Spotted on Stage: Friends and Partners Step Up to the Mic for Target’s Fall National Week Events

September 21, 2016 - Article reads in
Amy Cuddy, Gopi Kallayil, Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan speaking onstage

On Thursday, the streets of downtown Minneapolis were awash in red and khaki as team members from across the country converged for Target’s Fall National Meeting. The annual meeting is a time for our team to celebrate wins from the past year, reflect on the challenges, and rally together ahead of the holiday season. This year, the celebration took place over a full week of social activities, including interactive exhibits and other close encounters with our brands and products, plenty of face time with leaders, and even a company-wide volunteer event.

Among the week’s biggest highlights? Visits from several of Target’s distinguished friends and partners, who took the stage in front of thousands of our team members to share their wisdom on a range of topics relevant to our business. Check out a few of our special guest speakers:

Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan
Co-founders, The Honest Company

Rick Gomez, Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan talk onstage at the event

The talk: After a scary allergic reaction to a skin care product during her first pregnancy, Jessica teamed up with Christopher to create The Honest Company—a trustworthy brand of non-toxic, eco-friendly and beautiful products that are better for the environment, families and wallets—and launched it at Target in 2014. They joined Rick Gomez, Target’s senior vice president of Marketing, to share their story of building a mission-driven, guest-centric organization while developing products and services to close the gap in the ethical consumerism marketplace.

Quote to remember: “Parents today get a lot of advice, not just from their mom, but from doing their own research," Jessica told the crowd. "They go online, read blogs, talk to each other, ask each other what they’re going through, how they’re feeling. We wanted our brand to be a portfolio of trust; something remarkable and a conversation starter.”

For more about The Honest Company: Check out the full story on the brand’s website, and shop the collection in our stores or at

Beth Comstock
Vice Chair, General Electric

Mike McNamara and Beth Comstock sitting in seats onstage

The talk: As General Electric’s first female vice chair and one of Forbes’ most powerful women, Beth knows a lot about innovation and leading teams through change. She joined Target CIO Mike McNamara to discuss her company’s approach to building new businesses and products that get ahead of consumer needs, setting marketplace trends and shaking up the traditional portfolio and operating model through diversity of thought and approach.

Quote to remember: “Success requires a balance of focus and innovation—you have to deliver today, but also be planting the seeds for tomorrow. That’s why a strong team culture must grant permission—to try, to fail sometimes, and ultimately to keep taking things to the next stage.”

For more about Beth: Check out her full profile on the General Electric website.

David Novak
Former CEO and Chairman, Yum! Brands

David Novak stands behind a podium with arms outstretched

The talk: For David, recognizing others is a game-changing expression that can make the world a better place. He joined Target CEO Brian Cornell and Chief HR Officer Stephanie Lundquist to share his vision and tips for putting people first, no matter your level or position, and creating a team environment where everyone counts.

Quote to remember: “Recognition has the power to get people working together, and it’s the leader’s job to lift people up with positive energy.”

For more about David: Check out Who’s Your OGO?, his campaign dedicated to helping people recognize their greatest supporters, and pick up his book, “O Great One!: A Little Story About the Awesome Power of Recognition” at

Alan Mulally
Former CEO, Ford Motor Company

Alan Mullaly stands near a podium with bottled water

The talk: No stranger to change, Alan left his job at Boeing back in 2006 to join the struggling Ford Motor Company, eventually leading the team through one of the largest and most daunting corporate transformations in recent history. During the session, kicked off by Brian Cornell, Alan shared his take on the power of inspiring a “one team” mentality, having the courage to admit when there’s a problem to solve, and working towards a common goal.

Quote to remember: “The greatest source of innovation comes from deciding you’re going to exceed your customers’ expectations—do that and you unleash creativity all across the company.”

For more about Alan: Read his profile on Ford’s website, or check out the book, “An American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company.”

Gopi Kallayil
Chief Evangelist of Brand Marketing, Google

Gopi Kallayil stands in front of a bullseye screen with arm raised

The talk: The keeper of Google's secret to branding success, Gopi joined Jason Goldberger, chief digital officer and president,, to share the tech giant’s Nine Principles of Innovation, along with practical tips for unleashing the individual and collective power of the team.

Quote to remember: “Innovation comes from anywhere—it’s in all of us. It can come from the top down as well as bottom up, and in the places you least expect. Think big, be open to failure, bring people into the process, allow them to collaborate and have a mission that matters.”

For more about Gopi: Read more of his story on his website, including a bio, music, books and his personal blog, or watch his TED Talk, “Connecting the Internet to the Inner-net.”

Amy Cuddy
Social Psychologist and TED Speaker

Amy Cuddy onstage, arms raised to demonstrate a power pose

The talk: According to Amy, our presence reveals itself when we believe in our story, convey confidence without arrogance and communicate harmoniously. The best-selling author joined Vidula Bal, Target’s vice president of learning and development, where she shared thoughts on stepping up with your boldest self to face your biggest challenges, and using body language and posture to inspire confidence and become more influential.

Quote to remember: “When we feel powerful, we expand. When we feel powerless, we shrink. Our body language reveals when we feel victorious and proud.”

For more about Amy: Don’t miss her world-renowned TED Talk about the importance of body language—with over 39 million views, it’s one of the most-watched of all time.

Itching for more inspiration? Target invites bright minds from outside our company in for innovation talks all year long as part of our Outer Spaces speaker series—check out who else has stopped in lately to share their wisdom with our team.

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