Ivo Rutten and Roelant Hietbrink, head of the ShipShape project, were rehearsing their pitch and finalizing their slides to present to the recently appointed Chief Technology Officer of Philips Lighting, Olivia Qiu. Rutten concluded from observing Qiu that she usually approved projects if they fit the company’s strategy and had a short route to the market. His concern was that the ShipShape required several more years of development and much more investment for it to succeed. If he wanted the ShipShape project to remain viable, he would need more 'white knights' in the organization – people ready to come to his aid and champion his idea. The case starts by recounting the pitching journey, an important phase that helped convert non-believers into champions of ShipShape. With a strong business plan and team-building activities, Rutten and his team managed to move ShipShape forward to the patent-writing process. The challenges were not over, however. The team still had to maneuver their way through a complicated political landscape within the organization to move ShipShape ahead.

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RSM Case Development Centre

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Tarakci, M., & Gatt, C. (2022). Philip’s Corporate Innovation (B): Sailing the Political Waters of Innovation. RSM Case Development Centre. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/137145