The Marketing Science Institute has formed a new Innovation Roundtable to explore common issues and challenges in the world of corporate innovation. The roundtable representatives are from Johnson & Johnson, GE, P&G, Diageo, Eastman Kodak, AT&T, Kraft, Merck, Thompson Healthcare, Praxair, Aetna, and General Mills. I had the pleasure of hosting the last meeting held at the Endo-Surgery Institute, J&J’s world class training facility for minimally invasive surgery. The group plans to meet twice a year.

Topics at this last meeting included:

  • How and why is innovation an important issue for your company?
  • When, how and by whom was this issue identified? Who currently “owns” it (and why)?
  • What steps have been taken to address this issue, with what results? What steps are planned?
  • What internal or external resources have you used (do you plan to use)?

For part of the agenda, the group practiced using the SIT innovation method on a product category from a member company (Kodak). We decided to make innovation a regular habit at our meetings so we can “walk the talk” not just “talk the talk.” Our goal is to try out a new innovation method at each meeting.

We are fortunate to have Professor Don Lehmann from Columbia Business School as our academic advisor. Don is a prolific researcher in the innovation space (and many others).

Next meeting will be held in conjunction with MSI’s conference, “Innovation and Co-Creation,” in Seattle June 16-18, 2008.  Check out MSI’s great collection of working papers and publications on innovation.