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!

Conference & Exhibitor Registration will start on
October 9, 2018


  • Even though the deadline to submit a proposal has passed, you may still submit a proposal for consideration for substitutions
  • Notification Date: Authors will be notified by October 31, 2018
  • Please see the Proposal Submission Guidelines here

Conference Chair's Message

Laura Martin-Samala

Continuous Process Improvement is not just something a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practitioner helps organizations achieve, but is also a fundamental core competency of their personal make up. That is why  innovative companies are looking for people that use the LSS way of thinking at every level. In this age of “Big Data”, “IOT” and “AI”, ... read more