In a recent interview for MarketingNews, a publication of the American Marketing Association, Alan Lafley provided an interesting view of Proctor and Gamble's recovery as a innovation engine in consumer products. By the way, Alan Lafley is Chairman and CEO of Proctor and Gamble -- the person that understood that design was a key part of P & G's success and lead change and recovery at P & G since June 2000.
"Principles can harden into a process, that can harden into a way. That's a risk for us. We're 171 years old this year. We'd like to be another 171 years. We get in trouble when we stick with a strategy too long. We get in trouble when we stick with a way of operating too long. We get in trouble when we stick with one execution too long because consumers are always changing. The marketplace is very fluid. Competition is increasing and intensifying. So we need to change." (Kraus, Michael. "The Millennial CEO is a Game-Changer", MarketingNews, August 15, 2008, p. 15.)
As organizational leaders, we must understand where our world is and where it is going. Rather than waiting for failure to define a need to change -- the P & G experience -- we can choose to challenge our assumptions, our worldview and our strategy regularly.