Any idea can make a large impact! This is what I’ve seen during my career in Cisco and it’s never been more apparent than within my current team, the Customer Experience Chief Technology Organization (CX CTO). I joined this group this past February and the goal of this team is quite simply to innovate and drive digital transformation for our teams, customers, and the overall industry. However, to truly drive innovation and digital transformation we have to build a culture of innovation, and building this culture includes connecting with many people outside of our own team.

In CX CTO ideas can come from a number of different areas including our team meetings, ideation or brainstorming sessions, Hackathons, Patentathons, and most importantly, natural team interactions. With that said, what this team does really well is to help guide others who have their own innovative ideas to turn them into reality and follow an innovation process for success. It’s not a single team or organization that is responsible for innovating in Cisco, every single person here can and should innovate and the CX CTO team provides innovation leadership to support our global teams.

David Stanford leads a monthly interactive innovation brainstorm session.

The specific team I lead in the CX CTO is called Breakthrough Innovation and FY22 is going to be an exciting year for this team. We want to guide all innovations that are developed so that our customers and partners can have direct access and can use these innovations to change their business. The Cisco CX Cloud is the one-stop destination for access to these innovations as well as best practices, expertise, and insights.

We’re also very focused on Cisco’s key strategies for Future of Work. The technologies in these areas are game changing and the Breakthrough Innovation team is working with our partners inside and outside of Cisco to bring each of these strategies to the next level. We’re always looking to see how we can do things better and one of the most important things we do while developing our innovations is to work side by side with our customers. Everything we do when we innovate is for our customers, and who better to work with while we develop and test than our customers who are also interested in innovating in new areas.

Small ideas can really make an impact, sometimes you just need support from your network to bring these to reality. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your peers, your leaders, or reach out to people in other groups that may be able to support you. The connections I have made over my time at Cisco have been the most important component I’ve used for innovation. You can learn from every person you work with and diverse perspectives on innovation can change the future for all of us.

What are you doing to build a culture of innovation?













David Stanford

Senior Director

Cisco Customer Experience (CX)