Saturday, 25 February 2012

Listening Beth Comstock

Yesterday I had a chance to attend a short conference held by Sabancı SOM (School of Management) in which the speaker is Beth Comstock, the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of GE (General Electiric). The subject of the conference is "Innovation and Collaboration". Although I can easily be considered to have a competative background on the subject, I like to attend activities like this to gain a better and a deeper insight.

Below you can find my short notes about how Beth Comstock (and by the way, how GE) approach the concept "Innovation":

Marketer’s Role:  Value + Innovation
Its marketer's job in a company to define value (in the market) and correlate with the innovation
Technologist Company: Fall In Love With Technology
We see companies that fall in love, somehow obsessed with technology - Mrs. Comstock call these compainies as "Technologist Companies" -. But in the real world this does not hold, companies should understand the market, get the values and have to align with them.
Create "Real" Innovation: Connect Marketers + Technologists
Innovation is done not by only technologist or only marketers. Both two domains must be combined to create "real" innovation.
The Term: "GE Innovation"
GE innovation is the process that GE used to combine technologist lead innovation and marketer lead innovation.
The following image from Alex Goldfayn blog entry can be used visualize this balance:

GE Works!
The formulation of how GE works is:
(look at what the world needs)x[(blief in a better way)+(drive to invent and build things matter)] = a world that works better!
Incubation is an important part of a "innovation" process, companies must allow ideas to grow. Currently, GE has 15 GE-originated startups in the company (like GE and Honda startup to produce very small jet planes)
Always Target The Right Technology For The Right Use At The Right Time!
Technology always needs an application to be in use, otherwise its meaningless
"Cheap Innovation"
Doing only what's needed is not the cheap innovation, its the real innovation
Openning Up And Collaboration
It's not possible to know all the answers. So drop your barriers to let the people who has the answers to reach you. GE received more than 5000 business plans by this approach (not all of them are perfect, but there are some items that GE wont possibly image), and spend more than $200 million for funding these projects
First Step After Idea Creation
The first question to be asked after an idea is generated/created should be "how to sell it".
Business Internet
Internet era is only starting. Until this time we experienced the consumer internet, the next step will be business internet, the industrial usage era. We begin to observe doctors, engineers creating special virtual communities.
Facebook For Machines!
Think of a social network for machines; a jet engine updating its status as "I am working perfectly" or "I have some major problems", a connected operator or a "friend" expert system observes this status update and triggers necessary processes.
Learn To Fail: Learn To Change!
Dont forget to share failures like sharing successes
Finally, The Innovation Imperative

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