UnleashWD Webinar Attendees Learn the First Steps to Innovation

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UnleashWD, the only innovation summit for the wholesale distribution industry, hosted a webinar to teach attendees how identify trends in the economy and take advantage of them to create value.

“To innovate is to adapt, and to adapt is to survive in our current markets,” Julie Hahnke, Innovation Strategist at Innovaro said.

How does a company turn plans for innovation into actual business value?

Attendees of the Sept. 26 UnleashWD and Innovaro webinar, “The First Steps of Innovation” learned how to successfully begin an innovation initiative.

Chris Carbone, director at Innovaro and a professional futurist led off the webinar with a discussion on making sense of emerging trends. A futurist’s primary job is not to predict the future according to Carbone.

“The real goal is to help people be proactive about the future instead of feeling as if it’s tossing them around,” Carbone said.

Carbone described the role of a futurist as that of an air traffic controller. The radar only detects warnings of what may happen, but a complete picture of the future remains an elusive if not impossible goal. Even though capturing a vision of the future remains a difficult prospect, Carbone said that companies risk falling behind without some sort of anticipation.

Uncertainty in the economy is the new normal according to Carbone. Companies remain on the S&P 500 for fewer years than ever before. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) are factors shaping the economy and the future of many businesses.

“To innovate is to adapt, and to adapt is to survive in our current markets,” Julie Hahnke, Innovation Strategist at Innovaro said.

Unfortunately, the very things that make companies successful are often obstacles for innovation, because daily operations strive to be predictable and innovation is inherently unpredictable. Hahnke described the proven methodology Innovaro uses to help businesses overcome these challenges. Their methodology is based on the work of Gary Hamel, the most influential business thinker in the world, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Our methodology, which is embedded in our software, provides a framework for a repeatable innovation process.” Hahnke explained. “This is how companies can develop an engrained culture of innovation.”

To successfully innovate, corporate values must shift from the need “minimize failure” to an environment of “test/fail/learn,” according to Hahnke. “When you’re exploring new possibilities, you’ll never get everything right. Failures will occur. That you learn from them is the important thing.”

“Is innovation hard?” Hahnke asked. “Yes, but it’s achievable. You simply have to take the first steps and begin.”

The webinar was moderated by Dirk Beveridge, Founder of UnleashWD, the only innovation summit for the wholesale distribution industry.

“This webinar is the first step in an important partnership between UnleashWD and Innovaro,” Beveridge said. “We are trying something new—bringing the concept of innovation to an entire industry, and this webinar was an amazing first step.”
The webinar was part of a series by UnleashWD prior to the Oct. 29-30 innovation summit in Chicago.

About UnleashWD

UnleashWD is the only conference dedicated to bringing innovation to the wholesale distribution industry. UnleashWD features eighteen storytellers from outside the wholesale distribution industry. Modeled after TED’s short-session format, UnleashWD’s speakers share how to add business value through inspiring presentations on topics such as innovation, leadership, business model design, and corporate culture.

For the last twenty-five years, UnleashWD Founder Beveridge has worked with more than 3,000 firms as a leadership consultant, facilitating how wholesale distributors and manufacturers can increase market share through examining and improving their relationship with customers. For more information please visit: http://www.unleashwd.com.

About Innovaro, Inc.

Innovaro is the leading provider of software-driven innovation solutions. Tested methodologies fueled by an artificial intelligence engine ensure repeatable success along the entire innovation lifecycle. A full suite of software products, consulting services, and foresight research deliver a proper fit for every customer’s innovation needs. For more information please visit: http://www.innovaro.com.

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