Adventures in Innovation


R&D was the genesis that launched Northern Electric from the sleepy Canadian branch plant to a publicly traded company with a market cap of more than $300B, $30B in sales, and 100,000 employees worldwide. The lessons learned from my Nortel experience... “Innovate or Die“


By John F. Tyson

6 - Staking New Ground

"We launched Northern into a new world that included an industry first; the $1m dollar purchase of the entire Fortune magazine annual Fortune 500 edition (20 full page colour ads). In addition to a global advertising campaign, we also introduced corporate events through sponsoring the PGA Tucson Open golf tournament. ... An astute Northern sales executive would later have a little fun with our major competitor. Presented with the opportunity to be a sponsor of the PGA Westchester Open in New York, he noticed that Lucent had already bought the rights to beer sales and the hospitality tents. He also discovered they had neglected to reserve the rights to the plastic beer cups. Jumping at the chance he bought the rights; resulting in thousands of golf fans walking around with Northern Telecom sponsored logo-cups... filled with Lucent beer."
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