It’s been about a year since we launched Innoventures. The idea that we needed to transform an existing company into an innovation machine came from our CEO, Blanca Treviño - who realized the increased value of innovation in the quickly evolving IT services industry. The initiative falls under the jurisdiction of Softtek’s CMO and Chief Strategy Officer, Alex Camino. Together, Blanca and Alex form the backbone support structure for Innoventures, a platform established to create market-facing solutions.
With that as a backdrop, we engaged Softtekians, primarily in Mexico, to develop innovative solutions that either increase Softtek’s value proposition in key markets or solve current, defined challenges. Culture drives innovation, and in turn, innovation drives culture. A cultural transformation leading to a managed, innovative chaos seemed the natural goal. What we found was that more engineers were willing to partake in our activities than mid and upper-level managers, of course with exceptions. We also realized that top-level support for the program could not be assumed, but could only be derived by merit.
Six months into the program, purely in terms of active followers, participants, and supporters, active stakeholders for the Innoventures program seemed as follows:
Important details about this diagram include: The diagram here reflects the topographies of involvement as of 6 months of an active presence of Innoventures across Softtek. The grey area in the last circle represents Innoventures. It must be noted that there is a company wide support for Innoventures, which is the basis on how we expect to expand the program across geographic and functional boundaries within Softtek.
Within the company, certainly among the senior most members, the need for innovation across Softtek is apparent. In the long run, this is the graph of involvement we are aiming for company wide.
It’s important to note that Innoventures is still in the first segment of the graph above. The second segment is expected to span another 1 to 2 years. The quality of innovation, at this stage, is raw and tender, but is already displaying promise. As a result, greater involvement from mid and upper management as well as top-management is beginning to pick up as well.
Culture and innovation ultimately drives Softtek’s character. Abraham Lincoln had once said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.” That really is all we are aiming to do – empower.