Creating innovation for competitive advantage
A Procter & Gamble case study

Page 3: Innovation, culture and people

Procter Gamble 6 Image 3One simple definition of organisational culture is ‘the way we do things around here’. It helps to show what an organisation stands for and is reflected through the organisation’s actions, rituals, beliefs, meanings, values, norms and language.

The ‘human resource’ focus within Procter & Gamble is linked to organisational vitality driven by every department. In removing the barriers that hold people back, it energises people to use their expertise, integrity, drive and hunger to contribute to new product development and serve consumers better. This often involves using their creativity and powers of innovation to go beyond accepted ideas to generate new ways of getting better results. As a result it is accepted that the creative talents and drive of more than 100,000 people within the organisation will determine where the organisation will make a difference in its global markets.

People are at the sharp end of innovation, not companies. Procter & Gamble’s human resource department has the responsibility for the development and growth of people towards higher levels of skill, competency, creativity and fulfilment, in a way that supports each individual. It sets out to foster individual improvement in the workplace, with the opportunity for enhanced work satisfaction as each employee is able to make fuller use of his or her skills and abilities. Human resource development seeks to ensure that the right people with the right attitude and skills support the Procter & Gamble culture.

Within Procter & Gamble the focus is upon involving people across the business either to develop their ideas or become involved in working together to make ideas happen. At the heart of this culture is the innovative use of connections, centred upon understanding consumers, the energy directed towards innovation, supported by research and development processes.

There are many inventors, but the ones who are successful are those who bring their inventions into the marketplace where consumers can benefit from them. An invention is a seed of innovation, but it remains a seed unless it is commercialised successfully. The birth of a new product is thus a combination of the skills of people involved in its research and development, combined with the abilities of others who develop processes that launch the product effectively within carefully selected market segments.

Procter & Gamble | Creating innovation for competitive advantage

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