Speaker Snapshot: Mike Raspatello, Director, Digital Innovation & Strategy Anheuser-Busch InBev

What makes a successful strategy?


Mike Raspatello is the Director of Digital Strategy & Innovation for Anheuser-Busch's North American portfolio. After receiving his MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Mike joined Anheuser-Busch's North American Marketing operation and has served an Associate Brand Manager and Digital Brand Manager for several billion dollar brands. We sat down with him ahead of his presentation at the Strategic Planning Innovation Summit.

What do you think are the main qualities of a successful strategy?

A successful strategy must start with very clear objectives and incentivized stakeholders. Too often is a strategy no more than white noise that hovers above a daily executional strategy. Without true incentive to take the risks that are inherent in any forward-looking strategy, employees will find themselves opting for the safer path.

How do you think the role of a strategist is changing?

Companies are starting to understand the need for true innovation infrastructure. They are setting that vision, building physical infrastructure, and mandating and innovation mindset. They are driving 'test and learn' pilots with a clear plan to scale these pilots if deemed successful. They are then working the strategies and tactics that come out of this innovation into future 3-5 year plans.

How important is flexibility when creating new strategies?

Extremely important. But there is such thing as 'too flexible.' It’s demotivating to watch a company’s direction swing back and forth like a pendulum at any hint or suggestion from leadership. While flexible, a good strategy must allow for patience, consistency, and an incentive to see things through.

Have the attitudes of a new generation of workers affected how strategy is formulated or implemented?

Fresh blood is always good. It is troubling if people myself our older are perpetually the last word on how to drive impact amongst a generation they admittedly don’t understand.

What can delegates expect from your upcoming presentation at the Strategic Planning Innovation Summit?

I’m excited to talk through how to build an effective Innovation lab and use that lab to drive company strategy.

You can hear more from Mike and other industry leaders at the  Strategic Planning Innovation Summit, taking place in San Francisco this May 18-19th.

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