Driving Innovation with SEI

Image result for sei investments logoAs part of the Ideas Accelerated program, representatives from SEI presented on why some companies succeed with innovation, while others fail. To provide a foundation for the subject, they defined innovation as creating new value by doing something in a different way. They then delved into the different domains of innovation. For instance, innovation can optimize a process through making incremental changes or it can revolutionize a business by entirely altering its operations. For example, the first iPhone was revolutionary when it was completely new to the market, but subsequent changes have been incremental. Moreover, innovation can be viewed as a continuum, as you do not have reinvent the goods or services themselves, but can alter the processes around them.


Of course, bringing innovation into action can be a struggle. There are impediments for anyone to innovate, such as the demand for perfection, fear of evolution, and criticism of others. In particular, innovation can be challenging for mature corporations that have been designed to execute the science of delivery rather than the art of discovery. Specifically, the pressures that urge these companies to be profitable and efficient can inhibit potentially transformative innovations. To create an innovative workplace, the SEI representatives encouraged companies to challenge mental models, empower employees with trust, provide safe environments, allow unsuccessful ideas to fail, and create an environment that inspires. They provided some programs that SEI hosts to encourage innovation, which include IdeaFest, Appathon, and Associates Pitch Day. By powering through the obstacles that may arise, people can innovate to continue to change products, businesses, and entire industries with new ideas.