January 17, 2018

The Role of the Corporation:  To Perform and Serve At The Very Highest Level In The Following Five Areas 

I wrote this in 1991. I would not change a word today

  There are a number of inseparable requirements.  By inseparable, I mean that no one of them will be possible in the long-term without the others.  They include the following elements:

1.     Providing superior performance and value to consumers through our brands.  That is the fundamental reason why we exist.  Furthermore, providing superior performance and value is the sine qua non of having leadership and growing businesses which, in turn, are the basis for delivering leading profit levels and growth and attracting superior people.
2.     Providing superior financial results.  This requires superior levels of profits and return on equity, as well as better growth versus best of competition.  This is essential to provide the basis for continued growth; to attract and retain the strongest people; and to reward shareholders, an important number of whom are our own employees.  Furthermore, superior financial performance and growth, over time, is the ultimate test whether we are indeed performing at the highest level in terms of consumer satisfaction and operational effectiveness and efficiency.
3.     Providing a superior environment for top quality people.  This is a requirement in its own right and a necessity in order to attract strong people without whom the first two objectives would be unreachable.
4.     Conducting the business in line with the right values.  I define these values as:
o   Striving always to be the best in whatever we do.  Leadership.
o   Operating with integrity and with honesty in all relationships; and doing what is right by the spirit and letter of the law.
o   Respect for people – working to develop their individual strengths; dedication to helping each person develop to his/her strongest.
o   Innovation; constant quest for improvement; doing better tomorrow than what we are today.
5.      Providing service to the communities in which we live.  This recognizes the opportunity and responsibility we have as individuals and as a corporate body to be a force for good in creating improvements in our communities that are essential for the world, including the world in which we do business.  We need to determine where we can add maximum value in the context of recognizing our primary responsibilities for the health of our business, without which our ability to contribute to the community would not exist.

Key Cultural Values:

1.     Being our best.  Leadership.  In whatever we are doing.  In market share.  In financial returns.
2.     Superior service to the consumerthrough our brands.  Fundamental underpinning.
3.     Innovation and improvements as ways of life.  Continued improvement.
4.     Respect for other people.  From this flows many things;
·      Respect for diversity.
·      Focus on developing other people.
·      Focus on recruiting and retention.
·      Deep commitment for people having a fulfilling career, as right in itself and vital to have a place that the best people will want to work in.
5.     Doing the right thing for the long term.
6.     Integrity.  Fairness.
7.     Acting in good faith.  Being straightforward and open and honest.

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