Roundtable explores challenges & solutions to building an innovation culture

We just returned from a very successful Innovation roundtable hosted by our friends at Whirlpool in their gorgeous World of Whirlpool Innovation Center in Chicago.

The roundtable was an amazing day of networking and learning with a focus on “Building the Innovation Capability.” Meaningful contributions came from both Imaginatik customers and Innovation leaders from across the greater Chicago area.

There were some jewels that came out of our discussions that really stuck with me.

  • We spent quite a bit of time talking about the skills that Innovation leaders search out when assembling an Innovation team. The term “GSD” was coined for people who “Got (Stuff) Done.” We all agreed that people who could execute were very valuable to Innovation efforts where results are critical – and often difficult – to measure.
  • A number of our attendees wrestled with the challenge of back-end execution and funding. They found that many times Innovation would be the first line item cut when it was time to crunch the budgets. The group suggested alternate approaches from securing funding in advance to pooling budgets into a centralized fund that would be administered by the Innovation head, becoming less susceptible to budgetary whims.
  • Building an Innovation culture was a common challenge, and both Exelon and John Deere discussed how Imaginatik helped them in this process. We all agreed that the best software in the world was useless without the right culture, and companies need to address culture and attitudes as part of any sustained Innovation initiative.

We had so many topics to cover that the group agreed that we would all return to Chicago this fall for another roundtable to address important themes around managing an innovation portfolio, measuring innovation ROI, prototyping and more.

We’re planning roundtables in Boston, New York and Chicago again this year, and I would recommend these sessions to any innovation professional looking to learn from their peers at companies in all stages along their Innovation journeys. We’ll keep the schedules updated on the Imaginatik website, and I hope to see everyone at the next Roundtable!

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