I’m in attendance at Intergraph 2008 in Las Vegas this week. It’s my first trip to this event in four years, and the first full-scale exposure to the company since it was privatized in 2006. As many of you know, the organization has undergone many changes in approach and personnel.
Intergraph’s CEO, Halsey Wise, spent a good hour outlining the process of change at the company. The theme for this year’s event is, “Experience the Power.” Wise spoke about this theme in three realms: the power of people, teams, and a single person; our power to challenge, change and transform; and the power of ideas and innovation.
Given the company’s aggressive transformation over the past few years, Wise focused strongly on the power of change and the framework for transformation, outlining five waypoints of change:
- Steady State – a comfortable and familiar state that pursues incrementalism
- Disruption – overall discontent takes over
- Incentive to Change – a realization that risk taking is better than current conditions, and that there’s a premium to achieve something better, often driven by fear or anger
- Transformation – powered by challenge and change we unleash constraints and adopt a willingness to achieve the future state (act or be acted upon)
- Sustained Achievement – this is a perpetual pursuit that rewards risk taking
Intergraph’s “Now” “Next” and “After Next” strategy (borrowed from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s James Clapper) has provided the framework for internal reorganization. The company has turned a corner, having increased revenue growth by 8% and profit by 13% in 2007.
Wise indicated that Intergraph is in the “After Next” phase now, with the following strategy and goals:
- Reach $1Billion Revenue, $250M EBITDA, by 2010
- R&D Investment to grow steadily, reaching $140M by 2010
- Invest heavily in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China)
- Capitalize on the world’s infrastructure backlog
- Play a heavy role in the energy sector (Intergraph is #1 in nuclear design)
- Continue to develop security solutions
- Incorporate more geospatial analysis in their product line
- Develop more vertical geospatial applications
Wise is one of the more polished and entertaining CEOs that I have yet to encounter. The main stage presentation was impressively visual and descriptive, staying humble and customer-centric. The keynote address by Lance Armstrong provided an appropriate tie-in to the theme of transformative change. Lance gave a touching recount of his battle with cancer, and focused on the power of an idea for large-scale societal change and empowerment.
This event has drawn an impressive 3,500 participants from more than 70 countries. First impression from the opening keynote is that Intergraph is strong and growing, and I’m eager to learn more about their product strategies.