Lessons On Innovation From Forrester's Forum For CIOs' Innovation Panel

I recently had the distinct pleasure of moderating a panel discussion on innovation at Forrester’s Forum For CIOs, where I was able to share the stage with Lawrence Lee, Sr. Director of Strategy, PARC, a Xerox company, and Jim Stikeleather,  Chief Innovation Officer, Dell Services. We had the opportunity to discuss the business imperatives for innovation, how to look at inventions and translate them into business value, and how to build the narrative that tells a compelling story around these innovations.

While the discussion gave me fodder for a suite of future blog posts, I just want to highlight a few things that came out of our talk to get you thinking a bit more about how to make your innovation program more effective.

  • Innovation is about turning invention into business value. The innovation process takes these inventions (whether internally or externally generated) and answers the questions to decide whether there is a business opportunity hiding within or to decide quickly (and cheaply) not to pursue that opportunity because of some learned facts.
  • Innovation requires both discrete funding and discrete staff. To think out of the box, we need to have both the funding and people whose metrics and goals are around innovation. As we generally want our best and brightest involved in our innovation programs, we also need to protect them from being called back to deal with the crisis du jour.
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