University St. Thomas Spring Seminar


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Understanding the new frontiers in corporate strategy and innovation was a key theme University St. Thomas Spring Seminar focusing on Risk Leadership.  The event was hosted April 25, 2018 on the UST campus located in downtown Minneapolis Minnesota.  The event featured keynote speakers and several breakout tracks focusing on Risk Leadership and Risk Managment.   The attendees were primarily senior practitioners from twin cities corporations, as well as, SMEs from consulting firms and university students are in the UST Risk Management programs.


The day began with breakfast and networking in the OPUS building and auditorium.  The first key note showcased the Risk Management and operations consideration behind the recent Super Bowl 52 that was hosted in Minneapolis.   The range of concerns and logistics to be managed at a premium event was impressive, as were, the results that they achieved during the week long buildup and celebration.


The first round of breakouts included overviews of Risk Management frameworks from large scale service providers including PWC representatives reviewing the framework they have developed in collaboration with the COSO organization.


I participated as a Innovation & Strategy expert on the final panel discussion of the day hosted in the larger auditorium.  The panel was well represented in in-house practitioners and consulting experts and moderated by an accomplished expert in international strategy and capability development that has lead globalization projects from several fortune 100s.  The format for the panel was a number of moderated questions focusing on competitive strategy and the development of innovation practices in corporations.  This was followed by an open Q&A session with the audience.


In my responses I covered a broad range of topics including:

  • How the nature of competition is radically evolving.   This introduced over 25 new strategies that have appeared since 2000 compared to about 8 classic strategies from the previous century.
  • The new characteristics of managing a innovation portfolio across offensive, defensive, disruptive and dislocate strategies.
  • The need for advanced capabilities in market intelligence to understand both the impact of the new strategies in the market but also to identify new competitive threats and cross sector, non-traditional, competitors.
  • New investment portfolios, investment lifecycles and ecosystem engagement to help drive competitive advantage.
  • What are critical strategic objective for all companies in the coming years and how they are essential to addressing the rising resource and grand challenge issues that we face today.
  • How global companies are competing drastically differently from north American firms.
  • Cultural aspects that need to evolve for companies to remain competitive.

The panel conversation built off each others comments well and engaged the audience.  Eventually we ran into our time limit but we were hardly done with the number of questions coming from the audience.

The day concluded with a lunch and awards ceremony for key participants in the event and for announcements of new projects being launched at UST in these spaces.


See more images of the events in the gallery