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How to Create a Culture Where You Can Capitalize on Innovation

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Creating a
Commercialization Culture:
How to Create a
Culture Where You Can Capitalize on Innovation
A BEI presentation by Jay Morgan, VP Global Innovation Bayer
Consumer Care
Jay Morgan shared his story of how Merck Consumer Care (now
Bayer Consumer Care) began its innovation journey.
The story takes place in Memphis, TN. It begins in 2011. It
began with struggle and a question: What are the barriers to innovation in you
business that are keeping you from producing the desired results?
In 2011, things were 'pretty good, but not seeing great
growth.' We got a new CEO who had a very big vision. She wanted the double the
size of the business in five years.
Because we were not going to get double the people or double
the budget, we had to think in new ways. Value engineering and being more
efficient wouldn't double growth.
Fist, we studied the situation. In Pharma style, we visited
other more innovative companies and made a journey of discovery.
The patterns of behavior and culture at these companies ran
counter to our pattern. We lacked both ideas and execution'it was a cultural
problem. We weren't getting the results we wanted.
We broke the study into two camps: Incremental Cultures and
Innovation Cultures. After a look into the mirror: we confessed we were an
incremental culture and needed to change.
The innovation companies had a bias for action, shared
work-in-progress, deep collaboration, and shared workspace.
Even the way Insights are gathered and shared are different
at Incremental and Innovative companies. At Innovation companies, we go out
into the context of the market itself, having in depth and meaningful
conversation with consumers.
The frame of the opportunity expands beyond new product
development into every touch point in the brand experience: digital,
communication, claims, packaging, shopping experience, or a business model
We developed a five-point plan for changing the culture:
Learn by doing (three projects in one year, as a
Start small ($50k budget)
Work on tools and culture (Design Thinking; One
table, no offices)
Work in more cycles (Memphis Innovation
Get help (bring in the Southern Growth Studio to
do the projects with us instead of for us)
We also co-founded the Memphis Innovation Bootcamp with
Merck, Michael Graber of the Southern Growth Studio, Dr. Brian Janz, and a few
others to share this toolkit and creative a broader culture of the Memphis
community. In Memphis, we took innovators and applied to social challenges that
benefited the Memphis community. We mastered the material by teaching in in
several cycles of the Bootcamp.
Key learning for success: Engage the whole company. Form a
Realization team'of key players that will help you realize the concept in the
market. Debrief everything. Create revenue-based metrics.
The key take-away was don't wait for leadership to fix the
culture. Start. Just start. Start small. Share the results, then scale with
each success.
Michael Graber is the
managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic
growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit
www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.

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