ATC CTO Dinner Recap

Lead and Disrupt: How to Solve the Innovators Dilemma

Provided by PetersGroup PR & Marketing

On March 29th, ATC held it’s third executive dinner of the year. The evening was hosted by Ray Wolf, Interim COO of ReDirect Health, who rounded up a group of Central Texas’ top technologists to discuss innovation models, how innovation drives business success, and how, as innovators,  they are able to draw new ideas through organizational culture that pushes people past their comfort zone and seek out answers to problems that need to be solved.

The evening’s panelists included Alan Knitowski–Chairman and CEO of Phunware, Liam Quinn–CTO, SVP and Sr. Fellow for Dell Technologies, Robert Reeves–Co-Founder & CTO of Datical, John Ruggles–SVP Global Sales for Frost & Sullivan and Marc Willebeek-LeMair–Chief Strategy Officer for Alert Logic.

Over the last year, we have had a variety of interesting dinner conversations and speakers, but this more than the rest drew attendees who came ready to take notes. Ray put together a panel of speakers that each had a unique background and approach to innovation that represented the stage and culture of each company.

Some interesting take-aways:
How do you source ideas for innovation from outside the company?

  • Marc – “take the executive team out of the office and into the streets to meet with people and pitch their concept”
  • Liam – “tech tours in Asia, and customer interviews”  also “develop people in a way that enables innovation”
  • Robert – “reward ideas from your employee’s immediately and publicly”–also, “sometimes too many readily available resources can lead to failure”
  • Alan – “global, real-time, focus groups”  also “all the really great businesses come from creating markets where none previously existed”
  • Ray – “connections to “hackathons” and published problem catalogs

Advice for Start-Ups:

  • John – “focus on collaboration and sourcing ideas for the next 10 – 15 years and be realistic”
  • Marc – “IGNORE reality – let’s assume, then innovate and come back to the challenges”
  • Alan – “find the True North and make sure it wont change 10, 15, or 50 years from now”

In upcoming events we will further explore the topic of innovation and how innovation modeling and executing can move your business forward.

Thank you to all of our speakers and attendee’s, as well as our sponsors for the evening Texas Engineering Executive Education and O’Reilly Media.