CTO Forum

RETHINK DISRUPTION -Emerging Technologies & Innovative Product Development – 2020

December 10 and 11, 2020
Emerging Technologies & Innovative Product Development

The technology landscape is changing at a frenetic pace. Emerging technologies and technological advances continue to alter the business landscape, disrupting the status quo, and changing the way people live and work. Very few companies can ignore the risk of becoming irrelevant, ending up as mere footnotes of business history. While not every emerging technology will upend established markets, some will, and it is therefore imperative to understand their business potential and social impact.

Investments in emerging technologies do not necessarily guarantee success. While Strategy&’s 2015 Global Innovation study reported the ten most innovative companies outperformed the top R&D spenders by 8-percent in revenue growth, as of 2017, this figure has grown to 11-percent. The failure of many organizations to improve R&D performance is not due to lack of effort or commitment but in- stead due to a misconception about the drivers of R&D performance. Research shows that disruption occurs when technologies, processes, and business models are combined in a unique way. Therefore, it is critical to get an R&D strategy in place and determine which technologies have the potential to add value to the existing business or create a brand new market before companies make the decision to invest in them.

The Rethink Disruption program has been developed to help senior technology leaders separate the technology signals from the noise, with the goal to provide key insights into emerging technologies that have transformational potential and are positioned to create new waves of innovation across multiple industries. The program also explores the best R&D models to improve innovation performance and drive growth.

  • Maintain market leadership and relevance
  • Launch a constant stream of hit products and services
  • Use disruption as a growth and transformation opportunity
  • Turn R&D spend into true measure of innovation
  • Balance R&D portfolio in the face of uncertainties
  • Understanding growth, decay, and business transformation cycles
  • Identifying strategic opportunities in the fog of disruption
  • Differentiating disruptions from science, R&D, and regulatory change
  • Evaluating the economic and social value of disruptive technologies
  • Strategizing about new products that exploit emerging technologies
  • Protecting and defending current revenues in the face of disruption
  • Revitalizing corporate and new business development
  • Refocusing research and development efforts
  • Invigorating internal corporate venture units
  • Refreshing product and technology strategies
  • Identifying new incubation and acquisition targets
  • CTOs, VPs of Engineering, VPs of Products, and R&D Labs Directors
  • CEOs, Presidents, COOs, and Chief Innovation & Strategy Officers
  • CIOs, IT CTOs, VPs of Development, and VPs of IT (all areas)


Stefan Thomke, Harvard Business School
Dr. Stefan H. Thomke
William Barkley Harding Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Dr. Gary Pisano
Harry E. Figgie Professor of Business Administration & Senior Associate Dean, Harvard Business School
Dr. Alan MacCormack
MBA Class of 1949 Adjunct Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Dr. Rory M. McDonald
Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Mark Papermaster
Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice ZPresident of Technology and Engineering, Advanced Micro Devices
Dr. Darlene Solomon
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Agilent Technologies
Dr. Jeffrey Welser
Vice President, Exploratory Science & University Partnerships; Lab Director, IBM Research – Almaden & Pacific Rim, IBM
Dr. Ahmad Bahai
Chief Technology Offcier, Texas Instruments
Jim Colson
Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Cubic Corporation


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Designing the Digital Transformation Flywheel

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Designing the Digital Transformation Flywheel

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