ELFA - Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equipping Business for Success


Takeaways from the Q1 2023 ELFA Innovation Roundtable

Posted 02/22/2023
ELFA’s Innovation Advisory Council continues to monitor technology and innovation trends to help equipment finance industry leaders understand the impacts and opportunities for the future of the industry. On Feb. 16, the group hosted the first Innovation Roundtable of 2023, hosted & facilitated by Deborah Reuben, CEO & Founder of TomorrowZone. Thanks to TomorrowZone for sharing the following recap.

Innovation is essential in today’s business environment. But most teams are struggling with change fatigue with the rapid pace of change, the never-ending demand, and so many changes planned on the horizon. Day-to-day business needs do not stop just because you need to crank out an innovation initiative. When we are trying to do more with less, how do you balance the demand of business as usual with the need for wide ranges of innovation activity?  

The 2023 ELFA Innovation Roundtable series launched with an insightful exploration of the human side of innovation. Facilitated peer to peer discussion centered on the following themes:  

  1. How might we lead innovation through disruption?
  2. What are leaders doing to encourage curiosity and innovative thinking within their teams?
  3. How are leaders balancing day-to-day business demands with the vital need to continue innovating?
  4. How might we attract new talent to our industry to catalyze future ready innovations?

Here are just a few of the takeaways from this dynamic and vibrant discussion.  

“If we’re not willing to question the status quo, we will never move past it.”  - Deborah Reuben, CEO & Founder, TomorrowZone® 

Moto Tohda, VP of Information Systems, Tokyo Century (USA) Inc., regularly asks his team members, “What else is on your mind?” during meetings to create space and spark innovative thinking. “Disruption isn’t always a bad thing,” notes Moto.

“Ask these questions when limitations are present: ‘How might we contribute to the success and strategy of the company and still pursue what we originally wanted to pursue?’” - Jen Martin, SVP, Strategy/Sales Enablement/Enterprise Technology Support, Key Equipment Finance 

“It’s important to surround your team members with others who want to grow, improve and innovate.”  - Jillian Munson, VP, Process & Automation, QuickFi 

“Many companies’ greatest products were employee-driven. We need to make room for that to happen.”  - Martin Klotzman, Sr. Manager, Marketing & Product Management, Ivory Consulting Corporation 

“Innovation lives in the balance, the sweet spot, between complete restraint and complete freedom.” - Jillian Munson

“We need to create a culture of resourcefulness and problem solvers vs. a culture of order takers.” - Martin Klotzman

“There is so much opportunity in limitations and constraints.” - Jen Martin

“The equipment finance field lacks exposure. We need to lean into the guest lecture program at the collegiate level so emerging talent is aware of our industry.” - Martin Klotzman

“What if we flip the script from being EF companies that use technology to being technology companies that do EF?” - Jen Martin

Technology skills are a big deal to emerging talent and they are looking for work opportunities to grow these skills. In order to attract emerging talent, we need to be digital first and innovative.  - Moto & Martin 

“It is important to be aware of what is important to different generations. Younger generations value work/life balance, relevance and creative problem-solving opportunities and if we want to attract emerging talent, our companies need to align with these values and priorities.” - Jillian Munson

“Innovation is not a luxury for when you have time and money. It is a necessity now.” - Moto Tohda

Join us for our next roundtable discussion on May 18, 2023. Sign up today at www.elfaonline.org/events.



Amy Vogt
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