February 6 Member Update

Shaping Innovation Leaders Deadline is this Week!


Shaping Innovation Leaders Deadline is this Week!

Thinking of enrolling? Don’t wait! You must notify IRI of your intent to register by February 10 to participate.

Wish your high-potential scientists could be high-achieving influencers within your company? This intense 1-week course at the top-ranked leadership business school, Kellogg, will provide scientists with an understanding of the business needs throughout the enterprise.

Big Benefits

Shaping Innovation Leaders can help change lives, careers, and companies. Here are just a few of the ways participants benefit:

Manage Large Projects

Shaping Innovation Leaders gives high-potential innovation managers the top leadership skills they need to manage large projects and make better strategic decisions.

Communicate Across the Organization

This course teaches innovation leaders how to speak the language of business so their innovations can succeed.

More info and registration

May 22-25, Philadelphia

Registration is Now Open for the 2023 IRI Annual Conference

Explore the future of innovation– where we are going, what comes next, and how to lead your company to success. Learn the latest trends and best practices related to technology, people, ideas and communities. Join fellow innovation professionals May 22-25 in Philadelphia for the 2023 IRI Annual Conference. Registration is now open!

More info and registration

March 13-15, Charlotte

Registration deadline for Spring Networks is around the corner

Attendees will learn new best practices from their peers, share knowledge, and troubleshoot innovation challenges. This conference is perfect for those working in external partnerships, innovation leadership, new product development, human resources, intellectual asset management, new business development, portfolio management, and more! 

Topics include: 

  • Six Mistakes Business Leaders Make That Stunt Growth (Guest Speaker: Dan Adams, The AIM Institute
  • Innovation ROI Best Practices (Guest Speaker: Lydia Carson, Eureka! Ranch International)
  • Magnifying Innovation: Understanding Organizations’ Adoption of Novel Designs (Guest Speaker: Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Turning Supply Chain Issues into Opportunities
  • Adapting Retention Strategies to New Generation of Workers
  • Managing IP in Innovation Ecosystems
  • Prioritizing Products – How To Determine Where To Focus Your Energy
  • Developing Effective Mentorship (and Reverse Mentorship) Programs

IRI members may use a complimentary registration to attend this event. For more information, please contact Mallory Smith. IRI and NAM members receive discounted registration rates. This event is open to the public.  Full Agenda.


February 27, 11am – noon 

Improving R&D Productivity – an online discussion with Bob Cooper on the best ways to select new-product projects for development.

What’s new or best in the way we select the right new-product development projects for our R&D portfolios? Think about it….there are two ways to win at new products: 

  • The first is to “do projects right”. Much has been written about best practices in new-product (NP) project execution—about the need for VoC, robust front-end homework, and effective project management.
  • The second way to win is to “do the right projects”. Or as one executive exclaimed “Even a blind man can get rich in a gold mine; you don’t have to be the best miner, just be in the right mine”. Doing the right projects is about project selection, picking winners, and making the right R&D investment decisions.

Join Robert (Bob) Cooper for an online discussion of how to improve the way to select development projects.

To register for the meeting, contact Matt Dorocak.

CTO’s Talk About the Workplace!

A summary of the 2022 CTO Forum is available here 

15 CTOs met in Washington DC to discuss current challenges to accelerating top line growth through innovation. Regarding the workplace, the discussion identified key challenges and related actions such as:

  • Consider perks for staff that are required to be present in the office 5 days a week.
  • Consider creating hybrid meeting spaces that can facilitate communication among on-site and remote workers.
  • Consider transitioning unused office space into community spaces; encourage people to get out of their offices when they are on-site.
  • Use technology. Plant visits may be reduced through the use of smart glasses and Augmented Reality, for example. 
  • Place a priority on worker health; people should be encouraged to stay home if they are unwell.
  • During the post-COVID transition, it will be important to reach out to employees a lot; hold events, and find other ways of building loyalty (e.g. branded clothing, participation in employee resource groups). 
  • Put time as the CTO into meeting individually with department teams to understand their frustrations. 
  • Increase attention to culture. Cultural change will be needed to build community for people at all levels.
  • Focus on the quality of interactions vs. the quantity of interactions.
  • Consider increasing the emphasis on community days.
  • Make building community a leadership responsibility.
Read the Full Report

New Innovation Community!

Challenged integrating sustainability into your innovation practices and processes? We are excited to announce the launch of IRI’s new Sustainability Community! The Sustainability Community will help you address this, and other needs related to sustainable development goals. Through the community, you will be able to access:

  1. Monthly interviews with sustainability thought leaders
  1. Monthly roundtable discussions
  1. Case studies
  • Our first in the series will be out early this year. Stay tuned!
Receive Sustainability Community Updates

A Research Team Needs Your Help!

Our Innovation ROI Best Practices research team is investigating specifically WHAT to measure, WHEN to measure and HOW to go about collecting ROI data in a way that’s reliable and systematic. They are currently looking for survey respondents to give them a more robust data set they can incorporate and would appreciate hearing from IRI member companies. Beyond the survey, the research team is also looking for a few in-depth interview subjects. 

Contact Matt Dorocak if you are interested in participating!
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The IRI is a division of the National Association of Manufacturers.