Is P&G really such a hothouse of innovation?
It’s so often quoted as some kind of exemplar of innovation but I’ve never really felt comfortable with that bit of conventional wisdom. Mostly because the examples given strike me as pretty banal.
Jeff Stibel has a post relating to this at HBR: Gillette, Razor Blades and Creative Destruction. The gist of which is: is the latest overengineering of a razor really that innovative? Jeff draws a distinction between innovation (which he suggests is incremental) and creative destruction (rather more radical).
A lot of conversations that appear to be about innovation seem to me to be more about: how can big clumsy organisations get control of innovation to perpetuate their existence?
Mostly I think rigid hierarchy is the number one innovation killer.
PS Jeff links to this Onion classic: Fuck Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades