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WHAT PROCTOR AND GAMBLE KNOWS THAT YOU DON'T

Making a phone call

Think for a moment about the best idea you’ve ever come up with. Do you have the image in your mind? Now, let me ask you a question. Did that idea come solely from the depths of your mind, or was it prompted by something that you noticed or experienced around you? My guess would be the later.

So shift this thinking into your business today. If you are like the hundreds of CEOs and Executives I’ve encountered during the past couple of years, then your best products or services were the brainchild of a collaboration of sorts between internal company ideas and knowledge, combined with external solutions and creativity. This is how a great product or service is brought into the marketplace. If you’ve studied the history of Apple for example, you’d know that Steve Jobs borrowed and pilfered ideas from Xerox PARC to create the Macintosh computer after stumbling across the “GUI” during a tour.

Here’s the thing. The ideas that will spark your next new innovative product or service are waiting for you, but to find them you must interact with the marketplace. This means that you have to call-off the gatekeepers and actually take calls from new vendors and suppliers who want to pitch you their idea.

I know this seems like a complete waste of time, but if you want to continuously bring new products and ideas to the market, this is the only way to successfully do so quickly.

Don’t think of this as a burden on your time however. Companies like Proctor and Gamble have done a great job at presenting to the market what they are looking for. Take a moment to look up their “Connect + Develop” program, an online platform that solicits the market for any ideas or products that might be the next big thing in the P&G family. It doesn’t matter whether you are an inventor in your garage, or a multi-national corporation. Most importantly, the system works. I’ve met several CEOs who have pursued this route to great success.

Let me leave you with something to ponder. To be first in your market (and in other markets) means you have to solicit the market for new ideas and opportunities. What are you going to do today that will open the flood gates to your next big idea? You can’t go it alone, so call off the dogs (your gate keepers) and start to educate the market on where you are trying to take your business and more specifically how they can help.

 
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