Friday, April 21, 2006

The Future of Innovation

IBM conducted a two days discussion on innovation and the challenges facing businesses in the 21st century.Some of the world’s leading thinkers from across business, industry, government and academia gathered for the 2006 Business Leadership Forum, the fourth such event hosted by IBM, took place in Rome, Italy. IBM Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano welcomed leaders representing more than 50 countries, setting the tone for the event early in his opening remarks.

Some of the key thoughts of the meet were:

Innovation is essential. Globalization is inevitable. Ubiquitous connectivity is breaking down physical borders and creating connections between people, economies, organizations and governments in ways that were never thought possible.

It's about being unique. In this age where competition for talent and brand share is critical, businesses need to cultivate their uniqueness. They need to encourage an environment that allows people to be open, to be multi-disciplined, to be collaborative, and to be global in their thought process.

The speed of change is much faster — and more disruptive — than seen before.

CEOs must pay attention to the implications of change among employees.

Technology plays a leading role in innovation, but it isn't the only factor.
What were once disruptive technologies now are commodities. Technology can be the establishing base for innovation, but people are the ones that drive it forward. Technology is really only the mechanics of the process. Real innovation is about great people generating and then implementing new ideas.

To innovate, CEOs don’t need to control all the resources or build within their own frameworks. Partner and collaborate, then disband and go back to doing whatever a the individuals’ strengths are. CEOs aren’t limited to using their own staff or resources.

Governments can help spur innovation among the private sector. Governments must be more flexible to respond to today's business needs. Entrepreneurship creates jobs, and it turns inventions into innovation.
The central theme of the 2006 IBM Business Leadership Forum was clear and unequivocal: Now is a great time to be an innovator; organizations merely need the willingness to do so, have the courage to fail, and a vision to execute against.

In another post Irving gives his views on the different leadership styles and approaches to innovation represented by the speakers.He also talks about Sunil Mittal and his views on telecom servies in India.

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