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From Products to the Profound

In 1956, Procter & Gamble first released Secret cream in the oval glass jar; launching a formidable legacy that now includes Sure and Old Spice brands. But, today's highly pressurized world of product development is a very different one than back in the days when an antiperspirant was a new concept in personal hygiene. In the deodorant/antiperspirant business, winning in an increasingly hostile and competitive market largely depends on accelerating the pace and number of profitable initiatives, year after year. So how do you take a department of technically brilliant scientists and researchers and shift their collective energies towards building a innovative capability that will deliver quality products far into the future?

This was the challenge that Alben Design faced. Using the Sea Change Design Process, we worked with the R&D department in three ways. At the center of our effort was a a core team of change agents from a cross-section of the organization, representing the various levels, disciplines, expertise, and lengths of employment. We coached management, teams, and individuals intensively. Finally, we worked with the entire department through workshops and events.

All our efforts were focused on these three intentions:
  • Establish a sustainable innovation capability based on technical prowess, connected learning, and a unified community of committed individuals.

  • Create a culture change that focuses the organization on a powerful vision and shared value system.

  • Develop an Action Plan that requires multi-disciplinary cooperation across all areas of expertise, levels, and length of experience.
Here are some highlights of the business and organizational results the R&D department produced.

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