Jim Russell shares his definition of innovation with Duke - McKinney

Jim Russell shares his definition of innovation with Duke

April 18, 2012

Innovation is all about more leading ideas, faster.

That’s Jim Russell’s definition of the word that takes up the lion’s share of his title and his life at McKinney. As chief innovation officer, Jim told Duke’s MBA Marketing Club at the Fuqua School of Business, “If McKinney can do this for our clients and our agency, I am succeeding at my role.”

His presentation, “What’s Next?” addressed the ever-changing marketing landscape and how marketers and agencies must adapt. “The entire marketing industry will change more in the next seven years than it has in the last 30,” Jim said. “Bludgeoning marketers with statistics does not help them. Better we partner with our clients and work together to innovate and experiment in new, exciting ways.”

Jim added that getting to great ideas faster requires changes in three key areas: culture, compensation and structure.

“A cultural shift that financially rewards individuals for creating new structures and processes to be nimble will lead to big ideas and a lot of them,” he said. He discussed the McKinney Ten Percent as the agency’s’ innovation sandbox where employees can dedicate 10% of their time on creating ideas and solving problems outside of their daily work flow. “It’s a way for us all to be entrepreneurs, to jump on other people’s ideas. It’s in our DNA.”