Innovation is a Team Sport


 

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Innovation is important to your company’s future. However, is innovation in your environment an “ivory tower” where a select few have a monopoly on the subject or, is innovation a team sport for you?

The short video below provides some great insight into patterns of innovation. After watching this video, I am reminded that no one company, country, division, department, team, or individual has a monopoly on innovation. Rather, innovations take time and benefit from the collision of slow hunches from multiple people. Innovation is indeed a team sport, made  up of individual players with unique value to contribute!

Keep this in mind as you go about our business within your current environment. We are all called to innovate. Be sure to bring your hunches to your management, project teams, and discussions. Your customers, employees and stakeholders deserve the benefit of your innovative thoughts.

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It’s Time to Get in the Game


It’s Time for CIOs to Get in the Game CIO.com.

Are you in the game or on the sidelines? In a recent article on CIO.com, it is suggested that its time for CIO’s to get in the game. while I couldn’t agree more, I would encourage you to take this article one step further.

If you find yourself wanting to get in the game now, I suggest that you are significantly behind the curve. For how many years has the concept of transformation via the CIO role been around? This is not a new concept, rather a concept that is rising in importance and possibility due to the level of disruption enabled by technology…think “commercialization of IT” as an example.

So, lets presume you are behind the curve. Where do you start? How do you start? I recently fielded questions like this at the PhillyETE conference. Some food for thought:

  • Follow the pain – What are the top 3-5 problems in the business? Find a sponsor to partner with and go solve for one of them, then make it a poster child for the business value you can drive as a CIO. to help identify the pain points, think of the following areas of your enterprise: revenue, operations, client perspective, and competitive position. Surely, there are some low hanging fruit to address in these contexts.
  • Attack the white space – To avoid turf battles and resistance to your delivery of business value, find areas of the company where there is no business model, or little risk. In Adam Hartung’s book Create Marketplace Disruption: How to Stay Ahead of the Competition, he discusses this concept in detail. My simple interpretation is “white space = unexplored opportunities” in your enterprise. For example, find areas of the business where there is no risk to the existing revenue streams and drive value.
  • Innovate, Transform, Lights-On – Chances are you have projects that are transforming your company, and you are undoubtedly running systems to keep the lights on. However, what are you doing to innovate? Framing your activities within these constructs can help you focus on the innovation part. What innovations could be valued by your company? How is your budget allocated across these three areas? Can you find ways to reduce your “lights-on” spend to fund some innovation?

CIO.com presents a great topic that is timely given the current state of the CIO. Take the discussion a step further, get off the sidelines, and get in the game!