Not-for-Profit Virtual Seminar: Beware the Innovation Hype

calendar iconFebruary 25, 2021

Each year, our Not-for-Profit Seminar hosts a number of relevant topics, provides timely insights and poses questions and considerations to takeaway for your own organization. Below, we review the session Blinded By the Hype, and recap important themes covered in the meeting.

Innovation hype is pervasive across industries, and it’s easy to fall under its spell. However, many organizations jump into innovation efforts for the wrong reasons, which can end up creating more challenges than benefits. In the webinar, Blinded By the Hype, Cherry Bekaert Partner and Head of Innovation, Jonathan Kraftchick discussed how to effectively—and strategically—wade into the innovation waters.

Innovation is Everywhere

In today’s climate, promises around innovation and new technology are top priorities for executives. In fact, 60 percent of public companies have some variation of the word “innovation” in their mission statement. Session attendees shared that enthusiasm, with 47 percent saying they are excited about data analytics, and 27 percent saying the same about artificial intelligence (AI), during the session’s live polling.

“Innovation is becoming one of the least innovative words to describe innovation.”
Jonathan Kraftchick, Partner | Cherry Bekaert LLP


Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology is all the rage right now, and the global COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the demand. However, it’s critical to plan ahead for RPA to add value to the organization.

  • First, it’s important to keep in mind that automating a bad process is still a bad process. You just make a bigger mess a lot quicker. And many organizations are not great at documenting their processes to begin with. It’s best to get these things right before layering on automation. Preparation by rooting out the inefficiencies in your process is key.
  • Second, consider where human judgment is needed within your processes. Human judgment is much more common — and valuable — than you might think and is difficult to automate.

Where to Start with Innovation?

Two-thirds of session participants indicated that their organization doesn’t have an innovation or business transformation initiative. In the case where you’re at the beginning of your innovation journey, identifying a specific business problem to solve is the recommended approach.

This path can create tangible change that can help build adoption. The key to success — and where the bulk of your time should be spent — is on identifying the problem you need to solve. After that, the right technology needed to tackle it can be selected.

View the full session.

Contact Jonathan Kraftchick for further guidance about your business innovation strategy.