On today’s How to CEO podcast, I had the opportunity to speak with Jason Schlachter, a senior program manager for Artificial Intelligence from Stanley Black and Decker. He’s going to give us some insight as to how innovation works from a corporate perspective as well as share his view on how to translate business requirements into an innovation project. Here is what CEOs need to know about innovation.
How does innovation work from a corporate perspective?
Jason highlighted the fact that there is no silver bullet to innovation. essential, there are studies that show that 65 to 85% of all AI projects fail. The truth is when innovation works, it’s working because of the business driving it in the first place, but the business must want change in the first place. There needs to be a customer problem they’re trying to fix and they need to be willing to invest the time and money into the success of the innovation project.
Innovation doesn’t work when you try and sell the tech within the business. Typically, it’s never the tech that fails; it’s the transition of good tech or capability into the business.
How do you translate a business requirement into an innovation project?
It’s Jason’s view that you need to learn more about the different types of innovation in order to translate the business requirement into an innovation project. He believes the holy grail lies within the disruptive side of things.
When looking at disruptive innovation, you can create a small team with different functions and get them to drive the effort, similar to a startup. This way they’re free from the organizational constraints and bureaucracy, allowing them to build the momentum they need to succeed. In short, unbranded companies have more flexibility and creative freedom.
Jason believes it is important to understand that anyone can innovate. It comes from understanding customer problems.
How do you see corporate working well with the startup ecosystem?
For corporate to work well with the startup ecosystem, you need the venture capital arm. Jason explains that at Stanley Black and Decker, they have a venture team that invests in dozens of startups that align with their business. Having a venture capital arm trying to drive strategy is vital. It’s not all about money. They look at gaining data, customers, and various other forms of information and value from their investments.
If you want to hear more from Jason, make sure to listen to the full version of this episode here.