Month: February 2015

The Age of Innovation

On Friday, I had the pleasure of presenting to Tech Mahindra’s Innovation Day event at Georgia State.    In preparing for this meeting, I researched the massive change that has occurred in technology over the past 25 years – in hopes to shed some insight on what I think will be the future for innovation. My conclusion: everything is now aligned for disruption in every industry. Nearly all of the traditional barriers have been eliminated. Disruption and innovation are inevitable now, and your company will likely be innovating and changing your industry—or a competitor will do it for you!

I advised CEOs and CIOs to totally rethink their mindsets around IT. In the past, all innovation involved large capital outlays, and obvious limits existed on creating value with existing technologies.  Let’s look at the traditional barriers one by one:

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Hiringasaurus-Rex: The Ultimate Office Predator

Before office dinosaurs ruled the business world, managers interviewed and hired employees based on who they thought would perform best in the job. They also had the freedom to fire those who weren’t performing and to give raises as they saw fit based on performance. As the company grew, HR departments started helping managers with the hiring and firing process. In theory, it all made sense and usually worked well. HR professionals were trained at screening candidates, following applicable laws, and describing corporate benefit plans. Managers even liked that some of the tedious process of interviewing was no longer on their plate.

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First Tenant Lands at Peachtree Corners Technology Incubator

In some recent blogs, I have written about the need for a technology incubator in Peachtree Corners, and the types of companies that would likely thrive in this type of environment.

The incubator is still just an idea—but an idea that is rapidly gaining steam and interest in the community. Incubators have thrived inside the perimeter—ATV and ATDC have potential tenants lined up to apply for admission. However, out here in the suburbs, people have questioned whether we have the “cool factor,” the access to smart people, or the entrepreneurial spirit of those in the city. My guess is that we can create this environment, and that some of these entrepreneurs actually live right here among us and commute to the incubators in the city—wishing there was a Gwinnett option to avoid hours in the car.

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Remembering Howie

On Sunday morning, I was in my basement riding my stationary bike while watching SportsCenter. I had not read the news, and this was the first I heard of the passing of Dean Smith, legendary coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team. He led the team to national titles, coached Michael Jordan, among other greats, and was one of the winningest coaches in all of sports. I was always an SEC fan, so I usually rooted against the Tar Heels, but he was the kind of guy I secretly wished was coaching my team.

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New Dinosaur Discovered: Vendor-Consoliraptor

I have worked for large companies, sold to large companies, and consulted with large companies, and I am always amazed at some of the procedures, policies, and strategies they implement in the name of cost savings or efficiency. Some of these strategies last for years, if not decades, until someone with some common sense looks at the process with a different lens. Over the past few years, some of these dinosaur strategies have become more evident. New technologies have created tremendous opportunities for companies to drive innovation, enter new markets, and cut costs. Yet, these decades-old practices thwart innovation and inhibit creative managers to drive change within their organizations.

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