BP’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer: Driving Open Innovation through an Advocate Team

Case Solution

Robert C. Wolcott, Michael J. Lippitz
Kellogg School of Management ()

The case describes the development of an unusual innovation team between 1999 and 2005 in the office of BP’s Chief Information Officer. Team Leader, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Phiroz Darukhanavala (“Daru”), gave up a large group and venture budget in favor of a small, lean team that works closely with BP’s business units. The case described several mechanisms that the CTO office had developed during its initial development to increase executives’ appreciation of new technology skills, build a network of relationships through which new technologies are discovered and validated, and provide structured mechanisms for technology transfer. In late 2005, the CIO advisory group asked the CTO office to “keep reinventing itself.” Students are asked to take on the role of Daru and propose new processes and structures to continue the development of the CTO office. The teaching note describes what the team actually did and addresses the questions that arise at the end of the case.

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