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Lem Lasher  

Chief Innovation Officer at CSC

Have you ever had a great idea but got stuck in the process of turning it into a great solution? Lem Lasher, an internationally recognized thought leader on digital strategy and innovation, discusses this process and delivers the practical innovation strategies that can make a difference. He is the president of global solutions and services and the chief innovation officer of the Office of Innovation at Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). During his eight-year tenure, CSC has become recognized as a thought leader in innovation and has received widespread acknowledgement and numerous awards for the accomplishments of Lasher’s Office of Innovation.

With a dynamic and engaging style combined with an extensive reservoir of knowledge, he is a sought-after expert. With more than 25 years of global management and innovation experience, he speaks with unique authority about the challenges and issues companies face, and he has the real-world experience to back up his field-tested theory. In presentations, Lasher discusses the importance of innovation and how the challenge is not in coming up with great ideas but turning those ideas into great solutions. He shares insights on the four types of innovation – business model, product/service, management, and operating model; how to measure success; and how value will be co-created with customers and users. He also looks at how good management can kill innovation, suffocating creativity with a focus on strict objectives. To Lasher, innovation is photosynthesis – it needs light and air and water to thrive, and it must have room to fail. A systems problem at the core, innovation is about the culture of an organization. He has also worked extensively on implementing innovation, and he incorporates leading change into his methodology. Smart and lively, Lasher’s genuine excitement about good innovation shines through each presentation.

Office of Innovation. CSC formed its Office of Innovation based on the belief that consulting firms need to bring clients new thinking and ideas and use innovation as a way to reinvent themselves. Since 2004, Lasher has headed CSC’s many innovation accomplishments, which include becoming an industry thought leader in the strategic use of IT; industry awards for work in competitive intelligence; the introduction of social media as a way to collaborate with clients and colleagues; the establishment of an “ideation” practice for crowd-sourcing creative problem solving; and the management of CSC’s global solutions portfolio, which introduced solutions that generated more than $500 million in revenue. Lasher also accomplished the difficult feat of measuring how innovation affects an organization’s bottom line by looking at how the initiatives improved customer relationships, won new business, developed new solutions, shortened project delivery, and increased financial and operational contributions.

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What is Innovation?

Innovation is probably the most frequently heard word we hear in business today, and while there is a consensus on its importance, there is often a great deal of confusion on what it means and how companies can engage effectively on this agenda. In presentations, Lem Lasher answers audiences’ most pertinent questions about innovation, including:

  • What is innovation, and why is it so difficult to do?

  • What types of innovation are appropriate for the audience’s organization?

  • What are the cultural imperatives for innovation to succeed and what is the role of incentives?

  • What are the operating model implications of a robust innovation agenda?

  • What is the role of the customer, employees, executives, and external parties? How effective are ideation campaigns for innovation?

  • What are deliberate and emergent strategies for innovation, and how can a company turn ideas into products or business solutions?

  • What is the role of intellectual capital management in an innovation strategy?

  • What are next practices, and how are they discovered?

Clarity on these questions is an essential foundation to a successful innovation strategy. With a passionate, dynamic and engaging style combined with an extensive reservoir of knowledge, Lasher gives audience practical takeaways for innovating at their own organizations.

The Consumerization of Technology

Historically, businesses—particularly large enterprises—have believed that information technologies were private infrastructure, to be owned and used by the business, not the employees. Over the past 10 years, we have seen innovation in IT shift from the organization to the consumer. The evolution of consumer technologies utilizing public infrastructure has resulted in significant economic benefits being achieved by organizations. Lasher discusses the three ways this trend affects companies—adoption, transformation, and disruption—and outlines different strategies for each. It is essential that executives are clear about this trend and what it means to their organizations so they can effectively formulate a strategy and manage through these changes.

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