PHILADELPHIA--()--Innovation is one of the key elements in maintaining a competitive edge in business. And it was the focus of GPSEG’s Innovation Leadership Forum at Saint Joseph’s University.
“The forums are all about trying to come up with a new model for the community”
More than 140 business leaders and members of GPSEG attended the forum Thursday night to hear five prominent speakers, including Francoise LeGoues, Vice President, Innovative Initiatives, IBM; Mark Headd, Chief Data Officer, City of Philadelphia; Joseph DiAngelo, Dean, Erivan Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph’s University; Janice Presser, CEO, The Gabriel Institute; and N.J. Delener, Dean, School of Global Business, Arcadia University.
“The forums are all about trying to come up with a new model for the community,” said Joel Vardy, Chair of GPSEG’s Innovation Leadership Forum.
LeGoues, the keynote speaker, noted that innovation frequently comes from the younger generation – and that workers of different ages have varying preferences. She differentiated the workforce generations by noting that older workers (50 and up) tend to prefer e-mail for communications, while those 35-50 are fans of instant messaging and social networking is favored by those under 35.
She said making changes often requires bold steps.
“Being disruptive is great. Being disruptive is how you change the world,” she said, adding that there are always limits and disruptions can’t be so great as to pre-empt action. “As we introduce risk and chaos, we have to find balance.”
After her address, LeGoues joined a prominent panel that elaborated and expanded upon her basic premise. But panelists were hesitant to make predictions about the future.
“Anything past seven to 10 years is science fiction,” LeGoues said, noting that cell phones, which dominate the world today, were barely a factor 15 years ago.
Headd, who was recently appointed as the City of Philadelphia’s Chief Data Officer, pointed out that futuristic movie “2001,” which was released in 1968 missed the boat, particularly in the way people communicated with computers.
“We’re still not where (things are depicted) in the movie,” Headd said.
Innovation Leadership Forums are quarterly events, with the next one scheduled for Dec. 12 discussing “Process Innovation”-- the method and language of innovation, centering on improved decision-making.
The objective of the forums is to provide a unique blend of collaborative opportunities for the private, public and academic sectors. In this competitive environment, a forum goal is to raise the bar of both entrepreneurial and corporate innovations to help the local economy.
GPSEG is a premier networking organization for senior-level executives, affording members a unique environment to build trusted business relationships, expand their knowledge and advance their careers. Its members are highly regarded for their generosity and passion for serving each other and the community. For more information on GPSEG, go to www.GPSEG.org.