Chuck Grindstaff on 3 Pillars for Growth

By Christian Kelley

The place: Boston, MA.

The Time: August 26, 2010.

The news: Chuck Grindstaff was stepping up to serve as president of Siemens PLM Software.

Chuck Grindstaff speaks at the 2011 Siemens PLM Analyst event in Boston, MA

That was the ‘big’ news a little over a year ago at the 2010 edition of the Siemens PLM Analyst event.  The direct result of Chuck moving into the presidential suite was evident at this year’s event: a continued focus on innovation and an actionable strategy for growth.

Chuck took the stage at the Renaissance Boston right after Tony Affuso set things up perfectly with a review of key customer wins and a summary of business results.  Never one to beat around the bush, Chuck got straight the to point and outlined the 3 pillars of our growth strategy:

  1. Industry Strategy – We have to be able to blend the highest level of industry relevance WITH a common core of technology.  If we focus on industry relevance to the exclusion of common technology then we end up with interesting, but niche solutions that can become islands over time.  If we focus on common technology to the exclusion of industry relevance then we end up with lowest common denominator applications.  The secret sauce is getting the best of both. You do that by mapping solutions across portfolios so they come to market at the same time. A tall order, yet one we’re strategically focused on.

  2. Organizational Alignment – Chuck outlined the basic thinking behind our operational structure in his blog post this morning.  The setup involves four big moving parts: Industry, Business Segments, Sales/Marketing/Services/Delivery and the office of the CTO.  Each of these groups is set up to solve one part of the problem.  Industry focuses (obviously) on what we need to do to address the emerging needs of our target industries.  The Business Segments figure out the product roadmaps and the development/delivery schedule.  Sales/Marketing/Services/Delivery advocates for customers and brings in a geographical component.  The CTO‘s office drives new innovations and ensures that common technology is used throughout the business segments.  It’s all designed to make sure we can consistently and quickly meet the needs identified by our industry strategy.

  3. Technology Vision – there’s a certain natural symmetry to our 3rd component of our strategy – it has three elements itself.  First, we ensure that our products are intelligently integrated which lets you simply answer complex multi-disciplinary questions.  Next we are committed to a future proof architecture.  Nothing new here, but it’s important that we continue bring our customers along with us at their own pace rather than forcing them through discontinuities by creating innovations that require them to start over in order to use them.  Lastly, we believe in the power of an HD User Experience, which includes everything from  ubiquitous search to a intuitive / context aware interface.

After Chuck left the stage, I got a chance to ask him a few questions about our growth strategy.  Take a look at the video and chime in in the comments with all the questions I should have asked.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at