Innovation Convergence notes from Renee Hopkins

Renee Hopkins, one of the co-authors of the IdeaFlow Weblog, attended last week’s Innovation Convergence 2003 in Minneapolis, and has started to blog her observations from this valuable conference. In this post, makes a number of observations, which are well worth a detailed read-through: Capital I-Innovation has arrived: “Last year’s Convergence had just 70 attendees. […]

Renee Hopkins, one of the co-authors of the IdeaFlow Weblog, attended last week’s Innovation Convergence 2003 in Minneapolis, and has started to blog her observations from this valuable conference. In this post, makes a number of observations, which are well worth a detailed read-through:

  • Capital I-Innovation has arrived: “Last year’s Convergence had just 70 attendees. This year there were 220, and new conferences on the subject are springing up like mushrooms after a thunderstorm.”
  • Mark Turrell of Imaginatik on measuring the financial impact of innovation: “The main point of his talk was to expound on IOI, or the financial Impact of Innovation. He defined this as the proportion of current and future revenue and profit that is dependent on the company’s ability to innovate, and defined IOI components as revenue growth, revenue protection, productivity, and disruptive change (unplanned activities, or risk). He then said the innovation gap is the difference between the target level of innovation (IOI) and the current innovation capacity, which is based on the ability of a firm to handle new things. Idea management is important, because too many new ideas block the pipeline.”
  • Dr. George Land on intellectual property issues: “Land dropped something of a bombshell early on in his speech by declaring that ‘product innovations are very easy to copy, and patents are an invitation to a lawsuit.’ The issue is a flow of innovation, and what’s in the pipeline to develop after what you’ve got now has been copied. Always assume you’re going to get copied, and try to discover where you can innovate that it will be invisible. Developing intellectual assets – documented current and past knowledge that can lead to the creation of new knowledge through systematic innovation — is better than developing IP, which he defined as ‘knowledge with legal ownership.’
  • Land on innovation leadership: “The CEO must drive innovation, and financial gap analysis is essential on the front end. You must arm yourself with the facts. Land also felt that a company should have an EVP or C-level innovation executive heading an innovation department that would integrate all functions – marketing, technology, business development, etc. And a company’s biggest barriers to innovation, in his view, are lack of leadership to drive innovation, and lack of strategic alignment regarding innovation.”

Thanks, Renee, for your insightful summaries of these two speakers’ presentations. We look forward to further synopses of the rest of the Innovation Convergence!

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