Treating projects like startups and keeping senior leaders in the loop at Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls, the Wisconsin-based building and energy technology company, has been innovating since it was founded by Warren Johnson in 1885. Johnson was a college professor frustrated by his inability to control the temperature of his classroom, so he invented the first thermostat and temperature regulation system for buildings. Today, the $37 billion company has 130,000 employees, and is in the midst of a mega-merger with Tyco, the global fire and security provider.

johnson-kupresIn recent years, Johnson Controls has developed a new approach to treating and funding new ideas more like startups — and also keeping them separate from the existing business units.

“It’s really driven by a desire to accelerate growth,” say Chief Marketing Officer Kim Metcalf-Kupres, right. “The trends that are driving demand for our technologies and services are moving fast, and they’re moving fast on a global basis.”

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