TRACK Workshop: Incubating Strategic Opportunities: Failure Modes and Methods to Overcome them

Event Type

Open Innovation and Contests, Strategic Planning, Continuous Improvement

The Lean Startup methods and associated tools have become widely adopted for managing high uncertainty projects.  Use of the Business Model canvas, Minimum Viable Product, field interviews and other  practices designed for the start-up context have gained widespread popularity in mature companies due to their focus on quick experiments, fast learning and focus on the technological, market and business model development requirements to support a potentially major innovation opportunity.

The corporate environment, however, differs from that of the start up, in that an organization’s divisional structure, budget cycles, and other established norms and routines already exist.  These present challenges and barriers to corporate venture and other strategic innovation teams, which the lean start up methods do not address.  In this workshop we offer two methods to help innovation teams in mature companies navigate all of the dimensions of uncertainty that a corporate context presents, as they seek to commercialize strategic innovation opportunities that could create whole new platforms of growth for their organizations.  

NEW! To help bring the conversation and knowledge back to your company, we are offer 1 free guest pass with your registration. Bringing a colleague can provide valuable perspective and help drive collaboration and innovation within your organization. Just email the name of your +1.

Workshop Outline:

  1. The many characteristics of uncertainty.
  2. Incubation as an Organizational competency: what it is and why it is needed.
  3. The Learning Plan Method
  4. Discovery Driven Planning
  5. What we need from our leaders to make this work.

Who should attend:

Corporate Venture, Open Innovation, New Business Development and other Innovation Managers seeking to commercialize strategic innovation opportunities that are beyond incremental innovations.

Registration Fees:

IRI Members: $295
Non Members: $395 

Due to limited seating, we request that you cancel at least 48 hours before a scheduled class. This gives us the opportunity to fill the class. However, if you do not cancel prior to the 48 hours, you will lose the payment for the class.

All IRI events are broadcast in Eastern Standard Time

Gina O'Connor

Gina O'Connor

Professor O’Connor joined Babson in January 2019. She conducts research, develops curricula and facilitates learning for graduate students and executives based on her research findings on Breakthrough Innovation in large mature companies.     Before joining Babson Gina spent 29 years at the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she held the roles of Professor of Marketing and Innovation Management, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the MBA program, Director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship and Director of the Radical Innovation Research Program. Prior to earning her PhD in Marketing and Corporate Strategy at NYU, she worked as a contract administrator for McDonnell Douglas Corporation and as a research analyst for Monsanto’s Department of Social Responsibility in St. Louis, Missouri.      Professor O’Connor has published papers in leading journals including Journal of Product Innovation Management, Organization Science, Journal of Marketing and Journal of Business Venturing.  Five of her papers have received best paper of the year awards in their respective journals.  Gina has co-authored three books on breakthrough innovation. The second of those: Grabbing Lightning: Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation, was named one of the top three business books of the year by Strategy + Business Magazine. In 2018 she was named a Crawford Fellow by the Product Development and Management Association, one of only six recipients of that award.     Gina’s professional objective is to help large established companies learn how to renew themselves through organic growth via step-out, game changing, breakthrough, strategic innovation, which introduces high levels of uncertainty into the innovation process and is typically stamped out in organizations.   She is a firm believer that, to be successful, companies must develop an innovation function, complete with its own people, processes, metrics and culture that operates within the company to translate emerging science, technology and business models into whole new platforms of growth that will fuel the company’s future health in spite of itself. She is an active speaker and consultant for a number of US and European companies, and is passionate about developing the next cadre of innovation leaders.     On the personal side, Gina’s permanent home is in Albany NY, where she lives with her husband.  Their three children are spread across the country doing their best to make the world a better place.  They are all members of the board of directors of a larger family owned operating foundation, Fostering Hope, which serves the needs of foster parents. 

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