MIT Webinar: How Technology Leaders Become Breakthrough Innovators

Today I have attended a very interesting webinar presented by Mark Foster (GBS VP) and Michael Schrage (Research Fellow at the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Initiative on the Digital Economy. The main theme was: How Technology Leaders Become Breakthrough Innovators.

I am also so glad to share that Tatiana Feitosa Lima and I were both invited to support the follow up actions after the webinar in helping clients as Agile and Design Thinking Transformation Agents along with some worldwide super great IBM professionals. Then, I would like to share some key topics and insights I got from this webinar!

The conversation has started exploring topics related with Digital Experimentation and Virtual Experience Cycles. Michael has explained that in order to drive key actions towards an economy of innovation, we all need to focus on how we can improve the experiences of our users considering how they deal and interact with digital services and social media.

They have also commented about the challenges in touching organization´s culture allowing people to experiment more and embrace failure as their main engine to innovate and to stay relevant in the market.  The global market is more dynamic than ever, faster and full of digital experiences that does not allow big delivery cycles anymore so that it is essential to know how to deal with the lack of clarity in our journeys and learn more and more then deliver faster!

Then there were provocative questions also about how to really innovate? How to innovate in a safe way? Why a huge number of organizations still struggle with such experimentation mindset?


It was clear that the experimentation efforts needs to be performed in a very organized way to support  key cultural aspects.

Yes, it is ok to experiment without clarity about the final outcome! Yes, it is ok to go with both incremental or breakthrough innovation approaches! And in the end of the day, it is all about how leaders and people deals with failure and learn from it!

Do you blame people when they try new approaches and fail? Or do you have a consistent way to learn from those failures and apply this knowledge to get better? Does it sound like a very basic agile thing, doesn’t? 🙂

In such context, all information matter! Structured and un-structured data both matters in gaining insights on how to get up to speed, deliver faster, allow good virtual experimentation cycles then scaled it all up with agile, design thinking and DevOps practices.

Particularly, I have been researching, writing and presenting themes about Innovation Agility and I was glad to see that both Michael and Mark have mentioned the need to focus on good problems instead of generate ton of ideas with poor execution practice which is the core of a good innovation agility strategy!

Basically, the main point here is to listen, listen, listen and to pay more attention to our ecosystems which includes our internal and external worlds.

And finally, I would like to share this thought with you: If we want to stay relevant in our global market or even in our job, we need to focus on generating true value, great products and services to our clients which mean being less worried about own super cool processes, super frameworks and current buzz words people make.

Such processes and frameworks are all key aspects in our journey but they are just things we can use to get better as organization as well as human beings.

If you want to know more contact an IBM expert here!

Take care folks! Rafa!



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