Profiles of Innovators

Insight #2: BIF Summit 2016

Insight #2: BIF Summit 2016 - Innovation Excellence

The Business Innovation Factory (BIF) Summit has no theme beyond presenting remarkable stories about transformation. Participants themselves discover patterns, aha’s, and insights that make sense for them. That’s what happens when you put stories of transformation together with curious people from all walks of life and many different fields. I’m sharing my top 10 insights from BIF2016 in a series ...

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It Takes More than a Big Idea to Change the World

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In 1882, just three years after he had almost literally shocked the world with his revolutionary lighting system, Thomas Edison opened his Pearl Street Station, the first commercial electrical distribution plant in the United States. By 1884 it was already servicing over 500 homes. Up till that point, electric light was mostly a curiosity. While a few of the mighty elite could ...

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Innovation Doubts

Innovation Doubts

One of the first concepts I learned in a university course on statistics was not about regression analysis or significance of results but, rather, on the importance of doubt. Our professor drilled home the point that no matter how large our dataset and how clever our hypothesis, our results should always be presented using language such as “suggests” or “points ...

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Lessons from Four Great American Innovators

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In 1912 a young scientist from New York, Clarence Birdseye departed on a fur-trading expedition to Labrador in Canada. While he was there he noticed that the local Eskimos kept their fish fresh in winter by freezing it in the ice.  He was intrigued to find that the fish retained its flavour and did not deteriorate. He wondered whether the same ...

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Learning Innovation from Leonardo Da Vinci

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This article focuses on a series of observations about Leonardo’s work and applies those to the challenges of the present-day innovator. When one thinks of Leonardo da Vinci and innovation, the typical picture that emerges would be some of Leonardo’s amazing designs for flying machines, military equipment, or even the Vitruvian Man, perhaps the most famous drawing in history.  I ...

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Books as Tools: A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing

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A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing is a compendium of best practices, advice and case studies from leading thinkers, commentators and practitioners edited by Paul Sloane. Chapters are written by an international team of eminent thinkers, writers and practitioners in the field, and covers the definition of open innovation, how to manage virtual teams and co-create with customers, how to overcome legal and IP issues and common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.

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Innovate by Adopting a Role Model Organization

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Can you innovate and improve business performance by copying another company from an entirely different industry?  This is what the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in Michigan did when it wanted to transform its customer service and operational efficiency.  The hospital borrowed some of the practices of a five star hotel and hired a new CEO who had previously worked ...

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#welovestartups: Oracle startups program

Currently looking after Oracle France corporate responsibility, Dominique van Deth always thought that companies could have a significant impact on Society. For 5 years, Dominique has been managing startups programs, and he launched in 2014 a structured program to engage volunteers in helping startup grow. I met him at Les Hacktivateurs afterwork, and he kindly accepted to tell us more about Oracle startups program.

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