Ivo Rutten and Roelant Hietbrink, head of the ShipShape project, were rehearsing their pitch and finalizing their slides to present to the recently appointed Chief Technology Officer of Philips Lighting, Olivia Qiu. Rutten concluded from observing Qiu that she usually approved projects if they fit the company’s strategy and had a short route to the market. His concern was that the ShipShape required several more years of development and much more investment for it to succeed. If he wanted the ShipShape project to remain viable, he would need more 'white knights' in the organization – people ready to come to his aid and champion his idea. The case starts by recounting the pitching journey, an important phase that helped convert non-believers into champions of ShipShape. With a strong business plan and team-building activities, Rutten and his team managed to move ShipShape forward to the patent-writing process. The challenges were not over, however. The team still had to maneuver their way through a complicated political landscape within the organization to move ShipShape ahead.
Based on field research; 13 pages
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1. Develop strategies to navigate the political landscape within organizations. This case provides the opportunity to learn more about the political landscape at Philips Lighting (now Signify) during the time of ShipShape. Students can learn more about the different actors involved within the company, which should enable them to develop strategies to navigate through. 2. Realize the social and cognitive dynamics surrounding the innovation process. Through this case, students are introduced to new actors. They should realize that implementing innovations is not without challenges as many different stakeholders bring in many different dynamics.