GE, PwC and SAP Share the Predictors of Success for Your Innovation Program

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logos-ge-pwc-sapInnovation isn’t something you master overnight. To help accelerate your innovation program success, Brightidea asked marquis innovation program experts from GE, PwC and SAP to share best practices for innovation program leaders to replicate and utilize within their own organizations. Our panelists from these world renowned innovation powerhouses were:

Dyan Finkhousen: Director, Open Innovation & Advanced Manufacturing at GE

John Sviokla: Strategy & Innovation Leader, Head of Global Thought Leadership at PwC

Kuhan Milroy: Senior Director of Social Business Innovation at SAP

What’s a better way to learn innovation than to hear it directly from the experts? The highlights shared by our knowledgeable panel on Brightidea’s Innovation Program: The Predictors of Success webinar hangout are included below. Though these companies have all ultimately found success through their innovation programs, each has had its own unique experiences along the way. Highlights:

Kuhan of SAP shared that when ramping up his innovation program, he focused on first “partnering up with the folks who say ‘you had me at hello’ because “they’re the easiest to bring on as early adopters.”

Along with the initial thrill of ramping up an innovation program, each panelist mentioned strongly the idea of failure and what implications it has within a growing, innovative company. Businesses must define expectations for failure and not dwell on it, utilizing it as a positive move forward. Dyan of GE commented on this saying, “The appetite or comfort with failing and learning lessons needs to be there for innovation to really prosper in an organization.”

The panelists discussed the importance of culture, organization and process in relation to their individual innovation programs. Check out the Hangout to hear each panelists answer.

There was a good discussion on the size of an innovation team and who should be included on the team. John of PwC provided great insight on this question stating two things to consider: be careful who you put in the position to say “no”, and carefully analyze what is your actual task at hand. In relation to these considerations, he provided strong comparisons to Thomas Edison’s light bulb innovation team, Elon Musk’s team with SpaceX, and GE’s team with new compulsion systems.

It was also great to hear Kuhan’s perspective on the hottest key ingredients to innovation programs, crowdsourcing and hackathons. Kuhan emphasized how important these two tactics are to SAP, as well as having a strong innovation program software. He said, “I wasted 80% of my time on our old platform, but now we’re in Brightidea which is amazing. When you’re starting out don’t try to do it by yourself.”

Overall, this Google Hangout taught some valuable lessons on innovation programs: you need an organization, culture, and process all working in unison, a dedicated innovation program leader, to make sure your program is showing value, and to ultimately figure out how you’re working across departments.

If you haven’t seen the Google Hangout, you can view this and our next one How to Find Challenges and Deliver Outcomes. Please share your best innovation program tips in the comments below.