loren Eric Swanson: Innovation Interviews of 765 CEOs

Monday, September 25, 2006

Innovation Interviews of 765 CEOs

This past month IBM released the results of the insights of 765 CEOs encompassing 20 industries over eleven geographic regions. If you want to download the study you can go to ibm.com/innovation/ceo9 for the complete report.
One noted caveat regarding how business views the innovation of typical churches--"One CEO stressed the enormity of past inefficiencies by labeling his enterprizing operation as 'a cross between a government agency and a church.'"

Innovation: "Using new ideas or applying current thinking in fundamentally different ways to effect significant change."

Innovation types:

  • Business model--innovation in the structure and / or financial model of the business
  • Operational--Innovation tht improve the effectiveness and efficiency of core processes or functionss
  • Products / services / markets--innovations applied to products or services or "go-to-market activities

"Unlike invention, which comes from effort, experimntation and, at times, and element of luck, innovation relies more on skill and leadership--choosing the best places to focus innovative attention and creating the ideal environment where innovatin can flourish. Yes, the creative spark will always play a role, but CEOs must also find ways to make innovation happen more systematically."

The executive summare suggests five action points:

  • Think broadly, act personally and manage the innovation mix--Create and manage a broad mix of innovation that emphasizes business model change
  • Make your business model deeply different--ind ways to substantially change how you add value in your current industry or in another
  • Ignite innovation through business and technology integration--use technology as an innovation catalyst by combining it with business and market insights
  • Defy collaboration limits--collaborate on a massive geography defying scale to open a world of possibilities.
  • Force an outside look...every time--Push the organization to work with outsiders more, making it first systematic and, the, part of your culture

These five areas define areas of breakthrough, not only for businesses but also for ministry. Our models need to be changed to change the value proposition of the church. Is there technology that can foster breakthroughs. How are we doing in collaboration? Are we operating on a "massive geography-defying scale?" Are we pushing oursleves to work more with outsiders? Is it part of our culture?

Here are a couple of quotes I thougth were worthy

"The nature of innovation--the inherent definition of innovation--has changed today from what it was in the past. It's no longer individuals toiling in a labaratory, coming up with some great invention. It's not an individual. It's individuals. It's mulitdisciplinary. It's global it's collaborative."--Sam Palmisano, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM

You have to go down blind alleys. But every once in a shile you go down an alley and it opens up into this huge, broad avenue. That makes all the blind alleys worthwhile."--Jeff Bezos, Chairman, President and CEO, Amazon.com Inc.


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