Equinix: After hearing a speaker discuss gamification at the Innovative CIO program at Stanford University (which Lillie helped develop), Lillie worked with Deloitte to revamp the company's sales processes using gaming principles and ideas. "We brought these ideas back from Stanford and drove them into the organization," he says. The sales system incorporates game elements such as leader boards, rewards and avatars and is being deployed across the globe, Lillie says.
American Cancer Society: Ferro agrees that innovation is spurred by communicating with outsiders, which in his case include businesses like IBM and Johnson & Johnson. "We look at how we can learn from the industry standards and best practices in the private sector and apply that to our organization," he says. An example is a recent conversation he had with Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity, who emphasized the importance of being open to everyone and everything. "The trick is not getting overwhelmed by all the input, and that's where having established innovation processes comes in," Ferro says.
MasterCard: According to Lyons, MasterCard Labs taps into a number of external sources to spark innovation and is currently opening up its services to others through open APIs.
Grange: The innovation group occasionally shares prototypes with customers to get their input on the idea's value. Additionally, Fergang is involved with TechColumbus, a public/private partnership focused on central Ohio's innovation economy. The ideas shared by entrepreneurs and startups help him keep up with what people outside the insurance industry are thinking about.