Learn from this case study and questionnaire for business goal setting

A big business with a big goal setting vision

Proctor and Gamble

Proctor and Gamble

When a business does over 70 billion USD in turnover and still operates after 130+ years, it is a business worth exploring deeper!

One company that matches these criteria is the giant Procter & Gamble (P&G). The company has a philosophy to “embrace its future”.

Several organizational changes have been made to the business and one such area is within goal setting, stretched targets and its rewards system.

The goals created by P&G are clear, linked to objectives designed to provide direction for the company. P&G have created a foundation of key principles to provide a common purpose for employee goals. 

The goal principles are as follows:

·         It respects all individuals - the uniqueness of each employee is valued and their contributions listened to the interests of the company and the individual are inseparable -both employees and the company work for mutual benefit.

Lessons: Embracing diversity, equality and mutual respect to set the cultural foundation of business is important for success.

·         It is strategically focused in its work - product development helps the company to sustain a competitive advantage over other organizations.

Lessons: Retaining a strategic bias in actions and directions helps steer a business and ride through daily or short term tactical challenges. The statement is clear to retain a relative advantage over its competitors and seek world class performance levels in all areas. 

·         Innovation is the cornerstone of its success - the company is proactive in leading the field of product development.

Lessons: P&G make a clear message to link innovation and success. They have taken a position to engage actively in the pursuit of product development. This covers quality innovation to new product innovation. An interesting highlight is the focus on products and not other areas of its business, thus setting the tone and priority across the business.

·         It is externally focused – the company listens to consumers and monitors markets.

Lessons: No business will continue to stay ahead of its competitors without taking a clear understanding of its current customer base and relevant markets. The impacts this provides helps determine if a shift of business products should exit one market or introduce new products into a market or protect its current position. This extends beyond the products and allows P&G to retain tight control of its external suppliers and costs.

·         It values personal mastery – the skills of employees are nurtured.

Lessons: A clear commitment to continual learning to achieve task mastery is a great principle. The statement is focused on task mastery and development of learning through a nurturing process.

·         It seeks to be the best – the company is not complacent about product and market development.

Lessons: Perfection is overrated. P&G identify the clear point that being the best is sufficient whilst not becoming ignorant to product and market changes.

·         Mutual interdependency is a way of life - the company depends upon employees, markets and consumers.

Lessons: Here P&G has recognized the links and importance of a dynamic balance. The needs of the employees should be balanced and in tune with the needs of the markets and ultimately the customers.

Business around the world differs but the transaction of value remains

Business around the world differs but the transaction of value remains

This short list of goal principles encapsulates all areas of the business. I am impressed with the clarity, insight and power of each short principle. From these guiding statements clear measurable and actionable goals can be created. There is no weighting bias of each statement so a dynamic tension of balance is required to sustain equal priority.

NOW take this business goal setting questionnaire:

When did your leadership last review its business principles, values and guidelines?

A) Within the past 6 months

B) Within the past 12 months

C) 1-2 years ago and we remain happy with them

D) 2+ years ago, oops I think it is time we done this again.

How does your business compare with the P&G goal principles?

A) Yes, we are very similar

B) Most of the principles are covered but not as clear as the P&G version.

C) We seem to have missed a couple of areas; it is time to tidy this up!

D) Compare? There is nothing to compare, we do not have them for goals.

What type of goals does your business set?

A) We operate a clear set of metrics, critical success factors and KPI’s to support our strategy.

B) We mostly have financial biased metrics, most are clear and known.

C) Metrics? No problem, we have lots and lots of them the challenge is know which is more important.

D) We have wild or vague goals that do not seem to be connected to important parts of our business.

How does your business ensure high performance?

A) We have effective training and reviews of performance at personal levels. Each person knows where they are, what is expected and the key areas to improve upon.

B) Periodic training is provided but we do not get the time to follow up the training fully, so we seem to move to another theme and subject of development.

C) We are the best, we won an award several years ago, there is no need to measure again as we know we are great.

D) We fire people that do not perform it is that simple.

How is your business supporting you for your goals this year?

A) They provide insight, time, training and leadership to clearly boost performance and results. We review them frequently and I am aware of what I need to do with the help provided.

B) We agreed the targets and budgets at the start of the year, we might review them monthly or each quarter to decide how best to react to our outcomes.

C) My leadership team reminds me all the time of my goals, I know I need to achieve them but they also gave me other tasks that need to be as well. I’m unsure if I am going to make it.

D) They supported me at the meeting when we agreed, but nothing seems to be coming since, yet I am still expected to produce the results. Now less budget, more goals, and fewer resources!

How would your company make use of goal setting and metric training?

A) We already do this frequently, we are open minded and always seeking for new ideas and fresh innovative input. If we felt it important and relevant then I am sure we would make great use of it.

B) Yes that would be great at the start. I just think that after a month other things would come in our way and it would be quickly forgotten.

C) I am a bit unsure of the answer, it has been a long time since we done some training in this area. They might just tell us to implement after but still retain the current culture.

D) Many of the leaders would not attend; this is the type of thing that we get to just tick a “development box” in our personal files.

A B C or D bias to your answers?

A B C or D bias to your answers?

So, how did you score?

If your score was mostly A’s. Great. You are in a proactive and positive business that understands the merit and value of goal setting and metrics training. JAMSO loves to hear from companies like yours so we can develop world class training and results together. We look forward to your call or email.

If your score was mostly B’s. Almost there. Your business could make some minor adjustments to boost results significantly. This is a great opportunity for your business to contact JAMSO to help. We love to be part of the transformation to success. We look forward to your call or email.

If your score was mostly C’s. Roll up your sleeves there is work to be done. Your business is in survival mode and at strategic risk of losing motivation, potential clients and market share this financial year. The good news is there is a lot of room for improvement and this can be a great fun time to work hard and make some great changes and improvements. JAMSO can significantly help transform your business if your leadership remains open minded. We look forward to your call or email.

If your score was mostly D’s. Time for a change. Your business is at risk. You may be losing clients, staff and finding your competition hard forcing you to reduce costs to retain a viable market position and business. The great news is things can be so much better. You have the greatest opportunity to transform every part of your business and develop new opportunities. JAMSO can help you on this transformation journey to maximize future profits and satisfaction for staff and consumers alike. We look forward to your call or email.

From this article you have been presented with a world class insight to goal setting principles. We have provided a questionnaire to help you understand your current position relative to best in class performance.

Please take some time to review the Procter and Gamble example to discover area in which you can implement some positive change. We would love to hear from you no matter your score!

Please share this article across any one of your social media platforms. This helps JAMSO extend our reach to others who can benefit with our free information. 


  • Written by James Doyle, founder of JAMSO. We have over 100 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter, subscribe now.

James Doyle - JAMSO Founder

James Doyle - JAMSO Founder

JAMSO supports people and business. For goal setting, goal management, metrics, key performance indicators, business intelligence and analytics. Our clients are personal and business to business partners.