POSITIVE SELF-TALK TO CALM THE NERVES – “REMEMBER – I AM THE EXPERT HERE… AND AN ARTIST: ENTERTAINING & INFORMATIVE”BLACK SCREEN BEFORE SPEAKING – TAKE A MOMENT TO BE QUIET AND THEN MOVE OUT FROM BEHIND PODIUM
Good morning ! Thanks for inviting me to be with you here today. OPEN ARMS TO WELCOME – BE OPEN THROUGHOUT A show of hands please: who is sitting here wondering, “what is the chemical company guy doing here?” “What could he possibly say that would be interesting or helpful?” I am here to share some insights that will be both interesting and helpful at least on the subject of package innovation, but I suspect even further than that. We shall see. CLICK SLIDE
Eastman resides a long way from the consumers who make the ultimate decisions about buying the products that our materials are used to manufacture. … BLACK SCREEN GET SET TO TAKE STEPSWe sell to converter who typically sells to another converter who sells to a brand who sells to a retailer who sells to a consumer. To understand what happens in our value chain we have to understand our customer’s, customer’s, customer’s, customer’s, customer. We do that everyday. And we extract insights and I’m going to share the results of some of those insights with you here today. Let’s talk about innovative packaging… SLIDE
Did you ever wonder what’s behind the development and commercialization of packages like these? USE LAZER TO POINT OUT CLEAR HANDLEWARE, RE-FILL CONTAINER, BPA-FREE FILM-LINED CAN AND HIGHLY SHAPED SHRINK SLEEVE LABLED CONTAINERSThese are all packages Eastman has recently been involved with and all of them, like almost anything we all do, came about from collaboration. This begs the question, “what is the best way to collaborate?” Ones that help make creative ideas commercial reality on store shelves and in consumers lives.
Ideas about best practices collaboration are celebrated in Eastman’s Innovation Lab. A rich variety of examples are given about how materials make a difference. When you look at all of the ideas that the Innovation Lab pulls together and the philosophies they draw from, an over-arching description of what they all invite someone to do is something like collaboration, but BEYOND that at the same time. To give that “something” a name we’ll call it “high-order collaboration”. That is why the chemical company guy is here at the food conference today. BLACK SLIDE
For the next 30 minutes I’ll Explain what High-order collaboration isShow you a recent Eastman example And provide some details on how to initiate it in your own companyBY the end of our time together you’ll be able to decide about your own best value chain partners for this type of endeavor, Start modeling high-order collaboration experimentsAnd see the potential they have for improving your innovation initiative outcomes, speeding the pace of development, and saving costs I will ask you to reach out, experiment, develop ideas, and start executing on at least one by the end of this year.If I were you, this about the time when I would be saying to myself, “why should I pay attention to this??” To help encourage you to stay with me, I’m going to bring out the Rod Tidwell slide, remember Rod from Jerry McGuire? This is where I show you the money!While it is difficult to generalize about the hard benefits of cost savings due to collaboration, a Clorox executive put together a slide that captures the big-picture potential very nicely…
They embraced open innovation as a way to approximate the scale of their largest competitor P&G. They didn’t give details away, but showed how their collaborative partners’ collective spending put them on par with P&G.And also how they also had patent reach that approximated that of P&G. Pretty impressive ! He said that open collaboration enabled, “creating virtual scale to your largest competitors”In the end achieving this kind of reach would be beneficial to any company and you’ve got some ideas on how you can catalyze collaboration with these type results in your own value chain.
High-order collaboration is likethe intersection of design thinking, open innovation and the speed of trust. There are an number of great books on these subjects and the last item is in fact the title of a book. We’re not going to spend time going over these well-travelled subjects. Instead we will be talking about where they come together. How collaboration help commercial results from creative ideas. PAUSE SLIDE
The basic differences between run-of-the mill and high-order collaboration are:The scope of problem or goal (like focusing on a cough and runny nose instead of the virus – many projects focus on symptoms rather than the root cause problem)Whether current OR current and future possible solutions are entertainedOff the shelf vs. half-bake “really new” ideas just waiting for justification to become commercial and capture valueMindset of “get to an answer as quick and cheap as possible” OR “exploration and discovery foundation for lasting value”Paint can story from NS – not so much designing a handled can with a screw top lid, but building a business case to go forward with commercialization – it saved the Dutch Boy brand
– who has participated in a brain storming session – keep them up if it was exciting and impassioned and bursting with new ideas – good, that’s rareDesign thinking is like two kids experimenting to create something and having fun doing it. Open innovation is when all the kids in the neighborhood get together to just go crazy and play –. High-order collaboration is like when parents oversee all the neighborhood kids getting together so it’s safe and fair for everyone. It feels safe: no one is going to get hurt and if they do, then someone will be there to make sure everything is OKTrust has been established beyond the NDA’s that are in place, no one is going to steal ideas or benefit to someone’s else intellectual property, everyone expects to participate fully and have a good timeIt feels fair: the big kids don’t always get their way, they are open to the limitations of younger kidsThe strongest company does not push an agenda that discourages participation from weaker companies, might does not always make right and sometimes it prevents it from being able to see good ideas or even to think things have to change. It is fun: there is no leader and there are few rules, there is tons of energy of different kinds flowing around, inertia builds and no one wants it to stopIt’s intuitive and adaptive: Kids do what they have to do to have fun, at their best they don’t complain, they just take stock of the limits and work around them – they don’t hit brick walls, they flow around obstacles like water around rocks in a river. It’s like pushing a shopping cart – if you are going slow without much energy a little bump can stop you in your tracks – with high energy and inertia on your side you can pop right over it no problem
To tie together the previous slide and the next one, I’ll share what Rome Busa, The retired owner of Progressive Plastics and the father of my boss came into the office to welcome me on board when I first joined the company. After asking about my history and family he shared just one piece of advice that I have never forgotten. “Enjoy what you’re doing and the energy and good ideas always come.”
Find a way to have fun and any job becomes an intriguing challenge… like a game.Exploratory – stay in discovery longer to more deeply understand and develop approaches to non-obvious solutions. A lot of brainstorming guides encourage you to develop a large number of solutions. It’s not because you need that many, but because you need to push that far into the woods in order to find the handful of ideas that are truly excellent jumping off points to what’s nextDon’t look so hard for new things – 95% of all new products fail, think around things: services, branding, consumer experience, networking – these are real sources of valueWhen you are stuck, stop trying to find something “new” or “different” or “creative” and simply look at things a different way.
If it’s obvious it’s probably already been done – but even if it has been done, it might not have been optimized by looking through the cross-value chain lens.Think about total value improvement! The replenish bottle show earlier is much more expensive than an average spray bottle, but the total system cost and impact on the environment is less. 3x more expensive than a Windex bottle, but much more valuable due toBetter functioningRe-fillability economicsShipping no waterCustomers and retailers respond to the sustainabiltiy advantages
Sometimes it’s not just about climbing hard up the ladder to the top of the tree, but in letting your experience, expertise, and research results sink in, percolate awhile. Do all you can to make yourself ready and then give yourself time to let ideas come to you. My technical counterpart at Eastman calls this “time for indirect thinking”. You can only concentrate on answers for so long before you wear yourself out. Think of people who say they get their best ideas in the shower, or driving to work. For me it’s on airplanes for some reason. Can you think of anyone who claims to get their best ideas sitting in a cubicle? Really??!! Take time to not think! Take time not to do. Sounds a little but zen, but it works !
companies, involved in collaboration must trust each other with proprietary information, real assessments of their weaknesses and threats and share common goals, as well as believe the collaborative partnership will provide long term benefits for all.Back to the group of kids example – some might want to play tag and the others kickball. But whoever gets their way trusts that tomorrow they get their preference met.Not so easy in the corporate world – we must find long-term common interests that will inspire the value chain to long-term value building for all. Some days more for you, some days more for me, but everyday more for our value chain than the one we are competing against. In the end, both front line employees and upper-management parties must be comfortable enough to have faith in a positive outcome for everyone. This is a tricky area. Check out “The Speed of Trust” and “Breaking the fear barrier” for ideas here.
We’ve had a look at what High-Order Collaboration isnow let’s look at for an example of how it was actually employed at Eastman…
RAS – roll applied shrink is a product that allows for a shrink-sleeve label look from a roll-applied label machineThese are the key collaborative elements of this project
Finding truly unmet needs is like panning for gold – it takes time, focus and that patience thing.If you think too hard about what you can offer, then you will start seeing value where there is none… like prospectors who found pyrite “fools gold” and thought they were rich.If you find out something that seems valuable, but you cannot find a way to involve your organization in it’s value creation, then look to trusted partners that you can share those insights with – offer qan insight from a perspective someone else does not have and you may get the same back in return. For Eastman and the RAS project we found that many companies had roll-fed labelers and they wanted a shrink sleeve label look, but could not justify the capital for sleeve-labeling equipment. This was not a new idea. Exxon had ROSO labels in the market for some time. Further exploration revealed that a high-shrink, hot-melt adhesive solution was still an unmet need. We shared these insights with the value chain and then…
Pulled together parties who saw long-term value in creating this solution.Eastman supplied the resin, Klockner-Pentaplast made the film, CL&D printed the labels, Henkel developed the glue / Flexcraft the solvent and Krones adapted the machinery.
Someone, and not necessarily the someone who stands to benefit the most, needs to cheerlead these initiatives. Cheerlead, champion… whatever word you want to use. People need to be reminded of value, inspired, kept on track, helped. It is always easy to just move on to the next thing, but staying on track through the ups and downs takes encouragement. This means doing the homework for everyone sometimes… crunching through EVE’s, drafting the persuasive and compelling presentations to brands, helping do whatever needs getting done in order to maxiomize opportunities, minimize threats, and gain a realistic appraisal of strength’s and weaknesses. This gives you some idea of the complexity and potential from High-Order Collaboration in practice.
Tell the story of the sales rep who wished he could parachute into the customers office the moment a project hit their desk. We instituted a proactive design program where we developed unsolicited bottle and graphic designs and proactively presented them to brands we felt were prime for a change. Conagra was one for squeeze butter and we worked for 2 months on it. The day before we were ready to surprise them, with our proactive ideas they called and said, “how soon could you come up with some designs for us?” and the rep was able to say “tomorrow”. Then he explained our story. That’s how his wish was able to come true. Not every time, but quite a few times.
Look up down and across the value chain. Tertiary suppliers like OEM’s and upstream material suppliers can bring surprising insights! Some design firms are very adept at employing design thinking to a a range of issues, not just product or package design. In the example of RAS there was collaboration between a machine company that would never buy resin and a resin company that would never buy a machine – but we could benefit from addressing the same unmet need and complimenting each others offering AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT CAPABILITIESLook for and leverage the analyst, driver, amiable, and expressives in your groupLook to experienced and inexperienced players for inputSeek balance – add players from your own team not just because they are high-up, but because they can balance the contributions of outsidersBe flexible with your resources
Patton said, “A good idea violently executed today is better than the perfect plan next week” I’m not a violent person, but I definitely see applicability in the rest of what he said sometimes. Take a calculated risk.At a very minimum, Link In with me and connect to Eastman. I invite you to reach out to us as a collaborative partner.
The key takeaway from this presentation is to collaborate on a higher order. Look beyond “wins” for your company or “win-wins” for you and a partnerAnd seek win-win-win-win-win-wins for the whole collaborative enterprise. Thank you. SLIDE
For additional stories to help inspire your own higher order collaboration, innovation, and idea catalyzing, check out the Eastman Innovation Lab: www.innovationlab.eastman.comThanks again for your time.
Southeastern Food Processors Association Eastman Dudas Presentation
Collaboration forPackaging Innovations M. Dudas October 21, 2011
A typical Eastman value chain Converter ConverterEastman Brand Retailer Consumer 1 2
*Source: Jason Husk, Strategic Growth & Alliances Architect
What is High-Order Collaboration? The intersection of … • Design Thinking • Open Innovation • The Speed of Trust
Basic vs. Higher Order Collaboration Traditional collaboration • Narrow description of problem • Currently available solution offerings • Justify pursuing the lesser of several evils High-order collaboration • Collective decision on big-picture objective • Identify solutions on the horizon • Readiness to explore for unforeseen options
Characteristics of PlayfulHigh-Order Collaboration Exploring“Enjoy what you are doing and the energy and good ideas always come.”Rome Busa, Progressive Plastics “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” Marcel Proust, French novelist
Characteristics of Value-FocusedHigh-Order Collaboration “High- Hanging” fruit The ladder of high- order collaboration