Posts filed under ‘Technology’

Company Case Study: New P&G CEO Bob McDonald on How to Improve Lives for People Who Cannot Afford Products

Here is a great case study example of how P&G  found a way to improve lives and save water for consumers in the  Philippines with the innovation of a product called Downy Single Rinse:

bob_mcdonaldFrom Forbes: On the Call: P&G CEO Bob McDonald

Associated Press, 08.05.09,

“The Procter & Gamble Co. uses a slogan that its consumer products touch and improve lives. Traditionally, that’s meant with “new and improved” innovations of Tide detergent and Crest toothpaste and other products.

But the company is pushing to increase sales in developing countries where per capita incomes are far below U.S. consumers, in a global recession. Bob McDonald, who took over July 1 as CEO, discussed the challenge in P&G’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call with analysts.


I know you want to change lives, but what if people can’t afford to change their lives?


One of the things we’ve learned is that, in order to improve the lives of people that tend to be toward the bottom of the economic pyramid, you have to innovate for the best consumer experience for those people. It’s not a matter of trickling down higher-tier technology.

A great example of that is Downy Single Rinse, which we began developing in the Philippines some years ago. This was an opportunity for Filipino consumers who rinse their clothes five times with clear water in order to get rid of the soap, to use a product that added fragrance, some degree of softness, but also, importantly, sequestered the suds that were in the water and allowed them to go from five rinses to one.

And basically, the product pays for itself because of the water that they save.”

August 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm 1 comment

Adjusting My View of Current Reality

sign-realitycheckI just read an article that caused me to adjust my view and filters regarding current reality.

The article had research information about our current economy as well as information about our economy over the past fifty years.

Without getting into detail, it said we have been experiencing an anomaly during the past fifty years in that the economy was in a continual expansion mode (a few justifications and reasons for this were provided), and that our current economy is the reality of what it will be like in the future.

Well!!! This article caused me to contemplate what that could mean for leaders moving forward.

  1. Few to no leaders have experience from fifty years ago that aligns with the business needs of today’s reality – we are currently learning to lead in new and different ways as we experience day to day revelations in this new economic reality.
  2. A recalibration of what success looks like, sounds like, feels like and is measured like will be necessary. This will vary by the industry, function, situation in which leaders find themselves.
  3. The way in which people are led will be different in that aspirational career growth, positional movement, personal development, travel globally, compensation adjustments, etc. could be reduced or not available due to tighter management of budgets.
  4. Limited inventories and options will create the need for true leadership in selling versus order taking. Increased competition for discretionary monies will also require selling to step up and lead.
  5. Marketing will take on a different look as more targeted messages are designed for smaller, unique populations. Again, reduced budgets could drive an increased need for greater ROI per customer, so targeting to higher potential buyers will be necessary.
  6. Adroitness with new and existing technologies will be required to do more with less resources and increase the need for “high tech touch” to lead disseminated audiences of employees, customers, consumers, suppliers, collaborators, partners, etc.
  7. Leaders will be required to become very good at providing clarity of direction, priority, focus and metrics in order that these dispersed audiences can operate independently and still stay aligned with the organizational imperatives. Partnering beyond the traditional company boundaries will also require sharing these aspects of leadership with non-traditional entities in order to compete effectively.
  8. Leaders will also have to be better coaches, supporters, barrier-breakers and reinforcers of empowered followers in order to reduce errors and potential failure modes of operations as followers get up to speed and become leaders in their own business arenas.
  9. These more micro-focused organizations will require a strong core of strategic structure and infrastructure from which independence can be enabled in order to make better decisions at the point of performance, move with speed and agility, and maximize the cost/service/quality requirements of the target audience.
  10. Not to mention the leadership challenges for supply chain partnerships, purchasing reciprocity, legal licensing, financial refocusing, benefits contracting, recruiting & hiring, etc., etc.

I believe every strategic and functional aspect of how we have done business in the past is changing and that strong, agile, open to learning leadership will be required to challenge and adapt to the new economy as we move forward.

Okay, I shared some of my thoughts and filter changes.

What additional adds do you have based on our economy being more of the same as we have had this past year (2008-09), versus being the double-digit growth, fat and happy economy we have experienced since the 1950’s?


July 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

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