NAAAP Boston Holds Career Success Conference Focusing on Innovation

Boston, June 20, 2014, –-National Association of Asian American Professionals-Boston Chapter (NAAAP Boston) believes in innovation and the importance of making innovative leaders. At this year’s career success conference on June 14 at P& G, over 100 participants were shared with key skills, tools, and methodologies on business innovation and encouraged to take action to jump start innovation inside their organizations.
Keynote speaker Hitendra Patel, founder and managing director of IXL Center, spoke on “What is business innovation? How does business innovation happen inside organizations?” (Image courtesy of Mi Zhao.)

Hitendra Patel, the Managing Director of IXL Center, a global innovation consulting and training company, gave a keynote speech about the definition of Business Innovation and how it happens inside organizations. Patel shared four key elements in creating innovation breakthroughs – leverage global megatrends, must meet basic human needs, use simple business models, and create barriers to entry by combining capabilities in unique ways. Real-life examples and case studies were incorporated in the speech to illustrate the presented innovation concepts. The speech was an inspiring, entertaining and easy-to-understand presentation with key takeaways that lays the foundation for the three concurrent workshops for the day.

Photo captions(L to R): Pavan Tapadia, a NAAAP Boston leader, and other attendees learn about making innovation real; Conference attendants; Participates brainstorm ideas for Sony’s innovation strategy at Workshop Track 1: “Sparking My Innovation” led by Bert Fickel of IXL Center (photos courtesy of Rebecca Ying Li).

The Innovation conference also featured three concurrent workshops in gradually difficult levels: Sparking My Innovation, Teaming for Breakthroughs and Accelerating Organizational Innovation. In the workshops, attendees were involved in specific case practice to learn how to make innovation real after instructed the methodologies on the skills of innovation.

Following the workshops is a Panel Presentation on “Embracing Innovation.” Tina Wong-Russell, an Executive Consultant and Coach, engaged three panelists in sharing their perspectives on how to fulfill innovation and how they regarded a new hire as creative.

William Kiczuk, the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Raytheon Company, encouraged the audience to not only raise an original idea but also try to fulfill it. “Don’t be afraid to bring the ideas forward. You have to figure out a way to present your ideas and to sell them,” Kiczuk said.

Andy Porter, who works for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals’ Human Resources and Organizational Development, also made the point that the feasibility of an innovative proposal need to be considered at the very beginning. Having an idea isn’t just enough in business sense,” Porter said.

“Build your network so you have people around to help you implement the ideas.”

Eric Liu, the Head of the R & D Global Shave Care at the Procter & Gamble Company, stressed that curiosity and courage were two essential traits of people who are regarded as creative. “Ask questions,” Liu said. “Don’t’ assume there is always a reason why the company is doing in this way.” Liu also suggested the new hires should take advantage of their freshness to question flaws that experienced employees don’t realize.

NAAAP Boston is the largest Asian professional organization in Greater Boston with over 400 members and 29 sponsors and partners and continues to grow. The Career Success Conference Series is uniquely designed to help professionals develop critical strategies for career advancement and leadership. For more information, please visit