Scout, Juggle, and Ignore Technology to Out-Innovate the Competition: Lessons from CSAA

Innovation: Scout, Juggle, and Ignore Technology

Debbie Brackeen was in the “innovation” business before it was even called “innovation.” After completing her undergrad at Stanford University, she found herself in the heart of Silicon Valley. She spent her first years at Apple followed by stints at a variety of high-tech companies from HP to venture-baked start-ups. Today she is the chief strategy and innovation officer at CSAA Insurance Group, one of the largest AAA insurers in the world.

How the Hype Cycle Can Help You Make Sense of the Future

How the Hype Cycle Can Help You Make Sense of the Future

While working on an analysis for a client, attempting to assess the key trends that will shape the future of apparel, my mind turns to how an emerging technology in any industry can rise, fall, and eventually succeed. To help understand how trends like artificial intelligence, blockchain, or big data will affect any client, we often turn to the “hype cycle.”

5 Steps to Become a Disruptor Next Year (Part II)

5 Steps to Become a Disruptor Next Year

Last week, I shared the first three steps of PPG’s unique approach to being a disruptor: build your technology toolkit, sense market needs, and match technology to needs.  But there are two more important steps to take to help your company go from just keeping up to disrupting: crossing the valley of death and measuring your innovation pipeline.

How To See Around The Corner

It is so easy to miss! When the future was lobbing softballs at you, you could hit the trends every time. But the future has upped its game. It’s throwing fastballs and curveballs now.

What software company would’ve thought five years ago that Amazon would be its biggest competitor in the cloud? What automobile manufacturer thought five years ago that a simple mobile app would force them to rethink their business?

Why “Digital Transformation” Will Demand Intrapreneurs

An odd thing happened in a client’s boardroom recently. We were listing out the competitors we needed to keep an eye on as part of a scenario planning exercise. We had discussed the usual suspects – long-time direct – and even the more recent entrants – mostly technology start-ups that were now picking up speed. Then someone said, “What really scares me are the competitors we can’t see.”