The External Innovation Lead will pro-actively identify and translate high impact external ideas, science and technologies to accelerate growth and invent the future of beverages for The Coca-Cola Company. The role works collaboratively with internal teams to maintain a clear understanding of the business needs to deliver a continuous stream of disruptive ideas and technologies to feed the innovation pipeline. This position will lead prioritized external innovation projects against targeted areas of interest, being responsible for day-to-day management and the outcome of key deliverables. The External Innovation Lead conducts technology scouting, working closely with external organizations and subject matter experts to identify disruptive trends and technologies. Additionally, this position will engage in business development activities, including developing compelling business cases, to influence and accelerate adoption of new technologies. The role requires an entrepreneurial mindset as well as strong leadership, collaboration and relationship building skills, both with internal and external stakeholders. This position reports to the Director of ETA and will play a key role in The Coca-Cola Company’s open innovation efforts.
Function Specific Activities:
Seeks the highest potential external ideas and technologies to bring to the business by:
Partnering with internal innovation teams and understanding consumer needs to develop areas of interest briefs and challenges to initiate search and evaluations
Building strong relationships with external partners (academics, research institutes, accelerators, etc.)
Attending relevant conferences, trade shows, pitch events, etc. to source potential technologies and stay current on the latest trends
Leads the assessment of viable new technology solutions by:
Scouting and assessing external ideas, science and technologies to support growth priorities with collaboration from both internal and external subject matter experts
Documenting findings from scouting activities and effectively sharing with peers and facilitating future re-use
Conducting global technology landscape assessments for high priority projects
Connects external technology solutions to the business by:
Communicating and promoting external ideas/technologies, trends and disruptors to a wide-range of internal stakeholders
Accelerates experimentation and implementation of high potential technologies by:
Creating early product concepts, business cases and implementation plans in partnership with R&D and BUs.
Driving fast fail go/no-go decisions on all opportunities
Driving contract and agreement negotiations with external partners
Inspires innovation both internally and externally by:
Curating technology tours and workshops for internal stakeholders
Challenging external partners to work on The Coca-Cola Company’s biggest challenges
Education Requirements & Related Work Experience:
Degree in a science or engineering discipline with a MBA or other graduate degree is preferred with at least 5 years related work experience.
Experience in entrepreneurship, strategy or innovation preferred.
Broad exposure to and passion for a wide variety of technologies, development processes, product portfolios, and collaboration models on a global scale.
Business Expertise: Agile approaches, business case development, IP management, joint development negotiation. Negotiation of agreements with external parties with support from Legal and M&A.
Functional Expertise: Expertise in external technology scouting, landscaping, assessment and implementation. Evaluation of propositions or hypotheses and making judgments based on well-supported evidence. Application of scientific research principles and practices, interpreting, and evaluating research findings
Innovation and Product Development: Activities needed to take a product or service from conception to market
Communication: Communicates with impact to influence and accelerate adoption of new technologies. Effectively presents novel ideas and technically complex data to influence all levels and global audiences
Project Management: Planning, organizing, monitoring, and controlling projects; ensuring efficient utilization of technical resources and appropriate mitigation of risk to achieve project objectives
Knowledge Management: Processing, documenting, and providing timely information with a high level of accuracy in a usable format
Knowledge & Skills:
Business Development: Develop compelling business cases for the adoption of identified external concepts and technologies. Business cases will be used to communicate the potential long-term value of each opportunity for internal, non-technical stakeholders.
Judgement and Decision Making: Recommends and connects external research and technology opportunities to Subject Matter Experts, and will participate in the decision making for potential collaborations.
Relationship Management: Understands criticality of confidentiality and experience executing external contracts.
Technology and Consumer Centric: Continuously seeks and shares new technology developments, advancements, and knowledge
Bachelors Degree or University (Required), Masters Degree or Post Graduate
Years of Experience:
5-7 Years Experience
DRIVE INNOVATION: Generate new or unique solutions and embrace new ideas that help sustain our business(encompassing everything from continuous improvement to new product and package innovation).
COLLABORATE WITH SYSTEM, CUSTOMERS, AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS: Develop and leverage relationships with stakeholders to approximately stretch and impact the System (Company and Bottler).
ACT LIKE AN OWNER: Deliver results, creating value for our Brands, our System, our customers, and key stakeholders.
INSPIRE OTHERS: Inspire people to deliver our mission and 2020 Vision, demonstrate passion for the business and give people a reason to believe anything is possible.
DEVELOP SELF AND OTHERS: Develop self and support others' development to achieve full potential.
GROWTH MINDSET: Demonstrates curiosity. Welcomes failure as a learning opportunity.
SMART RISK: Makes bold decisions/recommendations.
EXTERNALLY FOCUSED: Understands the upstream and downstream implications of his/her work. Tracks and shares external trends, best practices or ideas.
PERFORMANCE DRIVEN AND ACCOUNTABLE: Has high performance standards. Outperforms her/his peers.
FAST/AGILE: Removes barriers to move faster. Experiments and adapts. Thrives under pressure and fast pace.
EMPOWERED: Brings solutions instead of problems. Challenges the status quo. Has the courage to take an unpopular stance.