If you have a C-suite that’s focused on this quarter’s results, getting their attention on something that is two years away from revenue is hard. – Bill Weber (@ATLInnovator), president of GrowthPilot in our conversation at the 2018 IRI Annual Conference in Atlanta.
The C-Suite knows they need R&D for business sustainability, but it’s so hard to get them to look away from a prize that’s so close. The two groups are operating on two different timelines.
Success happens when an executive is truly engaged with the R&D department, said Weber, supporting them every step of the way through the process. Since there’s always going to be a mismatch on timelines, short term profits, and goals, arguments are inevitable.
Weber recalls a great argument he had with a client that built sensors for cars. They wanted to start manufacturing cameras and sell them alongside their car sensors. Initially, it sounded like a good idea and they were looking for a consultant to validate their effort. Problem is, as Weber discovered, these cameras were becoming highly commoditized and the margins were getting thinner and thinner. The real money was in the software to operate the cameras.
Even though they hired Weber for his unbiased opinion, they thought they had come up with a great idea. They didn’t want to hear no. They just wanted validation. After Weber presented a mountain of data, the client finally conceded.
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