Proctor and Gamble (P & G) was established in Cincinnati in 1837 by William Proctor and James Gamble manufacturing Soap and Candles. The partners grew the business from strength to strength through ingenious innovations, with the help of successive generations then through none family management to create the $70 billion enterprise.
P & G is a business where innovation flows throughout every sector both internally and externally, from suppliers to distributors. The networks and alliances which have been made allow for channels of communication to be access with ease allowing ideas to be acknowledged and trailed – the lifeblood of innovation.
The innovation and creativity practice occurs, and is similarly discouraged by two determining factors: the internal and external environment.
Internal factors within an organisation, such as P & G, can foster the creative drive of innovation but likewise can be its own downfall. The Seven Virtues of managing creativity evaluates the areas where ideas can be furthered upon therefore ensuring the organisation continues to be innovative.
Generation of ideas
The founders of the company have always shown initiative by suppling the needs of the everyday consumer from very early on when the enterprise was established. The first major break through for the company was during the American Civil War in 1862, when the Union Armies contracted the pair to manufacture a soap which was small enough for soldiers to carry everywhere but long lasting. The forward thinking cousins, James Norris Gamble and William Alexander Procter (sons of the founders) purchased a phenomenal amount of rosin (essential in the soap making process) before the war. The purchase stood the company in great stead against its rivals, as supplies ran short P & G continued to manufacture the soap where competitors simply could not (www.fundinguniverse.com, 2005). When the Civil War finally ended in 1865 and the soldiers returned home, Proctor and Gamble soap became a household name which increased the demand for the products exponentially. The major addition to the brand occurred when the ‘Ivory Soap’ was created (1879), this quality product was inexpensive and available to the masses which made it desirable to most households across many states (www.pg.com, 2011). In this instance the external environment of War was the driver