Ahead of his presentation at the Strategic Planning Innovation Summit in New York this December 5-6, we spoke to Bob Kermanshahi, Head of Strategy at Siemens Real Estate.
Bob Kermanshahi is Head of Strategy for Siemens Real Estate, region Americas. He oversees strategy development and portfolio management for Siemens’ 25 Million sq. ft. Real Estate portfolio within the Americas. Bob has held multiple positions in his 16 years of experience with Siemens, a Fortune 100 company. He has direct experience in product marketing, business development, software engineering, IT strategy, mergers & acquisitions, organization design, management consulting, and executive program leadership. Most recently, he served as Director of Strategy and Corporate Development for Siemens Corporation USA. In this role, he was responsible for developing business strategies, designing, aligning, and executing organization restructurings.
How do you think the role of a strategist is changing?
Technology is one of the factors that is changing the job of a strategist. There is a challenge of keeping ahead of the curve of the ever-changing digital landscape while managing the day-to-day responsibilities. Now, more so than ever, leveraging a network of experts across multiple disciplines is invaluable in the generation of strategic initiatives. The key skill set is to be able to reliably call upon these experts to deliver current relevant information reflecting the latest developments in the market and possibilities for the future.
How do you ensure your long term plans are reactive to disruption?
Disruption is commonplace, the key ability is to be flexible. There is a methodology to effectively manage a program and keep the executives engaged. You must also identify factors that will drive an interest of a stakeholder. Also, you should know the influence level of each stakeholder. To achieve this, properly map out all involved parties while designing a communications plan to address concerns of all stakeholders. When a source of disruption occurs, it can then be immediately translated to the impact on stakeholders, and the revised plan can be further developed.
What are the main challenges companies face when planning their innovation strategy?
The main challenge is creating a functioning system that allows for vetting of ideas to be put forward by all parties, while not crushing creativity. Failure must be encouraged to a certain degree. Ultimately, it is the innovation portfolio of ideas which needs to bring value to the company.
What will you be discussing during your presentation at the Strategic Planning Innovation Summit?
During my presentation, 'Herding the Big Cats,' I will discuss how to effectively manage a program or initiative, while simultaneously managing the expectations of company executives - which is one of the great juggling acts. Also, this interactive presentation will share tips on how to:
- Manage the programs and initiatives effectively while taking into consideration your company’s senior executives and other key stakeholders
- Use a simple tool to effectively classify stakeholders
- Share effective methods to manage the stakeholders, based on the category the fall in
You can hear from Bob and other industry leaders at the Strategic Planning Innovation Summit, taking place in New York this December 5-6.