GCV Magazine: Selecting Corporate Venturing Approaches

The next horizon of corporate venturing is the integration of multiple approaches as part of a broad corporate innovation strategy.  In addition to venture capital investment, companies are standing up accelerators and incubators, hosting hackathons and experimenting with equity crowdfunding, to name a few. In the January issue of GCV Magazine, Peter Bryant, Scott Bowman, and Mike Lippitz describe this evolution of corporate venturing and provide guidance about how to choose the options that can allow you to harvest the most value from external venturing. Read the full article here.

Views from PDAC: The Innovation Imperative

By Peter Bryant

Prior to PDAC 2017, I could not help but wonder about the mood of the industry leaders whom I was about to meet. Given the recent surge in commodity prices, how did they now view the industry’s innovation imperative?

I attended PDAC 2017 to launch the transformative Development Partner Institute, of which I am the Board Chair, and speak  about ‘The Innovation Imperative’ to the International Mining Ministers Summit, hosted by the World Economic Forum and PDAC at BMO’s fabulous Executive Center in Toronto.

My message was simple and consistent:

“The innovation imperative is the greatest it has ever been. The surge in prices should not be viewed as a panacea, but rather the stimulus to accelerate commitment, urgency and investment towards the necessary innovation agenda. It is an opportunity that should not be squandered.”

The Mining Ministers Summit was attended by Ministers from more than 25 countries, such as Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Colombia, Canada, Botswana, Mongolia, Kenya, Mali, Ecuador and many more.

As one of only three speakers, I centered my remarks on how we can improve the social, environmental and economic outcomes for all stakeholders, particularly the surrounding communities, from the development of the non-renewable resources with which each and every country had been endowed.

A new level of prosperity, sustainable beyond the life of a mine, can only be achieved through innovation. This innovation must deliver something that creates value, but must not be confused with invention.

The innovation imperative is stronger than ever. The industry continues to face the same serious headwinds that conspire to undermine the value it delivers to all stakeholders, including:

  1. A continuously declining social license to operate, as societal demands rapidly outstrip the progress being made. There has been a dramatic decline in trust between communities, government and mining companies; 
  2. Increasing environmental expectations for stewardship of the ecosystems from communities, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders;
  3. Poor economic performance. Just prior to this recent surge, when prices were trading at 2-5x the lows of 2000, the industry was struggling to provide the returns of capital and free cash flow that investors expected. The recent surge has not alleviated the persistent economic underperformance of the last 15 years, which has largely resulted from collapsed productivity and spiraling costs in development and operations.

This is not a normal “boom and bust” cycle, and is not just a problem for the mining companies, but for governments, communities and suppliers as well.

The Ministers understood this and were universally focused on two key priorities: how do their governments deliver better outcomes to the communities in and around mining projects, and how do they drive innovation in their respective countries?  

I offered two perspectives for consideration:

Build shared purpose through a new collaborative approach.

The only way to deliver better outcomes for communities is to create an environment where all stakeholders come together in a mutually respectful way, in order to understand what each wants from mining development and arrive at a shared purpose.

This requires a radically different mindset from all stakeholders. Following the same old approaches with some incremental changes and hoping for substantially different outcomes simply won’t work.  The Development Partner Approach offers a set of guiding principles on how to achieve this.

The government’s role is to create a ‘sandbox with the appropriate guardrails’, so that conversations will accommodate the differences of each development/project yet still align with the same accepted set of principles. The risk is that the more prescriptive that policy and regulations become, the more restrictive they are, perpetuating issues on the ground.

We had a robust conversation on how this can be achieved. A Minister of Mines from Latin America described his country’s new mandate that sixty percent of all revenue from mining projects (taxes and royalties) must be invested back into the local communities. There were mechanisms in place to make sure this happened, and that the funds were invested in necessary infrastructure that would underpin future prosperity.

A Minister from Southern Africa noted that this approach must accommodate the artisanal miners in and around company operations. He remarked that in his country, there are two million artisanal miners that depend on mining for their economic well-being. Another Minister added that this still must overcome the challenge of his indigenous people’s view that mining was mistrusted and equaled destruction, rather than opportunity.

In many cases, this approach requires technology to enable new mining methods that can radically reduce the negative environmental and social impacts of current methods, lower production costs, and drive up productivity.

Stimulate innovation and new business development to catalyze greater economic prosperity.

The second perspective I shared was how to stimulate innovation within countries to help develop new technology and businesses across all market segments. Stimulating innovation unleashes the potential of their entrepreneurs in the process, and leverages the wealth generated from mining to act as a catalyst for economic prosperity beyond the mine.

This is especially important in order to overcome the long term and persistent under-investment in new technology by the industry. New methods and technologies are critical to address the declining economic performance and increasing demands around the environment.

The industry must also start supporting and stimulating new businesses that support other vital and strategic sectors for the region, such as agriculture, healthcare, and tourism.

One Minister from a major Latin American country lamented how little mining had changed in the last thirty to fifty years, and questioned why there had been so little innovation. Yet another spoke of the increased fragility of ecosystems that demand new technology to minimize the negative impacts of mining.

The government must provide springboards in order to create an environment for entrepreneurism to thrive and avoid smothering the very baby it is trying to nurture. How can they do this?

  1. Make it easy to create a new business.
  2. Improve access to venture capital, encourage and catalyze the establishment of professionally managed Venture capital funds and avoid picking winners by making direct investments in new companies.
  3. Create hubs and catalyze ecosystems around specific challenges, avoiding duplication.
  4. Provide the right infrastructure, particularly communications.

Almost all stakeholders are incentivized and eager to make this happen. It demands an entirely new level of public and private sector collaboration that is based on trust and shared purpose. A new mindset is necessary – one that will challenge existing orthodoxies – because continuing to follow the same paths with incremental adjustments will simply no longer work. Governments will need to work collaboratively with mining companies, communities and other stakeholders to drive towards their shared purpose. Investing the wealth from mining projects in such a way so as to provide for prosperity beyond the life of the mine. 

It is only through embracing innovation, while providing the ‘sandboxes with guardrails’ and ‘springboards’, that we can truly deliver the improved social, environmental and economic outcomes for all stakeholders, especially the surrounding communities, that mining companies and governments seek.

Achieving Radical Efficiency Gains in a Tough Environment

While at the Mining Strategic Excellence conference in Toronto this summer, Clareo's Satish Rao sat down with Metal Bulletin Events to discuss the imperative for radical efficiency in the mining industry, how mining companies can incorporate successful strategies from other industries to their own businesses, and the implications of radical efficiency for the mine of the future.

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The Now! Economy: The Force Shaping Business and IT

iRise.com, Oct. 20, 2015

Everyone knows we’re in an era of tremendous change that’s reshaping the way business and life are conducted. In this article from iRise.com, Clareo partner Robert Wolcott argues that something he called “DistributedX” (and more recently changed to the more descriptive "The Now! Economy") is one of the most powerful forces reshaping human activity, in which the production and provision of goods and services moves ever nearer to the end user.

“We’re modestly calling it a unified theory of technology and markets,” he says in a recent video presentation. “The impact of technologies in aggregate will be to enable us to produce and provide products and services of an increasing variety closer and closer to the moment and location demand arises.”

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The B2B CMO: The Time Has Come

Forbes CMO Network, Oct. 7, 2015

The age of the B2B CMO has arrived: About 35% of Fortune 500 business-to-business companies now have a true corporate‐level CMO with a seat at the CEO’s table.

The CMO Forum, a group of leading global CMOs convened by Clareo, has a goal to help shape the future role of the CMO, especially in the b-to-b world.  We asked the members, each the top marketing officer of their respective global corporation: What roles should we envision for a company’s marketing leadership, and how do we achieve these in practice?

The result is the CMO Charter, a framework to bring clarity and structure to this rapidly evolving role, developed in collaboration with Professor Mohan Sawhney of the Kellogg School of Management and our CMO Forum members.  We’ll share the CMO Charter at Professor Phil Kotler’s World Marketing Summit in Tokyo, Japan, this month. Here is a preview.

Read the Article by Clareo partners Robert Wolcott and Peter Bryant

A New Charter for Chief Marketing Officers

World Marketing Summit, Oct. 2015

The role of the CMO is in rapid transition. This article from Clareo partner Robert Wolcott and Kellogg School professor Mohanbir Sawhney articulates a new framework, the CMO Charter, which visually represents the six activity areas for which CMOs should be responsible or engaged to varying degrees: Customer Insights, Customer Experience, Growth, Marketing Talent, Communications and Branding. The article arose from a series of three intimate, two-day sessions with some of the world’s leading CMOs, at Clareo’s CMO Forum.

Read the Article (PDF)

Be Unrealistic: The Only Path To Breakthrough Success

Forbes BrandVoice, Sept. 2, 2015

When was the last time your CEO told you your plans were too realistic?

Business leaders often seek realistic plans with clear paths to success. Problem is, plans that make sense within the status quo won’t change the game. Only plans that seem unreasonable today have any hope of transformative growth in the future.

Startups transform industries by pursuing what look at the outset like horribly unrealistic visions. Ideas that were once inconceivable — distributed energy, 3D printing and peer-to-peer lending to name a few — are now realities redrawing entire industries.

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Preparing for Technological Disruption: Six Actions Managers Should Take Now

Kellogg School professors Robert Wolcott and Andrew Razeghi have been exploring big shifts in the marketplace. An important change they have identified is that more products and services will be produced and provided at the time and place they are required—and the pace of that change is accelerating rapidly. Indeed, new technologies are already disrupting established supply chains and altering who captures value. In this Economist article, Wolcott and Razeghi offer six steps managers should be taking now to stay ahead of the curve.

Read Economist Article
Related Video

Is the Mining Industry Becoming Outdated?

The Globe & Mail, May 2015

“We need to provide [mined] resources at a price point that’s effective to continue economic development, but at the same time it has to be done in a way that has good outcomes for society,” says Clareo partner Peter J. Bryant , co-chair of The KIN Catalyst: Mining Company of the Future, an industry framework launched recently to help miners embrace innovation. This article offers a Canadian perspective on opportunities for mining innovation.

Read the Article

Preparing for Technological Disruption: Six Actions Managers Should Take Now

Economist Online, May 2015

Kellogg School professors Robert Wolcott and Andrew Razeghi have been exploring big shifts in the marketplace. An important change they identified is that more products and services will be produced and provided at the time and place they are required—and the pace of that change is accelerating rapidly. Indeed, established supply chains are already being disrupted, shifting who captures value.

In this Economist article, Wolcott and Razeghi offer six steps managers should take now to stay ahead of the curve.

Read Economist Article 
Related Video

Peter Bryant, Executive Business Strategist, Joins Chrysalix Advisory Board

Peter Bryant, Executive Business Strategist, Joins Chrysalix Advisory Board

VANCOUVER, BC, March 24, 2015 – Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, one of the longest standing and most active clean energy venture capital firms, announced the addition of 30-year executive business strategist, Peter Bryant to the firm’s Advisory Board. As a Chrysalix Advisory Board member, Peter will draw on his extensive expertise in growth and innovation...

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