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6 Tips to Ignite Innovation

From 8-12 May, business leaders all over the world will connect and collaborate with an eye on discovering new ways to be innovative within their companies and embrace entrepreneurial ideas during the second YPO Innovation Week.

Six YPO members share their thoughts on how to bring innovation and entrepreneurship into your daily business life:

Cast a wide net for ideas

“The purpose of collaboration is to extract ideas, to surface the innovation, to embrace the things that have a lot of yield for your company. My philosophy is to enable not just the top 5 percent of really vocal alpha-type people, but to reach into a company and find the person who would never normally open their mouth but who has 18 amazing innovations in their head. And that, I think, is the crux of high-functioning collaboration: finding the person who would normally not engage and making sure that their ideas are surfaced.” — Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet.

Quicken your pace

“The development cycle for a new business — the time from start to finish for a new business model to be implemented and for it to have an impact — has shortened significantly. New businesses can start up faster at a much lower cost. Funding can be more readily available. This is accelerating the innovation ecosystem.” — Anthony Lacavera, Chairman of Globalive 

Think “and” not “or”

“Entrepreneurism no longer is the individual sport that relied on someone’s vision or singular qualities of courage to stand alone. Nor are innovators strictly focused on fixing any cogs in the visionary’s landscape. The roles have become more interdependent, both still requiring passion and persistence. You can’t be just one or the other anymore. Zoom in. Zoom out.” — Neville Fielke, director at GSG Ventures 

Get constant feedback

“Technology has made communication ubiquitous. A generation ago, the state of the art was to give and get employee feedback once a year. We’ve gone from once-a-year feedback to two-way feedback and now intraday constant communication. If you wait a year to give and get feedback, you’re not in alignment with this generation of workers and your competitors in the industry have moved a year ahead of you because people are communicating in real time.” — Greg Besner, Founder and CEO of CultureIQ 

Be fearless and humble

“It takes an element of self-reliance, a feeling that I can take care of myself, as well as fearlessness and courage to become a successful entrepreneur. An entrepreneur also needs to have the humility to surround himself with good people and not get intimidated by people who are smarter and more experienced.” — Jeff Dennis, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Fasken Martineau.

Just start now

“The big questions are: Where are you? Have you started? Are you moving the blockades? Everybody talks about it but what are you doing. Make a commitment to a project to a team, to research, to budget, to move fast. Don’t get paralyzed or set in your ways. Start with a MVP, minimal viable product, set up quick little tests and adjust if it fails.” — Keith Alper, CEO of Nitrous Effect and Geniecast.

Ready to accelerate what’s next for your business? Check out the YPO Innovation Week schedule to register for an in-person or virtual event.

For more than 25 years, Heather has been creating innovative content for a myriad of communities including business leaders, nonprofit, energy, health care, education and aviation. She has been with YPO since 2014 working currently in the content studio as the senior manager of organization communications.