Jim Stikeleather – Dell’s Maestro of Innovation speaks at The Academy
In order to survive, businesses must innovate” according to Dell Services champion of Innovation, Jim Stikeleather who delivered an inspirational talk on business sustainability at the Innovation Academy ‘s ‘Lunch & Learn Speaker Series’ on 21st June . Jim conveyed that Innovation is no longer a bonus for businesses in sustaining their competitive advantage, but rather is now sacrosanct to business survival.
Jim also shared his insights into the role of serendipity in business innovation strategy – and the empowerment of employees with creative thinking space to facilitate divergent and non- conformist thinking to ideate. Company managers need to set in motion sustainable paths for innovation where businesses that once enjoyed key differentiation and competitive advantage in the marketplace are now experiencing challenging times in an evolving landscape of commodity and price convergence.
Jim asserted that ‘people’ not products are still at the epicentre of the innovation process where their vision and passion shape new ideas by lateral and critical thinking.
Jim also imparted that although an advocate of firms adopting a market oriented strategy and the inclusion of the ‘Voice of the Customer’ in design thinking, he nevertheless cautioned that the greatest innovations usually emanate from the identification of “unknown and unmet needs”-quoting Henry Ford’s ubiquitous “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Finally Jim’s advice for business sustainability was to “observe what your customers are saying, doing and practicing” and “engage in the co-creation of ideas and value”.
No stranger to the Innovation Academy, this was Jim’s second talk to Innovation Academy PhD students where this cohort were taking specialised module; ‘Creative Capital ; Financing a new Venture’ as part of the joint certificate programme in Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Jim is the fourth speaker this year on the Innovation Café’s Lunch time Speaker Series, which is very generously sponsored by the TCD Alumni fund.