UTEK Webinar Synopsis: Regina Lewis – Adopting an Innovation Strategy

by Braden Kelley

I had the good fortune to attend Regina Lewis’ webinar yesterday on “Adopting an Innovation Strategy”, and will now share some of the notes, quotes, and key insights I was able to capture.

Please NOTE: Because these are notes, they may be a little rough, but I’ve done my best to clean them up.

Regina Lewis, Ph.D., Vice President of Consumer Insights for InterContinental Hotels Group, wrapped up this informative webinar with her discussion on the impact of adopting an innovation strategy and its benefits to InterContinental Hotels.

Here are some of Regina Lewis’ thoughts:

We operate in a franchised environment, and when we come up with any new innovation or update, we have to sell that into the franchisees.

I oversee our innovation insights and innovation research work.

We cannot ignore radical innovations as incremental innovations may be ignored by customers.

We always begin looking at true unmet consumer needs:

  • We look at secondary research with “futurists”
  • We also look for unmet consumer needs through in-depth exploratory work with our customers via ethnography
    • To innovate in hotels you need to have an understanding of how people live

Once we have ideas then we conduct quantitative research with consumers and ask them about the last time they stayed in a hotel and about the next time that they plan to stay.

What are those innovations that can predict increased occupancy?

  • We need to go to pilot hotels with statistical choice modeling and a business case
  • Then we can isolate the pilot hotels versus control hotels (tracking 1 pilot hotel versus maybe 20 control hotels) to see if it was our innovation that drove changes in occupancy versus some external factor
  • We do not sacrifice art for the science to make sure that the fuzzy front end of innovation is driving what we do out there

We have to prove things in the pilor hotels before rolling ideas out globally.

Consumers will not come unless we are giving them something that either rationally or emotionally is important to them.

I hope these notes have given you a good idea of some of what was discussed in Regina Lewis’ presentation of “Adopting an Innovation Strategy” and what the key takeaways were. Please also see my blog articles on Gary Hamel’s and Tim Jones‘ portions of the webinar.

Happy innovating!


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