Cultivating Growth and Disrupting Proactively

Mack Institute events don’t typically include references to farming techniques, but the Fall Conference 2013 was a rare exception.

In this video summary of his presentation, Takeshi Yamaguchi describes how Nissan’s approach to advanced technical development resembles the cultivation of an orchard. Instead of a linear approach, Nissan achieves successful results by concurrently nurturing all parts of the system: enriching the soil (R&D), growing the seeds (technological development), and harvesting the fruits (commercialization).

Takeshi Yamaguchi, Nissan’s VP of Nissan Technical Center North America, describes his company’s approach to advanced technical development.

Yamaguchi also describes his company’s efforts to speed up their products’ time to market by completing the traditional product development steps virtually, rather than building a full prototype for each step. Given the challenges posed by the increasing integration of IT and the automotive industry, the need to speed up development is becoming ever more urgent.

In another presentation summary, Hertz’s Scott Gaines describes how Hertz is disrupting its own business and expanding beyond the typical airport car-rental model. For example, mobile technology now allows the company to offer high-touch customer interactions even in remote areas. Hertz has also introduced live video kiosks and integrated elements of carsharing technologies, enabling the company to free itself from the asset-heavy constraints of traditional brick-and-mortar locations.

Scott Gaines, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Hertz, describes the company’s strategies for disrupting its own business model.

Both Hertz and Nissan are Mack Institute corporate partners. Learn more about corporate partnership with the Mack Institute.

Michelle Eckert is Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Mack Institute, where she works to engage students, researchers, and corporate partners in opportunities for collaboration. Michelle received her B.A. in Art from Valparaiso University in 2007. Her background includes two AmeriCorps terms of service working to teach mathematics, computer literacy, and job readiness skills to out-of-school youth in Philadelphia, focusing particularly on promoting access to post-secondary education.

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