The CIO of one of America’s largest mutual funds has come up with a novel strategy for fostering innovation in his organisation.
Dean Del Vecchio is Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, and Chief of Operations at Guardian Life, a 160-year-old company with annual revenues of around $10.5 billion.
In order to drive innovation across the company he has reached out to the majority of the organisation’s 4,500 employees rather than just a selected few, engaging also with outside partners and vendors as he looks for new ways to promote efficiency.
Del Vecchio has divided innovation into three types: core innovation which seeks better or simpler ways to perform everyday tasks; adjacent innovation which is about monitoring other companies, looking at what is driving other industries and porting those ideas back to Guardian Life; and transformational innovation which centres on development of big new ideas for the company to follow up.
The company’s long track record in technology innovation saw it shut down all internal data center investments as long ago as 2018 and move all functions to the cloud. Now by deploying what he calls ‘the wisdom of the crowd’ he is looking for the next big step to help move the organisation further from a legacy past.