Innovating to Win in Emerging Markets

Consumers in emerging markets, which will control more than half of the world’s GDP within 10 years, demand innovation like everyone else. But they want it through low-cost products. Today’s advanced economies went through something similar in past decades. But environmental consciousness is greater today, which adds a dimension to frugal innovation. To do “better” as well as “good” with less, global players must think creatively about more than just manufacturing, supply chain management, marketing and compliance. They must also think about how they structure partnerships and organize themselves to become effective at emerging market innovation. This session will draw lessons from companies doing things right.

Moderator: Anil K. Gupta, Smith School’s Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy and Entrepreneurship

 Listening to the Quietest Voice in the Room

You might have a diverse workforce. But what happens when people from different backgrounds don’t feel comfortable speaking up? Inclusive organizations do more than expand their talent searches. They also bring people to the table, accommodate different communication styles, and listen to the quietest voice in the room. Some organizations hope this happens by accident, but hope is not a strategy. In a VUCA world, organizations must be more intentional with their inclusion efforts. This session will focus on what organizations are doing that works and how to take your team to the next level.

Moderator: Jeff McKinney, President, The Angkor Group

 Playing at the Cutting Edge Without Getting Hurt

Change comes fast on the front lines of disruptive technology, and people who snooze get left behind. Just ask Blockbuster, Myspace, BlackBerry and the entire taxi industry. When responding to innovation, timing is often the hardest part to nail — especially for industry leaders lulled to sleep by their success. (Why change when things are going so well?) This session will focus on how to detect technology, when and how to react, and what to do when you move too slow and things are going south already.

Moderator: Oliver Schlake, Smith School clinical professor of management and organization


 I, Human: Rise of the Creativity Machines

Robots already have swiped jobs that require repetition and manual labor. Now they’re coming after jobs that require linear thinking. That includes driving cars, flying airplanes and even analyzing legal documents and X-rays. Firms that harness technology will thrive in this environment. But if they treat automation solely as a way to reduce expenses, they will leave value on the table. The biggest ideas will be those that create economic opportunities for humans by amplifying their capacity to see patterns and make connections in nonlinear ways. This session will focus on the true luxury item of the future: Creativity.

Moderator: Jonathan Aberman, Smith School adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and strategy

 Now What? Converting Data into Insights

Remember Indiana Jones? He survived a burning building, a menacing swordsman and a pit of snakes to recover the Lost Ark. But when he delivered the relic safely to the good guys, nobody knew what to do with it. So it went into an Army warehouse. Something similar happens with big data. Businesses rush to keep up with information collection and storage. But increasingly, managers are asking: “Now what?” This session will examine data analytics in terms of how to convert information into actual insights that drive strategy.

Moderator: Wendy W. Moe, Smith School professor and academic director, MS in Marketing Analytics

 Swimming With the Fintechs and Regulators

The banking industry has swum in choppy waters since the financial crisis of 2008-09. Turbulence has come from fintech companies offering a different approach to lending, the acceleration of cybersecurity threats and the rise of tech-savvy millennials dissatisfied with mainstream banking products and services. For better or worse, lifeguards on duty have added to the complexity with an onslaught of new regulations. This session will focus on where banking and regulation need to go next to find smoother waters.

Moderator: Clifford Rossi, Smith School professor of the practice and executive-in-residence