Strategic action teams fuel innovation at electronic arts
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Like this? Share it with your network

Share
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
272
On Slideshare
272
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide
  • EA is about innovation. We must offer consumers innovations that are compelling enough for them to buy a new game or to buy a sequel of an existing game (like Sports)Size, business, countries, titles. Convey large global scope plus the challenge of constant innovationWe are pleased to have received the “What Works Award” for High Impact Learning
  • Have any of you heard the term, “burning platform”. For those not familiar with its origin, the story goes something like this:A man working on an oil platform in the North Sea awakened suddenly one night by an explosion. Amidst the chaos, he made his way to the edge of the platform. As a plume of fire billowed behind him, he decided to jump from the burning platform even though jumping is a risky option for the following reasons: It was a 150-foot drop from the platform to the water. There is debris and burning oil on the surface of the water. If the jump into the 40°F water did not kill him, he would die of exposure within 15 minutes.Luckily, the man survived the jump and hauled aboard a rescue boat shortly thereafter. When asked why he jumped, he replied, “Better probable death than certain death.” The point is the literally “burning” platform caused the radical change in his behavior.We may not be running for our lives, but we undoubtedly face changes every day that threaten your organization’s success. Our ability to identify “burning” change issues and separate them from the routine challenges of the day will have a great effect on a stakeholder’s willingness to accept change and adapt to a new way of thinking about the important issue.You may not feel like EA is a burning platform – You may fee safe and secure. EA is in fact on a “burning platform” that requires organizational change. We need to describe why we must change in order to survive. We will spend some time in this presentation telling that story.
  • Show of hands in the audience (2 minutes. 6 minutes cumulative time)Who feels like they are satisfied with the level of innovation in their company? Its solid and meeting your business change and growth needs?Who wants to see their companies have higher innovation levels in their company?Who would like to see their companies have a workforce with a greater innovation quotient? More innovative talent?
  • We have one simple challenge: Be awesome, everywhere.
  • Let’s break it down. Big portfolio of existing brands. But we also need a constant pipeline of new IP to keep our players loyal and engaged. Customers also expect us to be everywhere in the world, on every major platform. We also need innovations not only in new games but in how we build the digital playground on which people come to play our games. Innovations that create efficiencies and help our global team work together.
  • Catch attention with a different perspective on innovation. (Andy or Bryan, 6 minutes. Cumulative = 12 minutes)Everyone wants to increase innovation. Everyone knows it’s hard and is looking for ways to make it more predictable. This is the story of one way we are solving the innovation challenge at EA.What is innovation? Brief definition: Creativity (fresh ideas) turned into something consumers value. Turning ideas into capital (30 sec)Creativity + Implementation = InnovationOf course, need the right talent throughout the process
  • We were trying to get the organization to think differently as it addressed the burning platformNeeded the creativity we always had hadBut needed more business acumen and focus to ensure that games the consumers loved were also profitableImportance of innovation to your companyShow of hands in the audience (2 minutes. 6 minutes cumulative time)Who feels like they are satisfied with the level of innovation in their company? Its solid and meeting your business change and growth needs?Who wants to see their companies have higher innovation levels in their company?Who would like to see their companies have a workforce with a greater innovation quotient? More innovative talent?Key ideas of prezo“Unleash innovation talent in your organization with Strategic Action TeamsStrategic Action Teams = Powerful combination of Talent and Process that generates tangible innovation outcomes
  • ANDY BEGINSInteractive component. Give a series of true/false statements to audience and get show of hands for those that believe these statements are “true”Availability of innovation. Creativity and Innovation are in short supply inside today’s corporations. Especially as an organization gets largerTalent readiness. Innovation is a special capability. Few are fully “Innovation ready” and Innovation skills are complex and cannot easily be taught to peopleSenior Leadership commitment. Successful innovation requires a charter from highest levels of companyAccountability. Innovation needs a clear owner and point of accountability – usually at senior leadership levelsFALSE. We believe all of these are FALSE statementsAvailability of innovation. Creativity and innovation thinking are abundant and just need to be artfully capturedTalent readiness. Innovation is something that motivated people can learn quickly as they work on projectsSenior leadership commitment. Successful innovation can come from the middle of the company. It doesn’t necessarily need senior leadership support to generate it. Does need support for implementationAccountability for Innovation and implementation can be move right to the front lines. Doesn’t necessarily need crisp accountability in a single person or department. Implementation does probably need that clarity.
  • It turns out that innovation is an abundant natural resource wherever people gather together to do work.Just permit… and guide.
  • EA’s model for change and innovation (Andy – 3 minutes. Cumulative = 15 minutes)Present the EA innovation and change modelMake the case for change/innovationEngage the peopleChange the way we workMake it stickTalent + Process = Strategic Action Team
  • Audience interaction: Interest and actions with innovationShow of hands: In your current companies, who has tried Strategic Action Teams or Innovation teams to rev up innovation and develop talent at the same time?Animate in diagram. They look great on paperAnimate in muddy players. More complicated in action.
  • Middle – Directors and Senior DirectorsPassion for tackling the assignmentSolutions mindset – see issues and obstacles and get satisfaction from finding solutionsConstrain the participants on time – F2F sessions are very compressed. Cannot talk about everything possible. Have to focusKeep your day job, must find ways to get the rest of the organization engaged on implementation. Don’t have enough time to get lured into trying to implement a change by themselves. Have to engage the organization
  • BRYANBegins hereTell you about our second team. Applied what we learned in the prior team
  • 10@10 was the shorthand name for a challenge given to a teamHow do we reach 10 million consumers for an R&D investment of only $10 million in R&D. This is dramatically more consumers ad dramatically less moneyRequired the team to come up ways to reach more consumers – game design, marketing and distributionRequired teams to also think about radical efficiencies
  • SurprisesScope was broader than we thoughtImplementation was more complex than anticipatedDepth of enthusiasm and engagement of the people
  • SurprisesScope. Picking the “challenge theme” has a major impact on scope and time team needs to get to productivity. We were a bit broad. Several ways the team segmented the solution areas for the challenge Improve ideation to come up with more hits.Spend wisely. Spend lessLeverage our investments (share/collaboration)Faced choice of tabling good ideas or splitting into sub-teams. Went to 6 sub-teams (see visual)EA Dev ConOpen InnovationFeature ROIIncreasing Profitable CreativityAsset Sharing (including EA search engine)Developer Network
  • SurprisesImplementation Complexity. Complexity of exec support for implementationImplementation needs additional talent. Some projects need specialized peopleLater cycles of change model take even more time than we anticipated1: If it’s an important innovation, it will be a significant change. That will almost always make it controversial and trigger political energies2: Implementation always takes longer than you plan
  • Talent + Process = Strategic Action TeamGoing back to our innovation and change model, it’s the implementation stage in which things get complex
  • If participants feel ownership, they will keep going after project endsPeople wanted to keep on working on implementationImplementation and getting them well planted into the organization needed more time
  • ANDY BEGINS HEREBryan talked about our first team and what we learned. We would like to go on and talk about a subsequent teamWhat does “digital” mean? And how big is that?
  • You make the call: What would you do to improve implementation with an SAT? Thinking of what Bryan mentioned in our first team. What you know about your organization.Talk with a partner for a couple of minutes? What would be some important things you would do?Scope. Challenge: We first framed the challenge as how to more than double the amount of digital (online revenue) the company was generating.  Audience interactive component: Talk with a partner about, “If you were firing up a SAT, what might be your challenge topic? What would go into your thinking? (2 minutes)Ask audience to share some ideas (2 minutes) Challenge had broad exec involvement but not in finalizing scope. Too many chiefs tends to broaden the scope. We got exec input but then developed the final challenge statement Actual EA digital revenues at the timer were < $1B. So, to create stretch, we were originally at $2B as crazy stretch target. CEO was doing a prezo and said we had a clear path to $2BWe realized we had to re-work all our materials and move up to a new stretch target of $1B Implementation changesAudience interactive component: What would you do in advance to improve success for implementation? Talk with a partner (2 min)Audience shares some ideas (2 minutes) 
  • Changes we madeExec green light after each module. Cross-disciplinary group of execs to attend each green light. Get their continuing investment in the success of the team Begin with small Core team. Break into solution teams as neededAdd more talent at implementation phaseEach sub-team gets an exec sponsor (other than Bryan)Anticipate need to coach participants on exec interactionsWhat it costs1. Experienced delivery team2: Travel budget for participants3: Graphic recorder4: Executive time needed for sponsorship and green lights
  • High Impact Learning – Learning innovation capabilities (4 min. Cumulative = 38 minutes) Audience interaction. Show of hands: Who has run, or plans to run a Strategic Action team or other innovation program?Who plans to tell participants it will have a strong learning and development component?Who will say nothing at all about individual learning about innovation during the initiative? At EA, we did not tell participants it would have a strong development component. We looked at that as a nice to have. EAU is known for change programs so participants would not necessarily expect that it was an individual learning situation We structured in activities and work flow to help guide the participantsThey learned an innovation/creativity framework and methods but not as individual learningHelped them become a productive team but didn’t call it team development What didn’t work – individual assessment of styles (competing values assessment)Helping them see their styles and how this would help them provide a well-rounded teamDidn’t translate the individual learning into improvements in sub-team process or performance
  • In the video:Participants speak about the experience of being part of a Strategic Action teamVisuals of participants at work in the teams and also mini interviews (a person might be 15-20 seconds)Bryan and Andy give some commentsConveys enthusiasm of the participants Use of the video in EA change processMobilize support for implementationCommunicate the value of teamsMake participants feel special
  • In the video:Participants speak about the experience of being part of a Strategic Action teamVisuals of participants at work in the teams and also mini interviews (a person might be 15-20 seconds)Bryan and Andy give some commentsConveys enthusiasm of the participants Use of the video in EA change processMobilize support for implementationCommunicate the value of teamsMake participants feel special
  • Show visuals of “retrospectives” from the two teams – shows the personal learning that they take awayDo you learn more by immersion in a task and then some reflection? Then by focusing on learning, itself?
  • Show visuals of “retrospectives” from the two teams – shows the personal learning that they take awayDo you learn more by immersion in a task and then some reflection? Then by focusing on learning, itself?
  •  While we didn’t feature individual development as a benefit – everyone mentioned this as a highlight Participants all talked about how much they learned both in individuals skills and how to get things done across organizational boundariesShow visuals of “retrospectives” from the two teams – shows the personal learning that they take awayDo you learn more by immersion in a task and then some reflection? Then by focusing on learning, itself?
  • Changes we madeExec green light after each module. Cross-disciplinary group of execs to attend each green light. Get their continuing investment in the success of the team Begin with small Core team. Break into solution teams as neededAdd more talent at implementation phaseEach sub-team gets an exec sponsor (other than Bryan)Anticipate need to coach participants on exec interactionsWhat it costs1. Experienced delivery team2: Travel budget for participants3: Graphic recorder4: Executive time needed for sponsorship and green lights
  • Wrapping up  Game on for innovation talent: Summing up (Time 2 minute. Cumulative: 47 minutes) Slide giving key ideas“Unleash innovation talent in your organization with Strategic Action TeamsStrategic Action Teams = Powerful combination of Talent and Process that generates tangible innovation outcomesOur e-mail addresses

Transcript

  • 1. GAME ON: Strategic Action Teams fuel innovation for EABryan Neider, SVP, COO EA LabelsAndy Billings, VP, Profitable Creativity - EA UniversityWinners of the What Works® Award for High Impact Learning
  • 2. 9000 employees, 33 countries, $4 billion revs.Most importantly…We inspire and unite through playWho are we?
  • 3. WE WERE HERE
  • 4. NOW BETTER, STRONGER
  • 5. Awesome.Big portfolio of well-loved brands+Constantly bring fresh ideas to marketEverywhere.Anywhere in the world our players are+Whatever platforms our players are onNot so simple.
  • 6. Innovation is:SHAREHOLDERVALUECREATIVITYCAPITAL
  • 7. Creativity AND Profitability10Strategic Action Teams =• Powerful combination of Talent and Process• Generates tangible innovation outcomes
  • 8. Constructive views about innovation1: Innovation is in short supply inside large corporations2: Innovation takes unique skills. Relatively few are “innovation ready”3: Innovation requires exec commitment – early and from the top is best4: Innovation needs a well defined owner – exec level preferred^UN
  • 9. But I’m actively driving every step of the innovationprocess.Why aren’t my people innovating?
  • 10. Don’t drive.Permit and channel.
  • 11. Innovation and change go together. A model is darn useful.Also useful: Talent + Process
  • 12. Innovation teams in your company?15
  • 13. How to build a Strategic Action TeamStart here; look for:• Passion• Courage• Initiative• Collaboration• Solutions mindsetMembers keep their day jobs, but gettime/space to work together.
  • 14. Strategic Action Team #1: 10@10
  • 15. Our first Strategic Action Team: April 2010What good looked like: Spend $30 million, reach 1 million consumersChallenge: Can we find a way to spend half as much and get 5x the reach?Design forlargeraudiencesGo tomarketmoreeffectivelyDevelopgames atlower costReach 10 million consumers at $10 million = “10@10”
  • 16. 17 people ready to challenge everything.
  • 17. 20Three important surprises during the trip
  • 18. 21Surprises: Scope of ideas
  • 19. 22Surprises: Implementation complexity
  • 20. Implementation is important. Also complex.Useful: Talent + Process
  • 21. Surprises: at official end of project…We’re not done.
  • 22. Strategic Action Team #2: Breaking $3B
  • 23. From crazy $1B dream to real $3B target
  • 24. Strategic Action Teams
  • 25. Explicit goal: break $3 billion in digital revenuesStealth goal: Create innovation talent
  • 26. 33Personal Outcomes
  • 27. 34Personal Outcomes
  • 28. Individual development1: People learned individual skills2: People built trust and partnerships within the org3: People learned how to get things done across org
  • 29. Innovation never restsAwesome, everywhere#1 or #2 anywhere we playStill some innovation left to go
  • 30. Strategic Action TeamsQuestions?
  • 31. Take this home with you:• Unleash innovation talent in your organization with Strategic Action Teams• Talent + process = tangible innovation outcomesAndy Billingsabillings@ea.comBryan Neiderbneider@ea.com