By A.G. Lafley, Ram Charan
Blessings to Procter & Gamble—or, more exactly, its chairman and CEO, A. G. Lafley. Together with Charan, author of Know-How (2007) (and the most probable successor to management guru Peter F. Drucker), he defines, describes, draws examples of, and delineates how innovation became a part of not only the behemoth consumer-packaged-goods company but also part of Lego and Nokia (among others).
Lafley is remarkably candid; the story of his “surprise” ascent to CEO-dom in 2000, taking over from Durk Jager, is the story of transformation. A number of commandments accompanied the company’s innovationcentric strategy: the consumer is boss, inside and outside cocreation is encouraged, the innovation process is tangible (and must be followed), and risks can be managed.
Most important is his emphasis on human interaction as the key; even better, the last section focuses exclusively on developing a culture of innovation, from promoting the rules of brainstorming to the desired attributes for employees and leaders: courageous, connected and collaborative, curious, open. Sidebars are worthy of posting on a bulletin board; in fact, this is a sustainable reference on innovation that will be hard to beat. --Barbara Jacobs
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