I’m here at the ISSSP Leadership conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. Not a far trip for me as I live in Phoenix, but to beat the traffic I’m staying at the hotel. The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa is spectacular. I brought my family along with me to enjoy the pool (since I sure wasn’t going to have any time to swim).

Day one was the warm up. I sat in on two workshops. The first run by George Byrne and Monica Painter of IBM Global Services. Their presentation titled, “Using Lean Sigma to Expand the Innovation and Growth Horizon” was based on the study they conducted this year called “Global CEO Study 2006: Expanding the Innovation Horizon”. We discussed what innovation is and how Lean Sigma can help get us there.

First, the definition of innovation according to IBM: “New ideas or current thinking applied in fundamentally different ways resulting in significant change.” As groups we collaborated to refine or expand this definition and decided that the result of “significant change” was not enough. The new thinking needs to add significant value as well!

The Myths and Realities around innovation:

  • Myth: Innovation means developing new products and services… Reality: Business model innovation matters.
  • Myth: Innovation is too critical and propriety to involve outsiders… Reality: collaboration is indispensable to innovation.
  • Myth: Innovation should be delegated…Reality: Innovation must be orchestrated from the top.

The workshop was very interactive. Not a lot of lecture, but facilitation. Getting companies to share their stories was a great way to learn.

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