Welcome to a very special episode of Talent Magnet Institute with our guest host Jessica Baron, the Vice President of Executive Search for Centennial. Today on the show, we have Paul Fox, a self-described career communicator and formerly with Procter & Gamble, as he shares about leadership and corporate responsibility, how that comes from the culture, and its effects on the community.
Face to face with the consumer
Often, consumers can’t articulate specifically that they want a certain thing. But they experience issues, and once you understand what those issues are, you can begin to develop products that hopefully meet those unarticulated needs. Many times, they do this by spending a considerable amount of time in their customers’ homes.
Paul shares the story of staying with a family of about 12-14 people in a cramped home near Mexico City. On top of their washing machine was Ariel laundry detergent, a premium brand of P&G. Why would they invest so much money on the detergent? The team expected to hear her say something along the lines of pride in her family. As it turns out, Ariel doesn’t make her hands crack or blister — so she can hold her husband’s hand on their rare date nights out.
The Greenpeace incident
Greenpeace mounted a protest against P&G years ago, highlighting the degradation of natural environments. While P&G was already taking steps to address this in relation to their products, Greenpeace didn’t feel they were moving quickly enough.
So they decided to work together.
Over the next few months, P&G and Greenpeace devised a plan to make things happen. There are usually many reasons why businesses aren’t moving as quickly as the public might want them to, but it’s so important to be able to articulate your position well so you can defuse situations and move forward.
The importance of people
A former CEO of P&G said: you can take away all our buildings, you can take away all our machinery, just leave me the people and I’ll rebuild the company within five years. People are without a doubt the most important asset any business has, and building and growing that talent is the most important role that we all have. We want to help them recognize and reach their potential so they can do your old job better than you ever did, which will then allow you to move on to some other activity.
No matter where you are in your career, you always have something to offer individuals around you. When you work with some of the most iconic business leaders in the world, you can’t help but learn something from them, and it’s certainly our role to try and share some of that knowledge and real-world experience.
P&G Alumni Network
P&G has a very strong culture, very clear values, and very clear purpose, and the people who have worked there over the years share many — if not all — of their values. These are individuals who have a passion for doing the right thing and making a difference in the lives around them, and these beliefs don’t change when you leave the company.
There are thousands upon thousands of people with very common beliefs, and so the alumni network has created a forum where we can continue to share that same passion for excellence, and touching and improving lives.
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