I had the opportunity to talk with Joe Schueller of P&G several times in the past weeks, and I found the experience extremely rewarding. We talked about the Econolypse, and it's impact of businesses like P&G. JOe makes some great points:
P&G had already been working to damp the cycles of oscillation, and impacts based on things like the rise in gas prices in 2008. The new downturn has just sharpened focus.
Joe believes that P&G has grown intolerant of duplicative work, for example.
He quotes the CEO of P&G who stated recently that the company has many, many networks of smart people, and the trick is to get them to find each other and dream up new ways to deliver great products.
P&G is 170 years old, so there is a long legacy: the company is deep and wide. Joe points out that the hierarchy is still relevant, but that may not be the best way to share information across the world.
Leadership at P&G is getting attuned to the horizontal spread of information through networks, and 'close the loop' by participating in open conversations within the company's communities of practice.
Every word is worth listening to, since P&G is so large that nearly every issue crops up.