How to become an IT Innovator

Seven steps to taking on a leadership role in your company's innovation efforts

Innovation has become a top concern for companies seeking a competitive edge in today's business world, especially as more organizations face new competitors that are using technology as a business disruptor.

In The Conference Board's "CEO Challenge 2013" report, innovation was third on the list of top CEO challenges, after "human capital" and "operational excellence."

Ideally, companies would formalize their innovation processes, governance and incentives to support a continuous program, says Chip Gliedman, an analyst at Forrester. But of course, not everyone is at that stage. In some cases, IT professionals themselves need to take a page from Ghandi and "be the innovation they want to see in the world."

This is the position that Niel Nickolaisen, CIO at Western Governors University, found himself in when the university wanted to improve graduation rates by helping students who were at risk of failing their coursework.

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