Innovation 21C

I have watched General Electric adapt to a changing world. My friend once worked for GE in industrial sales. I respected GE for hiring a woman in a male dominated industry; my friend was one of the first women in the industry and consistently ranked among the top sales people for GE. To me, GE wraps itself in an innovative spirit.

When I saw this article on GE’s Innovation Barometer declaring partners and localization are key to innovation, I immediately went to it.

Compiling answers from 1,000 business executives in 12 countries, this independent study by GE, according to the Stamford Advocate, “found that the greatest innovations in the future will be those that help address human need, more so than those that simply create the most profit.”

Ninety-five percent of executives said innovation is the main lever for a more competitive national economy, and 88 percent agreed that innovation is the best way to create jobs in their country. Eighty-six percent said that 21st-century innovation is about partnerships as opposed to the success of a single organization.”

Read more: GE’s Innovation Barometer from the Stamford Advocate

My Quinnipiac University professor, Lisa M. Nichols, connected me to another study — IBM 2010 Global CEO Study conducted every two years; this being the fourth study. Like GE, I have watched IBM adapt its mission to the changing customer and technology environments.

In this study, IBM conducted personal interview with 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries who believe that…

…more than rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision — successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require creativity.”

Interesting points brought up in this survey report reflect the differences in regions based on the their experiences getting to the “new economy.” China’s CEOs believe “global thinking” serves as the most important leadership quality. In North America CEO concern focuses on “greater government intervention and regulation.”

All regions understand the impact of technology and the need for technology to address our “massively interconnected” world. It is this interconnectedness that brings complexity to business and demands creative thinking.

The IBM report identified top performing organizations with the majority believing they need to make swift decisions, get closer to their customers, and capture future revenue from new sources. When it comes to getting closer to customers…

95 percent of top performing organizations identified getting closer to customers as their most important strategic initiative over the next five years – using Web, interactive, and social media channels to rethink how they engage with customers and citizens. They view the historic explosion of information and global information flows as opportunities, rather than threats.”

These two world reports stress the need for our Nation’s youth of today to become our researchers of tomorrow in science, technology, engineering, and math. Support STEM education of our youth any way you can. I personally ask that you encourage these same inquiring minds to consider working for the United States Government directly in our Federal research laboratories or for one of the hundred thousand businesses who contract directly or indirectly with our Federal labs. Thank you. Jan

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