Creating an Innovation Rich Culture

Presenter: Melissa Petak, Founder, Relentless Vets, Mt. Juliet, TN, USA

Keywords: Iterative Development, Culture Eats Strategy, Lean Innovation

Industry: Defense/Military, Education/Training, Healthcare

Level: Intermediate


At Relentless Vets, we worked hard to create a culture that inspired and infused our development team with great ideas. But, quickly we learned that ideas are not innovation. Let me explain. Ideas do not constitute a philosophy, principle, or strategy. An idea is not synonymous with a competitive advantage, an idea is not necessarily a sign of creativity, an idea does not constitute innovation, and as much as some people wish it were so, an idea is certainly not a business. Ideas in and of themselves are nothing more than unrefined, random thoughts. Ideas, alone are really quite useless.

The problem we discovered was that most ideas never got implemented and moreover, even the best ideas when improperly implemented can cause great harm. While creativity is clearly a valuable asset, unbridled creativity where random, disparate ideas abound outside of a sound decision-making, and execution framework will create distraction more times than result in innovation.

So, how did we address this and create a culture where ideas could become innovation and waste was minimal? The truth is that many organizations are quick to recognize great ideas, but they often have no plan for how to successfully integrate them into their business model. We created the following framework for innovation within our organization – and I can attest that it works!

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January 31, 2019
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Tuesday, March 12, 2019,
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Conference Chair's Message 

Joel Smith

This year’s conference is focused on making sure we are “continuing” our journey as practitioners. Whatever your level of experience, you will learn new concepts, new perspectives and network with the best in the industry.

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