Non-profit, for-profit; government entity, grass-roots movement; financial services, fast-fashion. The Boston Innovation Festival uniquely melded all of these organization types together to focus on a topic every organization is thinking about in some way, shape or form: innovation. I actually can’t remember a single event I’ve been too (and there have been A LOT!) where the attendees had such a diverse representation and yet felt so connected. For three days attendees debated, discussed and heralded the various approaches they were leveraging (or hoping to leverage) to drive innovation in their organizations. For me, one critical success factor seemed to be at the center of so many conversations and presentations: collaboration. How did collaboration emerge as the secret to successful innovation?
Innovation is often portrayed as a black box; a basement department where companies lock their best talent to squirrel away and create future breakthrough products. Innovation techniques are lined in secrecy and competition—especially among firms who are battling shrinking margins and market share. The presentations, culture, and overarching message of collaboration at FEI effectively takes a hacksaw to that perception, cutting the whole thing wide open. The “secret in the basement or backroom” approach to innovation only holds us back. What does work—and what moves us all, as an industry, further—is fostering an environment where companies and individuals can come together, share their ideas and struggles, and build upon what others are doing.
It’s here again…International Women’s Day! And with it the reminder of how far we’ve come… as well as the sobering reality of how far we have to go.
January is, as of 2022, National Mentoring Month in the U.S. Federal recognition of the importance of mentorship comes on the heels of numerous studies harolding the positive impact of having a mentor on one’s career...