Gifted with a vision and passion for future possibilities, William Chapman, vice president and CIO for Global Services Businesses at Arrow Electronics, built a pipeline to stream innovations into the company.

The innovation and patent brainstorming session, which Chapman created and facilitates, teaches IT and business leaders how to identify and implement new ideas. "We train [staffers] on how to innovate, what to capture in innovation, what's patentable and what's not patentable," he says. "Sometimes the innovation is on the leading edge of where the process takes place."

Dave Blasi, director of business solutions at Arrow, says the session's aim is to "keep our eye on things that are so unique that we can actually patent the intellectual property around it."

Chapman, 57, joined Arrow a little over a year ago. Although taking charge of the newly formed global services business was risky, it's the kind of opportunity Chapman says he seeks out. "It was a job that said, 'Here's a whole new set of industries that are disjointed at this point, and here's a company that really has a vision of pulling it together, and that's going to be a great opportunity for innovation.' "

"Bill's leadership style is remarkable," says Blasi. "He deliberately builds high-performance teams, interacting individually and managing peoples' personal development needs as well as team and department development -- all with high impact in mind."

Rari Hilditch, Pathways Communication manager, leadership development, CIO Executive Council