Getting Ahead Should Be Routine

An article in this month’s Inc. magazine challenged A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble and Ram Charan to take on a toy company with $4 million in revenue and 30 employees. The result was a seven-step routine for innovation:

  1. Select the strategy: Looking for an underserved market.
  2. Connect to customers: The social network as idea collector.
  3. Generate ideas: Brain-storming done right.
  4. Select an idea: Time to separate the good from the great.
  5. Prototype and test: Bring on the customers.
  6. Go to market: Cookies versus cookie dough.
  7. Adjust for growth: The process evolves.

One line especially jumped out at me because it applies to you and me:

It’s not about brilliance. Valuable new ideas are the product of hard work and smart, disciplined processes.

I’ve read a couple of Ram’s books but two of my favorites are “Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business: 10 Tools You Can Use Monday Morning” and “What the CEO Wants You to Know : How Your Company Really Works”. Definitely worth picking up.