A substantial body of Babson research on entrepreneurial leadership shows the power of tapping resources that are already available to drive innovation effectively. (“The Bird In Hand Principle.”) However, at many businesses it’s incredibly difficult to get a useful inventory of preexisting innovation resources such as in-process projects, opportunities, and talent. Unlike with finance or operations, spreadsheets that allow quick insight just aren’t available or helpful.

It turns out that most innovation data and knowledge is tacit; they exist in your employees’ heads and need to be drawn out through discussion. So, how do you effectively discuss innovation with employees to identify the highest potential preexisting innovation opportunities? What are the right set of questions and decisions that will enhance your chances of success as a leader?

This recorded presentation examines a few key methods by which a leader can get an accurate and actionable handle on their company’s innovation including:

  • Identifying projects and results that show certain characteristics, such as novelty and payback
  • Assessing the types of innovation that are happening at your organization
  • Understanding how innovation projects are managed and whether the management approach is a good fit for the strategies

About the Presenter

Dr. Sinan Erzurumlu is an Associate Professor of Technology and Operations Management at Babson College. His teaching and research interests include technology and innovation management, supply chain/operations management, sustainability and entrepreneurship. Sinan’s research on innovation management in supply chains focuses on supply chain design for innovation strategy, performance with a particular concentration on the incentive mechanisms in supply chains, and environmental and social sustainability. His research on entrepreneurial innovation management examines start-up operations for survival and growth, start-up innovation, and technology commercialization strategy. Within these domains he develops business model innovations and assesses their blended, economic and social, value.

Prior to joining Babson, Sinan worked as a project-based consultant for Dell on service operations and as a research engineer for Center for Space Research at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a PhD in Supply Chain and Operations Management from McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.