The BPI Network Journal

Fall 2014

Editor’s Note

The Partnership Paradigm

The old mantra “You Can’t Go It Alone” has never been more true. Today, business success depends on a company’s acumen and agility in identifying and collaborating with a wide range of value chain partners— from suppliers, manufacturers, IP owners and logistics companies to co-competitors, distributors and businesses of all types who provide access to new customers, markets and innovation.

Studies indicate that the amount of revenue derived from partnering has increased eight-fold over the past two decades, and now surpasses 40 percent of corporate revenues.

The BPI Network, in partnership with the CMO Council and sponsor, Powerlinx, an intelligent BtoB partner-matching platform, recently issued a new study report that highlights the critical importance of partnering today, including its essential contribution to the development and delivery of new innovations to the marketplace.  In a survey of 330 companies around the world, we found not a single respondent who felt partnering was unimportant to their business, and most said it was “extremely important.”  Respondents also said that new ideas and innovation are the number one drivers for partnering.

Download the Report Here

Yet, the study report, entitled “Grow from the Right Intro,” also demonstrates that companies have a long way to go in becoming effective partners. For example, almost half of respondents feel their companies are not very good at the partnering process and that same amount said that more than 60 percent of their partnerships were failures.

At the BPI Network, we believe that this study is highly relevant to businesses of all sizes. Strategic partnering is now a critical management competency. We expect to see both the function and the solutions that support it to continue to grow and evolve.

New York-based Powerlinx, for example, has developed a platform that provides a cost-efficient, secure and seamless way for businesses of all sizes to connect intelligently with partner prospects, customer opportunities and acquisition candidates using
a global database of 20 million businesses. Making smarter, more appropriate and more functional fits can spur the global economy by multiplying the potential and value of synergistic partnerships. It can also greatly reduce the vast amount of financial and human energy drain associated with ill-conceived partnerships.


The BPI Network also recently released another study report that we believe can serve as an important call to action.   Entitled “Predictability through Planning Agility,” the report examines how finance executives are changing key processes and systems to improve the accuracy and timeliness with which they deliver much-needed information to their business counterparts, as well as improve the value of the interactions and advice to business units.  The study was sponsored by Host Analytics, the leader in cloud-based Enterprise Performance Management, offering companies an enterprise-class suite of financial applications for planning, close management, reporting, and analytics.

The BPI Network, in partnership with Host Analytics, will be holding a webinar on Thursday, October 16, featuring CFOs of leading companies to discuss the requirements and responsibilities of the modern financial function and how CFOs are playing a growing role in supporting and advising their companies.

Register for the Webinar Here

Download the Report Here





Featured Interview

How Intuit Drives Innovation Through All Aspects of the Organization

Bennett Blank, Innovation Leader at Intuit, Shares Innovation Best Practices

1. How does Intuit think about innovation—How much of it is about people & culture, how much of it is process, and how much of it is systems and technology?

In my experience, a truly sustainable innovation program requires all three. To operationalize innovation, your organization must possess the capabilities, systems and culture in which innovation can thrive. We try to create an environment in which people can do their most innovative work.

Start with capabilities. Your people must know how to innovate, so we spend a significant amount of energy helping build innovation capabilities in each and every employee. Innovation is a skill like any other, and most of us have simply never been trained in innovation skills. At Intuit we start this process from the very first day new hires join the company, and continue through to the advanced training of our Innovation Catalysts. People are the secret.  

To support our talented people, we provide a variety of innovation systems. These systems are designed to enable our people to set aside time for innovation projects, remove technology barriers and enable rapid experimentation. This includes the obvious enablers such as agile development and engineering skills, but also includes less obvious enablers such as experiment branding guidelines, finance support and our internal startup network, Brainstorm. 

Of course one of the above would be effective without a culture of innovation. Culture begins with leadership, and at Intuit, our leaders “walk the walk.” From Intuit’s founder, Scott Cook, to our CEO, Brad Smith, leaders spend time with our customers, and put their ideas to the test just like we ask our teams to do. This creates an expectation that innovation is everyone’s job, not just a select few. Ideas are then released into the wild at our website.

2. You’ve spoken before about the value of “lean startup” principles as important to innovation. How do you create that kind of environment in a large company like Intuit?

As I mentioned, we start by creating an overall culture of innovation, much of which is based on thinking and behaving like an entrepreneur. With this culture in place, we can quickly adopt new ways of working. The lean startup movement has emerged as a highly effective method for innovation, so when we discovered this new way of working, we leverage our existing systems to spread lean startup principles across Intuit.

We then developed a series of lean startup training courses to build these capabilities within each employee. People are the secret to breakthrough innovation, so we must be willing to invest in teaching employees how to be more entrepreneurial. 

3. How does the culture of innovation feed into direct outputs? How do you measure innovation at Intuit? Are their metrics that the company uses to monitor its success as an innovator and the return on innovation investment?

Because we look at our innovation efforts holistically, our metrics tend to be associated with our organization’s overall performance. There is no specific “innovation metric” per se. Since we view innovation as everyone’s job, we’ve built innovation-related metrics into every product and employee. Our company values include innovation-related metrics for employees, and our business units track a variety of metrics relative to their individual goals. We also look at leading indicators such as: revenue from products which did not exist 3 years ago, employee engagement scores related to innovation, and new product experiments released in market. We’ve learned that the benefits of an innovative culture go beyond simple ROI for specific innovation programs.

4. Where would you say Intuit focuses most its innovation efforts? Is it about customer experience, products, delivery models?

We believe innovation is everyone’s job, so we encourage innovation across all areas of our business. In fact, some of our more exciting business impact projects have been related to internal processes such as legal, branding, finance and HR. Of course we encourage innovation in our products and services, and we’re seeing great results here, but one of the secrets to running an innovation program is to think beyond the product.

5. Which of the innovation tools that Intuit uses (unstructured time, horizon planning, internal innovation awards) drive the most concrete benefits that you have seen and why do you think that is?

Again, I feel there is no single “silver bullet” for innovation success. I encourage innovation leaders to think more holistically about their various programs, and how these programs work together to drive innovation. We are creating an innovation ecosystem within Intuit.

That being said, I believe our 10% unstructured time and lean startup training have had the biggest impact over the past few years. The truth is, without time to explore innovative ideas, organizations will struggle to prioritize innovation. So by creating “space” for teams to explore new ideas, official outlets for teams to attend our internal incubation programs, and the training to know how to take advantage of this time, we provide an outlet for our employees’ ideas.  Our Design for Delight program has created a group of innovation experts, called Innovation Catalysts, who support these efforts across the company. These tools work together.

6. What do you feel is the most important tool for company leaders to undertake in order to make their organizations more innovative and drive business results?

My biggest piece of advice is to treat your innovation program as if it were a “product.” This means ensuring you are providing value to the organization, running experiments to continuously improve, and customizing it to fit your culture. This is not an easy task, but if you take the time to build a strong foundation the your organization can reap the rewards of an innovative culture for years to come. The trick is getting started. 


Learn more about Bennett and how he drives innovation by connecting with him at 


How Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers are Driving Hard Outcomes

Darren Snellgrove, CFO of J&J; Innovation, Shares How the Centers Help J&J; Tap Into the Best Ideas Out There

1. What is the mission and business model of Johnson & Johnson Innovation?  What part does it play in the creation and delivery of new products, services and business models?

The Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers were established in 2013 in the world’s leading life sciences innovation hotspots with the goal of building novel early stage collaborations with regional academic centers, entrepreneurs and emerging companies. Offices are currently located in San Francisco, Boston, and London. A fourth office in Shanghai will open later this year. The cities in which our innovation centers operate are home to thriving life science communities with diverse science and technology. Each innovation center houses science and technology experts and has full and broad deal-making capabilities, with flexibility to adapt deal structures. These resources provide innovators with a “one-stop shop” containing all of the tools they need to advance cutting-edge research.

2. As CFO at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, what is your role in the innovation process?

My role covers the full spectrum of innovation – four Innovation Centers, the J&J Development Corporation (JJDC), Janssen Healthcare Innovation (JHI), Janssen Labs and the internal ventures.  We review many different partnering opportunities, including a mix of research collaborations, options deals, venture funding, new companies and incubators.  We have to identify and invest in high quality assets that address significant, unmet needs across J&J’s priority areas. Ultimately we have to provide a sustainable flow of assets that have the potential to transform healthcare in the future.     

3. How do you at J&J determine which early-stage innovations will turn into products used on a global scale?

This is determined by a number of factors. Our executive team and therapeutic area leaders set the overall strategic direction of the company and determine what products we are interested in driving forward in development and commercialization on a global scale. We consider the patient needs in each market, what other solutions already exist (or don’t), how our product candidates can address the need, as well as the logistics of global commercialization. However, one of the biggest determining factors is the regulatory climate in each market and the efficacy of our product candidates in clinical trials.

4. Talk about your entrepreneur’s toolkit. Outside of the extensive expertise J&J experts, what is additional value added? How does your culture of innovation play out with early-stage entrepreneurs?

The Innovation Centers have greatly simplified our connection to the external ecosystem and house a wide breadth of capabilities – all aimed at advancing the best science and increasing the probability of a successful outcome.  In addition to our deal making, technology and therapeutic area experts, each Innovation Center houses team members from Johnson & Johnson’s venture capital arm, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, which can provide funding to advance a technology, ideally maturing it to the stage of where a potential strategic relationship could be formed.

Additionally, the Innovation Centers are home to team members from Johnson & Johnson’s incubator, Janssen Labs, which offers emerging companies a capital-efficient environment and operational support so they can focus on advancing the science instead of dealing with operational distractions of getting a business up and running. The Johnson & Johnson Innovation deal teams work in an integrated way throughout the deal-making process to create the best deal structure for each technology. Innovators need only to connect to the innovation center, and Johnson & Johnson can help guide them to the right resources and tailor them to their needs. The response of the life science community to our offerings at the Innovation Centers has been overwhelmingly positive, and I think our deal-making activities reflect that.

Johnson & Johnson also provides value to entrepreneurs as it is the only company broadly based in healthcare – with Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, and Consumer business units. We’ve partnered with multiple companies on technologies with applications spanning these three sectors, which ultimately creates more shots on goal and convergence opportunities for our partners. 

5. Talk about your Entrepreneur Innovator Program. How does empowering these entrepreneurs help J&J to grow and learn as well?

The Johnson & Johnson Innovator program is designed to foster idea generation and company formation around breakthrough innovations with the potential to transform patient healthcare in areas of interest to Johnson & Johnson. The program provides funding, resources and guidance to experienced entrepreneurs who have revolutionary science at the seed stage of development. Empowering entrepreneurs through this initiative helps Johnson & Johnson learn and grow because it enables us to tap into cutting edge ideas to which we wouldn’t otherwise have access. Also, through this program we get a much closer look at the challenges that life science entrepreneurs face in driving early stage innovation. This helps us to better respond to those needs through our offerings.


Contributed Article

Why the Book “No More Business As Usual” Matters

By Author & BPI Game Changer Steven Bowman

The last decade has witnessed revolutionary changes to business across the globe. Today’s business leaders have to wrestle with diverse, intricate and multifaceted challenges: globalization, technological advances, digitization, climate change, organizational sustainability, a global credit crunch—the list is endlessly growing. There are substantial and vast changes yet to come that will disturb and alter every aspect of business and transform everything the way we know it today. Organizations must constantly change if they are to flourish and thrive in an increasingly precarious business environment. If your business strategy is not prepared for the future, your business could become irrelevant. In this complex business environment, doing business-as-usual is a formula for business derailment and financial meltdown.  

The 21st century is a thrilling century full of challenges and different possibilities. Businesses will become more multifaceted and change at a faster pace. It presents plenty of changes that will impact your business in the future. This can create a devastating experience for organizations that are slow to distinguish and take care of the elemental changes in economic and societal demands.  

To prosper and thrive in the decade ahead, leaders have to think differently about reinvigorating their business. They must be willing to let go of all the timeworn conventional business models that keep their business from being remarkable.

Managing Uncertainty

Complex and real-time changes will become the norm for business in the 21st century and beyond. Leaders will face extraordinary new challenges and must learn to think differently about their role and how to fulfill it. Indeed, the demands the rapidly changing business climate will have on leaders will be unprecedented and intensely challenging. 

Clearly, the rules of the game have changed. Normal business practices based on traditional business models are not working anymore. Leaders often find themselves functioning in a bewildering new space in which little is certain, the pace is much faster, and the dynamics are more complex. Unless leaders choose to radically change their leadership mode, starting from now, their organizations will become irrelevant.

Food for ThoughtWhat can your organization do to circumvent the hazards connected with incompetent leadership and better prepare its existing and forthcoming leaders for changes that are yet unforeseen? What can leaders do to stay on top of all the things they need to know to do their job? 

These new times have brought with them an array of opportunities and different possibilities. Organizations will have to radically adapt their cultures, structures, systems and processes in order to turn change into opportunity. To seize these new opportunities and possibilities, leaders must be willing to challenge traditional perceptions and stop focusing on the past. They must become more forward-oriented, so that they can perceive new and different possibilities, trends, opportunities and challenges that will influence and impact their future. The successful companies will be those where leaders have the capability to flexibly respond to unanticipated challenges.

Be The Change

As the world rapidly changes, leaders must be able to not only lead change but also themselves ‘Be the change.’  This is exemplified by the well-known quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Those who choose to  ‘Be the change’ will have an opportunity to change the world in ways their predecessors never imagined.

The key to success for business leaders will be their willingness to expand beyond this reality. They have to go beyond everything they’ve ever thought was real in this reality and go to a place where they can create and generate something that’s beyond their imagination, and beyond what this reality is willing to have, create or generate. 

Developing the capacity as a leader to become aware of future possibilities, to envision future trends as well as challenges will be an essential part of leading the 21st century enterprise. Leaders must be able to navigate a complex and fast changing business environment. They also need to develop a capacity to deal with challenges, disruptions and chaos in the face of uncertainty. Future business environments will be different from what we currently have, where the challenges and issues organizations face will be changing at an incredibly rapid speed. Business executive can’t lead their business based on leadership archetypes from the past and expect to meet the challenges as the world rapidly changes.

Leading From the Edge of Possibility, In an Age of Revolutionary Change

Organizations depend upon astute and adept leadership to guide them through unprecedented changes.  Profound changes in the early years of the 21st-century and countless challenges have forced leaders worldwide into uncharted territory. To succeed in the shifting business landscape, leaders must rethink their historical views and must consciously re-examine what it takes to succeed.

Leaders of the 21st-century will need to expand their perception about the possible and probable future, have potent strategic awareness to perceive different possibilities, powerful insights into emerging trends that might impact the organization, sincere openness to change with no fixed point of view, have the courage to be a nonconformist, being functional with contextual reality, able to change and transform on the dime, and lead increasingly diverse and independent teams over which they may not always have direct authority.

To successfully develop this blend of skills and attributes – and adopt what is, in effect, a ‘conscious leadership’ style – they may need to abandon much of the assumptions, points of view and behavior that propelled them to the top of their organizations in the first place.



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