29 Sep Innovation economy is the subject of meeting and workshop at UW-Madison
Madison, Wis. – Relentless innovation is considered by many business gurus to be America’s only remaining edge in a global marketplace marked by labor arbitrage and the competitive threats posed by exploding economies in China and elsewhere.
While some progress is being made on the innovation front, too many U.S. companies still are underperforming when it comes to driving the type of sustained innovation needed to meet this competitive threat, according to Tom Koulopoulos, an internationally recognized management consultant and author of the forthcoming book The Innovation Zone.
Koulopoulos will bring his Innovation Master Class to the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Tuesday, Nov. 11, to demonstrate how organizations can create and sustain a culture of innovation. The class, which will be held at the Fluno Center, will be presented in conjunction with WTN Media and will follow Koulopoulos’ appearance at the Nov. 10 program of Accelerate Madison. To watch a short video on Koulopoulos view innovation and the economy click here.
Koulopoulos, who writes a blog called The Innovation Zone, argues that if public and private organizations are serious about taking the lead in innovation and reinvigorating the Wisconsin marketplace and U.S. economy, they must move behind the “hype” of innovation and apply proven techniques and processes. He provides instruction on innovation process methods that organizations can put into practice.
“We need to stop singing innovation kumbaya and start delving into the practice and science of innovation,” Koulopoulos said.
He is not alone.
Tom Peters, the noted business author, has been outspoken about the merits of concepts like building an “innovation machine” and developing a “portfolio of the weird” to try truly radical ideas. Peters has lauded Koulopoulos for “a brilliant vision of where we must take our enterprises to survive and thrive.”
The late management guru and 20th Century business icon Peter Drucker said the following about Koulopoulos’ writing: “It makes you question not only the way you run your business, but the way you run yourself.”
The September 22 issue of BusinessWeek stated, “Innovation is the best – and maybe only way the U.S. can get out of its economic hole.”
Koulopoulos, the author of eight books, is president and founder of The Delphi Group and executive director of the Babson College Center for Business Innovation. He is among the growing number of thought leaders who implore American companies to innovate out of the box in order to survive in the ultra competitive international business environment.
He sees signs that organizations are embedding innovation in their business practices, and that they have devoted both financial and staff resources to innovation.
“What I am seeing, and this is surprising to me, is that more companies actually are putting people in positions of authority with respect to innovation,” he said. “They are not necessarily new people; they are folks that are already on staff, but they also are carrying that [innovation] badge.”
His Innovation Master Class is one-day workshop that will teach the latest methods and tools for creating world-class innovation skills.
In these workshops, Koulopoulos attempts to build competencies and capabilities with a proven set of tools that have been deployed in many of the world’s largest organizations.
Despite the focus on innovation, 96% of innovation initiatives fail, noted Mike Klein, editorial director of Wisconsin Technology Network, part of WTN Media. They fail in part because people fail to distinguish innovation from invention.
“Innovation is process and not a product,” Klein explained.
The distinction between innovation and invention is part of the Master Class agenda.
Agenda highlights also include:
- Defining innovation in today’s enterprise.
- Building innovation as an organizational competency.
- Why brainstorming is not enough.
- Metrics and business drivers.
- The components of innovation.
- Building an innovation process.
- Leadership and innovation.
- Building an effective innovation team.
- Best practices in innovation management.
The Master Class will be held Tuesday, Nov. 11, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The early bird registration price is $545 on or before Oct. 7, while the regular price is $645. Admission to the keynote address is included with registration. For more information about the event, including a short three-minute video preview, visit http://www.wistechnology.com/events/innovation.
Accelerate Madison will feature Koulopoulos in a keynote address on Monday, Nov. 10, also at the Fluno Center. The program will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the keynote at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $35 for non-members and more details are available at http://www.acceleratemadison.org.