A video chat with Tristan Kromer, Dan Toma, and Noel Sobelman

Tristan, Dan, and Noel recently held a roundtable discussion on what governance and portfolio management will look like in the coming year, and what that means for the innovation game. Enjoy the video for the whole conversation, or you can read the opening conversation below.




I’m Sandra Nešić, I’m the head of innovation consultancy at ICT Hub and I will moderate this session. It is my pleasure to welcome our three guests and panelists for this topic. They’re going to introduce themselves by answering a first round of questions regarding governance and portfolio management. Looking to 2023, what excites you the most?


Hi everybody! By way of introduction, I’ve been working in the innovation product development space for my whole career as an engineer, and do a lot of work helping mostly established large companies build Innovation capabilities, portfolio management, just looking for new sources of growth.

The thing that I, I think where I’m excited about heading into 2023 is it’s going to be even more challenging, and I think a lot of large companies, their focus is shifting from growth to productivity.

That is really right in the center of the topic today, governance and portfolio management – how you allocate resources in that environment is very critical. So innovation’s not going away, but I think we need to rethink how we prioritize across those different Growth Horizons.


For my introduction today I’ll say that I’m a terrible engineer, so Noel is definitely a better engineer than I am. I’m much more of a product manager and business manager. I like to figure out viable product models, so I guess what I’m super excited about – which may seem unfortunate to some of you – I’m actually really glad that budgets are being slashed.

I think there’s just been a glut of money thrown at innovation over the last five-ten years, and it has encouraged some really bad habits. Like, “Oh I like your 10 sticky notes, looks wonderful, here’s 10 million dollars, go to town.”

That’s not really the sort of discipline and practice we want to have in innovation, so while it is unfortunate that budgets are being squeezed, it is an opportunity to bring back some discipline and encourage people to kill projects that are not working and reinvest that money, doubling down on the stuff that is working. So it is kind of the time of governance.


Yeah, I’m rounding the engineer circle off here. I have a diploma in engineering, but I haven’t worked one single hour as an engineer, so this is how bad I am, Tristan. You’re probably exponentially better than I am, and Noel is like light years away.

Product development / startup entrepreneur was my first job, my own company, and I’ve been on the entrepreneurial path ever since to be honest with you.

What excites me about this coming year in terms of innovation – I really hope it’s going to be the year of innovation accounting. With budgets being slashed and innovation being put now under a microscope, I hope that more people will turn to innovation accounting as a field that can tell us – are we investing in the right things? Are we investing too much? Too little? What should we be investing in and how much?


To see the full discussion, please watch the video above.

If you think your company could use a more disciplined approach to innovation, check out our Innovation and Portfolio Management workshop, or our full Innovation Accounting program, a six-week, online course that will show you how to make better decisions about your innovation projects.

Further Reading

Innovation Project Governance Do’s & Don’ts by Noel Sobelman

Evidence-Based Innovation Portfolio Management by Noel Sobelman

The Big Hairy Challenge with Separating Innovation from the Core Business by Noel Sobelman

Innovation Portfolio Management – Principles Before Tools by Martin Kupp and  Tristan Kromer

Adaptive Strategy by Tristan Kromer and Susie Braam

Managing Your Innovation Portfolio by Bansi Nagji and Geoff Tuff


Special thanks to Dan Toma and Noel Sobelman and Sandra  Nešić for their participation in this discussion.

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