On May 22nd, the largest Chief Innovation Officer’s roundtable was hosted at the Yahoo Headquarters in Silicon Valley. Over 20 C-Suite level executives from the surrounding area contributed to a lively discussion and participated in the most thought-provoking roundtable.

Dr. Brandon Barnett, Director of Corporate Strategy at Intel spoke about Transformational Innovation, and highlighted key concepts that have caused a shift across different markets. “Digitalization is happening all around us” he says, “70% of growth comes from transformational innovation, and yet we only invest 10%”. Today, transformation can be easily seen in the growing data, the internet, and in the realm of technology.

In this digital world everything is constantly changing, and as a result, there needs to be a shift in how we think about developing strategy. Markets emerge from a stable market to an ecosystem of constant change. Barnett explained that markets are relatively stable networks punctuated by moments of change, while ecosystems are relatively dynamic systems punctuated by moments of stability. The internet and its accessible data has become a platform for accelerated growth that has also facilitated a cultural shift.

How has this shift in technology and the overall structure of the business ecosystem changed? What can be done to prepare for transformation? And more importantly, how can the available data determine stability within our markets?

Barnett suggested action items to better understand the transformational shift. We-The-Data (WTD), an open source platform, and the world’s first crowd-sourced complex network helps identify the levers to catalyze an entire system. He also visualized the evolution of the computing ecosystem, as it allows us to look at start-ups to understand where new value exists. Transformations become apparent when we can utilize emerging tools like network visualizations of the computing ecosystem and complexity tools like WTD, which identifies key levers, such as: Platform Openness, Data Literacy, Digital Infrastructure, and Digital Trust. The value of personal data reveals emerging shifts and new trends become apparent. (see more here)

So how do you decide which method is sustainable for your company? Barnett suggests the MVE (minimum viable ecosystem), a low-cost and a rapid way to test the sustainability of a configuration (i.e. network) of resources and stakeholders, it is a shift from the current MVP (Minimum Viable Product) approach, which only tests a product. In his MVE example, investments were made in small companies to test if they could thrive with a non-advertising business model, where the provided technologies allows them to create value that people are willing to pay for.

Innovation is imperative in any transformation, but you have to know your competitor. “As drivers of Innovation, we don’t need to be focused on the highway ahead, but instead look to the right and to the left” (Philipp Skogstad, Senior Director, SAP). The next innovative idea is not in the future, but in the “Start-Ups of the Silicon Valley—we can’t predict who is coming towards us, but we can identify the competitor” says Vivek Wadhwa (Vice President of Innovation and Research Singularity University). However, with the ever-changing market, when do you kill an innovation project and when do you keep the product alive? Bob Swan, CFO at eBay suggests: Innovation to define an idea and determine its value. Overall, Open Innovation is needed to improve the business model, improve its capabilities, and to understand the transformation and innovation within the changing business landscape.