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2018 YPO Innovation Week Accelerates the Future, Presents the Possibilities

Sparks of innovation were experienced around the world as the third annual YPO Innovation Week kicked off on Monday, 7 May. From Australia to Wall Street, YPO members delved into a vast array of topics under the innovation umbrella as business leaders strive to uncover actionable insights ensuring their companies are at the forefront of their industries today and in the future.

Three engaging panel discussions took place at the New York Stock Exchange with each hosted by Josh King, Vice President of Communications at Intercontinental Exchange:

  • The most important trends in innovation and disruptive technology was the central theme for a discussion with YPO CEO Scott Mordell, Chair of YPO Innovation Week and CEO of Geniecast Keith Alper, and Global Head of Listings at NYSE John Tuttle.
  • YPO members Joshua Feast, CEO of Cogito Corporation and 8i.com, Tejune Kang, CEO at 6D Global, Asha Saxena, CEO of Future Technologies, and Harjit Gill, CEO at X-halo, shared their thoughts on the future of innovation.
  • YPO members Brad Oberwager, CEO and Founder at Jyve Corporation, Erkan Akyuz, President at Change Healthcare, Michael Stuart Kellaway, Managing Director at Omega Digital, and Mark Gilreath, Operating Partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners, finished up the NYSE panels by examining key industries being impacted by innovation.

Uncovering market opportunities in a changing technology environment

Each new technology development impacts the market in various ways. Sally Shin, San Francisco Bureau Chief at CNBC, interviewed John Chambers, former CEO and Executive Chairman of Cisco and current Founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, about technology, acquisitions and the role of the CEO, during an Innovation Week virtual event.

Chambers addressed speed and digitization, which now make every company a technology company, commenting specifically on artificial intelligence: “AI is here to stay. You can’t treat it as a buzzword; it has to be part of everything you do. Use it to replace what humans do or make it simpler and faster.”

When he evaluates companies to acquire or fund, he looks at market adjacencies, use of technology, culture (“If it’s not a good fit, let it go.”) and leadership, the four pillars of which Chambers identifies as setting the vision for the company, developing, retaining and recruiting talent,  fostering a healthy culture and communicating. He advises CEOs to examine what they do each day and determine how much time they allocate to each of these.

In further practical advice for leaders, he says, “Don’t make decisions on points of time; make them on where you want to be two, three, five years down the line. Operate outside your comfort zone; if you’re not, you’re not moving fast enough to create change — and, if you’re not innovating, you probably won’t be around in a decade.”

Innovation across the globe

In Australia’s YPO Innovation Week event, Angels and Unicorns, Rocco Brauinger, Country Manager for Amazon Australia, discussed Amazon’s use of innovation to increase top-line revenue, and Flavia Tata Nardini, Founder and CEO of satellite technology startup Fleet, described the company’s view of risk, innovation and finance. The day concluded with representatives of five startups pitching their enterprises to a panel of Australian venture capitalists and startup investors, who explained how they make investment decisions.

YPO member and event champion Ian Gardiner noted that takeaways from the sessions could include “insights on innovation they can put into action within their businesses and a better understanding of tech startup investing — how to do it and what to look for.”

Ringing the bell

The first day of Innovation Week was capped off with the traditional ringing of the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, a ceremony performed by YPO members.

YPO Innovation Week runs through Friday, 11 May. A complete listing of events and registration information is available at www.ypoinnovationweek.com/schedule.

Jane Seago is a business writer who focuses on topics related to governance, risk and compliance. Her work has appeared in publications targeted to insurance, internal audit, cloud computing, association management, IT governance, information systems audit and information security readerships.