Presented by:
The Management Roundtable

A two-day executive forum focused on how to innovate differently in the face of a changing regulatory landscape, create a user experience that builds brand loyalty, open new market channels and secure the right talent to execute your innovation strategy.

Case Study Presentation
Tuesday, August 9 - 10:15a-11:00a
Effective Strategies to Increase Your Company's Innovation Capabilities Without Compromising Results

Eighteen months ago, The Hershey Company made a strategic decision to institute an open innovation program. Integrating open innovation into the existing structure without compromising results throughout the process proved to be a challenging task. Hershey maintains a lean R&D organization that delivers results for growth and cost improvements. It was (and is) necessary to continue to execute on these objectives while implementing the open innovation initiative. To implement open innovation, a number of processes and business practices had to be modified. Interestingly, these modifications have led to overall improvements in how R&D and innovation get done at Hershey.

Ms. Wright will discuss progress made to date, which processes were updated and improved, the resultant impact on innovation and lessons learned.




Linda Wright
Food Research & Discovery
The Hershey Company

Linda is responsible for leading the scientific research activities and the Open Innovation initiative for The Hershey Company. She has been at Hershey for 23 fun filled years. During that time, Linda has been in various roles and departments including; Process Analysis, Process Research Engineering, Advance Technology Development, and Product Innovation.

Her department supports filling the new product and continuous improvement pipelines. Linda's staff is comprised of gifted scientists and engineers focused on identifying, evaluating and implementing new ingredients and technologies for all product and process types. Critical technical problem solving is provided through departmental expertise in various ingredient and food systems.

Selected to lead the Open Innovation initiative, Linda has expanded her role and has very much enjoyed defining and implementing this initiative for The Hershey Company. The program is resourced via a cross functional team which includes individuals from Linda's department as well as marketing, operations, product development, legal and IT.

Linda has a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware, MS in Food Science, also from the University of Delaware, and a Masters in Management from Penn State University.


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Learn how to:

  • Deliver results while building up your company's innovation capabilities

  • Evolve company culture to support and drive innovation initiatives

  • Expand your innovation processes across multiple functions and levels

  • Find growth in mature markets to expand your brand reach and increase revenues

  • Accelerate innovation by partnering with key customers, consumers and suppliers

  • Recruit, incentivize and retain the right top talent to roll out and execute your new innovation initiatives

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