Optimizing Innovation – Jack Anderson of Chevron

by Braden Kelley

Jack Anderson of ChevronWe are happy to bring you some of the key points and insights from Jack Anderson’s talk at the Optimizing Innovation Conference, which was held October 21-22, 2009 in New York City.

Jack Anderson, Innovation Specialist at Chevron, spoke first about innovation and IT’s overall posture (High Level IT Posture Within the Organization):

  • Systematic innovation
  • Managed innovation
  • Defined innovation
  • Sporadic innovation
  • Initial/Ad hoc innovation

Versus the view of IT as:

  • Cost Center
  • Service Center
  • Investment Center
  • Value Center

Jack Anderson works in the technology group at Chevron:

  • Chevron leadership sees innovation as a connector
  • One of Chevron’s core values is based around ingenuity
  • Chevron employees are expected to be collaborative and to be ingenious, but you still have to know the right person to ask for the data

“How do we get the great ideas articulated so that people can do something with those ideas?”

Chevron has three modes of innovation:

  1. Radical
  2. Incremental
  3. Reapplied
    • Reapplied is the one that people have the most difficulty with (an innovation designed for a different industry or a different problem)

Jack recommended that everyone check out some of Edward De Bono’s books. I’ll be checking out “Teach Your Child to Think”.

There are three people on the central Chevron innovation team, and they are expected to galvanize and network. Chevron also has a network of people they are training to be experts in innovation practices.

Jack also spoke about commitment statements:

  • What are we doing here?
  • What is your role in it?

Chevron’s innovation benefits from the central innovation team are mostly top-line ($3.6 million), but also $143,000 in savings from efficiencies.

  • But, these are numbers that the facility participants actually told Jack and his group is only claiming 1/10 of what they told him

Finally, Jack encouraged everyone to check out a 22 minute IDEO video on building a new shopping cart design in a week. Here is part of it, at least until ABC finds this Spanish language meta information version and tries to charge you $39 for this previously “free” television:

Optimizing Innovation Conference

Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is the editor of Blogging Innovation and founder of Business Strategy Innovation, a consultancy focusing on innovation and marketing strategy. Braden is also @innovate on Twitter.

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