Most everyone is familiar with the Pareto Principle named after Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian engineer and economist. Basically the Pareto principle states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. And this is especially true of the innovation process. But unfortunately, most CPGs haven’t taken the time to sort through their innovation process from front to back to determine where value is really being created.
Consider this. When I worked a number of years ago on the Idea to Market™ process at Kraft Foods (KRFT), we found the typical brand manager was spending more time on financial planning than new products, advertising, and promotional efforts combined.
Seems like companies could save themselves a lot of trouble (and wasted effort) if they’d just learn how to focus on the Work That Matters and rid themselves of the 80% of causes which are having no real effect on innovation.