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Upcoming events

  1. The New Age of Collaboration, Innovation, and Product Development

    Workshop: Oct 7 - 8 / Louisville, Kentucky

  2. Using Product Line Roadmapping to Stimulate Innovation

    Audio Session: Friday, October 16, 2015 1:00pm

  3. Portfolio Management for New Products

    Audio Session: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 10:00am

  4. E-learning Master Class on Winning at New Product Innovation

    Workshop: Nov 4 - 19 / Online Series - Nov. 5, 12, 16, 19

  5. Develop Your Product Innovation & Technology Strategy

    Audio Session: Thursday, November 12, 2015 10:00am

  6. Beyond Stage Gate – Part I:

    Audio Session: Monday, November 16, 2015 10:00am

  7. Leading Transformation: Steering Versus Being Steered

    Conference: Nov 19 - 19 / Eaglewood Resort, Chicago IL

  8. Beyond Stage Gate – Part II:

    Audio Session: Thursday, November 19, 2015 10:00am

MRT News & Updates

Smart Connected Products Meet Lean Start-up: GE’s Imagination Really is at Work!

While General Electric has been around forever, the company certainly doesn’t rest on its laurels.One of GE’s most impressive new innovations is its FirstBuild Microfactory in Louisville, Kentucky. The idea is to rapidly prototype next-generation home appliances and market test them before scaling up. Using 3D printing and related technologies while offering an incubator of sorts to inventors, entrepreneurs and students, FirstBuild combines the best of ‘Lean Start-Up’ with IoT. The result? Some winners, some failures – but all pretty darn smart.



Can millennials help predict the future of corporate innovation? Management Roundtable and MindSumo launch a challenge to find out

We often hear our customers talk about crowdsourcing to find the ‘next big thing,’ so when we were offered the opportunity to tap the minds of bright college students, how could we say no?  

Unlike many challenges, however, the one we just launched in partnership with MindSumo is not to come up with new product ideas (though that would have been good, too). We set a somewhat loftier goal -- to predict the future of corporate innovation.  

Read more > 

Leading Transformative Innovation – Inspiring People to Achieve Their Best

An exclusive interview with Jean E. Spence
Former Executive Vice President, Research Development & Quality, Mondelez International, Inc. (formerly Kraft Foods, Inc.)

Most firms today have had to change their game to compete.  The economy, industry fragmentation, increasing cost of goods, consumer price-shopping, the Internet, globalization – the list of reasons goes on.  While everyone talks about innovation, the reality is that pressure is even higher to improve profit margins and productivity.  As a result, many organizations have been restructuring to boost ROI.  Often this means cuts, which can actually inhibit the creativity required to fuel growth.

Under such circumstances, how do you lead people to do their best?  Especially when you lead R&D – which is often viewed as a cost center, yet expected to innovate new products and technologies.

To find out, we talked with Jean Spence. Jean was a senior leader at Kraft Foods’ restructuring, three-year turnaround, and Organizing for Growth (OFG) initiative.  She then went on to lead innovation and collaboration initiatives at Mondelez International, the remaining company after the Kraft Foods spinoff. Jean was a key member of the executive team that spearheaded both the people and product side of Kraft’s major transformation.  If anybody could speak to the implementation challenges and success factors, it is Jean.

Here is what she shared >


Why join the Kano Innovation Collaborative?

Work with other members of the Kano Innovation Collaborative to walk through each step of the Kano Analysis process using your own questions. During this unique program, you will:

  • Determine the customer requirements that you would like to prioritize
  • Develop survey questions in the proper format
  • Distribute the survey questions to the population
  • Analyze the results of the survey using Excel spreadsheet

Key Program Benefits:

  • Join a group of peers from other companies tacking the same innovation challenges.
  • Receive expert guidance at every step of the process.
  • Practice Kano methods hands-on using real-life examples to refine your techniques.
  • Get started applying Kano to your own company's projects.
  • Walk through your survey analysis with proven tools to make sense of your data.
  • Develop the confidence to apply Kano techniques to your highest priority product lines.

Group acitivites will begin prior to June 19th and there is limited space available, so sign up today!  Click Here for more information and to watch our recent webinar on Kano Methods with Wayne Mackey.

How do Agile Software Development Practices Translate to Hardware Development?

If your organization develops products that contain electronics, the options for product innovation and differentiation have largely moved beyond mechanical and electrical engineering techniques and are increasingly focused on software.

Led by Dr. Scott S. Elliott, MRT's new Master Class on Agile Hardware/Software Device Development is at the forefront of the techniques used for developing modern products.  This exclusive 4-part online weekly series begins on Friday, June 5 and will cover how to blend agile and waterfall development processes to achieve the speed and quality of software while considering the special context and constraints of delivering physical hardware.

While agile development processes have become the dominant paradigm in software development, they are still not widely used in the development of the hardware side of the product. Hardware development processes still largely follow a waterfall development process. However, with today's rapid prototyping and emulation/simulation technologies, it is now possible to develop hardware using agile methodologies.

For organizations that develop electronic products, a robust process for reconciling hardware and software development techniques across the supply chain offers enormous opportunity to lower cost, reduce frustration, improve supplier relations, and speed time to market.

Bring your team together for this informative and actionable, four-part online series on how to implement lean and agile development tools into your integrated product development process.

Is this happening in your organization?

  • Lack of agreement on innovation priorities
  • Misalignment between business strategies and product strategies or no strategies at all
  • Conflicting priorities between departments
  • Losing market share to your competitors

If so, then consider attending MRT's new 4-part online Master Class series of webinars starting April 17, The Innovators Guide to Strategy, to help solve these issues and put some direction in your innovation. There's no travel required and you can easily attend with your team to ensure everyone gets on the same page.

Strategic Planning for products and technology - how roadmaps ensure innovation and corporate growth

Does your organization have a clear innovation strategy that is understood and supported at all levels? Do you know where to focus R&D resources?  Where the market is headed, what your best opportunities are, and what disruptions are possible?

If you want to gain more control over your innovation future, one of the most powerful strategic planning tools is roadmapping -- in particular landscape maps and route maps.

Landscape maps link together market and technology factors, business drivers, capabilities and competitors. Route maps tell you what to do. Dr. Jay Paap has developed a proprietary framework around these maps and has helped many leading companies implement -- with significant results.

For a brief overview and visual picture of Landscape, Route Maps and Dr. Paap's framework, click here. For details on the next Roadmapping workshop to be led by Dr. Paap on April 7-8, 2015 in the Boston area, click here.

Exciting Updates to CoDev Program

The focus of CoDev this year is Connected Innovation – how to dramatically increase business value by expanding boundaries and connecting products, services, and technologies in powerful new ways.

Ford Motor Company is one outstanding example, and we are delighted that Dr. Ken Washington, Vice President, Research and Innovation, Ford Motor Company has joined our faculty. His opening keynote will bring together the critical success factors of OI – how collaboration across an extended ecosystem coupled with deep understanding of customer needs led to transformative innovation and growth.

We are also very happy to announce the following new sessions:

And more.... We hope to see you there! Reserve online or call 800-338-2223 or 781-891-8080 

How do you measure and demonstrate the business value of open innovation?

Since the main purpose of OI is to create new business value, how do you know if you are on track? Even more importantly, what should you do if not? Metrics leaders from Clorox, Johnson Controls Automotive and Campbell Soup discuss key indicators and action steps.
Creating more business value through open innovation is also a major theme of CoDev 2015. This highly anticipated event will bring together advanced practitioners from Goodyear, Ford Motor, Johnson & Johnson, Mondelez, Clorox, Campbell Soup, BASF, Amway, Axion Health, DSM, Sanofi, Battelle, JM Smucker, Local Motors and many more to share how their collaborative efforts are generating top line growth.  Details here . 
Sign up today!

Leading Open Innovation and Change – Go ‘All In’ or Go Home

"A central objective is to make people uncomfortable with the status quo and excited about the future state…For change to happen everyone must really want it. They must be all in."   David A. Shore, PhD, Harvard University and author of Launching and Leading Change Initiatives in Health Care Organizations: Managing Successful Projects shares his thoughts on leading change initiatives and creating the buy-in necessary for breakthrough innovation to occur. Interview>

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