Caterpillar executive: Innovate and adapt -- or perish

Greg Folley , Caterpillar's vice president for analytics and innovation, has launched a series of videos on the importance of innovation for the company and industry as a whole.

Folley said that in the current business environment, innovation is imperative to survival, as is adaptation to the changing technological and cultural landscape.

“You can’t take three years to get to market in this environment," Folley said. "You can’t move at the speed of Caterpillar historically and win the race against our competitors. We need to become more of a solutions company for our customers, and that may take us in a number of different directions that we don’t anticipate right now.”

The company said its Analytics and Innovation division is a newly formed arm of the company, with Folley at the helm. The "Innovate or Die" mindset comes from the evidence that is available on companies that were at one time top-rated on Fortune 100 or 500 companies that are currently struggling or have gone out of business entirely. Folley points to Kodak, Nokia and Blockbuster as examples of companies that failed to adapt to changing technologies and methodologies.

In the video, Folley said that for Caterpillar to keep going as it is, leadership and staff will have to consider themselves as working for a solutions company rather than strictly defining operations within tractor and vehicle manufacturing or technology. Folley also said that with this approach, the company may take turns that are unexpected in the future.

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