May 20, 2008

Bobby Cameron's Keynote at the Forrester IT Forum

This morning, Bobby Cameron, a VP analyst at Forrester, delivered a keynoted entitled “Don’t Wait to Innovate." During the keynote, I found myself sitting next to 3 guys who should have been at a pub instead of at the keynote. Despite a gentle warning, they continued to e-mail pictures to each other and play with some of the show give-aways.

Well, here are some highlights from Bobby's talk:
  • Business model innovation is a top priority, but most companies invest in new product/service invention.
  • IT leaders miss innovation by focusing on cost & quality.
  • On-going investments vs game-changing ideas: there is an “innovation continuum” in between the 2 extremes. Companies find it more difficult to fund projects in the middle.
  • P&G sources new products from “innovation networks.” Half of inventions are sourced from outside of the firm. They have identified individuals who play different roles in the process: Financiers (fund the projects), Transformers, Brokers (coordination of the network), Inventors.
  • P &G has a website for their partners and customers. With 53 people, they generated $3Billion in new revenue from products invented outside of P&G.O
  • Cameron suggests that companies should have dedicated funds for innovative projects that are separate from “business as usual” projects. Verizon has a separate fund of $2-3 Million/year for innovation.
  • Cameron discussed some companies that have created innovation pipelines. Idea generation is everywhere, running on its own funding, governed by innovation team. Iterative/agile delivery to develop an early prototype before commercialization. This pipeline for innovative projects runs parallel to the regular process.
  • Take tactical steps now: People – build an innovation culture. (IT: senior managers spend 2 weeks / year out in the Field / business) Process: have a portfolio management process in place. Review the portfolio to show funded/unfunded. Technology – use tools to capture ideas from employees & outside, make the portfolio visible.
  • Technologists must know the cost to the business. At Fidelity, IT knows about the cost of each trade. IT asks “how do I knock $0.25 off the cost of a trade?”

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