STRATEGIC INNOVATION AT A LARGE PRINT MEDIA COMPAGNY
A $3bb print media company was facing declining revenues and threats to its business model as digital media alternatives proliferated, consumer habits were changing fast, and a recession threatened to suppress advertising spending indefinitely. A new CEO had just been hired to try to reverse the decline and transform the business for renewed growth…
Facing unprecedented challenges, the new CEO urgently needs an accurate assessment of the new environment, ideas for action, and organizational alignment behind the chosen strategy.
PRODUCT INNOVATION AT INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP
The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) operates more than 4,000 hotels in nearly 100 countries. In a world that grows ever smaller, more global and more digital, travelers’ tastes and needs evolve rapidly, forcing IHG to innovate constantly or lose out to the competition.
Zubin Dowlaty, IHG’s vice president for emerging technologies, was looking for ways that new web technologies could help improve IHG’s innovation process. He was acutely aware that – as is typical within large organizations – the enormous creative potential of IHG’s human resource went largely unexploited for lack of an efficient outlet. «We wanted to tap the creative class that may not be able to voice their ideas,» Mr. Dowlaty explained to the New York Times.
- More than 200 people participated, submitting 85 ideas.
- The winners were engineers, analysts and contractors, not managers.
- The winning ideas were suggestions to improve searching the company’s Web site to find and book hotel rooms, and two projects have been implemented as a result.
- One of the winning ideas involved such an innovative integration of Google Maps that Google even wrote a case study about it…
- The resulting strategy and portfolio of initiatives continue to drive performance over two years later.
PRICE FORECASTING AT A LEADING FOOD PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTOR
The client company – the leader in its field – provides food products to the globally traded markets. Its ability to anticipate the evolution of market prices is therefore essential.
When, after many years of relative stability, the market prices of its products suddendly shot up due to exploding demand in emerging countries (see chart), all forecasting models based on historical data – looking backwards – became obsolete. As a result, the company’s ability to forecast future market prices was greatly challenged. Casting about for a new forecasting method, the company decided to try to leverage the collective insights of its own traders…
Results Our competitive forecasting market was one of five forecasting methods that the company was combining in a weighted average to compute its final forecasts. At first, the collective forecast weighed for just 20% on the final forecast, but it proved so good compared to the four other methods that, after just a year of testing and evaluation, the company bumped its weight up to 50%.