Submitted by: Laurie Riedman, Xerox public relations consultantUrsula_Burns_World_Innovation_Forum_2010

I wanted to highlight what Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns said about innovation when she spoke earlier this month at the World Innovation Forum in New York.  While many other bloggers have posted comments about her keynote,  I thought it would be remiss if we didn’t do the same here on this blog.

Speaking to top innovators, Ursula talked about the ‘roller coaster ride” we’ve been on for the past 10 years including shifting our business into document management and business process while bringing to market over 80 new products in the past 3 years alone.   Now that’s a lot of innovative thinking.  How does Xerox do it?

Well much of it comes from the  Xerox Innovation Group and its four R&D centers located across the globe, including the wholly-owned, but independent  Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) which not only conducts Xerox research but also partners with other companies to do independent research projects.  Ursula mentioned some great work PARC is doing on solar energy – which incidentally has come from Xerox core competencies in printing!    By the way, besides the four research centers, the company recently opened an innovation hub in India to focus on projects specific to developing markets.

Ursula talked about our  collaborative innovation approach including  how we  ‘dream with our customers,’  in other words,  getting closer to our customers so we can truly invent products and services that meet their specific needs.   She also addressed how important it is to ‘roll with the punches’ and embrace change.  For example, Ursula sees crisis and the need for change as a great motivator because when everything is uncertain – it gives you permission to do something differently.   Palo Alto Research Center, a wholly-owned Xerox subsidiaryPersonally, I like that kind of thinking because if you don’t embrace and welcome change – you can’t have innovation.  How do you innovate?  I’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime — check out what the Innovation Playground had to say about Ursula’s talk or some great pearls of innovation wisdom from all 13 presentations from Blogging Innovation.

— Laurie Riedman, Xerox public relations consultant