Yahoo Finance senior correspondent JP Mangalindan hosted a panel at unBound Digital 2016 in London about the importance of innovation to corporate growth.
Culture and DNA become more important when you reach a larger scale, said Just Eat chief operating officer Adrian Blair.
“When you have people all over the world, you need a culture to help it flourish,” he commented, adding that often the best ideas come from the front line of the organisation from the restaurant owners themselves when they have access to data visualisation.
At Nasdaq, senior vice president Adam Kostyál outlined how new projects are tested at marginal costs in efficient ways, with employees given the opportunity to present ideas to a board. “Many ideas don’t even make it outside the building, but some have become fantastic projects,” he added, describing he saw that not investing in ideas as a “huge opportunity cost”.
Time Inc senior vice president of innovation Steven Haft felt that the most interesting experience of failure was “speaking the truth to power”: “When you start changing the playbook, you have to learn how to communicate the change.”
Looking at what constitutes success, Channel 4 head of commercial growth fund Vinay Solanki stressed the difference in polarisation between the ecosystems in the US versus that in Europe.
Solanki added that innovation needs to come from the top and seep through the organisation. “It’s got to be great fucking product, it requires obsessive levels of detail.”
“We started as the only food tech incubator,” said Blair. “We want to foster innovation in the sector, we recognise there’ll be lots of great food tech ideas outside the boundaries of our country, we want to support that. We want to make some money but we are also more concerned about innovation.
“It’s remarkable how quickly innovative stuff bleeds into the core business,” added Blair, citing the Amazon Echo. “We invest in technology because we see it as best.”