I have discussed before that groups and cultures have specific terminology and language that build bonds and improved discussions through common education and use. At EMC Corporation, we have created an Innovation Conference with a goal of fostering the engagement of all employees in the process of innovation. For the third year, a contest is being held where all employees are encouraged to submit innovative product or process ideas (see Len Devanna’s post about the submission site).
I had the pleasure of attending the first two years of the Innovation Conference, and they were fantastic events (see Steve Todd’s post about last year’s conference). We brought together approximately three hundred people at a two-day conference to meet the finalists (who would share their ideas), listen to a variety of industry speakers and immerse themselves in discussions with others who are interested in innovation. This year, rather than bringing all of the finalists and the entire conference to EMC’s headquarters in Massachusetts, we will be having a global day of innovation. The conference will have a dozen regional sites around the world: each of EMC’s Centers of Excellence (the primary site being Bangalore, India) and a handful of other facilities. Some of the content will be broadcast worldwide from India, and some will be hosted locally at each of the sites. For employees who can’t attend in person, some of the conference activities will be available remotely. Much of the content from each conference will be recorded and made available internally on the EMC|ONE internal site. We’ve had strong participation from the various EMC sites, and the globalization will allow for much greater reach of the conference around the world, facilitating regional and global connections. Many people who would never have considered themselves innovators, once exposed to the conference, get a basic knowledge of the innovation discussions – the language of innovation – and are more likely to participate in innovation-related activity.
Innovation is an ongoing process. Throughout the last year, certain topics have been shared externally through the Innovation Network Lecture Series; details can be found on the EMC Community Network (ECN) site (see https://community.emc.com/community/labs?view=tags&tags=innovation_lecture_series). We will continue to grow the material and discussions on the ECN site.
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