Value Creation Best Practices
The premier R&D and value creation programs at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) are Engineering Research Centers. These are initiatives where multidisciplinary teams address grand challenge opportunities with $50M of funding over ten years. The centers are formed from leading U.S. universities and commercial partners. The goals of the initiatives are: 1) paradigm-shifting research, 2) training of students in team science and value creation, and 2) societal impact, including through commercialization. A 2017 study by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) I was part of made major recommendations for how the centers could be formed and managed to make the biggest societal impact. As shown below, the NSF is now implementing these new practices. I am extremely excited about this because I believe the changes made will have a major impact on the output of the centers and the ability of students to become successful value creators. The management of the NAE and NSF are to be congratulated. (more…)
The WPI Plan
Executive summary: Technical graduates must be accomplished value creators to thrive over their careers. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has pioneered the experiential education needed for success in the global innovation economy. In 2016 the WSJ selected WPI as the top U.S. school for combining teaching and research. (more…)
Executive summary: Solutions to many unmet customer and market needs are enabled by the convergence of exponentially improving technologies. Convergence science requires intensely collaborative and sustained value creation methodologies.
At the Internet of Things (IoT) conference in China last fall, with a thousand participants and many from manufacturing, I listen to Alibaba’s Jack Ma. He talked about his early career and some of the mistakes he made. He then, surprisingly, told the audience that they were all losing money, whether they knew it or not, because most of them were going away. (more…)
Your Value-Creation Playbook Is Core to Your Strategy
Executive summary: Creating sustainable customer and enterprise value is the purpose of a company, and all company functions must support those objectives. Each functional area in a company has a unique “playbook” that defines its goals and operating processes. Perhaps it is surprising, but remarkably few companies include a value-creation playbook as part of their strategy to assure success. Even fewer have a value-creation playbook at the strategic level to establish shared value-creation concepts and processes across all functions. The benefits from having a comprehensive, company-wide value-creation playbook can be transformative, as illustrated by SRI International.
Disruption: Established companies, when confronted with a disruptive change to their business model, almost all go away. The odds of adapting are likely less than 5%. Today we are seeing this play out in retail, transportation, and finance. (more…)