On Tuesday, 23 October 2012, CIONET Belgium hosted in Brussels the IT-driven Business Innovation Event. Sabine Everaet, Europe Group CIO for The Coca Cola Company, and Jef Staes, author and expert on corporate learning and innovation, stirred many constructive reactions during their dynamic and high-level presentations. Much food for thought to be had at the round-table discussions that were held thereafter!
Jef Staes elaborated on the top issues of Learning, Change and Innovation in regards to the role of the CIO in IT-driven business innovation. His central question was “Why do we need more power to learn and innovate?”
“Innovation starts with information, underlined Staes, without information, there is neither creativity nor entrepreneurship necessary for innovation”. The biggest challenge for organisations in search of a new balance is to increase their learning power, as it is still too low. “You need CIOs to understand the value of information necessary to people with talent and information. CIOs have the authority but do they have the skills and knowledge to understand what is the added value of information flow and social media? And if so, do they have the authority within their organisation to say: I know it and I’m going to implement it”?
“Since Coca-Cola is not an IT company, outlined Mrs Everaet when presenting her case, innovation is not perceived as inventing new technologies, but about working very closely with your business and applying the right new technology at the right time, for the right opportunity to drive your business forward”. Her Anderlecht head office is home to the second largest innovation center of Coca-Cola in the world.
CIONET members can view the full event report here