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5 big questions on innovation

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Thomas White, Co-Founder & CEO, C-Suite Network

Thomas White, Co-Founder & CEO

Thomas White is the co-founder and CEO of the C-Suite Network, which offers services and programs to connect business leaders. From invitation-only conferences, custom-tailored content, C-Suite Radio and C-Suite Television, to the educational programs from C-Suite Academy, the network aims to cover the diverse needs of high-performing professionals. Prior to C-Suite, Thomas started 10 companies in the fields of technology,…
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How is your team changing the game within your industry sector?

Leadership must allow people to take risks without fear of being fired. Companies only innovate when they are willing to go outside the box. Out-of-the-box thinking allows organizations to see new opportunities and execute against those opportunities. Change happens when leaders realize they can no longer maintain their vision through status quo.


What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in your organization or industry sector?

Status quo. People hate getting out of their comfort zones unless their organizational culture challenges them to make improvements and strive for excellence. Status quo will kill innovation. 


How has innovation become engrained in your organization’s culture, and how is it being optimized?

We’re never satisfied with the way things are. That doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate our successes, but we recognize that each success is a milestone – not the destination. The day after the celebration, we get back to new challenges that bring us to the next level of innovation and change.    


What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?

First, changes in digital media allow everyone to tell their story through video and online storytelling. This flattens the playing field so large companies and small companies have the same opportunities. Second is the use of digital technology used to create more authentic relationships with customers. We now know so much about them and are able to connect with our customers without pigeonholing them into these big buckets of stereotypes. Big data allows companies to reverse the trend of depersonalization, which sends customer loyalty through the roof.


Can you share a specific innovation strategy you’ve recently encountered which you find compelling?

The obvious examples are Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, but innovation doesn’t just happen in the venue of big companies. We’re seeing businesses like Dropbox and DocuSign really take off and provide essential services to organizations around the globe. There are also startups like Uber and Fitbit that are changing our society and inspiring both entrepreneurs and larger organizations with their innovative technologies and solutions.

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