By: Keenan Brugh Issue: Transformation Section: Government Innovation, put simply, is the process of creating and implementing new ideas. Organizations face ever-changing environments, and innovation helps secure an institution’s future. ICOSA Magazine itself is the result of implementing new ideas. Recently, the belief in innovation and the mantra “Connection and Collaboration” led to the idea of bringing in a world- class expert on the subject to speak at our studios here in Colorado. The process of transforming a warehouse into the ICOSA Studio & Event Center had begun. Springboarding from the relationship with publisher Simon & Schuster, director of social outreach, Eli Regalado, arranged to get the highly-prized speaker, Phil McKinney. Recently retired from Hewlett Packard, McKinney just released his first book Beyond the Obvious, an instant hit with those responsible for consistently generating innovation.
Phil McKinney recently retired as CTO of Hewlett Packard’s $40 billion personal systems group. In this position, he was responsible for strategy and managing R&D for one of the world’s largest personal computer companies, producing mobile devices, tablets, notebooks, desktops, workstations and printers. His experience leading innovation within such a large organization has given him unique insights. Currently, he is an “innovation consultant” and frequently gives speeches at top institutions. His podcast, “Killer Innovations”, has been hailed as a “must listen” by CIOInsight and his own website, www.PhilMcKinney.com, has go-to posts on a wide variety of innovation topics.
Beyond the Obvious offers a well thought out, yet extremely practical, approach to innovation. McKinney poses that too many business aren’t asking enough questions (or at least enough of the right questions). He offers “Killer Questions” to inspire thinking a little differently and to find answers that are “beyond the obvious.” While the best source of these questions is the book itself, you can check out some daily samples on Twitter using the handle @killerquestion. Another of the book’s assets is the FIRE method, which is an acronym for Focus, Ideation, Rank and Execution. This strategy acts as a framework for focusing on the right problems, coming up with plenty of original ideas, cutting them down to a few great ideas, and executing on them for success.
Concepts like ‘innovation’ are abstract and difficult to learn. Google or Wikipedia cannot provide the right answer for every organization. People need to connect with other people in order to learn best practices and develop their own innovative strategies. The ICOSA Innovation Event welcomed 200 guests to listen to thought leaders and share their perspectives with others through networking over drinks and heavy appetizers. Sharif Youssef, founder of iGivefirst, spoke on innovation from his perspective as a CEO of a startup company that is revolutionizing online philanthropy. Kelly Quan, the executive director of the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN), spoke about her thoughts on the Colorado community and how working with other organizations can lead to new results. Mr. McKinney talked about his book and the lessons learned from his experiences at HP and since his retirement. Excited about the attendance and enthusiasm of the crowd, he gave plenty of time for Q&A as well as networking afterwards. And we thought the ICOSA studio was a fitting location for an event on innovation since less than two months earlier, the “event center” was still just a warehouse full of boxes. Innovation moves things forward.
Want to share your thoughts? Email KeenanB@icosamag.com.