Do you want to increase sales and grow your business? Maybe it is time to look as to how you can innovate and leverage business innovation within your organization.
The authors, AG Lafley and Ram Charan, of The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation explore the results of doing just that through a business case study of Procter & Gamble (P & G). As the CEO of P & G, Lafley focused on using innovation since he took the helm in 2000.
Innovation has now become the life blood for P & G and is the core of its business model. To make this dynamic change required looking at innovation from a different paradigm. This change cascaded through the business not only in products and services, but in its operating systems as well.
Innovation and the purpose of business are clearly connected especially at P & G where the customer or consumer is boss. By embracing this concept, employees of P & G went directly to their customers and actually lived with some of them (immersion research) to understand their daily challenges. By taking this approach, they were able to redesign one product Downy Single Rinse and received the approval of the Mexican water and environment agency.
Through this evolution of innovation, there exist eight integrated drivers or business strategies to secure innovation success.
- Motivating purpose and values: This driver looks at the overall organizational culture including its purpose and values.
- Stretching goals: Embrace the old SMART criteria that has been expanded into WAY SMART goals is necessary for innovation to happen.
- Choiceful strategies: Through the goals and the purpose, a clear focus evolves allowing for better choices of existing or new business strategies.
- Unique core strengths: Winning teams win because of their strengths. By focusing on the strengths that are unique to the business allowed P & B to move away from traditional focus research to immersion research.
- Enabling structure: Operating systems must allow innovation to come from the outside as well as the inside. Currently at P & G, 50% of the innovations come from the outside.
- Consistent and reliable systems: Innovation in and by itself is its own system. There must be well defined criteria, benchmarks and measurements to ensure innovation success.
- Courageous and connected culture: Due to the purpose and values being clearly demonstrated, managers and employees do not fear taking risks because P & G has developed the know-how to manage risks.
- Inspired leadership: Leaders have the ability to look to the future while still viewing the existing landscape for innovation opportunities.
Innovation can happen even to the largest organizations when leadership makes the commitment to make it so. The end result is creating pockets of Blue Ocean where you have the opportunity to out pace your competitors.