Going Against the Ingrained
Innovate Columbus conference

Innovation Initiative Encourages Variability, Experimentation

During his 20 years as a practitioner, Fisher executive in residence and senior lecturer Michael Bills saw firsthand the momentous changes in consumer behavior and how those changes affected the way leading edge companies did business.

Now, Bills is helping industry leaders and emerging professionals embrace those shifts by leading Fisher’s Innovation Initiative — a multifaceted program that emphasizes top line (revenue) growth and new product and service creation through focus on the customer.

Last year, the outside-the-box approach appealed to MBA students who participated in Innovation Initiative programs ranging from the student organization Innovation Fisher to summer internships. Academic courses, meanwhile, culminate with a field study in which students apply what they’ve learned to the actual day-to-day operations of a company.

Students also participated in Innovate Columbus, an annual event organized by Innovation Fisher and business incubator TechColumbus. The 2011 event at the Ohio Union attracted 400 attendees.

The initiative also offers courses, such as Innovation Practice, through Fisher’s Executive Education program. Professionals work in teams to create a new product, service, or internal innovation process relevant to their businesses.

The Innovation Initiative is made up of five key program elements:

  1. Outreach
    The Corporate Innovation Forum promotes the exchange of ideas and consists of more than 20 companies, including Alliance Data, Exel, IBM Sterling, and Resource Interactive. The InnOSU Forum, comprised of deans, associate deans, and department chairs, focuses on incorporating innovation practices across the university.
  2. Student organization
    Innovation Fisher organizes events and helps secure student internships with companies such as McDonald’s, inVentiv Health, and OhioHealth.
  3. Curriculum
    Course work teaches the theory and practice of innovation.
  4. Research
    Fisher faculty provide academic and clinical research to forum members.
  5. Pilot projects
    Recent projects include partnering with Ohio State’s Center for Clinical & Translational Science and the College of Medicine for a workshop on innovation and commercialization.

Innovation Practice Course

Innovation Practice Course video preview - click image to watch video

The Innovation Practice – Creating New Products and Services for Top-line Growth course helps people think differently about their businesses and position their companies for a positive future. It is offered as an open enrollment course through Fisher’s Office of Executive Education.

Student Perspective

“You never stop innovating. It’s really a lifestyle.”

Shay Merritté, MBA (’11), president of Innovation Fisher

Corporate Perspective

“We have found the Innovation Initiative at Fisher to be enormously helpful in preparing and equipping our emerging leaders to meet the innovation challenge head-on.”

Dan Finkelman, chief marketing officer at Alliance Data

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