AVON LAKE, OHIO (Nov. 23, 1:10 p.m. ET) — PolyOne Corp.'s first-ever Innovation Week event accomplished its goal of “finding new approaches to better understand the voice of the customer,” according to PolyOne executive Michael Kahler.
The event was held Oct. 10-13 at PolyOne headquarters in Avon Lake and was attended by about 50 of the firm's top officials and senior management. PolyOne ranks as North America's largest compounder and as one of the region's largest resin distributors.
“The opportunity to come up with new solutions is important,” said Kahler, who serves as senior vice president and chief commercial officer for Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne. “We thought the exchange and training would be good, and we made a lot of progress.”
Innovation Week was capped off by a session with Clayton M. Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor and author who introduced the concept of disruptive innovation in his first book, “The Innovator's Dilemma.” Christensen's theory holds that disruptive innovation helps create a new market and value network, and then disrupts an existing market and value network over a few years or decades, eventually displacing established competitors.
“Successful companies today are the ones that invest in innovation focused closely on the goals their customers are trying to achieve,” Christensen said during his presentation. Christensen's research has been applied to national economies and start-ups as well as a number of Fortune 50 companies.
The four-day event also included sessions on hiring, project management, creative thinking, marketing, technology and best practices.
The event also featured a review of the firm's Vitality Index. The index tracks products developed in the last five years vs. total revenue. Currently, PolyOne has met its target level of generating 35-40 percent of its revenue from new products, Kahler said. Prior to establishing the index and tracking projects, that number was under 20 percent, he added.
PolyOne now plans to hold some type of innovation-based event every year.