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3 ways to jump-start IT innovation

CIO Executive Council | June 26, 2013
To spark valuable new business ideas, these three CIOs are trying out creative techniques.

3. Never Stop Questioning
Katherine Golden, Vice President of Engineering and Enterprise Architecture, Corbis: Our business is going through disruptive change, requiring IT to challenge the status quo. I worked for a CEO who would literally stand on his desk to look at a problem from a different angle. I still do that today. That new perspective makes the difference in identifying breakthrough innovation. As a midsize company with the challenges of a global company, the key is not that we have all the right answers but that we ask the right questions—whether we're in an IT discussion, a business meeting or a sales call.

We never let ourselves get too impressed by a single idea. With millions of archived images, search innovation is a big focus. But instead of patting ourselves on the back as we release a new feature, we get the development team and business stakeholders in a room to figure out how to make it better.

Corbis has formal programs to encourage innovation, like our annual hack day and incentive-based patent program. But one of the most important ways I've increased innovative thought is by increasing diversity.

I want that brand-new person who asks 20 questions working alongside the veteran with 20 years of experience. One of our interns created an iPhone app for suppliers. It wasn't on our road map, but it's a great new product that our suppliers love.


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