2017 ACG Bold Awards

Galleryscreenshot.png

The annual Alliance of Corporate Growth (ACG) Bold Awards was hosted at the Metropolitan Ballroom on the evening of February 28th.
The formal event was very well attended and kicked off with a large food and networking session.   Teams from the event sponsors attended and enjoyed reserved seating for the awards.   The award ceremony was kicked off by ACG personnel and some key sponsors.  Multiple Bold awards were given across several categories with the following nominees:
screenshot.png
One of the many highlights of the evening is to hear the success stories of these finalists and learn about their approach to growth.   Many are also making an impact on the community as well through their work.   This year a special recognition award was given out to the US Bank team for their work on the new US Bank Stadium.   The evening concluded with issuing of the Bold of the Bold award selected from the winners of all the categories.   For this selection,  each attendee was able to vote, via a cell phone app, for the final award winner.  Here are the category winners:

Non-Profit
Banyon Community

Early Stage
Calyxt

Corporate Small
Medicom Health

Corporate Middle Market
Innovative Office Solutions

Corporate Large
Deluxe

Special Recognition
US Bank Stadium

BOLDEST OF THE BOLD
Innovative Office Solutions

See more event images in the Gallery
Learn more about ACG
Advertisements

Intersection of Product Mgmt, Prod Dev, and Data Analytics

612f8b1c-5048-4e81-8ac2-802f2c2f7782

I attended the February PDMA event hosted at Optum.   The Minneapolis chapter had arranged both a tour of the Optum facility and a panel discussion on the intersection of Product Management, Product Development, and Data Analytics.   The event started with a networking session while tours were conducted.   The tour featured several customer showcase areas.  The first was visiting a large digital analytics command room that was several stories tall and covered in monitors with real-time information showing a vast amount of healthcare related actives across the united states.  This room could be used to monitor the outbreaks and spreading of disease and the activities of the healthcare providers.   It allows Optum to actively support the healthcare system with early identification of trends and coordination of activities.  We headed into a detailed analytics room that featured individual station with large interactive touch screens.  Our tour guides took use through numerous analytics scenarios with real-time drill down into trends,  treatments, and member services that were possible with the depth of data they have been able to integrate and create the capabilities to explore and interact with data.   This section of the tour concluded in a large surround screen video experience around the future of healthcare.
optum_logo
The event continued with the panel discussion featuring 6 panelists ranging from corporate to consultants with various backgrounds in the product and analytics spaces.   With an audience size around 100 people, they did some polling and it saw a split between attendees being more on the product side vs. pure data scientists.    The panel also talked briefly about the 5 eras of product development that was broken out accordingly:
  1. Create a product in isolation and push it out through advertising
  2. Customer focus groups
  3. Lean / Design Thinking / Customer Discovery
  4. Data Science
  5. Now we need to integrate 3 & 4
It was highly stressed that many data projects fail and the root cause is the lack of defining what value you want to get out of the data up front.  Meaning you have to define the questions you are trying to answer before getting lost in analysis.   While data analysis can also discover anomalies and trends along the way,  that should be secondary to understanding what you are trying to learn from it.  The questions also help define the “right” data you want vs. getting overwhelmed with studying “all” the data.   In the end, your looking for the problem that your product/service can solve,  not the offering itself in the data.
I look forward to attending more events and more networking!
Learn more about PDMA (http://www.pdma.org/minnesota)
Photo Galleries:

Beginning Cluster Development

screenshot

I participated in the economic development roundtable webinar focused on Cluster development.   Guest speakers were from Cluster Navigators.  The conversation was exploring how to get cluster development programs underway in your local area.  The speakers have published a 12 step handbook and process image of the journey.  This interactive session allowed a great Q&A dialogue across a wide number of economic development attendees.
Check out Cluster Navigators:  https://www.clusternavigators.com
screenshot
Photo Galleries:

2023 Worlds Fair – Approved to Bid

Expo_2023_Logo_Tagline11

On 02/21/17 the Expo 2023 team announced that the US Federal Government had re-established its relationship with the International Bureau of International Expositions after withdrawing in the Bush Jr. era.   This is a positive step forward in US / International relationships and opens the door for Minnesota to bid to host the 2023 Worlds Fair.   The proposal is under development and will be submitted in an attempt to win the approval from the BIE in the coming year.   With 2023 rapidly approaching,  Minnesota will only have a limited window to ready itself to host the world.   Everything from basic infrastructure to developing new showcase assets to attract the worldMinnesotasota will need to be developed through vast amounts of participation of the private and public sector.    Stay tuned to this initiative as it leads the way for the USA to be one of the premier posters of World’s Fairs!
Photo Galleries:

Cloud Platform CxO Discussion

9e2e0990-b941-4ff6-90d8-d3ba2542f487

I participated in the CxO roundtable webinar focused on Cloud Platforms.   The executive group was sharing their experiences around the selection, implementation, and maintenance of various cloud platforms for their enterprises.  While nearly all the group had assets already deployed in the cloud, everyone is still learning and watching the evolution of these platforms closely.   I had extensive experience in this area as a strategy advisor with Microsoft during the pre and post launch of Microsoft Azure.   Working with companies of all sizes to understand key implications and internal development required to move into these paradigms.   While I felt the challenges were still common and basic in nature,  there was a clear consensus that cloud was solidly in everyone’s strategy.
Challenges range from:
  • Keeping up with the vendor roadmaps
  • Developing internal talent and recruitment
  • Cultural shift to supporting cloud at the enterprise level
  • Moving teams from legacy methods to agile and dev ops based approaches
  • New funding models for business units to support cloud
  • Understanding how dynamic cloud pricing can jump as you scale rapidly ( especially with data storage)
  • Architectural best practices
  • Moving from piloting to large scale, mission critical application
In general,  these are all foundational challenges most organization have been facing for some time.  This raises the issue that the value proposition of bringing cloud computing into the enterprise is still primarily focused on cost reduction and in many cases it doesn’t always reduce near-term cost.  What isn’t being talked about is the use of cloud for more strategic applications of the business.  I have worked on numerous projects where cloud platforms have been the critical enabler for large scale M&A integration,  Internation Strategic Alliances, and tactical joint ventures between organizations.  As businesses move past the “how to” stage of cloud it allows the business leaders to start to leverage cloud platforms in strategic initiatives.

St. Thomas Risk Leadership Program

039f56ec-dfd6-43f3-99ee-c7e019af4e5f

I had the opportunity to meet with Faculty from the University of St. Thomas Opus School of Business to discuss the work I have been doing in corporate innovation and in the area of building regional innovation ecosystems.   The meeting also gave me a chance to learn more about the school’s new programs and actives in the area of Risk Leaders.   The initial meeting identified a wide number of areas of interest and overlap in these areas of work with future meetings planned to explore synergies.
Check out Risk Leadership ( https://www.stthomas.edu/risk_leadership/ )
**** Update:
Cheval Partners now has a team member on the Risk Leadership Advisory Board
Photo Galleries:

Online Education Platforms

9e2e0990-b941-4ff6-90d8-d3ba2542f487I participated in the CxO roundtable webinar focused on Online Education Platforms.   The conversation was a great sharing of experiences of various universities experiences evaluating and using these platforms to support their online education programs.   I have had multiple exposures to designing programs for online platforms from working at the university to the consulting I have done with universities building programs around innovation centers and regional cluster development.    There is an overwhelming need to build global education communities that can extend the reach of their offerings to students and workforces internationally.   Online programs are both in demand and liked by students/workers that want the flexibility and non-geographic limitations of access to training.
The platforms primarily being discussed on this call ranged from:
  • BlackBoard – Ultra
  • Canvas
  • Moodle
  • D2L Bright Space
Challenges range from:
  • Evaluation
  • Funding
  • Training internal staff
  • Culture shift of faculty
  • Metrics and measurement – definition of success
  • Looking ahead to where today’s trends are heading
The institution on the call are in the early adoption and learning phases being only a few years into their pilots.  Current challenges are similar and tactical in nature.  The conversation will pivot past the “how to” stage and into considering that the full potential and reach of these platforms will vastly exceed the brick and mortar aspects of the institutions that they implement in.
Some key aspects they will need to address in the coming years will be:
  • How institutional funding for new programs will be shifting to online
  • Designing hybrid programs that blend with experiential learning
  • Incorporating cutting edge industry practitioners to assure that online programs remain relevant and updated
  • Running dependable 24/7 IT at global scale ( with what partners)
  • Building retaining the online community past just the courseware
  • Building new strategic partnerships across the globe to create world class / aggregated curriculum
  • Redefining what degree means when your education is coming from many institutions
  • Building students along side workforce
  • Making lifelong learning central to the programs.   Not just the basics, but constant indusry relevancy
  • etc.
These strategic aspects are also at the center of conversations are the development of innovation centers that integrate with many universities and industry partners.   The shift is moving in the direction where the gap between university and industry training is closing and education needs to be integrated directly into the innovation ecosystem of industry and workforce development.