Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog #1

Colgate-Palmolive’s success in Strategic Planning

The article “The Real Value of Strategic Planning” takes me back to the valuable three years I worked at Colgate-Palmolive in India. To a great extent, I relate to this article because in my tenure, I had the opportunity to learn how an iconic company places its strategies and goals every year and how it adapts itself to an unpredictable environment. Interestingly, the authors discuss different views on strategic planning. How certain strategies are simply formulated in the hallway or long flights rather than a formal meeting etc. As Sarah and Eric stress “The goal of strategic planning process should not be to make strategy but to build prepared minds that are capable of making sound strategic decisions”.

One of the core values of Colgate is Caring, among others such as Global Teamwork and Continuous Improvements. The company not only cares about its, shareholders/investors and consumers but also its employees who are termed “Colgate People”. Caring about employees does not only include monetary compensation and other benefits but also the individual’s development. In my experience, the company takes comprehensive measures to encourage leadership in every member of the Colgate family. The company has a system in place, which focuses on an individual’s development and growth in the company each year. These include goals setting, training programs that strengthen skills and support development with a continuous coaching and feedback from managers. I believe with this framework, the company aims to attain its primary goal of strategic planning which is not to make strategies but to build prepared minds that are capable of making sound decisions.

I reminisce the hours my colleagues and I spent working on presentations for my VP of Research and Development, who would in turn present to the division’s Managing Director during the annual business review. Our division had two business reviews – one at mid-year and the other at end of the year. Colgate sets a good example in terms of achieving success through its strategic planning process. It has hires the right people equipped with skills and sharpens their skills to perform more effectively. Colgate-Palmolive survived the economic downturn during the recession period because it had it strategies in place and were prepared for the worst situations. The company remained stable during the downfall of the economy, displaying resistance to the recession.


  1. How are companies preparing themselves for another crisis if it may arise?
  2. Why did the strategies of big players such as Lehman Brothers did not work, resulting in bankruptcy? What were the strategies of those companies that time?


  1. The Real Value of Strategic Planning (Kaplan and Beinhocker, MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter 2003)
  2. http://www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/US/Corp/LivingOurValues/CoreValues.cvsp
  3. http://www.valueexpectations.com/content/surviving-recession-colgate-palmolive
  4. www.colgate.co.in/Colgate/IN/Corp/.../Colgate-Chairman-Speach.pdf

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