What Can Walmart and Xcel Energy Teach Us About Moonshots?Episode 1 June 6, 2019
What can we learn from Walmart, Xcel Energy and the humble beginnings of the electric motor?
In retrospect, big economic or technological shifts are often obvious, but they’re not always obvious as they’re unfolding. This episode will focus on how big businesses respond to external challenges in real time.
We’ll start with a glimpse at how the distributed electric motor catalyzed the second industrial revolution, and whether we are in the middle of an “electric-motor moment” for the modern economy.
Then, we’ll reflect on Walmart’s groundbreaking push into sustainability back in 2005, and what it tells us about how to craft a purpose-driven business case.
We’ll finish with a conversation about Xcel Energy’s goal to produce 100% of its energy from zero-carbon resources by 2050. We will ask the questions: How do you push a “moonshot” goal through an executive team and a company with thousands of employees? And how will it influence other electric utilities to make bold moves?
- Rebecca Henderson’s HBS case study on Walmart
- Xcel’s report on its zero-emissions goal
- Erik Brynjolfsson’s book: “Machine, Platform, Crowd”
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