(1) Wistful: Sad feeling of wanting, kind of nostalgia
Many people get wistful when they think of their college years. They miss being young.
(2) To reinvigorate: To give new energy to something
We reinvigorated our design team by hiring some new team members and changing their job duties.
(3) Emerging Market: A market where the economy is growing quickly.
For example, India is often seen as an emerging market. If our company doesn’t invest in emerging markets, our competitors will beat us in the future.
1. How well did A.G. Lafley perform when he was CEO of P&G?
2. How much has global poverty been reduced over the past 20 years?
a. 1 billion
b. 2 billion
c. 3 billion
3. Which areas might emerge in the future?
a. India and Africa
b. India and Indonesia
c. Africa and China
By Jeremy Schaar
In today’s lesson we’ll look at a two articles that raise strategy questions.
First off is this article about A.G. Lafley. Lafley was the CEO at Proctor & Gamble from 2000 to 2009 and shareholders have been wistful for him since he left. The article calls Lafley “the Steve Jobs of the grocery aisle” because he improved P&G’s products and production so much. His successor hasn’t done nearly as well and so Lafley is coming back to the business he knows well. The strategy question is this: how much does a CEO really matter? Can Lafley reinvigorate P&G? Maybe the global recession and new competition would have made things hard on P&G no matter who the CEO was? Regardless, Lafley seems to be coming back at a good time as the global economy starts to grow again.
Next is a very hopeful article from the Economist. Click on that link to see an amazing picture. It shows how 1 billion fewer people are in extreme poverty today. It’s surely true that as the global economy has grown around the world, it has lifted people out of poverty. The Economist notes that this doesn’t mean that lifting people out of poverty is the only thing that matters. But let’s not lose focus. A lot of good has come as well. How about the future? Can the world lift the remaining 1.1 billion people out of poverty? Much of the recent good has come because of China’s growth. Can China’s success happen in India and Africa? From a strategy perspective, what will this mean for emerging markets? Should companies work to lift people out of poverty? Should they be targeting India and Africa? How can global companies take advantage of opportunities in emerging markets with emerging middle classes?