing functions with a strong focus on digital marketing, innovation and e-commerce. Curious and creative, she loves to come up with solutions that add meaning and happiness in the world.