Archive for the Tag 'interactive'

Identify Priority Innovation Areas

Point: Define priority innovation areas to harness employee energy

Story: When it comes to innovation, Harrah’s Entertainment doesn’t play games. The operator of a global chain of 50 casinos is pursuing a theme-focused innovation strategy similar to technology giant Hewlett-Packard and venture capital firm The Foundry Group. The company identified six areas of interest (akin to HP’s 8 themes and Foundry’s 5 themes – see Innovation Investment Strategy). Harrah’s target areas are: enabling technologies (such as wireless and radio frequency identification); enabling platforms (cloud computing, service-oriented architecture, anything-as-a-service); “smart” service (self-service kiosks); interactive CRM; next-generation gaming; and expanded channels to reach customers.

An innovation team of about 10 people from IT, marketing, customer service and gaming evaluate idea submissions from employees. Harrah’s also taps the innovations of vendors and is considering enlisting the public in seeking new innovations in gaming and entertainment. To gather even more feedback, Harrah’s created an “Innovation Portal” where employees can vote for their favorite innovation. Top management (CEO Gary Loveman and VP of Innovation Chris Chang) then decides which ideas ultimately get funded.


  • Identify the areas of top priority to your firm, to help steer energy & momentum in the areas that will provide most value to your firm.
  • Use themes to look for the deeper, long-term enablers and platforms rather than shallow short-term gadgets and projects.
  • Ask employees for suggestions, feedback or votes on ideas within these areas
  • Consider involving vendors, customers and the public as well, to expand the pool of ideas. (This strategy will require thinking through the IP issues.)

For more information on Harrah’s: Network Computing article

8 Comments »Case study, Customers, How-to, Innovation, New Product Development, Strategy