Innovation partnerships are a “win/win”, says Royal Dutch Shell CEO (VIDEO)

by | May 26, 2012

We briefly discussed IBM’s insightful and comprehensive CEO study yesterday. There were 1,700 Chief Executives interviewed one-on-one as part of the research, with voices coming from 64 countries and across 18 industries.

Of particular interest was seeing how social media will change the way CEOs communicate with their employees, partners and customers. As part of a drive for greater openness and transparency, there will be 57 per cent of Chief Executives making use of social media to interact with these stakeholders.

The CEO study also shines some light on innovation through partnerships.

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser.

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser.

IBM has released some videos featuring interviews with CEOs as part of the published report.

Royal Dutch Shell’s Peter Voser told researchers strategic partnerships had been a part of the company’s fabric for decades.

However, accelerated advancements in technology combined with increased globalization in recent years meant Royal Dutch Shell had to find new models for strategic global partnerships.

Sharing knowledge, tools and resources is a “win/win position for both” parties, according to Voser.

Some companies in the past have greedily guarded their knowledge without building bridges and sharing information with other organizations for the advancement of both businesses. This is quite an old-fashioned way of operating and Voser believes it’s just not possible in today’s world.

As a company that works with natural resources, Royal Dutch Shell has worked alongside organizations with interests in water and food, as these resources are linked. Water is a major energy source for the company, but it also impacts the agriculture industry. This has helped forge links between Shell and organizations specialising in the natural resource.

National Geographic CEO John Fahey also gave his thoughts on the importance of nurturing a working environment where innovation is a core ideal.

The organization has launched an initiative called Mission 2015. Part of Mission 2015’s goal is to ask the question, If National Geographic is successful in such a dynamic, ever-growing environment, what will it be doing in three years that it is not doing today? Employees from all level of the business are consulted for their input.

National Geographic stands by a list of internal values and employees are reviewed with these values in mind. One of these core values is innovation.

Every Friday, Fahey has coffee with 30 representatives from within National Geographic, and these employees can be mail room clerks all the way up to senior executives.

Not only does this allow Fahey to find out what is happening “at the coal-face”, but it gives him an opportunity to describe the context and background of changes that are happening within the company.

Learning doesn’t stop when you become the CEO of a company. Learning is an on-going process and you can be taught something new from anyone within your organization.

IBM will be releasing more videos with CEOs over the coming weeks and they are well worth a look.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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