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The Innovation Ecosystem: for leaders in a VUCA world

Join us, as we interview remarkable and thought-provoking guests about innovation, leadership and change in the world of business. Whether you are an executive or an intrapreneur, our objective is to help you and your organisation create an entrepreneurial culture, become more innovative, and better able to respond to change. We do this by deconstructing world-class performance from the arenas of business, academia, science and sports. Each week Mark Bidwell will bring you key insights, fresh perspectives, and proven tools you can use straight away to make you more successful professionally and personally. Full show notes available at InnovationEcosystem.com
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Now displaying: August, 2017
Aug 29, 2017

In this episode, we are joined by Hanne de Mora, Co-Founder and Chairperson of management consultancy organisation a-connect, to talk about innovation of the future of the world of work. Hanne is also a member of the Board of Directors for AB Volvo and the Supervisory Board for IMD Business School.

What was Covered

  • How Hanne and her fellow Co-Founders created new demand within the traditional industry of workforce and management consultancy services – and how Hollywood provided inspiration
  • How technology changes the consulting, executive education and transportation industries and how these forces also apply elsewhere
  • Why Hanne thinks it is important for business leaders to foster entrepreneurship within organisations through pushing responsibility for human resource and P&L management processes as far down the organization as possible
  • The top skill sets which Hanne thinks are essential to being successful in the future of the world of work

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • How understanding the numbers – how does a business make money and what does its cash flow look like – will remain relevant for any future leader.
  • In a world of ever increasing pace of change the ability to course correct is essential.
  • Inspiration is not hierarchical – it can come from anywhere in an organization. And while mothers and fathers will happily talk about being inspired by their children there remains a resistance within organisations to gain similar inspiration from their cross-generational workforces.   

 

Aug 15, 2017

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. 

What Was Covered 

  • 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” 
Aug 1, 2017

In this episode, Kyle Nicholas McCray, Director of Innovation at American Pacific Mortgage Corporation, joins us to discuss his experience as an intrapreneur and innovator within an established financial business. We cover with Kyle his early career at Apple, his time as an entrepreneur and how that led him to set up Scrappy Labs, an innovation lab within APMC dedicated to exploring new and innovative products and services to revolutionize the relationship between the company and a new generation of homebuyers. 

What Was Covered 

  • Why Kyle decided to set up Scrappy Labs and the purpose of an innovation lab within a traditionally ‘small i’ innovation organisation 
  • APMC’s approach to ‘institutionalizing innovation’ and its focus on how it communicates with its customers – the foundation of a services business 
  • How Kyle acknowledges generational gaps between the company and its customers and how he responds to and leverages new trends and changes 

Key Takeaways and Learnings 

  • The importance of pivoting, responding quickly to changes in communication and technology, and bridging the gap between older and younger generations of staff and consumers 
  • How nurturing a culture of ‘scrappiness’ has been essential to reducing the risk that new innovations are rejected when they come out of the ‘lab’ and are integrated into the wider organization 
  • The importance of understanding the different communication ‘styles’ of team members how this common language helps to limit conflict and maximize the results of the innovation process 
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