Good ideas at P&G

Proctor & Gamble isn't exactly wet behind the ears when it comes to developing and marketing consumer goods. Fortune discusses how CEO A.G. Lafley "has kicked up the good ideas at the stodgy Midwestern giant". (sub. req.)

Warning: When Lafley talks about what he's done to make P&G more innovative, you need a weed-whacker to cut through the cliches. "The consumer is boss," Lafley says constantly--that is, when he's not talking about "reframing the brands" (defining P&G's brands more broadly); "connect and develop" (reaching outside for ideas); and "360-degree innovation" (differentiating products not just by formulation but also by design).

"There is a lot of jargon," Lafley admits, smiling. "But we have to find things that are simple for 100,000 people to understand. And more than half my organization doesn't have English as a first language. So it's intentional." And apparently it works ...

More ideas after the jump.

  • Crank up one-on-one consumer research.
  • Expand what each brand does.
  • Get employees from different divisions to exchange ideas.
  • Reach outside for ideas.
  • Getting ideas from outside also means working with other companies.
  • Stop testing so much.
  • Give designers more power. (I like this one)
  • Cater to developing markets.

    Each of these points is explained in detail in the article.

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