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Commercial innovation: here is how to jump aboard

September 6, 2017

Wherever we look, the business world is obsessed by change, an urgent need for innovation. In many cases, commercial innovation leads the way, driven by new technology platforms, new charging models, new commitment capabilities, digitisation of business processes, even new regulation. This translates into endless ‘calls to action’ – leaving many who perform commercial roles bemused and confused, wondering ‘Does this really apply to me?”

The truth is, behind all the frantic activity, working life for many carries on much as before. To the extent change happens, it is incremental and, in many cases, inconvenient. Should you wait to see what happens or ought you to take action now?

I am strongly of the ‘take action now’ view. Why? Because real changes are happening. They are starting to affect your business and therefore your job. By being amongst those ‘in the know’, you have the chance to be among the leaders or influencers of change.

Why am I so confident that the pace of change is now so rapid? In large part, it is because of my role at IACCM where I work with and advise such a wide array of leading thinkers and organisations. We aren’t just talking – we are doing.

Take for example this comment from one of our Innovation Award judges: “Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to gain insight into the remarkable activities that are going on “out there” – it inspires me to strive for even higher ambition. I found it hard to judge the entries apart from one another – simply because of the extremely high standard of the initiatives contributed and amazing business impact made by the large number of brilliant “colleagues” around the globe.”

So what can you do to jump aboard and avoid being left behind? I could provide examples or anecdotes, but I truly believe it needs much more than that – you need to climb aboard the train, not just watch it going past. Here are some practical options:

1. For anyone who can make it, the IACCM Conference in Toronto on October 11-13 is surely a ‘must attend’ event, featuring numerous award-winning innovation case studies as well as dedicated ‘Ted talks’ by many of the technology providers and visionaries who are hard at work transforming commercial, legal and procurement process and practice. If it’s cost that’s inhibiting you, contact

2. If you can’t be there to listen, share and network, then a second option is to engage in IACCM’s on-line thought leadership communities. These expert groups are busy exploring and implementing key change programs – within industries or on key topics such as GDPR, contract automation, data analytics and skills of the future. There is no charge beyond membership – so no excuse to be left behind. Wendy Lawson ( can provide more details of the many initiatives underway.

3. At the very least, you can surely find time to invest in joining the occasional IACCM webinar, either live or recorded and available in our library. These are packed with ideas, insights and examples of the many changes affecting us – and again, they are free to members (even non-members can access a limited number with no charge).

Finally, if you have specific questions or needs, simply contact Our global team is passionate about commercial innovation and the opportunities it represents for a better future – for us, for our businesses and for society as a whole.

This isn’t just tinkering – it truly is practical and fundamental reengineering. Climb aboard!






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