On 12/29/15 I convened the first meeting of the corporate innovation advisory board meeting hosted in the upper board room of the Carlson School of Management. This board was comprised of a number corporate innovation practice leaders spanning a broad range of industry verticals. Representation included: 3M, US Bank, Carlson Companies, Bank of Silicon Valley, UHG/Optum, in addition to government and academic subject matter experts. The practitioners organizations where also at different levels of maturity in terms of build out within their organizations and also where that organization fit within the corporate reporting and funding structures. The meeting began with introductions and networking. A key goal was to build a network of experts within the great Minneapolis community ( and eventually regional) that could provide peer support, as well as, be a board of advisors working to design and plan out the implementation of durable innovation services for the region. The meeting opened with an overview and examples of innovation centers around the globe and the variety of operating models, goals, and benefits that varied between the models. Many of the boards organizations already where participating in such centers in the USA and internationally so they could offer their perspectives on the experience. Next we looked at the Minnesota ecosystem, the resources & assets, and the gaps that keep us from being a leading region for corporate innovation and entrepreneurship. Lastly the beginnings of a regional model of integration and innovation center development was reviewed for input and feedback.
This first meeting was simply setting the stage for continued work and collaboration to design, develop, and integrate these services into the ecosystem. The meeting lead to a large amount of 1:1 follow up meetings, introductions, and international calls with other centers that the board members facilitated. The next board meeting will be scheduled approximately in 30 – 35 days with a frequency rate to build momentum, then settling into a standard rhythm. The overriding goal of the board is to help design the models, but then plan methods of funding and establishing tactical working groups to implementation of detailed aspects of the build out. Only though collaboration, leadership and the skilled talent from our most innovate companies can MN build these new durable business services to benefit the overall ecosystem and give MN a platform of increased competitive advantage globally.