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Workshop to Probe into Small ‘i’ Innovation Use Cases

Toronto – January 6, 2020 – In today’s ever-changing environment, CIOs need to be continually thinking about improvement related to a range of issues. How to deliver better products and services? How to create offerings targeted to customer needs? And how to fill those needs quickly and more conveniently?

In order to solve these issues, CIOs must address the following challenges:

  • Motivating personnel to focus on how customers and business partners consume services
  • Ensuring that improvements are strategically aligned
  • Leveraging frameworks and technologies to drive meaningful results

Further complicating matters, big transformations are difficult to achieve due to the time and effort that need to be invested.

To tackle these challenges, on February 26, The IT Media Group will host its next CIO Peer-to-peer Workshop with the theme being Small ‘i’ Innovation Use Cases.

Session facilitators will be Monique Allen, Executive Vice President of Data and Technology at OMERS and Professor Peter Carr, from the University of Waterloo’s Department of Management Sciences.

“There is a distinction between innovation and continuous improvement,” says Allen. “They are not the same. There is also a difference between outside-in and inside-out improvement. When we are doing inside-out we look at the processes we use today and make them better by making them more cost-effective, streamlined, efficient and simplified.

“Outside-in is all about how others are consuming our services. When we start thinking that way, we can make a leap in our thinking of how we interact. You are able to get more meaningful ways of doing work that delivers business value.”

Carr adds, “We’re trying to find new ways of doing things because we are recognizing that in some way change has got to be fairly fundamental. By getting people to make a lot of improvements there is an assumption that all of those are going to add up to something good. That doesn’t always happen.

“I have seen a lot of so-called improvements made that were completely inconsistent with each other. You get something happening in one department that was working directly against the change being made in another department. They need to create that alignment largely through educating people and then having management provide guidance so that the work done remains important.”

Training is extremely critical, says Carr. “When Toyota introduces new processes, it starts at the top. And everyone is trained at the top before they train people lower down. They cascade it through the organization. It is imperative that the CEO and all other top leaders are involved and contributing at the very start of the process. Otherwise, the CIO is going to struggle.”

Among those on the topic steering committee is John Comacchio, SVP and CIO at Teknion.

“My view around the innovation piece revolves around how it helps to drive the CIO’s agenda,” he says. “Cloud, intelligent automation, data analytics and AI are driving operational improvement and providing more information to our customers in a different way. As CIOs, we know we can tie small ‘i’ innovation into any one of those pieces, so not only are we driving the corporate agenda forward, but we are also driving our own agendas.”

The key point CIOs need to focus in on, says Allen is how does this help “steer their agenda and how do you measure that? If you are providing a different value to stakeholders and partners through the use of innovation, then there should be a measurable impact and meaningful value that you have created out of it.”

In summary, CIOs must augment digital transformation and continuous improvement initiatives by applying ‘outside-in’ viewpoints coupled with a small ‘i’ innovation framework. In order to generate practical use cases for the participants, the workshop will focus on the following topic areas:

  • Capturing the customer and business partner viewpoint
  • Effective team and organizational structure
  • Innovation tools and models
  • Sustaining the program through KPI’s and recognition
  • Technologies and methodologies that support innovation
  • Training required for leaders and employees

The by-invitation-only workshop will be held in the morning on February 26th at the OMERS headquarters in downtown Toronto. If you are interested in participating or learning more, please reach out to Nasheen Liu, Partner and SVP of CIO Program Strategy with The IT Media Group at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The IT Media Group's Peer-to-Peer Workshops serve the IT industry by providing forums for IT executives to collaborate and connect with their peers on compelling topics.

The IT Media Group is an award-winning producer of events and content for senior IT executives. Based in Toronto, our leadership team includes some of the most experienced and well respected media, technology and business professionals serving the IT executive community in Canada.

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