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#YPOInnovationWeek live chat: Business leaders discuss how to drive innovation from concept to customer
IRVING, Texas, May 2, 2016 -- YPO, the leading network of global business leaders and CEOs, hosted a live Twitter chat extending the conversation on how to drive enterprise-wide innovation and what the next generation of leaders is doing to connect innovation to business. The chat took place as YPO counts down to the inaugural YPO Innovation Week, occurring 9-13 May 2016, with more than 30 events around the world.
Featured guests included YPO members Brent Skoda (@BrentSkoda), chairman and chief executive officer of Ahkeo Holdings and Asha Saxena (@Asha_Saxena), chief executive officer of Future Technologies. Additional business leaders from YPO and external organizations involved in management strategy joined the one-hour lively chat that began with a discussion on what defines innovation.
Quoting Steve Jobs, "Innovation has nothing to do with how much R&D dollars you have. It's about the people and how you lead," Saxena focused on the importance of people and their curiosity to build a team with an innovative culture. "Innovation is about curiosity and wondering how to make it better."
Whereas innovation is conventionally associated with big discovery, Saxena cited that it often follows a more evolutionary path, "having smaller goals, creating small wins." Skoda similarly alluded to starting with finding simple solutions, "Look for simple convenient and affordable ways to take what exists and make it better."
Asked if there were rules to follow when building an innovation culture, Saxena said it was "about breaking the traditional business models." While there was no silver bullet, she emphasized listening to customers and employees and investing in building a "passion to improve" culture. "Listen to your employees and customers all the time, dig deep and focus on continuous improvement. Big data can help you see the trends when you listen," tweeted Saxena.
Skoda added, "Big data provides real insight that you can leverage to innovate, understand and predict your customers' desires."
YPO's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network Chair Sunny Vanderbeck, chief executive officer of Satori Capital, joined the discussion with insights from his experience successfully leading multiple startups with practical tips on innovating: "Pressure can drive innovation, stress makes the self-limiting rules go away. For more innovation, change your frame, new location, new objectives but most importantly new assumptions."
From India, YPO member Ashutosh Garg, founder Guardian Pharmacy and author of the highly acclaimed "The Buck Starts Here: My Journey from Manager to Entrepreneur," shared his experience on how to create a culture of innovation in an established business, encouraging leaders to begin by "first changing the mindset of the established management and then encouraging the younger managers to think and ideate."
Participants also focused on the importance of innovation not only in strategy but in implementation to create impact. Kevin Fallon, chief executive officer of Pivotal Innovation and chairman of YPO Innovation Week, tweeted, "Innovators make strategic planning innovative. They inject innovation at this level and not as a side show. Top innovators manage innovation as a discipline, just like sales and operations. They expect results and they achieve it."
The Twitter chat comes days before YPO Innovation Week, a series of more than 30 member-led events taking place around the world focusing on different aspects of innovation. The events, some of which are virtual roundtables, connect members and companies across the world, providing a platform for global collaboration and involving innovative global thought leaders as well as some of the world's most advanced technology companies.
YPO is the premier chief executive leadership organization in the world, representing a global community of leaders committed to the shared mission of becoming "Better Leaders Through Lifelong Learning and Idea Exchange." YPO today provides more than 24,000 members in more than 130 countries, representing a diversified set of industries and types of businesses, with access to extraordinary educational resources, alliances with leading institutions, and specialized networks designed to support their business, community and personal leadership. Altogether, YPO member-run companies employ more than 15 million people around the world and generate USD6 trillion in annual revenues. For more information, visit www.ypo.org.