Last month, Rady School Professor Vish Krishnan was invited to lead a panel on the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Network under the topic of “Leading Innovation”. The CIO Network is an invitation-only event that brings together chief information and technology officers from the top companies around the world to discuss key challenges and opportunities for innovation for their organizations. Vish Krishnan is Endowed Chair Professor in the Innovation, Technology & Operations area and has been named Most Valuable Professor by our students in 2009 and 2012.
The “Leading Innovation” session focused on identifying the new skills businesses need to stay innovative in the future, and how CIOs, other corporate leaders and policy makers can begin taking necessary actions now.
The Wall Street Journal’s recap of CIO takeaways from the session include establishing innovation culture both inside and outside the company, looking beyond today from a technology perspective, looking outside the company or industry for inspiration, and focusing on creating and capturing value.
At Rady, leading innovation forms the core of Krishnan’s educational and research interests, particularly on the topic of how individuals, organizations and societies can leverage continued innovation for improved welfare and prosperity.
For the past decade, Krishnan has been bringing these ideas into the classroom through the Rady School’s capstone course series Lab to Market, which teaches students how to turn a business idea into a viable, scalable market opportunity. Currently, Krishnan is working closely with the Schools of Medicine throughout the University of California campuses to translate and commercialize their medical discoveries, which he believes will be a major force in this century.
Krishnan’s advice for MBA students on staying innovative in today’s fast-paced business world? “First order of business is to understand what innovation is and what it is not,” says Krishnan. “Today it has become a huge buzzword and lost its true meaning.”
Krishnan explains that, contrary to what many people believe, innovation is distinctly different from invention; while new discoveries are the core of inventive activity, innovation is about bringing those breakthroughs to fruitful application. Even many faculty and administrators mix up innovation and invention, causing effort and investment distortion.
“There are value creation and value capture components to innovation and these form the major themes of the lab to market curriculum. This ultimately helps rejuvenate individuals and organizations and helps them achieve both sustained and sustainable growth,” explains Krishnan.
Krishnan also advises startups and established corporations, interacting with CIO’s of companies like Exxon, Nissan and Nielsen, where he sees how free markets and competitions encourage companies to stay innovative.
Learn more about Krishnan and his research here.
Lauren Herr is the Social Media Manager for the Rady School. In her free time she can be found snapping landscape pictures and taking advantage of San Diego’s amazing beaches and coffee shops.