Changes to corporate innovation: Lessons learned from Impact 2020

Guest Author
Guest Author
corporate innovation conference

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Last week we had the joy of joining Innovation Leader for their Impact 2020 conference. Usually, we attend this corporate innovation conference in person, but the Innovation Leader team pivoted to provide an engaging and global stage for innovators to connect and learn.

After hearing from innovators at Samsung Electronics, Peleton, Amazon, and more, we gained a deep insight into the state of innovation right now.

Putting innovation on the fast track

The overarching theme of the corporate innovation conference was the importance of innovation in times of crisis. We heard from many organizations that pivoted and re-established themselves as market leaders during the early days of the pandemic. During the Fireside chat of Day 1, Frederico Casalegno, Global Executive SVP at Samsung Electronics and Founder of the MIT Mobile Experience Lab, said “things that were inconceivable a few months ago suddenly become a necessity”. E-learning was practically unheard of in January 2020, but by March it was commonplace in education. Corporates need to follow this example.

Right now, people are looking for ways to change their business plan and strategy so that they can continue to thrive in this new normal, but also examine their processes so that future disruption doesn’t affect them. To do this they’re having to prioritize innovation more than ever.


Pivoting digitally in the innovation space

Making innovation a priority isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems. During the Impact 2020 corporate innovation conference, many discussions focused on this pivot to digital innovation. Many teams had previously done in-person hackathons or think tanks and are wondering how they carry their culture of innovation over to an online space.

The importance of tools and processes was touched upon, and many spoke about validating and evaluating ideas as a way to force ideas to fail fast. Others looked more holistically at innovation culture and the impact your people can have. Ben Cooper, Senior Director at Flex said “trust is the foundation, the bedrock, of any virtual team”. For innovation culture to flourish digitally, leaders need to trust in their employee’s ideas, and give them the virtual space to be creative and develop solutions rather than allow “corporate antibodies attack innovation, projects or great ideas”.

online corporate innovation conference

Return on investment

Finally, return on investment was a huge topic during the Impact 2020 corporate innovation conference. Innovation managers are good at handling the front end of innovation, but struggle to bridge the gap between ideation and execution meaning that benefits often get lost in translation. With uncertainty being the only certainty for businesses right now innovators globally are under pressure to find new solutions without moving the bottom line – Ideas need to pay.

In our session, hosted by Executive Vice President, Tad Haas and special guest, Sonja Brouwer from Kwintes, we explained how you can ‘Make ideas pay; from the drawing board to delivery’. To make ideas pay you need three things; great ideas drawn from the business, a process to justify their relevance to the business and an effective method for end-to-end execution. The benefits you identify during ideation and justification need to be carried through to delivery. Using a unified platform can provide you with this end-to-end story.

It is through this process that customers like Kwintes have been able to gain a return on investment through soft metrics such as client satisfaction. Other customers like Haley & Aldrich discovered ideas that would save them $1 million in lost revenue, creating those hard dollar savings that are ever important to innovators.

Impact 2020 corporate innovation conference

Overall, the corporate innovation conference taught us a lot about innovation and how organizations over the world are handling changes to their industries. If you’d like to learn more about our session at Impact 2020, please reach out to us.

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