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Home > Kicking off 2009 with innovation as the CORE STRATEGY!

Kicking off 2009 with innovation as the CORE STRATEGY!

08Fast.jpgI’ve been confirmed as the opening keynote speaker for the 14th Annual Portfolio Management for New Products & Services Conference in Fort Lauderdale, February 2009.

The event is sponsored by the Product Development and Management Association, the membership of which are individuals responsible for product and service innovation throughout the corporate world globally, as well as from within the world of academia. It’s a pretty influential crowd, and I’m honored that I will be able to share my insight with them. Previous keynote speakers have included G Lafley, CEO, Procter & Gamble; Mads Nipper, SVP of Product & Marketing Development, Lego Group; Gary Loveman, CEO & President, Harrah’s Entertainment; and Tom Stewart, Former Editor in Chief, Harvard Business Review, among others. The PDMA is the publisher of the renowned Journal of Product Innovation Management, which is arguably the must-read academic journal that covers the latest issues with new product and service development.

This year, the conference theme tends to revolve around my entire focus on “innovating faster” — “creating a high performance environment to fuel strategic growth and operational excellence.”

“In the changing global economy it gets harder every day to develop winning portfolios that drive long term business value. The 14th Annual Portfolio Management for New Products & Services Conference will present a critical 360 degree view of portfolio management from the discovery phase straight through to commercialization. Learn to innovate faster, optimize resources, select the right projects, and ultimately develop a high performance environment that fuels growth & organizational excellence regardless of the economic conditions”

The issue of faster time-to-market has become increasingly important with fast-paced economic change. With all the volatility, consumer choice can change quickly ; brand image can shift radically ; execution becomes critical. I’ll focus on a variety of themes as to how I see organizations doing this.

Here’s a key message in advance of the conference: it can be tough, right now, to be an innovator, particularly as organizations deal with the economic crisis. But, the big question is: do you start/continue to innovate now, or do you wait until conditions improve?

To me, the choice is obvious. I detailed this in my blog post, The Seven Stages of Economic Grief. I also addressed the issue in another earlier blog post, A Memo to the CEO, in which I stressed the need for a continued focus on innovation despite challenging times.

I think they are well worth a read again.


  • Innovation and the “Seven Stages of Economic Grief?”
  • Read the Memo to the CEO

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