The Pandemic Is Driving Innovationental Health
Now is the perfect opportunity to focus on innovation and creativity
While 88% of CEOs say that innovation is essential to their top line and their profitability, only 22% of companies have a formal system of innovation. “It’s outrageous,” says author Jim Harris who writes on disruptive innovation.
“Innovation doesn’t just magically happen,” Harris says. “Leaders need to ensure employees are provided with the tools for innovation: training, access to time, funding, and support. Companies and entire industries are being disrupted at a faster rate than ever before and the majority of firms still don’t have formal innovation systems in place.”
“People tend to conflate disruption and innovation,” adds Lee-Anne McAlear, the Program Director of The Centre of Excellence in Innovation Leadership at the Schulich School of Business.
“Many executives think they have to be disruptive to be effective. But innovation exists along a continuum– from incremental to radical to disruptive. Any company can begin by playing in the incremental space. This creates a healthy creative environment that leaders can leverage when they need to progress to radical and disruptive innovation. Leaders can then strategically align resources, thinking, and people to deliver new value. Innovation can be defined as applying creativity to add value; it is creativity with purpose.”
When it comes to innovation, creativity is the input and technology is an enabler. “People tend to think that technology equals innovation, and that if they don’t work in tech, they can’t be involved in innovation,” notes Harris and McAlear. “Leaders need to dispel that myth and to harness the full creativity of all employees. Everyone, everywhere can play a role.”
Leaders need to support innovation in all parts of the organization, even ones that seem more traditional, like Finance and HR. “Interestingly,” says Harris, “while product innovation gets the majority of focus in most organizations, it’s not where the greatest value lies, instead it’s in business model innovation, process innovation and customer experience innovation.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has, turbocharged the rate of change for many companies and industries. Executive need to ensure employees are thinking about new ways to work, new business models, new ways of engaging customers, and new products or services to offer. Innovation is no longer a ‘nice to have,’ it’s now a ‘must have.’
“If you think that the pandemic is all about hunkering down and doing things the way you’ve always done them, you’re not seeing the opportunities,” Harris says. “We’re entering the second year of the pandemic, and things aren’t ever going to go back to ‘the way they were.’ We will all have to continue to adapt, pivot, and innovate.”
“This is the optimal time to be innovating, by mining peoples’ creativity. People who thought they couldn’t change or innovate now know they can. It’s the perfect time to fire on all organizational creative cylinders!”
Lee-Anne McAlear is the Program Director of The Centre of Excellence in Innovation Leadership at Schulich School of Business at York University teaching executive how to put in place the organizational systems to drive innovation. Jim Harris is an international bestselling author on disruptive innovation, working with Fortune 500 firms. He also speaks more than 70 virtual conferences a year.
As Global Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS), Melinda Richter fosters the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies external Research & Development engine with more than 700 companies across biopharma, device, consumer, and health tech in 13 locations around the world. Tell us about your journey from Canada to Silicon Valley. I
Behaving Famously Hotwire North America’s CEO Heather Kernahan wants you to dream big “I want to be CEO,” Heather Kernahan once told Disruption’s publisher, Joanne Fedeyko, during an interview. Worried that it might have been a risky statement to make publicly, Heather told her boss—the CEO—about it before the story was published. But her boss
An Invitation to Join the Canadian Women’s Network In 2017, a group of Canadian women in the Bay Area got together for dinner. Some had lived there for decades, while others were just beginning to make the Bay Area their home. Our first dinner was at Karen’s house— always a special treat. That night the
Building Connections “I want to be CEO,” Heather Kernahan once told Disruption’s publisher, Joanne Fedeyko, during an interview. Worried that it might have been a risky statement to make publicly, Heather told her boss—the CEO—about it before the story was published. But her boss was “incredibly supportive,” and Heather recalls her saying, “well, you definitely
Collecting Experiences Cloudflare’s President Michelle Zatlyn reflects on the journey that brought her from prairie town to publicly traded company In September 2019, Michelle Zatlyn stood on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), preparing to ring the opening bell. Cloudflare, the company she co-founded with Matthew Prince and Lee Holloway ten years
Connecting Canadians Three former expats share the opportunities to expand their skills and experience back home in Canada Artemis Canada has partnered with Canadian Women’s Network and Connection Silicon Valley to help connect with talented professionals and entrepreneurs, and add insights regarding growing careers and teams. As executive recruiters working with Canadian tech companies, we
Investing in Employee Mental Health Healthcare professionals and CorpCare Co-founders Ray Yue and Marline Aizouki discuss how their platform is a more accessible, innovative mental health support system for organizations and their employees. If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, you’ll know that nothing adds more stress than being told by your employer to
The Last Word By: John Stackhouse Here’s a goal for tech in the post-pandemic world: Fix the diversity deficit. Silicon Valley’s deficiencies were well-known before COVID-19 upended society and have become more pressing as we’ve all come to rely on technology more than ever. The recovery will require a sharp focus on both diversity and
How Remote Work Has Changed The (IT) World By Ryan Vetsby Remote and flexible working has been around for a while, but the last year has seen it burst into the mainstream in grand style. The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for remote work, forcing companies to adapt to a staff that predominantly
Today’s New Office If you can work from anywhere, why not make “anywhere” a luxury, social office space?By Rob Blackwell, Chief Operating Officer of Aspen Properties in Calgary, Alberta Our company has successfully and safely transitioned back to working from the office, and we have certainly seen the benefits of being together. By physically connecting
Choosing Possibility Sukhinder Singh Cassidy has made consistent risk-taking the pillar of her career Founder. Chairman. CEO. President. Venture Partner. Co-Founder. Strategic Advisor. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy has held a number of titles with some of the world’s top brands—StubHub, Google, Twitter, Amazon—throughout her career. But one title that’s always relevant, and most true to her