incentive2innovate – Creating an Innovation Culture


The second panel on the second day at the incentive2innovate conference at the United Nations was on creating an innovation culture in your organization. The panel was moderated by Dwayne Spradlin, CEO, InnoCentive:

Neil Blakesley, VP, Strategy Marketing & Propositions, BT Americas
Marthin de Beer, SVP, Emerging Technologies Group, Cisco
John Gibson, CEO, Paradigm
Judy Estrin, Author, “Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy”


Rather than trying to recount the discussion, I thought I would present the Top Insights from the panel and the breakout session outcomes:

  1. Thee most accurate lifeline on Who Wants to be a Millionaire is ask the audience, but most people use it first instead of saving it for later. The point is that even when people are presented with data or intrinsicly know something, they don’t always modify behavior to their best strategic advantage.
  2. “The shift in thinking behind Open Innovation is that companies don’t have to originate the research to profit from it.” – Dwayne Spradlin
  3. “Culture eats strategy for lunch” – Dwayne Spradlin – For companies to be successful in Open Innovation a cultural transformation will be necessary.
  4. 10 yrs ago Ford was #1 in R&D spend on planet, now they are 67th. R&D doesn’t necessarily equal innovation.
  5. “You must have assets & attributes in your organization, make the necessary structural changes, and secure the commitment of the organization to innovate successfully.” -Neil Blakesley
  6. Cisco’s Innovation Model – Build, Buy, Partner, Collaborate – You must open up and be excellent at collaboration to innovate in today’s world.
  7. “If you don’t already have innovation in your organizational DNA then you must do a lot of heavy lifting to get there.” – Marthin de Beer
  8. “Go to market is much more difficult than coming up with the idea (only 10% of great ideas make it).” – Marthin de Beer
  9. “Sarbanes Oxley and the short-term profit focus of the markets have forced organizations to have managers at the helm instead of leaders who can drive the original vision forward.” – John Gibson
  10. “I brought in a clean slate of managers to turn the organization around, but ended up with the same culture at the end. The processes in a company drive most of the culture, you have to change them to change the culture.” – John Gibson
  11. “If you have the ‘capacity for change’ then you will have an environment in which real innovation can happen.” – Judy Estrin
  12. “Challenges motivate innovation – threats kill innovation” – Judy Estrin
  13. “What is an innovation ecosystem? – You need right balance between research, development, application, & behavioral change capability.” – Judy Estrin
  14. “You should do the ratio between people that report/talk about the business versus people focused on innovation. The results will surprise you.” – Neil Blakesley
  15. “Companies need a culture of Internal Innovation to complement a culture of Open Innovation. Swinging too far towards Open Innovation could prevent you from attracting the talent you need for Internal Innovation.” – Judy Estrin

What do you think?

Braden Kelley (@innovate on Twitter)

Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Director of Innovation and Human-Centered Problem-Solving at Oracle, a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, helps companies build innovation cultures and infrastructures, and plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.

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