Managing innovation in a changing world: An Interview with Dr. Terence Doyle

terence-doyle

Dr. Terence Doyle

Innovation Consultant
Former Alliance Manager, Cylon Controls Ltd
Former Senior Vice President, Philips Consumer Lifestyle
Former Senior Vice President, Philips Research

 

Why did you choose to present the topic “Managing innovation in a changing world” for the 2017 Demand-driven Innovation Forum?

During the last 30-40 years innovation and the role of innovation in a company has changed significantly. And with it, the lifespan of companies shortens. It was a world of engineers, physicists and chemists now it’s a world of chemists, electrical & mechanical engineers, physicists, biologists, computer scientists, physicians, biomedical engineers, sociologists, psychologists, business developers, marketers, entrepreneurs. It was a world of technology, some at their infancy, now it’s a world of mature technologies, with a focus on software, digitization, integration and applications, and one where the consumer and the ecosystem play a more dominant role. All this has had an impact on how to manage innovation, no longer as a linear model but more in a circular one. And how we deal with new product development as opposed to new business development. In fact, companies need to do both and manage a family of innovation types.

When I set up the first Philips research lab in Asia in Taipei in 1996, we wanted to learn from Taiwan about fast time to market, technology ecosystems, now I believe that we can help Taiwan by providing access to the learning and opening up a framework about new business development and corporate venturing in the current technology and business climate. Just like many business have cannibalized themselves to survive, and some have died as they failed to innovate, Taiwan will need to go beyond excellence in proven technologies to survive the future, it will need to build companies within companies, to focus more on consumer needs and behavior and ecosystems (relevant partnerships) around new business development to develop its potential further, and this is a key role for the new innovation paradigm.

 

“Innovation management, no longer as a linear model but more in a circular one."

 

What messages you expect to bring to the forum audience?

Today, it´s not only technology that counts! Taiwan has a strong and excellent technology heritage (semiconductor, displays, electronic manufacturing, LED to name a few) but today companies need to go beyond technology – it´s about technology AND people management AND consumers AND ecosystems. Companies need to do what they are good at (product development) but also have to have the courage to go outside of their comfort zone (new business development). So exploit and explore! Both dimensions require different approaches, different ownership within the company, different timelines, different KPI´s, … but without new business development and moving up the value chain, future growth will be limited and global competition will continue to drive prices (and profits) lower. While current business metrics fit well with product development, new business development requires new metrics. Additionally, the right company culture is vital to succeed with new business development and this may be an additional challenge in Taiwan.

With Philips, I have seen the role of innovation change, I have seen the issues from a large corporate in building new business from within (and with support from the outside). I have also seen the issues from a small company trying to build new business through partnerships. These learning provide the background for the model (and examples) that will be presented in the lecture and applies to small and large companies. This involves a cross functional approach and significant people and ecosystem development across the innovation family.

 

“Today companies need to go beyond technology – it´s about technology AND people management AND consumers AND ecosystems."

 

What are your thoughts on succession innovation approach?

Companies need to adapt to the changing role of innovation in a changing world. It´s vital to innovate for the long term financial growth and competitive advantage of your company. Innovation is about turning ideas into money, whereas research (maybe often seen as innovation in the past) is about turning money into ideas! And innovation is only a success when it’s a business success! New business development is a real challenge – for every company, large or small. LED light was not invented as a linear extrapolation of the incandescent bulb! Nor electric light from the continuous improvement of the candle! So new business development requires a new approach! We need to protect such activities from the current business, discuss & disagree with one another when developing the (long term) strategy, we need to develop relevant ecosystems in parallel and above all, experiment in the market & learn from failure, but understand when it comes to execution that the competition is outside!

Business development is vital for long term profitable growth – even if this means cannibalizing your current business, in a controlled manner. If you don´t, someone else will while the competition eat away the profits of your current business!

My lecture in the 2017 Demand-driven Innovation Forum is based on experience working with a large and small company and discussions with colleagues on corporate venturing models and networks being used in the Benelux. It will cover, through examples, a framework of how to manage (new) business development from a company  perspective. Hopefully it will provide new insights to the Taiwanese industry on the role of innovation in new business development in a dynamic world and how to cope with the uncertainties of success in this space.

 

“Innovation is only a success when it’s a business success! New business development requires a new approach! We need to protect such activities from the current business,  we need to develop relevant ecosystems in parallel and above all, experiment in the market & learn from failure, but understand when it comes to execution that the competition is outside!"

 

> Read more about 2017 Demand-Driven Innovation Forum

 

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