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Summit sets the innovation agenda

Which ever way you look, traditional approaches to innovation are being re-evaluated, questioned and, sometimes, simply discarded...

By London Business School 06 April 2011

Whichever way you look, traditional approaches to innovation are being re-evaluated, questioned and, sometimes, simply discarded. Little wonder then that it is near the top of most corporate agendas. And, no surprise, that innovation is the theme of London Business School's Global Leadership Summit to be held at the School on 23 May 2011.

2011GlobalLeadershipSummitWhich ever way you look, traditional approaches to innovation are being re-evaluated, questioned and, sometimes, simply discarded.

Little wonder then that innovation is near the top of most corporate agendas. And, no surprise, that innovation is the theme of London Business School’s Global Leadership Summit to be held at the school on 23 May.

And the challenges are becoming larger and more urgent by the day. Technological change is accelerating and big companies are still wrestling with sometimes cumbersome hierarchies and processes. Then there is the dauntingly democratic nature of ideas.  The next great idea to change your company or market may be inspired by a completely different activity on a completely different continent. How can you find the market-transforming ideas? How can you create your own breakthrough ideas? How can you innovate more quickly and fruitfully?

To begin to answer such questions we have to return to the basics.  What is innovation? Why does it matter and how do you know when it has worked?  George Buckley, chairman, president and CEO of 3M will be seeking to answer these questions at the summit.

Once innovation had been defined the next big question is whether big companies can really be innovative and, if so, how best to achieve that objective.  Gary Dushnitsky of London Business School will discuss these fundamental questions with Nick Hughes, managing director of Signal Point Partners, 3M’s George Buckley and Geoff Vuleta, CEO of Fahrenheit 212.

Shai Agassiis one person who has responded to the innovation challenge.  He took the challenge issued by the World Economic Forum’s Davos meeting to heart: How do you make the world a better place by 2020?  The result is Better Place, a leading electric vehicle services provider, but more profoundly, an innovative response to enormous challenges.

Of course, innovation does not simply occur in blissful isolation. Laws, regulations, competition and finances all have important roles to play in creating a macro-environment which is innovation-friendly.  Creating the right environment is something of a holy grail for governments throughout the world.  They realise that innovation is central to economic growth and development and that innovative companies attract more innovative companies -- witness Silicon Valley and similar clusters worldwide. At the Global Leadership Summit, Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds, and Philip Rutnam, director general of BIS debate how best to create the right environment.

Highlighting best practice, Marc Silvester and Masahiko Yamada of Fujitsu will share the lessons from their company’s 75-year innovative adventure – from developing the first Japanese computer to palm vein authentication technology.   

As an added ingredient to innovation, there is the role of leadership.  What can and should leaders do to facilitate and nurture innovation?  Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP, David Sproul of Deloitte, Stephen Leonard of IBM UK and Matt Brittin of Google provide a leadership roadmap towards innovation.

Finally, some of the most inspirational sources of innovation come from the newly emerged and emerging markets.  In less developed countries the onus is on innovation which allows companies to access and serve poor customers in profitable ways. Amit Mehra of Reuters Market Light provides an inspirational example of this in practice.  Professor Kamalini Ramdas of London Business School contributes to a session alongside Michael J. Barber of healthyimagination and Rodrigo Baggio founder of the Committee for Democracy in Information Technology.

Innovation is the challenge of our times.

To reserve your ticket and to find out more about the Global Leadership Summit please look at  www.london.edu/news-and-events/global-leadership-summit

 

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