During the closing, keynote speaker Chris Trimble will offer you the fruits of ten years of focused research on innovation. In the process, he has unraveled why often, when a great idea emerges at a company, nothing comes of it.
“Innovation is a good thing,” he says. “Nobody could dispute that. And the act of creating great ideas generates a lot of enthusiasm. But there are two sides to innovation—and Edison said it best: ‘Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.’ Having the idea is only the beginning. Execution is the big need, execution to make the idea happen.”
Trimble is a well-regarded business writer, having co-authored Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators—from Idea to Execution, and, released just a month ago, The Other Side of Innovation—Solving the Execution Challenge, both from the Harvard Business Press.
He is on the faculty of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and pursues a career that mixes rigorous academic research with hard-nosed practical experience, often working side-by-side with executives leading their own startup ventures inside long-established corporations.
“Organizations are not designed for innovation,” he says. “Organizations are designed for ongoing operations. They are built to be on-time, on-spec, and on-budget — every day, every week, and every month.”
Such efficiency, he says, is the result of making every activity as repeatable and predictable as possible. But, innovation is experimentation, and “all experiments are by definition non-routine and uncertain,” he says. “These are fundamental incompatibilities.”
Don’t miss his thought-provoking presentation, where he addresses how to juggle innovation and day-to-day operations simultaneously.
As he says, “The only way to stay profitable—or, in some cases, even to survive—is to innovate.”