Thursday, July 31, 2008

Proctor and Gamble’s Way to Innovate

At the 2008 Front End of Innovation conference, A. G. Lafley spoke about how Proctor and Gamble does a great job innovating their brands and products. A recent article at Business Week takes a look at how well Proctor and Gamble innovates, with their CEO making it a top priority of their business.

“Design thinking” is the key way that focuses the P&G developers to constantly innovate and create new ways to indentify products with their consumers. Their approach to company culture involves several key areas: leadership, cross-function teams, and visualization. These three key focuses allow Proctor and Gamble a way to communicate with their customers. They take these approaches and combine it with their “design thinking” in order to solve the problems they’ve noticed within their company. To encourage this fact, P&G has many workshops around the world to get their team to think in new, creative ways.

These workshops are often a high point of creativity, as Cindy Tripp, the marketing director for P&G Global Design:

"I get goose bumps at the high level of dialogue and caliber of discussion that happens. Design thinking activates both sides of the brain—it makes participants more creative, more empathetic toward the human condition P&G consumers face. Our managers don't leave their analytical minds at home; instead they are able to operate with their whole brain, not just the left hemisphere."

A good example of this, as the article points out, is OlayForYou.com. This website allows for customers to pick their preferences when it comes to skin care, and then tells them which products are best made to suit their needs. Other innovative concepts like this have spread to the Herbal Essences and Tide lines.

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