Yale Program on Stakeholder Innovation Management Case Studies
All case studies created by the Yale Program on Stakeholder Innovation and Management are freely available to businesses and accredited academic institutions.
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How could The Hartford meet its net-zero emissions goal, while simultaneously serving the interests of investors, customers, agents and regulators? Yale’s inaugural Stakeholder Design Lab helped the insurance company explore a range of possibilities.
Enel is one of the largest electric utilities in the world, headquartered in Rome. When Francesco Starace became CEO in 2014, he faced a confluence of stakeholder challenges. Enel was one of the most heavily indebted utilities in Europe; new power plant projects were chronically delayed by activists and protests from communities; and EU regulations demanded lower emissions from power generation. Starace did not see these as separate challenges. Instead, he issued two dictums: 1) No new power plants in communities that didn’t want Enel there. 2) Investments only in power plants that could be online within three years. The case explores how these constraints set into motion a dramatic company-wide transformation that resulted in unleashing innovation in Enel’s culture, a business model shift to renewables, new ways to engage communities, and a significant increase in the company’s market value.
Equinor, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, is undertaking a major strategic shift as it diversifies into renewables. This transition requires navigating complex relationships with longstanding stakeholders, including the government of Norway (Equinor was formally state-owned under the name Statoil) and, as they expand into off-shore wind and other renewables, building relationships with new stakeholders. The case features interviews with current and past executive management.
The case explores the CEO’s response to an existential threat to Nielsen’s core business coupled with a challenge to the company’s core values. Nielsen’s highly profitable TV audience measurement and customer confidence in Nielsen’s main offering – trusted, accurate data - is threatened by shifting consumer viewing habits and emerging competitors using disruptive technology. The TV panel homes, Nielsen’s long-standing differentiator for audience measurement, are appearing to lose relevance to customers; at the same time, household recruiting challenges are contributing to salesforce income disparity, impacting morale and testing the company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The company announced a radical new product, Nielsen ONE, powered by data and machine learning, but it would be differentiated, the company insisted, by the venerable Nielsen panel – households across America. At the same time, COVID, George Floyd’s murder, and the Black Lives Matter movement tested Nielsen’s operations and the authenticity of its purpose and values. Can the CEO and his senior leaders use a multistakeholder lens to simultaneously address the compensation inequity issue, as well as re-frame its customer value proposition and the role of the household panel to compete effectively against the new disruptors?