Tag Archives: Procter & Gamble

Building Cross-Functional Collaboration for Breakthrough Innovations

Building Cross-Functional Collaboration for Breakthrough Innovations

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, fostering cross-functional collaboration has become crucial for organizations aiming to drive breakthrough innovations. The ability to bring diverse teams together, breaking down silos and leveraging collective expertise, is a proven catalyst for successful innovation. This article delves into the importance of cross-functional collaboration and presents two compelling case studies that highlight its transformative power.

Case Study 1: Procter & Gamble’s Connect + Develop Program

One exemplary case of cross-functional collaboration for breakthrough innovation is Procter & Gamble (P&G)’s Connect + Develop program. P&G recognized the need for external inputs and diverse perspectives to drive disruptive innovation and address complex consumer challenges. The program laid the foundation for building collaborations with external partners, including startups, inventors, and academia, to co-create groundbreaking solutions.

Through Connect + Develop, P&G fostered cross-functional collaboration by creating a platform that allowed different teams to engage with external partners. This collaboration brought together scientists, engineers, marketers, and designers to work alongside external experts, accelerating the innovation process. By dissolving internal boundaries and extending their innovation ecosystem beyond traditional boundaries, P&G witnessed unprecedented breakthroughs such as the development of the Swiffer, a game-changing cleaning tool.

Key Takeaway: P&G’s Connect + Develop program showcases the power of cross-functional collaboration in driving breakthrough innovations. By leveraging external expertise and promoting diverse collaboration, P&G achieved remarkable success in meeting customer needs and driving market growth.

Case Study 2: Tesla’s Battery Gigafactory

Another compelling case study demonstrating the value of cross-functional collaboration can be observed in Tesla’s Battery Gigafactory project. Tesla recognized the criticality of battery storage technology for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions. To overcome existing limitations and drive breakthrough innovations in battery technology, Tesla embarked on an ambitious project to build the world’s largest battery factory.

Tesla’s Battery Gigafactory brought together professionals from various disciplines, including battery experts, automation specialists, engineers, and supply chain professionals, to collaboratively develop cutting-edge battery technologies from scratch. By integrating diverse fields of expertise, Tesla fostered a culture of cross-functional collaboration, fueling the rapid advancement of battery technology and significantly lowering production costs.

Key Takeaway: Tesla’s Battery Gigafactory project exemplifies how cross-functional collaboration can revolutionize an industry. By engaging experts from multiple domains and aligning their efforts under a shared vision, Tesla transformed the electric vehicle market and accelerated the shift towards sustainable energy solutions.


The case studies of P&G’s Connect + Develop program and Tesla’s Battery Gigafactory project illustrate the transformative impact of cross-functional collaboration on driving breakthrough innovations. By breaking down silos, fostering diverse perspectives, and leveraging collective expertise, organizations can create an ecosystem that thrives on collaboration. To embark on the path of successful breakthrough innovation, organizations should embrace cross-functional collaboration as a core principle, enabling them to surpass existing boundaries and achieve unprecedented growth and market success.

SPECIAL BONUS: The very best change planners use a visual, collaborative approach to create their deliverables. A methodology and tools like those in Change Planning Toolkit™ can empower anyone to become great change planners themselves.

Image credit: Unsplash

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

The Benefits and Challenges of Open Innovation

The Benefits and Challenges of Open Innovation

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

Innovation has always been the lifeblood of successful organizations. It fuels growth, promotes competitiveness, and drives industry disruption. Traditionally, innovation was conducted within the boundaries of individual organizations, with internal R&D teams tirelessly working behind closed doors to develop new products or services. However, the rise of open innovation has revolutionized this approach, allowing companies to tap into external sources of knowledge, ideas, and expertise. By embracing collaboration with external partners – such as customers, suppliers, startups, and even competitors – organizations can magnify the potential for groundbreaking innovations. Nonetheless, this new paradigm comes with its own set of challenges. In this article, we will explore the benefits and challenges of open innovation through two illustrative case studies.

Case Study 1: Procter & Gamble’s Connect + Develop Program

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is renowned for its strategic implementation of open innovation. In 2000, the company realized that its internal R&D efforts were not generating sufficient breakthrough innovations. Instead of solely relying on its own resources, P&G decided to embrace external collaboration. Through its Connect + Develop program, P&G reached out to external partners including universities, entrepreneurs, and small to medium-sized companies. P&G provided them with a platform to submit innovative ideas and solutions. By doing so, P&G successfully tapped into a vast network of external expertise, expanding its innovation ecosystem. This ended up playing a vital role in the development and launch of successful products like Swiffer and Olay Regenerist.

The benefits of P&G’s open innovation approach were manifold. First, it significantly reduced the time and cost associated with the development of new products. Second, it allowed P&G to access a wider range of expertise and knowledge, effectively leveraging external perspectives that may not have been present within the organization. Third, it helped foster a culture of innovation both internally and externally, as P&G became known for its willingness to approach innovation with an open mindset.

However, open innovation also posed several challenges for P&G. One of the biggest was the need to manage intellectual property. When collaborating with external partners, P&G had to strike a balance between sharing enough information to enable collaboration while protecting its valuable proprietary knowledge. Establishing trust with external partners was also crucial, as it required a level of transparency and mutual understanding to forge successful collaborations.

Case Study 2: LEGO’s LEGO Ideas Platform

LEGO, the iconic Danish toy company, successfully harnessed open innovation through its LEGO Ideas platform. Launched in 2008 as LEGO Cuusoo, the platform allows LEGO fans and enthusiasts to submit their own designs for potential LEGO sets. Once submitted, the designs are available for public voting. If a design receives 10,000 votes, it goes through an official review process by LEGO’s design team, and if selected, the design becomes an official LEGO set sold worldwide. This open innovation approach not only engages LEGO’s passionate fan base but also acts as a novel source of innovative product ideas.

The benefits of LEGO’s open innovation approach with LEGO Ideas are evident. It provides a direct connection with customers and empowers them to contribute to product development. This not only improves customer satisfaction but also increases brand loyalty. Moreover, the platform acts as a crowdsourcing tool, amplifying the diversity of ideas and creativity beyond what LEGO’s internal teams could generate alone. Furthermore, the LEGO Ideas platform enables LEGO to gain insights into emerging trends and customer preferences.

Despite its success, LEGO faced challenges in managing the volume of submissions and ensuring the profitability of the resulting sets. Additionally, balancing customer desires, brand consistency, and manufacturing feasibility required thoughtful curation and selection processes to determine which ideas would be pursued.


Open innovation offers numerous advantages to organizations seeking to enhance their innovation capabilities. These benefits can range from better utilization of external expertise and reduced time-to-market to increased customer engagement and differentiation. However, companies embarking on open innovation journeys must navigate potential challenges around the protection of intellectual property, establishing trust with external partners, managing a large volume of submissions, and curating the best ideas. Overall, as exemplified by Procter & Gamble and LEGO, organizations that embrace open innovation strategically and overcome these challenges can unlock tremendous potential and gain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.

Bottom line: Futurology is not fortune telling. Futurists use a scientific approach to create their deliverables, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to engage in futurology themselves.

Image credit: misterinnovation.com

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Change Management in Times of Crisis

Strategies for Adaptation and Recovery

Change Management in Times of Crisis

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Change management is crucial for organizations to navigate through times of crisis. Whether it is a global pandemic, economic downturn, or natural disaster, having effective strategies for adaptation and recovery is essential. In this article, we will discuss the importance of change management during a crisis and provide two case study examples to showcase successful strategies implemented by organizations.

Case Study 1: Procter & Gamble (P&G)

During the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, P&G, a multinational consumer goods company, faced the challenge of declining consumer spending. They realized the need for immediate action to adapt and recover, focusing on cost reduction and portfolio optimization. P&G implemented a change management strategy that included the following steps:

1. Engaging the Leadership: P&G’s leadership embraced the crisis and communicated the urgency for change throughout the organization. They provided a clear vision of the desired outcome and inspired employees to embrace the necessary changes.

2. Streamlining Operations: P&G reexamined their business processes and streamlined operations to eliminate inefficiencies and reduce costs. They implemented a ‘simplify to win’ approach, which involved consolidating product lines and optimizing the supply chain.

3. Enhancing Innovation and Marketing: P&G recognized the need to differentiate themselves from competitors during tough times. They focused on innovation and marketing efforts, launching new products and advertising campaigns to maintain consumer interest and loyalty.

The result of P&G’s change management strategy was significant. Despite the challenging economic conditions, the company managed to maintain profitability and even outperformed competitors by gaining market share. This successful adaptation and recovery showcased the effectiveness of a well-planned change management strategy during a crisis.

Case Study 2: Airbnb

In 2020, the travel industry faced an unprecedented crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As countries imposed travel restrictions and people canceled their travel plans, Airbnb, a leading vacation rental platform, experienced a massive decline in bookings. To overcome this crisis, Airbnb employed a change management strategy focused on the following steps:

1. Prioritizing Safety: Airbnb acted swiftly to address safety concerns by introducing enhanced cleaning protocols and implementing strict guidelines to ensure guest and host safety. They communicated these measures transparently to rebuild trust among their users.

2. Diversifying Offerings: Recognizing the changing demand for accommodations, Airbnb expanded its offerings beyond traditional vacation rentals. They introduced Online Experiences, allowing hosts to offer virtual experiences to users staying at home. This diversification strategy helped them adapt to the changing needs of consumers during the crisis.

3. Empowering Hosts: Airbnb acknowledged the impact of the crisis on their hosts, who heavily rely on income from rentals. They introduced initiatives such as the Host Relief Fund, which provided support and financial assistance to struggling hosts. By actively involving and supporting their hosts, Airbnb built resilience within their community.

As a result of their change management strategy, Airbnb managed to rebound effectively. By September 2020, they had a successful IPO and demonstrated resilience in the face of a crisis that severely impacted the travel industry.


Change management is instrumental in helping organizations adapt and recover during times of crisis. The case studies of Procter & Gamble and Airbnb demonstrate effective strategies implemented to navigate through difficult times. By engaging leadership, streamlining operations, enhancing innovation, prioritizing safety, diversifying offerings, and empowering stakeholders, organizations can improve their chances of successfully adapting and recovering from crises. It is crucial for organizations to embrace change and implement proactive strategies to not only survive but also thrive amidst adversity.

SPECIAL BONUS: Braden Kelley’s Problem Finding Canvas can be a super useful starting point for doing design thinking or human-centered design.

“The Problem Finding Canvas should help you investigate a handful of areas to explore, choose the one most important to you, extract all of the potential challenges and opportunities and choose one to prioritize.”

Image credit: Pixabay

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.