• Being entrepreneurial: Lessons we learned from a tech start-up

    AntonioHidalgo

    What are success factors for great innovation? Out-of-the-box thinking, teamwork, clear objectives, and relevance – all of these things are vital. But, there’s another important element. Entrepreneurial spirit.

    You might remember that a few months ago, Philips went to the South by Southwest (SXSW) tech festival in Texas, where we set out to meet people who share our passion for improving people’s lives. One of the highlights of our time there was hosting the Philips Digital Innovation Challenge, where the American-based start-up Incomparable Things was awarded one week at our global headquarters in the Netherlands.  

    Over the past few days, we’ve opened our doors to Incomparable Things, sharing our expertise in developing digital innovation strategies and roadmaps and creating value propositions and business models. In return, Incomparable Things provided important outside-in perspectives on our digital journey, giving us valuable insights to drive us even further on this path. 

    IncomparableThings

    This was a unique opportunity for Incomparable Things to gain access to our knowledge and experience, but also a chance for us to learn from a talented team of digital entrepreneurs. Alex Howell, CEO of Incomparable Things was spot on when saying: “Amazing to think that a company of 115,000 people and a start-up of three guys can have a fruitful conversation about designing digital solutions.”

    This kind of two-way dialog is the behavior and culture that Philips thrives on. Even though we are a global company, benefitting from the resources and scale that comes with this position, sometimes we need to behave with the agility of a start-up.

    In our Google Hangout session, Alex Howell from Incomparable Things and James Scott from our digital innovation partner AKQA discussed the challenges start-up companies face when looking for the next big thing. Lessons were exchanged that are just as applicable for larger companies like Philips, with this statement of James Scott in particular: “You are most vulnerable right after your biggest success, and you are most entrepreneurial when you are backed into a corner.”

    Especially in the digital innovation area, which evolves at remarkable speed, I believe innovation cannot be done in isolation. Utilizing external expertise is crucial, and luckily something we are used to. Ever since Anton and Gerard Philips founded our company – something we would call a start-up now – Philips has engaged in collaborative partnerships designed to share experiences and knowledge, ensuring we stay at the forefront of innovation.

    To remain entrepreneurial at heart, we have to continue to place ourselves in a different mindset, to ask questions and share ideas, and to recognize that despite being one of the biggest brands in the world, we are still learning and growing every day.

    -- Antonio Hidalgo, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Consumer Lifestyle

  • Kicking goals: How Philips lights are transforming cities

    1402992726985

    When the stadium lights dim on this year’s summer football tournament in Brazil, the fans and players that have lived out their lives under these enormous spotlights for the last month will most likely associate the darkness with finality; the end of four years of hard work and anticipation. But the technology behind these brightly lit stadiums is actually giving many people the world over the chance to see their own cities in a whole new light. For them, these lights signal the beginning of something new. 

    Philips has been integral to this year’s competition because we’ve lit nine of the 12 stadiums with the world’s most technically advanced and environmentally friendly LED systems – an innovation we call ArenaVision.

    Beyond this, we believe this kind of innovation can also make cities better places to live and work in. For example, in Sao Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park, our lighting system has seen a 30 per cent increase in visitors, not just because it’s safer to visit but because the colours match the mood of the venue – warm, bright, relaxing and enthralling. Plus, our LED innovations have cut power consumption there by a fifth.

    The same is true in Argentina where, over the next three years, we’re replacing 125,000 lights in Buenos Aires, saving 50 per cent in energy costs and also significant CO2 emissions. The lights that allowed billions to watch the world’s greatest football competition in crystal-clear focus are the same lights that will enrich people’s lives as they walk to and from work, or between tourist destinations.

    These projects are also testament to our ability to forge the right partnerships. We always start by asking how we can make people’s lives better, to impact meaningfully on their everyday lives. Then we try to find the right partner who shares the same societal vision.

    For example, the Brazilian government was adamant that our innovations provide a lasting legacy for local communities. So we introduced lighting systems around the stadiums that would make it safer for families and cheaper for burdened local governments to maintain. You can see this all around Maracana, an area of Rio considered dangerous. Philips innovations have helped lower those levels significantly.

    Maracana-Rio-de-Janeiro

    We’ve also created the Light Up Your Game project throughout Latin America, for which Philips is installing 30 new lighting systems in previously deprived areas so that they can become family-friendly focal points for the community, where children can play and, at night, there can be social events that bring the neighbourhood together.

    The other part of our football legacy is the bulb itself. We’ve ensured that LED is the future of lighting – the bulbs are ‘greener’, longer-lasting and more energy-efficient. Few countries understand better than Brazil how crucial it is to nurture and protect our environment, which is why old-fashioned bulbs will be phased out there in three years.

    Sustainability is one of our most important goals and it’s one that we achieve with the same passion as goal-scorers on the pitch.

                                                                                                                             

    -- Henk de Jong, CEO Latam

  • The future is bright: Delivering the Philips Gift of Light

    CSchell

    It’s often said that ‘seeing is believing’. Well, having just returned from the remote Vietnamese village of Thanh Son, I’ve seen with my very own eyes the tremendous life-changing impact the Philips Gift of Light is having on this community. Improving the lives of 288 families by bringing them off-grid lighting solutions truly exemplifies our brand promise – Philips delivers innovation that matters to you. I must say, I felt a huge sense of pride at how we at Philips are enhancing life with light when I attended the switching-on of the new solar-powered LED lighting. 

    In July 2013, Philips Lighting employees in 17 geographies were invited to nominate worthy causes or projects that could benefit from a gift of Philips lighting innovations and services. We received more than 200 project nominations from employees around the world. Up to five shortlisted projects per geography were then voted upon by employees in their geography, resulting in 18 winners (there was a tie in Japan – they had two winning projects), which today are in various stages of implementation. The Philips Lighting Management Team then reviewed all the winning projects and chose an overall winner – Thanh Son Village.

    The winning project – nominated by Le Viet Hung, Marketing Manager, Philips Lighting Vietnam – received a further round of funding to provide solar-powered LED lighting and emergency lighting for 288 households and a play area at the community center in the off-grid village.

    It’s a sobering thought that close to 150 million people in the ASEAN region still live without access to electricity. Vietnam has worked hard on developing its national grid, yet today an estimated 4 per cent of all Vietnamese households are still without electricity. The village of Thanh Son is located in a remote rural area, about 70km (a two hour drive) from Hanoi. The villagers mainly earn a living by farming and growing cassava. For 30 years, village life in this largely off-grid community ended when the sun went down. But not anymore. 

    PhilipsVietnam4

    We have now installed energy-efficient solar-powered LED lighting in 180 off-grid households and presented emergency LED battens and compact fluorescent lighting to a further 108 households where the electricity supply is intermittent. In addition, we have provided solar-powered LED lighting for the village community center using Philips Solar GreenVision road lighting. I saw first-hand how the ability to harness the natural and abundant energy from the sun and convert it into sustainable LED lighting truly makes a huge difference, especially in allowing children to study at night.

    As Le Viet Hung said, “The candles and kerosene lamps have been put away, and the smiles on people’s faces say it all. Children can play safely and study in the evening and village life has blossomed, no longer constrained by the setting sun. Our technology has not only improved their lives but ours too, showing that our innovations really do matter. It makes me feel good inside.”

    The Philips Gift of Light is not about us simply handing over a check and walking away. That’s why Le Viet Hung – having nominated the project – was part of the team of nine employees that actually installed the lighting. And we will offer the village of Thanh Son the same level of support that we provide to our commercial customers. We see this gift as the starting point for an ongoing relationship that provides a life-changing experience for all those involved. Delivering innovation that matters – what better way to make a difference to people’s lives?

    -- Christoph Schell, President of Philips Lighting Growth Markets

  • Bringing wellbeing into the healthcare discussion

    1390576185652

    Healthcare discussions have long been dominated by conversations around diagnosis, treatment, and therapy – but in the last few years, we’ve seen these dialogues shift away from overcoming illness and move toward health and wellbeing as an objective.

    Is this a passing fad? I believe not. In fact, I think it’s a major factor in our ability to successfully transform health delivery.      

    Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 5.29.27 PM

    Health delivery will continue to include major investments in innovations for diagnosis, treatment, and therapy. But, just as crucial, it will now also require investment and focus in prevention and early diagnosis. Sustainable health delivery systems will involve traditional healthcare delivery professionals and places, but also expand to involve governments, civil society, and citizen consumers, not just patients.

    I believe that health delivery programs should encourage and assist consumers to take an active and empowered role in their own health and well-being by making informed choices around exercise, nutrition, sleep, routine physicals and other preventative measures.

    All of us have a role in the narrative on the best ways to create efficiencies, add value, improve outcomes, and achieve higher standards for health.

    Health professionals, government, and industry need to demonstrate a new kind of leadership with effective and engaging ways to encourage all people – not just patients – to create a healthier future.

    -- Deborah DiSanzo, CEO Philips Healthcare

  • Social media: Why one size does not fit all

    1402992124258

    It may sound bizarre to have one 24-hour period a year devoted to championing something that is so intrinsically bound up with our lives. But Social Media Day is a key event in the digital calendar because it allows the world to share. Information, technology, advice, the latest innovations, predictions of where we’re headed – all of it focused on an arena that, despite being little more than 10 years old, represents one of the key mechanisms that enables brands and people to interact.

    Social media encourages an engagement between brands and their customers that can make or break a business, sometimes in a matter of minutes. It allows innovative brands to react swiftly to customer concerns and personalise their messaging using real-time marketing to enhance their products. And it empowers companies by giving them deeper insights into trends and customer behaviour.

    Philips is a pioneer in these digital strategies because at the core of our DNA has always been an instinctive understanding of the customer, their needs and desires. For many years we have been developing social media strategies that mean we can stay one step ahead of our rivals by listening to societal trends and local propositions and predicting what our customers are next going to demand of us.

    Our multi-layered B2B and B2C approaches mean we can do this 24/7, at scale and with astonishing speed. Just as importantly, we’ve demonstrated why defining what digital means to a brand is as important as measuring its potency. It’s no good engaging in social media if you don’t first understand its relevance to your brand.

    PHILSTAGRAM

    For example, on Instagram, Philips updates content regularly to present a 360-degree view across the business. We run a series of independent accounts that are product and country-specific, allowing us to intricately tailor our messaging so that it carries real relevance and meaning. The more inspirational the image or video, the more likely it is to be shared and the more willing advocates will be to hunt out further Philips data on other channels.

    Our content is carefully chosen and disseminated by specialist in-country social media teams whose engagement style depends on the platform – our voice on Twitter, for example, is friendly, engaging and positive, whilst on LinkedIn we’re more formal and knowledgeable and on Google+ it’s the human element that matters most, so our tone is more personal.

    The important lesson is that one size does not fit all. Though social media is one of the most powerful tools that a brand possesses, it’s also a complex one – made simpler by proper planning and a robust editorial and publishing process. More on that in another post…

    -- Blake Cahill, Global Head of Digital

  • Why necessity may no longer be the mother of invention

    henk-de-jong2

    Where once people’s behavior was the only driving force for new technologies, we’re now witnessing technology itself create necessities and bring about societal changes.

    Have a think about how many products – especially portable household appliances – that are in existence simply because we observed how people live. From food blenders, which were primarily used for making juices, the centrifuge market was born. The idea that music and information could be transported anywhere gave rise to micro systems.

    But today we are experiencing an effervescent moment of new necessities, with literally hundreds of new products launched around the world every week; products that create desires and wishes previously unthinkable up until now.

    Today, we cannot imagine a home without an electronic product in each room that, in some way, makes our lives easier ­– but before it existed we didn’t care if we had it or not.  

  • The future is social: The importance of making meaningful connections

    Blake_Cahill

    Connections. I can’t think of a better word that more closely encapsulates what Philips is about. More than 120 years ago, when Gerard Philips watched his workshop light up as he connected the metal filament in his revolutionary glass lamp, the link between innovation and the customer was forged – and it’s never left us.

    Today, the connections Philips makes with its customers are reciprocal. Through extraordinary technology, we can help people to live longer, richer and fuller lives and they can tell us in an instant what it is that truly motivates them, how a product has specifically connected with them, how we as a company can push our innovations to transform their lives in even more personal ways.

    This is what drives our social strategy. To create an intimately connected business in which innovation is not just clever, it’s meaningful. And there are at least three ways in which this happens.

  • How smart technology can lead to healthier lives

    Pieter_Nota

    Knowledge empowers. The more we learn about ourselves, the more we understand, and the more we are able to make positive changes for a healthier life. When collated and analyzed correctly, data tells us the truth. It tells how our diet may affect longevity, how our environment can impact health, how our immunity from disease can be improved by relatively simple lifestyle changes.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) tells us that premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, cancer and respiratory conditions can be prevented by more intelligent health systems, alongside initiatives to tackle risk factors such as poor diet and inactivity.

  • A growing tree needs healthy roots: Building on the potential of ASEAN health systems

    HarjitGill

    We’re now one year away from the planned launch of the ASEAN Economic Community ­– a single regional common market of Asean countries. This year, most of the region's 10 economies should achieve high single-digit growth and both production and consumption are expected to grow further. But while this growth has lifted millions out of poverty, economic inequality is still widening and around 10 per cent of people in this region still live on less than $1.25 a day. 

    Our region needs to ask itself how it can ensure that economic growth will positively impact the broadest possible range of communities and families. I personally believe that access to timely, affordable and high-quality health care is key, since economic growth is contingent on a healthy population.

  • Happy 123rd Birthday, Philips!

    Frans_van_Houten

    In striving for a better future, it is sometimes enlightening to reflect on past triumphs. For the most creative imaginations can often be fuelled by memories of our proudest achievements.

    Anniversaries present the perfect opportunity to do so and today, to celebrate our 123rdbirthday, we at Philips have decided to look back at some of our company’s most important innovations. Innovations that revolutionized the world, lit its darkest corners, brought communication to the masses, enriched our lives and transformed our health.

    What links all of these astonishing moments in time is a simple philosophy that continues to guide all of us at Philips – let us create something that makes people’s lives better, that makes society stronger and the planet safer.

  • Innovative spirit: How Africa is turning obstacles into opportunities

    Frans_van_Houten

    As recently as seven years ago, millions of Kenyans were struggling to access basic financial services. Without bank accounts, they were unable to transfer money or receive microcredits. Then, a locally developed mobile payment system called M-Pesa was introduced, allowing people without bank accounts to transfer funds as quickly and easily as sending a text message. Today, more than two-thirds of Kenya’s population use M-Pesa to make and receive payments and an estimated 43 per cent of the country’s GDP flows through the system.

    This speedy adoption of mobile payments captures the enterprising spirit of African innovation. It reflects the resourcefulness with which people in Africa find local solutions to local issues. It also shows how Africa’s challenges are opportunities in disguise and how the continent can leapfrog development stages without paying for their replacement. Mobile phones, for example, were rapidly adopted in Africa because of the lack of fixed telecom infrastructure. And solar panels are being adopted faster than in other parts of the world, because kerosene is so expensive that the payback time for investments in solar power is months rather than years. 

  • Shifting the paradigm: how innovation is driving Procurement

    Fredrick_Official_High

    A Philips electronic toothbrush is more precious than you might imagine. In its head there are rare-earth magnets that help the brush vibrate for optimal brushing awareness, ensuring teeth and gums stay healthy and your smile is even whiter.

    It’s an expensive component but an essential one, too, which is why we buy 20 million of them every year and continuously put enormous efforts into sourcing the materials responsibly.

    So recently, through our unique Procurement strategy, we hosted a special ‘supplier development group’ in which separate organizations within the Philips family sat together with suppliers to find a new partner who can manufacture this vital ingredient in an even more environmentally-sustainable manner, whilst ensuring costs are minimized.

  • 100 years of Philips Research: Reinventing ourselves to stay fit for the future

    Dr Henk van Houten

    This year marks the centenary of Philips Research, the institution that our CEO Frans van Houten calls "the lifeblood of the company". It's an epithet I'm very proud of. But it's also one we had to fight hard to retain.

    As little as a decade ago, Philips Research faced an enormous challenge: reinvent itself very fast, or risk becoming irrelevant. For many years we excelled in setting some of the world's most important industry standards, such as in Optical Data Storage, MPEG Data Compression, and Zigbee Connectivity. This work has had great impact worldwide, and is still a source of considerable license income for Philips.

    We realized that in much of our work we were relying on the continued validity of Moore’s law, which dates back to 1965, saying that the number of transistors on a chip would double every 18 months (later changed to two years) and that the cost would drop at a similar rate. This had enabled the dramatic progress in audio and video quality in consumer electronics, the drop in cost of data storage and telecommunications, and even the improvement of medical imaging equipment.  So we were living in a world where the future could be mapped out by extrapolating past progress – and in Philips Research we relied heavily on chasing the physical limits to make products more precise, faster, and smaller. 

  • Design Thinking is Dead. Long Live Design Thinking.

    SeanCarney_hr1 (2)

    I remember a few years ago, every conference I went to featured a talk about Design Thinking. The term, which refers to how companies tackle problem solving in co-creative and multidisciplinary teams using a fast-paced and iterative approach, possibly got a bit over-used. Then, user experience and digital innovation started grabbing the headlines, and Design Thinking started to fall by the side.

    But in a connected world, I'd argue that Design Thinking is more important than ever. Think about it. Some of the most awe-inspiring products and solutions on the market right now are hooked up to the internet. They use data streams to enhance the experience of the user, and evolve and grow over time. To create these increasingly complex innovations means we have to work fast, by capturing multiple insights and translating them into viable solutions even faster.

    To do that, we need a healthy mix of people to get involved in the innovation process. No single designer, or even team of designers, can ever hope to understand all the facets of a particular subject. Instead, we need insights from engineers, researchers and marketeers from inside the company, to name just a few, not to mention external partners and end users. Our role as designers is to orchestrate this process and connect the dots by empathizing with our customers and each person in the innovation team. One of our established design tools we use is the Experience Flow, which helps us to keep the practical and emotional needs of end-users at the center of innovation.

  • How the youth of Latam are leading the charge for change

    HENK2

    We’re always speculating about the next big thing – what will it be, where will it come from, how will it change our lives? But perhaps we’re looking for inspiration in the wrong place. Perhaps the next big thing is not an ‘it’ but a who.

    Because when you live and work in Latam, you quickly realize that the vibrancy, creativity, determination and intelligence of young people on this continent is truly driving its future.

    When we speak about utilizing innovation to transform our planet’s future and preserve its resources, to allow its citizens a life of unparalleled comfort in their old age and bring the finest healthcare to people who need it most, it is the younger generations to whom we must turn.

  • Co-creating with Philips at South by Southwest

    AntonioHidalgo

    I recently spent an inspiring week at one of the world’s most important digital gatherings, South by Southwest (SXSW) tech festival. Held each March in Austin, Texas, the festival dazzles with ideas and futuristic scenarios. It’s a place where start-ups are encouraged to mingle with the world’s foremost technology gurus and some of the most cutting-edge developments destined to shape our lives are unveiled for the first time.

    It was an exhilarating event to be a part of and to learn from. We contributed by hosting The Philips Digital Innovation Challenge.

    The challenge saw three promising start-ups, specializing in digital tools to improve people’s health and well-being, pitch on stage in front of an expert panel, in a battle of ideas. 

  • Why design awards are not only about a shiny plaque

    SeanCarney_hr1 (2)

    This week, we're celebrating winning a record-breaking 47 iF awards for design excellence. It's an achievement we're immensely proud of, both for the company and for the individuals who created each standout product or service.

    But as Chief Design Officer of Philips, there's one question I still get asked from time to time: what is the value of a design award? Is it just about vanity and publicity, or is there some other purpose to entering these competitions?

    To that, I would say that first and foremost each award recognizes the immense talent of our teams, and rightly so. Plus, of course, it gives our innovations the seal of approval from an internationally renowned panel of judges. That attracts new customers and clients, which in turn increases our overall brand equity and our sales. 

  • Good business: Why placing ethics over profits pays off

    RoyJacobs

    Ethics is a term that’s often misunderstood, yet it’s becoming an increasingly important component of business practice, particularly in this region. As an emerging market, the Middle East has witnessed a significant growth and, with Dubai’s win of Expo 2020, this is set to further increase over the next six years.

    In the race towards a sustainable economy, the pressure is on companies to practice what they preach by acting more responsibly and reporting on their efforts and achievements. The fight against corruption is also strategically crucial for the companies’ community, in order to create a level playing field for today’s globalized markets.  

    Philips has long recognized these needs, and is actively engaged in various initiatives that contribute to raising the standard on business ethics, including the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative of the World Economic Forum, working towards a common goal. Philips has been a global signatory of the UN Global Compact principles since 2007, and this reflects the commitment of the company to high standards in accountability and transparency. In addition, to really make an impact, we find it necessary that our partners share our values when it comes to doing business in a fair and ethical manner, because ethics really do trickle down to each and every level of operation. 

  • Innovation That Matters to You... and Fast Company

    Philips_Twitter_Innovation2b

    Who says that start-ups are the best innovators? We're 123 years old and still one of the freshest thinkers in the world, according to Fast Company who just voted us among the 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2014.

    “To win in such a fast-changing environment requires a new kind of business agility,”says Fast Company editor Robert Safian, whose team spent months gathering data about not just the normal things like sales growth and profit margins but also on "progressive, sustainable business models and an ethos of creativity".

    That's something which has underpinned our company since its foundation in 1891. We've brought light to the world and music to the masses, and we've helped to revolutionize the healthcare industry. Today, we're combining our technical know-how with a deep understanding of people's needs to deliver truly life-changing solutions for businesses, governments and consumers. 

    Because, for us, innovation isn't just about creating exciting objects that catch the imagination of our customers for one heady moment. Instead, it's about perfecting products, services and business models that help our customers to take care of people and save lives, to live healthier and enjoy themselves, and to be part of a more sustainable world.

    Last year, we launched our new brand identity with a promise that gets to the very heart of what drives everyone at Philips: "We deliver innovation that matters to you." Being listed in the Fast Company top 50 Most Innovative Companies is great recognition of that message and of our commitment to improving the lives of 3 billion people a year by 2025.

    It's an accolade we're very proud of and one that we will keep working hard to earn as we deliver meaningful innovations to more and more people around the world every day.

    -Jim Andrew


  • Are we on the cusp of a new economic revolution?

    frans 3

    500 years ago, it was widely believed that the world was literally the centre of the Universe. That is, until astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’s daring theory that Earth and its sister planets revolved around the sun. Copernicus’ unwavering confidence in his own beliefs not only challenged the orthodoxy, they eventually liberated society.

    I believe that we are at one of those similarly pivotal moments in history when being prepared to think and act differently – however heretical it may seem – will reap extraordinary rewards.

    The World Economic Forum (WEF), held each year in Davos, Switzerland, proves itself indispensable at providing a symposium where socio-economic patterns are analyzed and future trends are predicted. Perhaps this year we can be brave enough to consider whether these traditional models of growth and prosperity – despite the good they have brought us – are dangerously outdated. Perhaps, like Nicolaus Copernicus, we can be brave enough to challenge the status quo.

  • Innovation and You

    Innovation and You new Brand line Philips

    At Philips, it’s people that inspire us. People inspire us to make and deliver innovations that satisfy their unmet needs. When we bring people and technology together, we create something really special: innovation that people truly want. 

    Of course, it’s easy to say this. It is also easy to launch a new brand line into the world because we think it’s what people want to hear and we hope it makes us resonate as the kind of brand that people trust, and want to interact with. But what I believe truly sets us apart and makes us different is that our company has always been based on the relationship between people and innovation. 

  • Saving lives: Why the future of healthcare depends on multifaceted thinking

    9733171823_91f35a251a

    Escalating costs.  Care provider shortages.  A rise in non-communicable disease. These complex healthcare issues will require us to consider new approaches to find solutions.  One thing is certain: The answer to these problems will require a coordinated approach to manage people and patients from the home. 

    With technology-driven innovation, there is great promise for the future of health delivery.  Telehealth is a great example.  It is a multifaceted, carefully coordinated system of audio-video, monitors with sophisticated algorithms, and data presentation capabilities to help dispersed care teams manage at-risk patients and prevent complications when there is no specialist at the bedside. It’s a new delivery model that requires us to think differently and to coordinate efforts.  A network of people, hospitals, and technological expertise can address issues of access to care, caregiver shortages, distance, cost of care, and the need to improve outcomes. The model is scalable and sustainable. The model has potential for long standing public good.  

  • WEF: a forum for innovation, equality and change

    rdj at wef

    Over the last few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is held in the Swiss city of Davos. One year, quite by chance, I found myself sitting next to one of Africa’s most successful businessmen.

    We started discussing the benefits of LED lighting: how it can save costs in terms of energy consumption and energy bills and how it needs far less maintenance than ordinary lighting. We then started speculating what it would mean for a large African country if the whole nation switched to LEDs. These ‘big picture’ discussions started purely because we bumped into each other at breakfast.

  • Our innovation is proof that the customer knows best

    What’s the secret of great entrepreneurship? Hard work, obviously. Brains, leadership, brilliant ideas and the ability to inspire are all essential ingredients, too. Oh, and a little bit of luck comes in handy.

    From where I sit though, there’s something else: dialogue. The reason why Philips has become one of the world’s most dynamic, agile and entrepreneurial companies is because we listen, engage and learn.

    It’s what we call Deep Customer Insight (DCI) and it’s why food mixers in Russia come with a unique attachment that dices and cubes vegetables with utter precision in a fraction of the time usually needed for their salads. That kitchen skill is unique in Russian culture so we adapted our product to suit them. It’s also why the same kitchen gadget that makes soup in France will extract milk from soy beans in China, why a different cutting approach for men’s shavers is used in Africa than in Western Europe – because it suits an African’s skin better and reduces irritation.

  • How the Internet of Things empowers us all

    Imagine a world in which, instead of just links between mobile devices, televisions, gaming machines and the internet, the cloud powers billions of once-inert consumer devices that are currently an unconnected part of our everyday lives.

    This isn’t the future. Today’s digital world, a world Philips is fully embracing, changes how we use the internet so it becomes a meaningful enabler of personalized solutions to improve people’s lives. The ‘Internet of Things’ has become central to how we innovate at Philips – and how we listen to, engage with and take inspiration from our consumers.

    Our cloud-enabled consumer devices not only serve people’s needs but react to them, empowering people to control their lives in ways that were once impossible. This is the reality of the 21st century – smart products must constantly evolve according to the desires of our consumers and we must be agile to satisfy them and create value. And we are.

  • Big Data: Can it really change our lives?

    shutterstock_151300544

    Just the other week, my son sat at our kitchen table and looked at me skeptically as I recalled that one of the most desired gadgets when I was his age was a simple pocket calculator. Today, he and his friends have such a dizzying array of ‘toys’ designed to amuse, educate and stimulate, that the wonder of a hand-held calculating machine is lost on him.

  • The power of lighting: How LEDs are helping to transform communities

    Football2

    The most memorable football match I’ve ever had the privilege of watching took place a few weeks ago in Ghana. It was dark, more so than usual because the sky was moonless, but the pitch was bathed in bright, white light. Sounds unremarkable but it was actually the first time the players had ever experienced playing under artificial light. The community, too, had never seen live sport at night and the pitch had never hosted this many people after the sun had set.

    Watching or playing live sport at night is something we take for granted in the West but here in Africa, the seemingly simple act of erecting four portable lampposts that support strings of solar-powerful LED streetlights has had an unbelievably transformative effect on people.

  • Raising awareness around breast cancer and creating the future of healthcare around the world

    Asha+Jyoti+1

    On the occasion of breast cancer awareness month, I want to share news about the work of our team in India on a program called Asha Jyoti, which means “Light of Hope” in Hindi and Punjabi.  Asha Jyoti offers breast cancer screening (and also cervical cancer and osteoporosis screening) to women in semi-urban and rural areas in northern India, and over half of the participants are from India’s poorest socio-economic families whose household income is less than $1 per day.

    Asha Jyoti is an example of a successful partnership with Philips working alongside India’s government-run Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and the non-profit organization, RAD-AID.