Solving Your Million Dollar Problem: BEI Workshop 2015

This year at BEI: Back End of Innovation, I will be leading a full day workshop revolving around the topic of Solving Your Million Dollar Problem.

The true challenge of innovation is execution: stepping into the unknown in spite of uncertainty and ambiguity, learning quickly, failing and pivoting. Our organizations do not make it easy, but rather seem to throw up endless obstacles. Players in innovation are committed to making a difference on current opportunities in the reality of their company. The workshop will be split into two different focuses: project and portfolio.

Part 1: Making Uncertainty and Ambiguity Your Allies

Traditional projects are typically organized to deliver reliably and efficiently on a promise. Uncertainty is perceived as risk and ambiguity is perceived as indecisiveness. In contrast, Innovation projects need to be organized to learn and adapt. Uncertainty creates upside and ambiguity creates the flexibility to adapt. This workshop will explore: how to use uncertainty and ambiguity about the customer, solution or business model to make your projects stronger and more impactful? How do you build credibility for you and your innovation team by being precise and transparent in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity? How do you overcome objections and turn skeptics into champions? If you are facing these issues on your projects, this workshop is for you.

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Part 2: Create Space for Innovation Projects

Many good innovation projects die because other priorities prevent their success. Most companies are so choked with incremental projects that they have no resources to pursue innovation seriously. Yet companies that don’t create the space for innovation face a slow slide into mediocrity. By learning how to balance the portfolio with incremental and innovative projects, organizations can avoid this trap and setup a portfolio approach that support a culture of innovation. This workshop will explore: What forces drive incrementalism in companies and how to overcome them. How to evaluate innovative projects on credible basis? How to compare innovative and incremental projects. How to make ongoing decisions that support innovation.

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Joining me during the workshop as thought leaders are these innovation veterans:

  • Udi Chatow, WW Strategy and Business Development, Hewlett-Packard
  • Rich Duncombe, Director, Oregon Business Consulting Group, University of Oregon
  • Neal Gutterson, VP Agricultural Biotechnology, DuPoint-Pioneer
  • Michael Wynblatt, VP Innovation and Emerging Technologies, Ingersoll Rand

Come learn from these thought leaders, as well as your peers, about how to overcome your challenges to drive innovation forward. We will share our issues, work through a series of exercises and deliver actionable insight for you to move things forward in your organization.

We hope to see you at this year’s BEI: Back End of Innovation Conference, October 21st-23rd in San Jose, California.