No. 436May 2016
Member Highlight
Pushpa Manukonda
"Don't Let Your Creativity Die"

Pushpa Manukonda
Enterprise Technology
Innovation Manager
Deere & Co
The most effective leaders never stop learning. The desire and ability to continuously educate oneself in the midst of a busy professional life is essential to becoming an effective leader, as is the strength of character to pass that learning on to others. The members IRI profiles each month tend to share this common characteristic; this month's member is no different. Pushpa Manukonda is the Enterprise Technology Innovation Strategy Manager at John Deere and her path to becoming a leader in her company demonstrates well the principle of always keeping an open and inquisitive mind.

"I joined John Deere in 1999 as a product modeling coordinator," Pushpa said, as she detailed her initial movement through Deere from product modeling to product delivery and then into customer support systems. "In 2006, I was made supervisor for Engineering. I was appointed senior engineer and engineering integration lead for the XCG-John Deere Joint Venture in China in 2008 and the following year was named product development manager for Backhoe Loader Engineering... [By 2010], I was vice president of Engineering for the Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment Co. joint venture."

Since 2012, Pushpa has played a lead role in Deere's global technology innovation strategy, helping manage and execute innovation processes and driving the alignment efforts between the innovation centers in the US, China, India, Germany, and Brazil. With a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Andhra University and a post graduate diploma in computer applications from Nehru Yuva Kendra, both in India, Pushpa holds education and mentoring in high acclaim. She remarked that some of her greatest accomplishments in her professional journey include having the opportunity to aid in the development of employees at John Deere, guiding many of them towards John Deere's Fellow program.

With a wealth of experience in many different roles across the engineering spectrum at John Deere, we asked Pushpa what advice she would give young professionals interested in engineering. She said she had a list of principles that she goes by, but remarked with a smile that she is still working on many of them herself. She said, "Be passionate about what you do and be a lifelong learner. Ambiguity is okay; season it with what's happening in similar and adjacent industries. Focus on doing the current job well. Leave a stake in every role you have. Lead, don't manage. Prioritize and collaborate; you can't do it all. Take time to think, don't let your creativity die. Be realistic, but don't let anyone tell you 'you can't do it.' Encourage, support, and develop new and incoming talent. And, give back through mentoring, coaching, and volunteering."

Tech Scouting Best Practices with Dow
One of the highest attended Brown Bag webinars in IRI's recent history, this past month's session pulled in an audience from around the world to listen in as Wellspring and Dow facilitated a presentation and discussion around technology scouting. The session, which can be viewed in the IRI Learning Center, is valuable for those currently involved in open innovation and external technology sourcing in their business and for those just getting started with technology scouting as a new innovation tool.

Learn about:
  • Best practices for consistently evaluating technologies and partners.
  • How to streamline finding technologies and receiving submissions.
  • Tips for gaining insights from interaction and reports.
Discover how to find, evaluate, and manage scouting opportunities that build a strategic advantage for your firm.

The next webinar in IRI's Brown Bag series is this Friday, May 6, at noon Eastern. The topic is
70/20/10 and How to Get There, presented by senior partners at iP2Biz. Registrations are filling up fast, but there is still time to claim your spot. Register to attend.

Leveraging Robotics
A Breakout Session with Roger Smith
Roger Smith
Florida Hospital Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement
For over 10 years, Roger Smith has contributed his expertise of managing innovators to Research-Technology Management (RTM) in his "Innovation for Innovators" column. At this year's Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, IRI members will have the opportunity to meet with Smith and engage with him on the topic of robotics and R&D in a breakout session Smith will be facilitating.

Smith is responsible for establishing the technology strategy and leading the research portfolio at Florida Hospital's Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement. He previously served in the US Army as CTO for its PEO for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO-STRI). He was VP and CTO of Titan Corp. and VP of Technology at BTG Inc. He holds a PhD in Computer Science, a Doctorate of Management, and an MS in Statistics.

Come to the Annual Meeting and discuss the impact of robotics on healthcare with the man who wrote such RTM articles as:

In his breakout session, Smith will be discussing how emerging technologies in the fields of robotics have altered the practice of surgery. The most notable case being the da Vinci assistive surgical robot developed by Intuitive Surgical Inc. whose success has led to companies like Google launching their own R&D initiatives to create robotic devices which can be used on humans, with the hope of achieving a level of success similar to the da Vinci robot. Register for #IRIAM16 to attend his session on Wednesday, May 25, at 1:45 PM.

ICYMI: New Posts Available on IRI's
Digitalization Blog

Mike Blackburn, Cargill

Building a Data-Driven R&D Culture

Stephanie Orellana, NineSigma

R&D Collaboration in the Digital Era:

Boundariless Collaboration + On-Demand Collaboration

IRI Member Companies in the News

Way to Go!

These Eight IRI Member Companies Made Diversity Inc.'s 2016
"Top 50 Companies for Diversity"


New Hydraulic Hammers Break Into the
John Deere Attachments Lineup


Corning Collaborates with Acer to Bring Gorilla Glass to the Mobile Consumer Electronics Market

Mars Acquires Turin Chocolates

Caterpillar Introduces the
"Age of Smart Iron"


SC Johnson Releases New Raid
Bed Bug Detector and Trap

Saudi Aramco Aids Inauguration of First All-Women Business Park in Saudi Arabia


Evonik Acquires French Biotech Company Alkion Biopharma

Intertek Introduces High-Accuracy Onsite Coriolis Meter Calibration Service


Ecolab and Microsoft Team to Face Water Shortages Challenge

Armstrong World Industries Completes
Spin-off of Armstrong Floorings

New Look, New Capabilities
If you haven't done so lately, stop by our site and see what's new. Fill out your online profile, search for colleagues who share your interests, and peruse the archives with our new, easy-to-use search functionality.

We would love to hear your comments and suggestions regarding the new design!
Send us an email with your feedback so we can continue meeting your business needs.

Adding Sustainability to the NPD Toolbox
Please take five minutes to complete this research team's survey. Your input will help to overcome the gap between a high level view on the importance of sustainability to a "how to do it" set of tools that includes examples of businesses in different phases of the sustainability maturity model.


Innovation News

The 6 Leadership Behaviors That Drive Continuous Innovation:
A Look at Vijay Govindarajan's 3-Box Model

See Dr. Govindarajan's Keynote at IRI's 2012 Annual Meeting:

Companies Splurging Money on Data Scientists Without Knowing How to Use Them, Says Lenovo

6 New Ways Tech is Helping to Drive Sustainability

A Hands-Off Approach to Open
Innovation Doesn't Work

3 Ways You Might Be Stifling Innovation
in Your Organization


Development Done Differently: Data Innovation and Partnerships for Better Cities

How Augmented Reality Will Impact Labs

Digitizing Manufacturing's Future

Study: The Key to Productivity is Change
and Experimentation
Upcoming Events
2016 Annual Meeting
Orlando, FL
May 23 - 26

Breakthroughs in science and technology (S&T) continue to happen at a rapid pace, particularly in areas such as artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, the internet of things (IoT), nanomaterials, and advanced robotics, to name just a few. The 2016 IRI Annual Meeting will explore recent S&T trends and discuss case studies of how companies have turned such trends into new growth areas. Make your case for attending this year's meeting and discover the value such meetings provide you and your organization.

Register Today!
(Must be logged in to IRIweb)

Ohio Regional Meeting
The Timken Company
Canton, OH
June 1

Shaping Innovation Leaders
Evanston, IL
June 4 - 10

Thank You 2016 Industry Sponsors!





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