Tuesday, February 4, 2014

FEI EMEA 2014 Day 1 (The Afternoon)



Networkers never stop, specially during lunchtime and so it was. Lunchtime was a great opportunity to catch up the hot topics from the morning sessions and meet many brilliant people.

The expectations were high since the morning has pushed them further and the Future Trends Summit started with Guy from Diageo, the company behind some of the drinks that keep our spirits high.
In a Nutshell: Navigating for the Future: Growing Innovation in an Uncertain Economy
Guy Escolme (Diageo)

Diageo is sitting at the shoulders of giant brands that are the core of their business. So, in this context, innovation was traditionally made of technical product improvement. 
Competitors, European economic downturn, and increasingly customer sophistication triggered innovation throughout the wide brand portfolio Diageo owns. 
Guy's presentation revealed how this intentionally became part of the Diageo's DNA since they keep the organizational structure involved from customer research to on trade brand activation, and although involving all these organizational teams this has been the secret to success.

Example: Guy was kind enough to share how they've done it with a number of Diageo's Brands 

Lessons Learned:
- If your Customer is on to sophistication then you better follow him with sophisticated innovations
- "What if" questions based on trends information boosted some of most successful innovations launched.  


In a Nutshell: Opportunities in Ever-Changing China
Jianhe Mao (Unipec)

Going beyond myths and folk stories and facts about nowadays China, Mr. Mao, revealed some numbers that attest the market potential.
In one word: Huge! Every rate is Huge at China. Likewise the opportunities, threats and uncertainty are... Huge.

Example: Mr Mao mostly gave us insightful tips on how to approach Chinese Market.

Lessons Learned:
- Overcoming fears, myths and cultural gaps are still major challenges when it comes to work with China.
- Chinese are very keen on "surpassing the copycat image"
- China changes everyday (with huge numbers around it)


In a Nutshell: Want To Get Your Next 10 Million Users?    
Lidia Oshlyansky (Google)

This is about business. Knowing about your customer is about collecting intelligence for decision making.
Lidia made a bright presentation on how to extract meaning from data and insights you've collected from your customers.
This is specifically important when considering emerging markets. Lidia, showed how good indicators can lead you to better decisions without falling on the ethnocentric trap.

Example: Price point, adoptability, enabling power supply comparing Emerging Markets and Germany.

Lessons Learned:  
- Once a UX designer always a UX designer
- Situations are different between Western Economies and Emerging Markets but aspirations are not.
  


And then the highlighted Keynotes for Day One

A Keynote in a Nutshell:  State of the industry: Breakthrough  Innovation & Growth
David Percival (PWC and FEI Advisory Board Member) 

More romantic or more philosophical, innovation is part of everyday talk in companies worldwide.
Nowadays innovation really became an industrialized business process in successful innovative companies. But what about the others? David Percival has delivered a high value talk putting it quite simple:
- Why do companies want to innovate? Because, in the last 3 years, innovative companies are growing 1.5 X faster than average companies.
- As companies, we have to figure out what do we want to do, where do we want to be in the near future and then apply operating systems to get it done.
- To figure it out we just have to look at the figures: [on repeat mode] innovative companies are growing 1.5 X than average and having up to 60% of revenue from innovation projects.



A Keynote in a Nutshell:  The four lenses of innovation: A powerful tool for breakthrough thinking 
Rowan Gibson (Author of Innovation to the Core)

The Innovation to the Core book is a bestseller for a good reason. It's made of good research and based on companies experience. For years Rowan and his colleague followed companies to spot the pattern that would enable innovation.
We're used to think of leading innovators as ├╝ber people blessed with special foreseeing gifts but Rowan's work helped to unmask this cognitive trap. Innovation is most likely to happen in a systematic way specially if we leave the blinkers forever behind. This is why the four lenses analogy makes sense, and, even better, works worldwide. 
So throw your blinkers away and put the four lenses to work challenging your own (companies') orthodoxies, harness trends, leverage resources and understand needs.


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