P&G creates new website for innovation program
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 22:02
Feb. 5, Proctor & Gamble launched a new website for its Connect + Develop program that brings external innovators and incumbent P&G product creators together. The website allows people to create usernames and read about current needs of P&G brands. Users can then submit their ideas directly to P&G, according to the Connect + Develop website.
Eleven years ago the concept of Connect + Develop was created, according to Lisa Popyk, the Connect + Develop communications and external relations contact. The program is designed to bring more innovation from outside the walls of the company.
Using a website to collect ideas from outside networks of innovators is necessary for companies like P&G to bring new ideas to the marketplace, according to Artie Kuhn, a Miami University interactive media studies professor.
“If you study innovation at all, the thing that pops out is that very thing that you have to combine two previous [separate] types of work for something crazy to spring out of it,” Kuhn said. “You have to incubate them and keep them away from the rest of the company. Which is why the P&G example is an interesting one. Their way of incubating is to have a separate outside entrant… come in, incubate it and develop it and then release it to the rest of the organization.”
Outside innovators connecting with P&G insiders or incumbents is exactly how many P&G products have been made and introduced to the market. The Connect + Develop website highlights many of these innovations. For example, the Tide Pods filled with laundry detergent were born after P&G connected with MonoSol, a company that specializes in creating water-soluble technology. This outside partnership with MonoSol and P&G allowed innovators to think outside of the typical laundry detergent box.
“The benefit to having either incubated teams inside the company… or external people is that they don’t have to play by the rules,” Kuhn said. “They can come up with totally wacky ideas, ideas that are totally different than anything else that would have happened with the lenses of everyone else.”
Through the Connect + Develop website, P&G has expanded the field of innovators connecting to the company. Features of the website sort the ideas by topic and employees can search the ideas based on their needs, according to the Connect + Develop website.
Senior Colten Kidwell, a Miami University business economics major, is starting a position in P&G’s consumer and market knowledge division in June. He said expanding the field of outside innovators will prevent groupthink from occurring within P&G.
“If you have a bunch of P&G scientists working on how to alleviate dandruff … they are all there working on the problem together,” Kidwell said. “They have been working in this industry for a long time and they get that group think mentality. It can be harder to think outside the box. Opening this venue for new ideas, new patents and new information is great to reenergize their current thinking.”
For information the new P&G Connect + Develop website,visit www.pgconnectdevelop.com.