Craig Wirkus

Craig Wirkus is a Program Manager for the Services Innovation Excellence Center (SIEC) at Cisco and has more than ten years of experience in innovation. He began his tenure with Cisco with the creation of the Innovation Maturity Model, Innovation Capability Foundation training course, and many of SIEC’s playbooks.

He currently leads the backend of innovation support for incubation teams, innovation teams, and Innovation Funding Boards. His Innovation Funding Board framework, Innovation Project Management training and Startup//Cisco intrapreneurship workshops provide a whole systems approach for managing the backend. He has successfully helped entire Cisco business lines to transition to these new approaches, resulting in significant programmatic improvements.

Prior to joining Cisco, Craig worked at Allstate Co. as a Strategy and Innovation Consultant, where he founded their Innovation lab and was responsible for creating a culture of sustainable innovation through strategy, tools, processes, leadership, and consulting.

Craig frequently speaks at innovation conferences such as the Intrapreneurship Conference, Back End of Innovation Conference (BEI), and International Society of Service Innovation Professionals Conference (ISSIP). Universities often ask for his help with their entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

He lives in the Greater Chicago Area with his wife and three sons. When he’s not working, he enjoys meditating, landscaping, and watching humming birds flit about his wildlife-friendly yard.


October 31, 2017


The Role of Assessment in an Effective Innovation Maturity Model

3 min read

How to keep your innovation program on track? Craig Wirkus discusses the importance of innovation maturity assessments in the third part of his series on effective innovation maturity models.

October 5, 2017


Building the Right Innovation Maturity Model for your Business

3 min read

How innovative is your organization? Craig Wirkus looks at the key elements of innovation excellence in the second part of his series on Innovation Maturity Models.

September 18, 2017


The Time is Now for a More Strategic Approach to Innovation

3 min read

Learn about the four guiding principles of a successful Innovation Maturity Model (IMM).