OMX (Offset Market Exchange) founder and CEO Nicole Verkindt, who won the Peter Brojde Award for Canada’s Next Generation Executive Leadership, said that she thinks many people have confused innovation with invention, and that some component of science, technology, engineering, or math must be involved.
“Innovation, to me, has been about applying best principles that you’re seeing in other sectors to a sector that you have deep domain expertise in,” she said. “For me, that was expertise in manufacturing and government procurement, which in specific situations were always conducted manually, and I applied best practices from other, mostly consumer-facing applications, to that sector. Innovation!”
“I don’t have a technical background,” she continued. “I don’t have a STEM degree. Innovation for me was about understanding user pain and how you could apply something that was working in another sector to alleviate it.”