Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Speaker Profile: A. G. Lafley

Every week until the Front End of Innovation event in Boston on May 19th through 21st, we will be profiling a speaker from our event. We would like to begin by introducing you to one of our key note speakers, A. G. Lafley.

As the CEO of Proctor and Gamble, A.G. Lafley is a world renowned leader in innovation. He began at Proctor and Gamble in 1977, and was chosen as CEO in 2000. He inherited a struggling company that was then and still is adapting to a new global business unit. He saw one of the only ways to get out of trouble was to focus on innovation in his company. In this article at CNN Money, A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan give their key objectives that made innovation work with globalization. They‘ve co written this book, The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation, which will be available on April 8.

When Lafley was given the CEO position in 2002, Proctor and Gamble was a struggling company. Falling well short of profit marks as well as sinking stock prices; Lafley was tasked to turn the company around. His vision to do so focused on five key areas that centered on collaboration among P&G business units, as well as entities outside the organization:

1. The customer was at the center of everything: They began to understand the customer and focus turned to the customer’s need for the product. They began to study how their consumers wanted to use P&G products and began to market and innovate from there.
2. They opened up. P&G brought everybody in to the product process, not only those who were in house, but consumers, suppliers, and competitors. They made a rule that half of everything in the company would come from collaboration that did not occur within the company.
3. They made sustainable organic growth a priority. They made sure their companies grew instead of buying new branches. With growth from the inside, it was a more reliable stream of profit.
4. They organized around innovation. In order to grow, they had to develop new products. They ran a disciplined development, qualification and commercialization process which led to internal growth and innovation.
5. They began to think about innovation in different ways. They ran their innovation process in much the same was as they would run a factory, and they measured innovation from every angle.

Most importantly, Lafley realized that he had to go to the consumer to find out how they were using and wanted to use P&G products. They’re now focusing on innovating for new emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Russia.

Lafley realized that innovation was the key to the growth at P&G. He placed his ideas, as well as those who he brought in to collaborate, on the table and they produced real results.

Come see this world class innovator at IIR’s Front End of Innovation conference. Next week, we’ll profile FEI speaker Peter Guber.

1 comment:

Leslie Lim said...

First time I commented in a blog! I really enjoy it. You have an awesome post. Please do more articles like this. I'm gonna come back surely. God bless.


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