Protecting Your Innovation Budget

March 14, 2024

A persistently uncertain economic context is prompting a recalibration of corporate innovation strategies. See the recent closure of Walmart’s Store No. 8, changes at Google X, and innovation team reductions at several Fortune 50s as examples.

It’s clear that most companies are concerned with strengthening their core businesses — and that’s not good news for growth teams. If you’re chartered with “innovation beyond the core,” it’s crucial that you deliver quick wins…right now…to protect, if not expand, your senior leadership support.

In this recent Master Class, team members from Disruptive Edge share advice on how to do that. It features Fenton Jagdeo, Growth Leader; June Barrage, Market Leader for the US & Middle East; and Vincent Atallah, President of Aucctus, a new AI tool for ideating, testing, and launching new ideas.

“We believe that the emergence of AI marks a historic development in innovation,” Barrage says. “Now, we’re looking at the acceleration of innovation, and how we can move with speed and quality, and how AI-powered innovation is shaping the ground for that.”

“We say innovation is the sweet spot between art and science… you need to be creative, [but] you also need to have a formula,” Barrage says. “Anybody can come up with an idea; it’s actually the execution that matters the most.”

Barrage also discussed “vanity” or “activity metrics,” which may not effectively capture the value that an innovation team is creating. Jadgeo suggested a set of more useful metrics, like the conversion rate at which ideas are being turned into prototypes and commercialized. He called the metrics below the “gold standard metrics,” which have more of an impact on the organization as a whole. “Are we driving profit margin… can we prove that the ideas we’ve commercialized have an impact on shareholder value as proved through EBITDA?” Jagdeo said.

Barrage also discussed the importance of motivating employees and leadership to support innovation, and Atallah demoed a proof-of-concept version of the AI tool Aucctus.

To watch the webcast, click “play” above. You can also download Disruptive Edge’s slides in PDF form below.

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