In this episode, Andy Billings, Vice President of Profitable Creativity at Electronic Arts, joins us. Andy is co-founder of Electronic Arts University, an internship program for graduates to begin careers in gaming, and is also an Innovation Advisor for the think tank, Singularity University, as well as to some of the largest corporate organisations within the USA.
- How EA suffered a ‘near-death experience’ and rapid decline in profits through not responding fast enough to the digital gaming revolution and how the company used this experience to transform its culture, go to market approach and relationships with its gamers
- How the company categorises innovation in three ways - Incremental, Breakthrough, and Disruptive – to maximise return on the energy and creativity within its business
- How EA marries process, guidelines and practices with creativity to stay relevant in a rapidly evolving market where development cycles can be up to five years
Key Takeaways and Learnings
- How embracing small i - incremental innovation at the enterprise level can allow it to be part of the day to day operations of the organization and not just the responsibility of an R&D lab
- How EA transformed their customer relationship practices (what they call Player First) and how the results of these gamer interactions drive other core processes such as game release schedules
- The importance of a learning mindset to a hits based company so that the inevitable misses can help create future value - or as Andy says, “Never try and help the organisation learn twice exactly the same way”