March 27 Member Update

The Innovation Edge


Tuesday, May 23 – IRI Annual Conference

The Human Side of Digital Transformation

Annual Conference Speaker Spotlight: Brant Cooper (Moves the Needle)

The increased complexity and interconnectedness of the digital world brings massive amounts of uncertainty to the business community. But the way we’ve traditionally managed companies is based on the simpler, assembly-line constructs of the Industrial Age. But we’re not in the Industrial Age any longer. Company leadership and employees require a new mindset – one that can match the speed and agility of today’s economic activity while solving real-world problems that benefit us all. This session, presented by bestselling author Brant Cooper (The Lean Entrepreneur, Disruption Proof), charts a path forward to creating RAD organizations: resilient to endless disruptions, aware of changing customer needs, and dynamically able to change course to create real value. Based on his 5Es of the RAD mindset – empathy, exploration, evidence, equilibrium, and ethics – attendees will receive inspiration and practical, actionable advice on how to kick-start and accelerate meaningful change inside their organizations.

Register for the 2023 IRI Annual Conference

Developing or On the path for senior leadership in innovation?

Learn about the Shaping Innovation Leaders program!

This executive management program is hosted by the IRI in partnership with Northwestern’s Recent research finds that emerging technical leaders share more traits with rising leaders in other functions than they do with most R&D specialists, as would be expected given the evolution in the scope of their responsibilities. But interestingly, Gritzo, Fusfeld, and Carpenter found that technical leaders are still perceived as different from other rising leaders in several dimensions.

Specifically, R&D leaders are viewed as more able to quickly master new technical knowledge and ferret out patterns in complex situations. They are seen as more creative and more able to foster a climate of experimentation than leaders in other units of the company. On the other hand, technical leaders are perceived as falling short of their business-function peers in people management skills and are not viewed as effective at engaging with upper management compared with their peers in other functions. 

We offer many resources to address these management and leadership gaps, including the Shaping Innovations Leaders program developed in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management. Explore what’s being offered at this year’s program and take the next step in your innovation team’s evolution. 

IRI, in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management, specifically designed Shaping Innovation Leaders to meet the needs of demanding leadership roles in promising, mid-level managers in research, development and engineering. The program’s curriculum is designed by Kellogg, in cooperation with senior R&D executives of IRI Member Organizations.

Enroll Now

March 29, 1pm – 3pm EST

IRI Annual Conference

IRI TRACK Workshop: Incubating Strategic Opportunities: Failure Modes and Methods to Overcome them

The Lean Startup methods and associated tools have become widely adopted for managing high uncertainty projects. Use of the Business Model canvas, Minimum Viable Product, field interviews and other practices designed for the start-up context have gained widespread popularity in mature companies due to their focus on quick experiments, fast learning and focus on the technological, market and business model development requirements to support a potentially major innovation opportunity.

The corporate environment, however, differs from that of the startup, in that an organization’s divisional structure, budget cycles, and other established norms and routines already exist. These present challenges and barriers to corporate venture and other strategic innovation teams, which the lean start up methods do not address. In this workshop we offer two methods to help innovation teams in mature

NEW! To help bring the conversation and knowledge back to your company, we offer 1 free guest pass with your registration. Bringing a colleague can provide valuable perspective and help drive collaboration and innovation within your organization. Just email the name of your +1.

Register Now

March 27, noon EST

The Human Side of Technology: Leading People Through Digital Transformation – PILOT Project Update

This project is focused on creating insights related to the human side of digital transformation, learn more about it here. In this webinar, they will focus on how companies can prepare for cultural changes associated with digital transformation.

To receive a calendar invitation, contact Matt Dorocak.

IRI PILOT Research Grant

IRI is calling for applications for the IRI Funding Scheme – a small grant (up to $3k) to conduct a research project with us and our members. IRI’s goal is to get subject matter experts working with our members on well thought out, organized projects that will address the top challenges our members face. There will be a limited number of projects funded this year, and priority will be given to projects that focus on our hot topics list. The submission deadline for the application is April 17. The proposal application, hot topics list, and evaluation criteria are all available on our website. Please contact Matt Dorocak with any questions regarding the program.

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The IRI is a division of the National Association of Manufacturers.