What Kind Of Company Do We Choose to Be?

April 25, 2012

I wrote this in 1995, having recently been appointed CEO of Procter & Gamble.  I believe it still applies to any leader trying to build a company today.

As I think about the subjects which we so often discuss - innovation, cost effectiveness, system improvement,  people - I arrive at questions which I expect all of us have asked:

What type of company are we becoming?  What will change?  What will not?

The answer to those questions will lie ultimately in our actions and our behaviors.  But the character of what we aspire to become is very clear.  It grows directly out of our history and our purpose. 
  • We will be a company where, even more, innovation flourishes and quality and value are our guides.
  • A company in which individual initiative and respect for teamwork are honored together.
  • A company where our systems and processes are being constantly renewed to be the best in the world.
  • What will not change – and we must never let change – is what brought us to this company – and what makes us proud to say “I work for P&G.”
  • The bone-hard commitment to doing the right thing, no matter the sacrifice.  Saying what we mean…and living what we say, to the best of our ability.
  • The commitment to serving the consumer and supporting our communities.
  • The commitment to leading and improving in whatever we undertake.
  • The commitment to people in the broadest sense…their ideas:  their views; and particularly as it concerns those who work for us, their personal growth and satisfaction.
  • To me there are four summary testimonials that will tell us we have done our jobs very well.
  • The first from a consumer:  “I always use P&G products.  They’re the best value I can find and they never let me down.”
  • The second from an investor:  “Am I ever glad I own P&G stock.  I’m going to buy more.”
  • The third from a member of a community in which we work:  “Thank heavens we have P&G people here.”
  • And the fourth from hopefully all of us and certainly me:  “I am proud to be a member of this Company.  I can’t imagine a more rewarding career or working with a finer group of people.”

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