Scheller College of Business Dean Maryam Alavi presented “Women & Leadership: An Era of Innovation & Opportunity” at a recent Georgia Tech Leading Women@Tech program.
Addressing the third cohort of the program, Alavi highlighted ways technology continues to change the world and how women can capitalize on its changing landscape by spurring innovation, maintaining humility, emphasizing a focus on continuous learning and resilience, and by remaining open and adaptable.
“Innovation is about taking action and creating value,” Alavi said. “It’s a process, not an event,” she continued, before highlighting characteristics such as creativity, flexibility, proactiveness, and talent as just a few traits of continuously innovative work environments. “It’s important to work to create an organization and personal MO (modus operandi) that is balanced between systems and processes and a spirit of risk-taking and experimentation.”
Alavi discussed changes in business, economy, and society driven by digital technologies and the need to demonstrate malleability. She also noted the growth and economic and social value created through innovation, defining innovation as new ideas, that when implemented, lead to something useful and of value to organizations and society as a whole.
Through the example of two-headed Janus, the Roman god of duality, she concluded: “We must be able to look forward and back at once. This is the kind of leadership the women of the future need to drive continuous innovation in an innovation economy. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room; just try to be in the room with the smartest people.”
Institute Diversity, with the support of the Office of the President, offers Leading Women@Tech, a 10-month program to engage women leaders in director-level positions, and above, at Georgia Tech.