Goran Kukic, Chief Innovation Technology Officer, Nestlé and Doug Washburn, VP, Research Products

Show Notes:

It’s one thing to have pockets of innovation happening within your organization. But spreading tech-driven innovation across the organization is a different thing entirely. One company that has done that successfully is Nestlé.

In this episode, you’ll hear Goran Kukic, chief innovation technology officer at Nestlé, discuss the firm’s tech-driven innovation strategy during a recorded session from Forrester’s Technology and Innovation forum last fall.

Kukic starts by defining his role as chief innovation technology officer at Nestlé and outlines the three ways his organization spreads tech-driven innovation: inspiring the entire organization to be more courageous in its innovation; consulting with other teams on the impact new technologies may have and how to leverage them; and guiding teams on concept development and piloting innovation ideas.

One of the secrets to Nestlé’s innovation success is the location of the innovation team. Kukic provides an interesting anecdote as to how Nestlé’s innovation team first became based in San Francisco and explains how the location helps the team deliver inspiration. He notes that the entire executive board has visited the San Francisco innovation center, which helps increase visibility and funding for the center. His team hosts internal webinars and writes position papers reviewing new technologies and explaining how they could be leveraged at Nestlé.

Kukic also describes specific tech-driven innovation pilots that Nestlé is working on, including projects focusing on augmented reality and personalized nutritional coaching, and how the pandemic accelerated some of those projects.

When asked about Forrester’s definition of tech-driven innovation, Kukic says the key phrase in it is “advanced discipline” because it implies moving from sporadic pockets of innovation to a defined process of identifying and executing innovation efforts that align with an organization’s strategy.

The episode closes with Kukic providing his key takeaway for technology executives looking to gain a different perspective on innovation. (Hint: Try to avoid being located at your firm’s headquarters location.)