By A.G. Lafley, Chairman and CEO of Proctor & Gamble and Ram Charan, co-author of Execution; Crown Business 2008
Review: While there are lots of books about innovative start-ups, there haven’t been many about turning around huge corporations—for the very good reason that few huge corporations have been able to refocus on innovation and succeed at it.
Lafley is, in fact, a game-changer, and this book is a step-by-step guidebook on how to drive growth through innovation. When he took over P & G less than a decade ago, the company was struggling to make its numbers. Today it has 23 brands worth more than a billion dollars each, productivity is up 85%, and sales growth and stock prices have doubled.
How did he do it? According to Lafley, innovation became the only strategy, and every structure, process and person in the company was set up to support it. He gives specific examples, including failures, to describe the process and the outcomes. Co-author Charan adds examples from other innovators, and they highlight their Connect & Develop program, which is the poster child for open innovation.
It’s a must-read for anyone who has encountered a corporate culture that’s resistant to change. It has facts, figures, approaches and the inspiration to encourage innovation anywhere.
I’d give this a 9.5 on the LL Innovation meter. Practical advice for CEOs and senior management.
Lynda Lawrence is an innovation consultant with Ideaworks
Consulting. She teaches Strategic Innovation and Design Management at
the Merage School at UCI, and is an advisor to the Beall Center.