Innovation of Business

and the
Business of Innovation™
 
Client Stories - A - A

Air Team – Air Force Armstrong Laboratories

This team addressed a different Air Force focus – Air Quality Assessments. New rules from the Environmental Protection Agency would limit a range of Air Force activities including: In-air training, painting of aircraft, and removing old paint from aircraft.  Air Team was formed from environmental experts to determine the impact on air  quality of paints, solvents, exhausts, and other aspects of operations.

Challenges

Gaining funding from Air Force budgets. The sciences used were not understood by those whose job it was to maintain readiness at all times. The Air Force had no visible track record of urgency to reduce pollution.

Solutions

Via development of a Strategic Identity, Air Team developed a marketing strategy with seven key points. Though warned, team leaders needed to discover for themselves that good marketing is not about the product, but about the benefits to those who use  the product. Adjustments were made to minimize technical language and focus  on the value of research that could enable operations without violating environmental requirements.

Results

Air Team became known as “The Pollution Solution.” They continued to integrate sciences and optimize its research while keeping key decision makers aware of what was necessary and what could be achieved.

Air Force Research Laboratory,
  Human Effectiveness Directorate (HE)

Human Effectiveness Lab researches, develops, and transitions technologies to maximize Air Force   human performance and reduce risks to people and systems.

Challenges

Funding: Budgets declined as the Air Force merged labs into an integrated “one-lab” structure. HE was not competing Well against “hard” technologies.
Integration: HE was formed by joining previously independent labs. The new directorate needed a powerful vision that would bring diverse programs under one accepted entity.
Loss of competencies: Budget forced HE to reduce staff. A new identity and suite of product lines was   required to clarify remaining value to Air Force customers.
Positioning: The Directorate needed to build marketplace recognition for both human effectiveness (the discipline) and the Directorate (supplier of research and technologies).
Expertise: As with all labs, HE was technical. HE needed concepts, processes, and experience in marketing built into a core of people trained to carry on after an initial planning   effort.

Solutions

Team: The Directorate nominated eight “focal points” from distinct parts of the laboratory plus the Corporate Development officer and the technology marketing specialist. 
Vision: We led the team through the process of defining who the Directorate was and wanted to be, resulting in a distinctive identity that later yielded powerful marketing   communications.
Goals and Strategies: The team met again to consider goals and strategies. The Directorate had not stated goals or objectives, working instead on “core strategies.” This step created a paradigm shift from committing to work on certain processes to setting and achieving measurable results. 

Internal Marketing: We developed a presentation for the Director. As primary process driver, the Corporate Development Officer did initial internal marketing, gaining positive feedback from the Director and permission to continue.
Brochures and Presentations: We developed a pocket tri-fold brochure, an 8 ½ x 11 trifold, and a standard Directorate presentation designed both as a stand-alone and as a lead into Division, Branch, and technology presentations. Provincial positions Were   acknowledged and integrated in all documents.
Directorate Marketing Plan: The plan integrated identity, corporate goals, marketing structure, marketing goals, marketing plan-year objectives, Directorate core strategies, and a specific marketing strategies.

Results

Brand: Brand elements and value propositions Were defined for both HE (organization) and human effectiveness   (product).
Identity launch: Strategies and processes Were developed to roll out the new identity in stages: Executive Council, Corporate Board, Division roll-out, follow-up, and reinforcement. The Director was asked to participate in the first three stages.
Training: As a strategy for improving expertise, all management received training in marketing, and all staff Were offered marketing training. We held four classes in Dayton, and one each in San Antonio   and Mesa. 
Coaching: After each class, We coached individual teams in marketing of their projects and capabilities. For many, lessons became much more concrete as applied to their real world.
Focal points: Team members Went away Well enough educated that some Were already applying processes to their own Divisions.

 

Alberta   Opportunity Company
 
See Power Probe   Geophysical

AOC   funded my work with Power Probe and asked for a competence check on the then current staff. Developing a Strategic Identity offered opportunities to appraise both leadership and staff. My comments to AOC were and still are private.

Amoco Exploration and Production

Geoscience Technology Division developed, applied, and supported technical solutions for predicting the state and characteristics of subsurface   rock and fluid systems.
  >> Technical Computing Services (TCS) integrated people, software, computers, data, and information into decision-support systems.
  >> Portfolio Management enabled investment decisions and joint strategic management of EPTG

Challenges

Second-generation R&D: Funding had swung from lab control tomicro-management of R&D by Amoco’s business units. 
Funding: New oversight forced each project and service to justify itself in an annual process.
Competition: Industry service and technology companies wanted Amoco’s R&D budgets. 
Marketing: Virtually no one in EPTG had the requisite marketing skills or tools for the funding process or   competition.
EPTech: This in-house trade show became a primary marketing opportunity, yet as EPTech grew, it became harder to be noticed in the hundreds of displays.
Conciseness: The one-page funding proposal (Agreement) forced a focus on value. 
Internal competition: The funding process was zero-sum. EPTG needed to manage efforts for the overall benefit of Amoco.
Culture: Downsizing had created a “survivor mentality”. Funding competition was destructive. People needed confidence in their futures based on control over their own fates.

Solutions

Division-level marketing: Both Geoscience and TCS developed corporate   marketing programs. Geoscience empowered a self-directed Marketing Team. TCS established a Customer Advocates Team (a sales team).
>> For each, We led management teams through development of Strategic   Identity, brand, value proposition, and uniqueness.
>> We also led marketing teams through definition of goals, objectives,   strategies, and marketing plans. We developed brochures, flexible presentations, and updates to their intranet pages. We helped them present results to management and build support among staff.
Project management: Annual marketing plans integrated several strategies. We put our timelines and responsibilities into Microsoft Project.
Broad training in marketing: We developed Value-Driven Marketing   and Marketing Face-to-Face to support the funding process and EPTech, respectively. 
Team coaching: We coached a wide variety of teams in defining and communicating the value they offered. People learned how to find and present the core essence of their technology.
Portfolio Management: Senior lab   management designed a new funding process. We helped them see portfolios as   product lines that defined each Division for the customer base. Choosing   product lines was, thus, a marketing issue, not a technical one.
 >> We developed a roll-out strategy to build support in both EPTG and   the business units.

Results

We changed the way Geoscience and TCS communicated to Amoco’s business units worldwide. Via both process and culture change, We evolved both mindsets and skills. 
>> Teams who took courses and coaching reported higher customer impact and greater customer loyalty. 
>> The two Divisions became more coherent and focused. 
>> Funding stabilized in spite of the difficult ground rules.
 >> Progress continued until the merger with British Petroleum rewrote the book.

Army Environmental Center’s Environmental  
Technology Division

ETD   field-tested environmental   technologies to prove technologies developed by others.

Challenges

Big picture mindset: See its actions as part of larger strategy. 
Focus: Develop solutions, not just demonstrations. 
A favorable environment. Remove the environment as a barrier to Army missions.
 The business: Become more than a technology demonstrator. 
Markets for solutions: Enable the Army to buy solutions in an open, competitive marketplace.

Solutions

Training: We helped ETD define the value of its services and clarify the value of its technologies. ETD had been highly inefficient because of its focus on features.
Identity and strategy: We worked on who ETD was and who it wanted to be, where ETD wanted to go and how it planned to get there, defining a new ETD.

Four markets: All were needed to truly meet ETD’s mission.
Services: We developed a matrix of services under each role and for each market. 
Four roles: Including market development, these amounted to sophisticated technology transfer.

Results

Business: The matrix and services defined ETD functionally. The Strategic Identity defined ETD in terms of purpose and  approach. The stage was set for evolution of culture and operations
Army / Environment: The services clarified and focused ETD on providing solutions to Army operations. 
Markets: By playing three roles effectively, market development was natural. Without it, the Army could not compete procurement among a range of providers for the best solution.


 

 



 



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