Killer Innovations: Successful Innovators Talking About Creativity, Design and Innovation | Hosted by Phil McKinney
About This Show
An award winning nationally syndicated radio show and podcast where award winning innovators are interviewed about how they used creativity and design to create game-changing — killer innovation.
Most Recent Episode
Emerging Solutions: Service Innovation S14 Ep2
3 days ago
For large companies, does innovation happen tucked away in a lab? How does a professional services company innovate? I delve into these questions with Michael Whitaker (“Whit”) of ICF. He dispels misguided concepts about service innovation. The unique challenges of this industry demand a unique process. Whit shares his process for innovation at ICF.
A global company, ICF delivers strategic consulting services. ICF employs experts in a range of fields. It may seem an unlikely place to innovate. But it’s a non-traditional industry creating non-obvious solutions.
Whit joined ICF after ICF acquired his startup, Symbiotic Engineering. He went from a small, nine-person company to a large, global one. Innovation at Symbiotic Engineering may have been tenable. It is a bigger challenge at ICF. He watched efforts to instill an innovation culture. But it didn’t take off. ICF lacked a clear pathway to innovation. With advancing technology, ICF recognized the need to keep apace. It was time to get serious about innovation. ICF established Whit’s position as President of Emerging Solutions.
Whit employs a “pragmatic agitation approach”. The ICF performance engine is delivery of expert services. To provide clients with the cutting-edge, ICF must keep ahead of technology. It’s a delicate balancing act.
In the services business…
profit margins are narrow
clients are risk averse
there is no R&D budget
innovation is not the main focus
You have to weave innovation into the company’s daily workings. Service innovation must happen while keeping the performance engine on track.
This industry conditions most employees to execute not innovate. Execution and innovation are different skill sets and mind sets. How do you get the domain expert to think about innovation?
Whit considers his role as supportive and integrative. He works to lay out clear and believable pathways to innovation.
The book Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change has been a