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Brilliance@Work: Lean Innovator Terrae Schroeder

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar marketing professionals and their best practices at work. In September and October, we’ll feature market research experts.

Terrae Schroeder

Terrae Schroeder

Terrae Schroeder is the Director of Insights & Innovation in the snacks division at Kellogg’s. She’s also a presenter at The Market Research Event (TMRE) on October 16-18 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.

As a preview to her presentation, “Harnessing the Power of Entrepreneurial Approaches to Innovate and Grow Faster at Kellogg’s,” Terrae shared insights on the business value of a Lean Innovation approach.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How can a Lean Innovation approach help shape an organization’s future success?

Terrae Schroeder: Whatever you put energy into, grows. The Lean Innovation approach allows the organization to focus and concentrate resources; people, processes, ideas on one challenge at hand. There is a lot to be gained by having this much organization focus on one tough challenge. It produces holistic thinking, brings in external and fresh ideas, and creates solutions that may not been uncovered without the intense focus.

PB: What elements of a Lean Innovation approach were leveraged to help transform the culture at Kellogg’s?

TS: We will talk about 3 key approaches we leveraged in the presentation; having a growth mindset, the need for hustle, and taking a 360-degree approach to innovation. While this was an exercise (the Boot Camp), we’ve adopted many of these approaches in our day-to-day, therefore shifting the culture a bit more entrepreneurial. A few changes we’ve implemented since the boot camp are: including packaging design much earlier in the process, building in retailer considerations, leveraging a consumer-centric lens for innovation and focusing more effort, time and resource on “big bets.”

PB: How does this approach help tell a compelling marketing story?

TS: The maniacal consumer focus enables us to win big with consumers and the external/retailer focus allows us to execute with excellence and enables best in class partnership with our key retailers. Finding a “win/win/win” with consumers, shoppers and retailers results in big innovations. I think execution has to be 50-75% of an innovation’s success, and these are typically “end of the line” type of tasks in a traditional linear innovation model. Having more of a hub-and-spoke innovation model ensures greater executional excellence leading to greater innovation success.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?

TS: For companies looking for a different way to get to bigger and better innovation, this will lay out some key principles for success in implementing a new process and unlocking greater benefit from your organization’s resources. The market is moving very fast and we need to adjust to be quicker and more agile as well. You’ll learn how to leave your “we can’t” at the door!

Want to hear more from Terrae? Join us at The Market Research Event (TMRE). Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in market research. Stay connected at #TMREVENT.