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P&G's Innovation from the Inside-Out

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Keynote for FEI 16
Innovation from the
Inside-Out
Karen Hersherson, Leader,
clay street project, Proctor & Gamble
Innovation
for P&G is about platforms and pipelines that creating long-lasting value. To
get these types of results, the company had to build an incubator for project
teams, named clay street.
Innovation
for P&G gathers multi-functional teams that work together over a long
period of time to create truly holistic innovation.
At
clay street we evolve. We work with teams and their leaders to create
innovators. On the journey they become more confident and creative to handle
the messy side of front-end innovation.
We
have an amazing group of adjunct facility'from psychology to drama to arts and
design.
The
stories I will share are about what we've seen and learned at clay street.
Here
is the main point: if we can bring more of our humanity to innovation, we get
better results.
So,
we work on seeing, feeling, and being.
SEEING.
If you look at any work of art, any product, it is a reflection of the people
that created it. A Jungian taught me this valuable lesson. Therefore, we focus
on people, not the concepts.
My
first job was to just observe. For three months I did nothing but watch: who
spoke first? Why? How were decisions made? What patterns came up?
People
would come in with very silo-ed thinking. Marketers thought as marketers, for
example, and engineers thought as engineers. It is hard to see outside of their
trained perspectives, as identities are tied to their role.
Our
goal was to give space and time for people to get out of their given roles. Let
people live the questions, not rush into a debrief. Let new neural connections
begin to take root.
The
second thing that got in the way was the sense of being valued. If you don't
feel valued, you won't take risk and throw out 'stupid' ideas. Therefore, we do
a lot of ideation, and do 'Yes, And' exercises. The idea isn't to get the
killer idea, but to learn how creativity is a team sport. This way everyone is
valued and liberated. Then, the valuable ideas flow.
What
we learned is the concept of disorientation.
Here, in this state of mind, the world is crazy and topsy turvy. The clay
street folks needed a new type of orientation. Once we told them to expect
disorientation, we talk, get unstuck.
Three
soft-skill methods to see dynamics underneath as part of Seeing:
1.    Display thinking
2.    Slow down
3.    Name it
FEELING.
We now tear away the armor. We invite for everyone to put away their phones and
laptops. The ROI of putting these distractions away allows for genuine
incubation. Data is making us lazy thinkers, invalidating our gut instincts.
Here's
our recipe: Take away distractions. Take away roles. Take away templates. Add
love. We work on the relationships early to mitigate against the conflicts that
always arise as a by-product of the creative process.
As
we build the heart, it showed up in their work as part of Feeling:
1.    Subtract what distracts
2.    Ditch the templates
3.    Build relationships
BEING.
I have to surrender control and fully trust the people and process. We use a
lot of mindfulness practices. We mediate together.
Here
are some habits of Being we practice:
1.    Identify your triggers
2.    Explore the feeling
3.    Build daily habits
Think
about if you can see the human dynamics happening underneath your innovation
practice? How comfortable are you dealing with the emotions that arise? How are
you role modeling the feelings that arise?
These
parting words should be the motto for clay street: 'if you want create transformation
innovations, you have to be able to transform yourself.'
Michael Graber is the
managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic
growth firm based in Memphis, TN and the author of Going Electric. Visit
www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.

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Upcoming event

FEI USA: Front End of Innovation

04 - 06 May 2020, Boston, MA
TRANSFORM. DISRUPT. BREAK-THROUGH.
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