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Innovation Workshop

Strategic innovation is a hot topic across UC on a systemwide level. However, what is UC IT staff doing to encourage innovation locally?

Tom Andriola, UC CIO asked this very question during a managers’ meeting at OP. Discussion was enthusiastic, and thus the UCOP Innovation Committee was born, with Patrick Rogers, Candace Jones, Bhanu Polakam, and Jeffery Wong stepping up to the plate to lead it.

 Jones participated in the UC IT Leadership, Collaboration and Innovation program at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, while Rogers has experience participating in startup weekends, events in which teams of entrepreneurs work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation in 54 hours.

Combining ideas from both, the Innovation Committee invited Haas professor, Dr. Peter Wilton, to lead a workshop for UCOP ITS staff members interested in innovation, and are in the process of planning a weeklong IT innovation week (Jan23 – Jan 27) for employees as well.

The workshop, which took place on September 1, drew over 80 employees who together learned that transformation, especially within big organizations such as UC, requires two types of innovation happening in parallel in order to be resilient: continuing innovation – one that repositions the core business, and reframing innovation, the type that is disruptive, and leads to future growth.

After the lecture, staff members separated into groups to discuss how they can solve problems together by thinking innovatively. “I was really pleased to see how engaged everyone was during his talk. This workshop really gave us the opportunity to step back and see the forest and get excited about the potential work and ideas that could blossom in such a positive environment,” said Jones, “We’ve received such great feedback from attendees so far.”

There will be many events in the future to keep up the momentum, leading up to the event of the year, IT Innovation Week. The deadline to submit an idea for an Innovation Week project is November 17th. Learn more about requirements and upcoming events at (new innovations site).

Interested in learning more about the content of Dr. Wilton’s workshop? Read: The Two Routes to Resilience.