June 04, 2010
Organized by George Day, Paul Schoemaker, Nicolaj Siggelkow, and Harbir Singh
Among the most vexing issues in the management of innovation is the making of wise bets on long-term technological or business model innovations when long-run prospects are highly uncertain and short-run costs are almost certain. Interest in this issue had recently intensified because of several countervailing factors that were the topics of this conference.
On one hand, the global recession and pressures on short-term earnings have made long-term investments more difficult to make or sustain. The performance of the equity markets has raised doubts about the wisdom of using stock price movements as a guide to long-term action. Many old rules about investing in innovation are being questioned, and the new rules have yet to be written.
Meanwhile, the pace of innovation has not slowed, government stimulus money is flowing into many sectors, and there are valuable new ways of managing innovation investments to delay major commitments and contain risk. These factors raise a number of questions that demand the attention of senior managers.
• How do investments in business model innovation compare to investments in technological innovation in terms of risk, return, time frames, decision processes and leadership?
• What is the latest thinking on managing innovation investments by staging costs, using partners and collaborators, and creating portfolios of real options?
• What organizational arrangements are most effective in supporting risky, long-term investments? What is the role of structure, culture, metrics and incentives?
• What are the opportunities for gaining competitive advantage in times of turmoil, and which companies and countries are best equipped to seize these opportunities?
• Does heavy government involvement in the form of regulations, barriers or subsides make long run innovation investments more or less attractive?
In our 2010 Spring Conference, the Mack Center for Technological Innovation brought together a distinguished group of academics and practitioners to share their thinking, experience and latest research, and identify next practices in the management of innovation. The themes and insights from this conference were of immediate interest to senior managers seeking to capture the greatest economic value from their innovation investments.
8:30 am – 8:45 am – WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
Professor of Management, Vice Dean for Global Initiatives, Co-Director Mack Center for Technological Innovation, The Wharton School
8:45am – 9:30 am – THE BIG PICTURE: AN INNOVATION AGENDA
Senior Fellow, The Mack Center
9:30 am – 10:15 am – A FINANCIAL PERSPECTIVE ON INVESTING IN TECHNOLOGY
Adjunct Professor of Finance, The Wharton School
10:15 am – 10:45 am – BREAK
10:45 am – 11:30 am – THE REWARDS FROM BUSINESS MODEL INNOVATION
Goergen Professor of Entrepreneurship, Academic Director of the Wharton Global Family Alliance, The Wharton School
11:30 am – 12:15 pm – GENERAL ELECTRIC’S APPROACH TO INVESTING IN R&D
Marketing and Consumer Insight, General Electric
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm – LUNCH
1:15 pm – 2:00 pm – VALUING LONG RUN HIGH POTENTIAL INVESTMENTS
Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Director, Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, The Wharton School
Alex van Putten
Adjunct Lecturer (Management), The Wharton School
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm – TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCT CYCLES: THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN CAPITAL
F. Mark Gumz
President and CEO, Olympus Corporation of the Americas
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm – BREAK
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm – A VENTURE CAPITAL PERSPECTIVE
Managing Partner, First Round Capital
3:45 pm – 4:30 pm – LONG RUN INVESTMENTS IN ‘SUSTAINABLE’ TECHNOLOGIES: THE CASE OF LED LIGHTING
Chairman, Lighting Science Group