Meg Whitman, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, recalls how HP’s turnaround back in 2011 began with a return to the company’s founding corporate values and business objectives. She also discusses how leaders can take advantage of certain opportunities to carry out actions that can convey a symbolic message throughout an organization and get people’s attention.
Many leaders of corporate innovation efforts struggle to get the support they need from executives higher up in the organization. Top executives can be skilled at talking the talk about innovation, especially in public venues, but frequently fail to walk the walk when it comes to making key choices that determine whether an innovation project will happen or die on the vine.
Innovation and more of it has become the mantra of top management. The ability to innovate and thereby sustainably create value for the business is becoming the defining competitive advantage for companies which want to thrive in a globalized economy. So obviously, driving innovation is a key job for top management, the CEO and the C-Suite. But what about the Board? What role should it play in the innovation game – if any?
In Parts 1 & 2, Gordon, newly appointed CEO of PharmaX, is confronted with a serious innovation gap in the next 5 years. His pipeline of projects is quality but high risk. From an arm’s length point of view, he sees that he has 3 options: business as usual, R&D budget cutting or rethink the way PharmaX assets are being used to redefine a new strategy. In Part 3 we will see how Gordon draws on his experience in customer needs driven innovation and managing his team, to carve out a daring innovation program.
In the first installment, Gordon the newly appointed CEO at Pharmax is confronted with an innovation gap of 5 years. Certainly, the potential of the portfolio is high, but the risks are even higher. With market pressure breathing down his neck, Gordon tries to make sense of the options that he has and make the right decisions.
We are on the executive floor of the imaginary pharmaceutical company PharmaX, it is Q3 and the top management is preparing for the annual innovation review. The year has been tough with revenue being hit by generic competition as their major products come off patent, but then it has been difficult for all the industry. This is the first article in a series of three. Parts 2 & 3 will be published in the next 2 weeks.
Is innovation part of the governance mission of boards of directors? At first sight, the answer seems to be “no”. In this new series of two articles professor Jean-Phillipe Deschamps delves deeper into the specific role of the board of directors and that of top management in exercising their innovation governance responsibilities.
This article shares two strategies that are proving most effective for CEOs that aim to make their companies more innovative: developing a creative culture (people’s behaviors) and applying new processes and technologies.
CEOs of large companies face a conundrum: they are confronted with a growing number of frugal consumers clamoring for affordable solutions, yet their existing corporate culture and incentive systems are designed to support a “bigger is better” business model — not to deliver more with less. To meet this need, CEOs need a frugal innovation agenda.
CEOs that freeze in decision making quickly cause politics in their teams, says venture capitalist Peter Fenton. Here Fenton talks with Polyvore CEO Jess Lee about the need for leaders to make timely decisions to provide necessary direction and the dangers of CEO inaction.
Kick in the door when it opens, says Mari Baker, CEO of PlayFirst, on her former affiliation with VC firm Kleiner Perkins. She transitioned from her executive roll at BabyCetner and soon sat in on pitch meetings, reviewing the portfolios of numerous start-up companies. Along the way, she took on an appreciation for the difficult choices made by venture capitalists. The experience taught her to be more thoughtful of approaching firms for future capital. It also solidified her understanding that being funded is more than just asking for cash; it’s establishing a long-term relationship between the company and its funders.
Beyond philanthropy, why should global companies invest in social impact projects in developing countries? From a design thinking standpoint, the answer is quite compelling: If we don’t deeply understand the communities that we serve, we can’t design for impact. But by being embedded, we can get insights to ideas that may lead to products or services that that market may need, says Ideo CEO Tim Brown.
While serving as CEO of MySQL AB, Mårten Mickos had a falling out with a founder of the company. These types of situations are common in startups, says Mickos, especially between original founders and new management teams. Mickos explains why he made some tough choices out of dedication to the employees he had brought on board.
According to the IBM CEO study conducted amongst 1,700 CEOs from 64 countries and 18 sectors, Open CEOs’ identify openness enabled and supported by social media and technologies, as a major influence on their organization and its success. These organizations perform better because they are utilizing the collective intelligence, are more agile, able to act quickly to gain higher profitability and growth.
John Adler and Trip Adler discuss their entrepreneurial experience and evolution as business leaders: John Adler describes his bumpy course in developing his biotechnology company, Accuray Incorporated; while his son Trip emphasizes the need for persistence and confidence in developing Scribd, a social publishing site. Despite building companies in different fields, the two offer the same central advice toward building a successful business: trust yourself, focus on developing a great product, and remember that there are no rules.