Ignite 2016 Innovation Conference

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I was a speaker at the Ignite 2016 Innovation event hosted at the Lafayette Country club on January 29th.  The half day event was well attended by a mix of corporate executives and leaders of SMB businesses.   Innovation was the central theme, but the diversity of speakers approached the subject from a broad spectrum and from different aspects of corporate, start-up, academic, and basic design thinking.  The event was conducted in a TEDx format with networking breaks and activities integrated to engage and connect the attendees.   The speakers primed the conversations of the day with rich topics and great ideas that attendees discussed.   Many of the event sponsors where innovative businesses or vendors that where working in different aspects of the innovation space.   Some of the speakers shared case studies of work they have been doing with corporations expanding their impact in the corporate social responsibility areas of innovative thinking and community impact.
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My talk focused on lessons learned from working with 1000s of corporations to start-ups in the innovation space.   I walk through examples of approaches and outcomes companies have taken including building internal practices,  integration to core teams or skunk works efforts,  engaging external agencies, etc.    I also talked about developing key capabilities to support innovation that included:  Business Architecture, Technology Architecture, Organizational Architecture and XRM ( Extended Relationship Management ).   I explored the integration of these four capabilities around a central innovation practice and what the key aspects of integration and exchange where between these groups.  I also should how these new capabilities tied to the strategic planning process.   This was a high level overview of the mPatherfinder(TM) methodology developed at Cheval Partners over the past two decades+ of engagements and experiences at CSC, Microsoft and UMN.
This methodology is directly focused on new innovation capabilities that organizations can develop and mature in an interactive process to help them compete in a dynamic & global business environment of today’s business landscape.
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Future posts on this  blog will go into the overall methodology more in depth over the coming year to show the depth and breadth of the mPatherfinder capabilities, so stay tuned.
Some on my Q&A:
· What great leadership or innovation means to you
One measure of a leader is to look at the impact they have made to their team that is following them.   Leadership is not simply pointing the way, but developing the team to meet the challenges that lay ahead.  Because in the end, its all about the people.
· Current or upcoming work/seminars/books you want attendees to know about you
Actively working with corporations on innovation practices and partnering with economic development companies working to create innovation centers in several US cities.
·  What does Innovation mean to business today.
Companies are learning what Innovation practices encompass and what it means to compete at the level required in today’s business.     As innovation simply becomes a standard practice of business, like IT or accounting,  it will be another set of corporate capabilities that will be considered a part of normal business.
·  An action attendees can take during or after listening to you
 Ask your teams what innovation means to them and what challenges they already see in the organization to become more agile.  Engage your people in building the organization of the future.
Ignite2016 Agenda
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Ignite 2016 Speaker
B David Williams
For more images of the event and other speakers explore the gallery
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