Innovation is in the "DNA of manufacturers," Mike Walton told attendees in his keynote address at the IndustryWeek Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo, and it is vital that they establish a "culture of innovation" in order to sustain it over time.
“If there is any industry where innovation is the mother of necessity, it is this industry,” said Walton, the global head of Manufacturing Industry for Google at Work and a veteran manufacturing and IT consultant.
Walton contrasted companies with innovation cultures with those that believe they are innovative but really have just “cycles of innovation that are one-offs” or have top-down innovation rather than encouraging innovation throughout the organization.
Walton also identified the likeliest roadblock to innovation: the chief information officer.
"The very person that we have sent off to a college education, invested years in transformation and change management – they are the people that want to change the least because they have technology they think is working on behalf of their companies and doing a great job. If they disrupt that, they are disrupting themselves. If they disrupt themselves, there is high risk.”