SXSW 2019

Why Corporate Innovation Fails


Corporate innovation programs are currently popping up everywhere. But are these programs effective? Is it even possible to measure their performance? Transformative innovation is critical if legacy firms want to compete with the startups that are gaining on them because they are more nimble, hungry, and open. Most have not optimized for successful innovation programs.

Through sharing cautionary tales, we will explore how many corporate innovation programs fail to produce desired outcomes. The elements of a successful program will emerge as we discuss common pitfalls and their root causes. We will also look at how successful programs have addressed the issues and what new programs ought to consider before launching their innovation pipeline.

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  1. How to avoid the common pitfalls of most innovation programs as exemplified by real-life stories from actual programs
  2. How to structure a successful innovation program. Who to include. How they should communicate. The critical qualities for success.
  3. Actionable steps that leaders can take to launch a new program or correct course on an existing program.


  • Douglas Ferguson, Founder & President, Voltage Control
  • Christie Nicholson, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Citi


Douglas Ferguson, Founder & President, Voltage Control

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Tech Industry & Enterprise
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

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