Speaker Snapshot: Gary Hasty, Director Of Strategy & Innovation, AT&T

Breathing new life into R&D through Open Innovation


Gary Hasty is a Director of Strategy & Innovation at AT&T where he is responsible for working with the key Fortune 500 global executives in providing strategic & technical direction to address their unique business challenges & deliver on their company strategies. As a technical solution leader & advisor across multiple global industries, Gary partners with and assists clients through business transformation challenges, as well as interfaces with AT&T’s labs & innovation spaces on their behalf. Gary has over 25 years of experience in technology, spanning from software development, process improvement, AT&T Labs, gaming, security, and innovation.

Innovation Enterprise: What are the main advantages of open innovation?

Gary Hasty: New sets of eyes. No matter how innovative you think you are in an organization, if you’re all staring at the same business problem over and over you will find yourself drawn to the status quo. If you take your business problem to someone not actively involved in the day-to-day work, you’ll often find that the true, I hate the term, 'outside of the box' thought can occur.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that companies face in terms of open innovation implementation?

Trust…but hey, that’s what lawyers are for right? When you open yourself up to the outside world you will quickly find out who your frienemies are, but you’ll also find the organizations that see the greater good of complimenting your growth.

How does open innovation affect R&D labs and departments?

I believe it can breathe new life into the results of R&D. Rather than inventions being created and patented to sit on someone's desk collecting dust for years, if innovation teams can reach in and pull together multiple 'inventions' to create new 'innovations' the business wins, as well as exciting the R&D teams to see their inventions in use.

How big are the competitive risks of sharing too much with external organizations/individuals?

Not as big as keeping everything inside your walls. There’s this thing called the Internet that’s made basic research fairly simple…everyone knows what everyone else is up to most of the time. If you close yourself off too much, the competition will be implementing faster and faster, and you’ll be stuck in a reactive follower mode.

What can the audience expect from your upcoming presentation at the Open Innovation Summit?

Danger and mayhem! 

You can hear more from Gary and other industry leaders at the Open Innovation Summit, taking place in Boston this September 28th and 29th.


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