Free «Procter and Gamble's Culture and its Possible Execution in a School» Essay
Schools function very well like any other organizations, with its employees in the form of the school teaching as well as non-teaching staff, customers are the parents and products are the students who are infused with knowledge that the employees impart. In schools, having a quality staff and a well reformed culture means quality students who bring in quality results and satisfied parents, thus, functioning very similar to a proper organization, like Procter and Gamble. But there is a major difference that exists between a company like Procter and Gamble and a school and that is the employment of an organizational culture that says “customer is boss.” CEO A.G.Lafley together with Ram Charan through the book “Gamechanger” explain the culture that Proctor and Gamble follow. The question that exists is that how well can a school follow up this culture and receive high results that match with its objectives and how far does the system of the school need to change to comply with Lafley’s Gamechanger organizational culture that calls for high innovation embedded in all operations. But before one progresses onto its implementation in a school, it is crucial to understand the company, and its culture of Gamechanger and then proceed onto assess its strengths and weaknesses in a school environment.
About Procter and Gamble
The company was founded in 1873 by William Proctor a candle maker and James Gamble, a soap maker (Witchalls, 2007). As of today, P&G has over 300 name brands in its company including, Scope, Pampers, Tide, Downey, Secret, Oral-B, etc. It markets products in over 160 countries and possesses 115 plants in over 80 countries. The headquarters is in Cincinnati, Ohio and employs 98,000 employees worldwide (Boutod, 2009). This global business is divided into five categories: 1) fabric and homecare 2) beauty care 3) baby care 4) health care and 5) snacks and beverages. Of the five categories, the fabric homecare department grossed more than 2.1 million dollars in sales in 2004 (Boutod). Over the years P&G has earned the title of one of the biggest abd largest companies of the world that possess high market as welel as customer share.
P&G has been able to attain this image over the years due to having quality and innovation culture in the organization, where employees are well trained and ingrained with the overall company’s objectives. P&G constantly include the consumer as the center of the innovation process from the beginning to the end claiming the slogan the “consumer is the heart of everything we do” (Charan & Lafley, 2008, p.34) for this it continuously trains and monitors its employees who are well taught and made to follow the company objectives, which revolve around customer satisfaction and innovation. P&G takes initiatives in utilizing its best practices for improving and developing its employees. The employees are empowered and motivated through initiatives, reward systems, and training programs. P&G aid in developing potential, skills, knowledge, and talents of its workforce (Witchalls, 2007).
Gamechanger Organizational Culture
According to Charan & Lafley, the most important element is to understand your consumer on an emotional and rational level. On a rational level, the company must see the consumer as rational knowing that consumer can provide valuable insights in the innovation process. On an emotional level, P&G is interested in what emotions and aspirations drive the consumer to buy its products. Not only does the company take stock in whom their consumers are and how they live, but also how the product can improve their lives (Charan & Lafley). For example the authors stated that the leaders should encourage their employees to focus on getting to know their consumers by becoming a part of their everyday life. Once they understand them at a personal level it becomes possible to develop a direction to head to, which may change overtime but the objective to use innovation and high performance as a means of satisfying and winning customers never changes. P&G gives high value to customers and on the backend its employees as well because it knows that it is its employees who can give the customers what they want from the company. For this reason, it makes sure that each and every employee is well aware and owns the company’s slogan that says that customers are its boss and their opinions and complaints are of high priority to it. Gamechanger means knowing how to react to the changing market dynamics using innovation and quality workforce. This calls for changing the employment structure as well, such as the use of self managing teams that are increasingly becoming popular in many modern organizations.
Implications for the School
As with many companies and schools, the school had been afflicted with multiple problems such as high turnover rate of its employees which lead to low morale. It is also plagued with parent dissatisfaction of the organization itself. Parents were not pleased with the rising rate of unsolved student behavior problems and poor leadership and management at the school. Because of the many problems that exist within the school structure, executing the P&G culture might improve the culture within this school. But this strategy is not immune to challenges and risks as well as various opportunities and rewards for the school for employing the ‘customer is king’ culture in the school.
School view themselves as public organizations rather than companies and their system of operations is more bureaucratic as opposed to the engineered culture organiations such as Procter and Gamble which makes inducement of a the ‘customer is king’ culture easier than for a school where parents are not seen as customers, and the school administration overrules everything.
Introducing the Gamechanger and ‘customer is king’ culture in the school means introducing better training for teachers and developing a team working culture and having less to deal with dissatisfied parents, as the teachers themselves will hold themselves responsible to directly pleasing the parents.
Delegating more responsibility to the teachers and other staff may become difficult to manage if proper system of record is not employed along with the introduction of the new culture in the school.
With more importance given to the parents the image of the school can improve readily as through word of mouth the parents will create a better name for the school by communicating how well it caters to the requirements of the parents and their children in the school.
Execution of the Customer is King Culture in the School
How can the school execute this culture into the school? Following activities will have to be carried out to induce the customer is kind culture into the school:
1. Realizing Parents as Valued Customers
Unless and until the notion that parents are the real customers of the school who are the final verdict of its services, the school cannot function as a value provider. Realizing them as valued customers means cherishing their complaints and understanding what they need.
2. Developing the direction to satisfy Customers and to earn an Image of a good school where parents are important
It is important that the direction should be clear to the school and its staff as to where it is heading. Realizing that parents are the main customers to satisfy and please through properly handling and teaching the children, a clear direction to meet their demands in a strong and effective fashion can be set.
3. Conducting Research to understand Parents’ (customer’s) demands and needs
What do parents want can only be understood by finding out directly what they require. This can be done through a survey research or group interviews.
4. Training Staff to follow the objectives of the school
Next comes using the information gathered from the parents to train the teaching staff accordingly to directly comply with the performance required on their part. Training sessions would have to be conducted annually or semi-annually to make sure that teachers’ performance is up to the standard.
5. Continually assessing the performance of the staff to make sure they are in line with the objectives
Bringing the staff as well as the non-teaching staff in line with the school’s objectives calls for involving them more in the school’s activities and decisions so that they feel they are important and own the school rather than simply be a part of it for the sake of earning money.
6. Regularly monitoring and researching the changing parents’ and students requirements and needs to induce those into the system
The environment keeps changing and so do the requirements and preferences of the customers. The school would have to conduct researches regularly to assess what the competitors are doing and what the customers prefer to make sure that it is catering effectively to the target market.
Procter and Gamble’s ‘Gamechanger’ culture that calls for “customer is king” attitude can very well be executed in a school as it comes with solutions, opportunities as well as high rewards. But it is not isolated from its challenges and restraints in a school, which will have to be considered before implementing such a culture.
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