Five participants at the CIE Innovation Summit study information on a computer screen

Attendees at The Ohio State University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s (CIE) Innovation Summit 2018 received a series of first-hand insights into how companies have successfully built entrepreneurial cultures.

The summit, sponsored by the family of the late Dr. W. Arthur Cullman, a renowned marketing scholar and professor at Ohio State, brought together academics and professionals to discuss best practices in fostering entrepreneurship at any organization, no matter the size.

A welcome by Gail Marsh, chief strategy officer at The Ohio State University, was followed by a keynote from Bob Welsh, vice president of Breakthrough Innovation at Stanley Black & Decker. Welsh shared examples of how support and collaboration from the company’s senior leadership has led to successful product innovation.

“Individuals like Bob, Gail and our panelists were incredible sources of knowledge and first-hand experiences for any organization interested in fostering innovative curiosity,” said Paul Reeder, executive director of the CIE. “Their candor showed the benefits, pitfalls and considerations that companies should take into account as they fully embrace an entrepreneurial mindset and action.”

Tanya Menon, associate professor of management and human resources at Fisher, moderated a panel discussion featuring innovation leaders at three local companies:

  • Kathy Domer, senior manager, Customer Innovation, Safelite
  • Chris Johnson, director of Enterprise Innovation and Technology, AEP
  • Todd Fitz, principal engineer, Advanced Materials Research, Honda R&D Americas, Inc.

2018 Innovation Summit

An overarching message among the panelists was that innovation — and teaching employees to think innovatively — is not the responsibility of one team. Entrepreneurial cultures are built by advocates working throughout an organization, many of whom are adept at identifying pain points as opportunities to improve.

Part of the innovation process of each company, the panelists said, was the ability to have a dedicated space to not only think outside of the box of a normal working environment, but a space to operate outside of that box.

Aravind Chandrasekaran, associate professor of management sciences at Fisher, closed the day-long session with a hands-on simulation that explored tradeoffs around innovation investment, addressed timing and investment in mature and new businesses, and forced participants to consider market, financial and product constraints.

Launched in 2015, the CIE promotes economic growth and workforce development throughout Ohio in a number of key areas, including entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, corporate innovation and social enterprise. The CIE, and its founding members — Fuse by Cardinal Health, JPMorgan Chase, Safelite, the J.M. Smucker Company, Wendy’s and Fisher College of Business — provides experiences skills and resources to help students, professionals and community partners develop and apply an entrepreneurial mindset in the pursuit of their aspirations.

Tanya Menon Professor
Faculty Profile for Tanya Menon
Aravind Chandrasekaran Fisher Distinguished Professor of Operations, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Executive Education
Faculty Profile for Aravind Chandrasekaran