R&D peer conference in the heart of the Arizona desert

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m currently at Scottsdale in the heart of the Arizona desert with my peer group (of people leading R&D) attending and speaking at a conference on open innovation.

I was invited to talk about how, in Tesco.com R&D, we have an API open to third party developers to foster innovation around our grocery service. 
The purpose of the conference was to hear good and bad experiences involving external sources of innovation, useful as I need to put together proposals for how we continue to energise our external developer community – and eventually migrate everyone to a future production version of the API. 
I’ll write more about about the conference’s output over the next few days, since there are several different themes to cover. But let me tell you it’s got me thinking about how so many R&D departments are needing to re-stance themselves as a core driver of change rather than stand on the periphery of business.

In Tesco.com I have little, if any, problem putting R&D projects in front of a readily listening leadership team and stakeholders. That’s not the same as them always accepting our output but we have a robust and honest relationship, and feedback helps shape our work fits the needs of the business and the wishes of our customers.

Successful R&D needs appropriate culture and attitude from inside and outside that department. I’ll write more about ‘how we do things round here’ at Tesco.com if that will help you with your R&D work.

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