Game Changers

Game Changer Profile

Alex Blanter, Partner: Innovation and Product Development, Digital and IoT, A.T. Kearney

Alex Blanter, Partner: Innovation and Product Development, Digital and IoT at A.T. Kearney Read insights

“Playing the long game fast.”

“We are at the start of a new innovation era, in which companies must play the long game fast – and where the ‘prize’ for successful innovations is no longer market dominance, but simply the opportunity to innovate again.”

This is the stark and sobering message from Alex Blanter, a partner at A. T. Kearney, one of the leads in its Innovation practice.  Armed with over 20 years’ experience in driving high-tech business growth in Silicon Valley and beyond, Blanter is a global thought leader on the choice – and timing – of new technology deployment for enterprise-scale businesses, and on novel solutions for complex problems.

A.T. Kearney is a leading global management consultancy, which works with two-thirds of the Global Fortune 500, and has offices in more than 40 countries.

Going all the way through history, Blanter has traced the evolution of innovation approaches, from ‘magic’, to art, to science. He believes we are now on the cusp of an innovation era defined most by organizational culture, and triggered by the cost/performance power of multiplicative technologies – like AI, IoT and Big Data – all coming together at the same time; an era whose winning formula is rapid experimentation, and whose key actors are not companies and industries, but ecosystems.

Yet Blanter’s work is geared at actual, tailored value creation, rather than theory. Trained as a mechanical engineer in Russia, his approaches to innovation are steeped in pragmatism for a broad range of industries: from high-tech and industrial to aerospace, automotive, financial services and others. Indeed, Blanter advocates parallel multiple business models within single enterprises as the core for sustainable innovation going forward.

This is the level of granular agility now required to compete in a business landscape that more closely resembles arctic ice floes. He says: “The sad truth is: established public companies are failing at innovation by the only measure that matters: value creation.”

While the average tenure of companies in the S&P500 is down by 80% – there is hope, in a recipe which includes: “incubating with gusto, at scale; innovating deliberately, with a clear strategy; and driving for ecosystem dominance first, and financial returns second.”

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