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DFW Executives Dish on How They Define Innovation in Their Industries

Craig Torrence of MCS, Katy Slade of Mintwood Real Estate, and Deven Panchal of AT&T Labs talk about innovation as a form of business survival, mitigating risk in the innovation journey, and challenging the status quo.
| |Illustrations by Jake Meyers

Innovation, and the idea of it, can come in many different forms, taking whatever shape and size necessary to fit into the box that we might need it to at any given point in time. Some might define innovation as being willing to push the boundaries and create the next great thing in their respective areas of work. Others might view it in terms as simply changing the status quo from the way things have always been done.

So for D CEO’s March issue, we asked executives to define innovation and how innovation fuels business growth. Here’s what they had to say:


Craig Torrance


“At its core, innovation is stepping back from the way things have always been done, identifying strategic improvements, and developing realistic solutions. Having the courage to change and experiment with new concepts is paramount as we strive to envision new paths forward and create efficiencies. But although we strive to be creative, we also understand that forward-thinking solutions must be able to be implemented efficiently, in terms of time and monetary resources.”


Katy Slade

Principal and Founder, Mintwood Real Estate

“Innovation is working in uncharted territory to deliver outsized returns to investors, while still mitigating risk. We do this by first understanding the rules of the game and knowing what the conventional path for a project would be, then determining how we can stretch beyond the conventional path to do something that further improves the community and investment returns. It’s also about deploying scientific methods to solve problems and never, ever giving up.” 


Deven Panchal

Chief Innovation and IP and Patents Officer, AT&T Labs

“Innovation is the synonym of survival. Those who have neglected innovation or innovative ideas have not survived. There are many examples in history. This is even more true in the competitive landscape in which we and our companies operate today. Innovation for me is also an inclusive term in the sense that innovation is not something that only some people in some fields can do. Anyone, anywhere, engaged in any field can innovate and must be encouraged to do so.”


Layten Praytor

Layten Praytor

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