Diane Christman’s three questions with Suzanne C. Foy.
What behaviors and mindsets do internal innovators share?
Successful innovation starts with having as many interactive, engaged discussions as possible, as soon as possible. We stress the importance of listening to understand where people are coming from, what commonalities exist, and who has passion around an idea. Internal innovators build coalitions by connecting people to an idea in a meaningful way, so they can contribute and amplify. They invite others to evolve and strengthen the pitch or signal when an idea might not be worth the investment. It’s critical to have these discussions early in the process to ensure it’s the right idea, at the right time, solving the right problem.
What role do agility and adaptability play in the innovation process?
Innovators may conceive of an idea or solution, or may only see a glimmer and not all its potential. Or, an idea may start in one place, then the problem changes. It’s common for innovators to discover that what they are trying to solve is not actually the problem. That’s when the process goes in another direction.
I’ve heard you talk about the “Doctrine of Doability.” How does that impact the innovation process?
During her career, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright often referred to the Doctrine of Doability. In diplomacy and in life, there’s what you can see—the big idea—and then there’s what you can do. It’s a succinct way of saying innovation can be bold, and achievable. When applied, the doctrine helps determine how to advance an idea, get buy-in, learn more, and help it grow. Now your idea is not just exciting, it’s one with substance and applicability.“
At Cox Communications, Suzanne Castano Foy drives Customer Experience Operations strategy, workforce management and analytics, process design, team engagement, and billing and payment experience.