How Did P&G Manage to Have Over a Million Researchers and Innovators Worldwide?

September 19, 2021

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    Known for its multiple hygiene and beauty brands with a physical presence in 180 countries, Procter & Gamble is one of the largest and oldest American companies with revenues close to $70 billion.


In terms of innovation and research and development, multinational Procter & Gamble is considered the most innovative company in its field and the 84th overall, with 27 research centers housing over 8,000 researchers worldwide. P&G came up with a brilliant idea to intelligently expand the number of researchers and innovators working each year on the challenges and issues the group faces! 


The Turning Point: 

It all started in 2002 when the Executive Board noticed that R&D costs were increasing without yielding the expected results for each project undertaken in one of its research centers. At that time, all innovation and research projects were conducted by researchers working at P&G in a "Closed Innovation" logic.


The action :

To address this inefficiency, P&G launched the "Connect + Develop" program, aimed at connecting the company with inventors and innovators in regions where their research centers were located. This made Procter & Gamble one of the first groups to build an open innovation approach involving external partners (innovators, startups, researchers, engineers, students, customers, etc.) in the development of new products and processes to create a competitive advantage and optimize Time to Market while being able to innovate constantly. 


The Tool: 

Procter & Gamble created a digital platform to attract innovators by offering them a range of specific themes and issues to allow them to visualize P&G's current and future needs and propose their inventions and projects. Company experts then sifted through thousands of applications to find the gems! 





Cultural Change: 

In 2006, two Procter & Gamble executives studied the different sources of innovation and identified that there would be no fewer than 1,500,000 Researchers worldwide who have practically the same level as the 7,500 researchers working at P&G. They proceeded to change internal attitudes from resistance to change to open innovation, as well as the culture, from "Not invented here" to "Proudly found elsewhere," which is precisely what is called Crowdsourcing & Open Innovation. 


The Result: 

Today, and for the past decade, 60% of innovations launched by P&G come from their Open Innovation programs on the platform, which itself was developed in collaboration with external developers! 


For more information:  Download the full study here 


Article written by M. HERIZI Abdelfettah 

General Manager Leancubator / Program Director ASC. 


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