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Lessons for Innovation from Hollywood

In preparation for my interview with BIF Research Advisor John Kao later this week, I came across another interview he gave several years ago about how to weave together different disciplines to find a new tool box for business model innovation. One of John's major career accomplishments is Hollywood producer (he produced and financed sex, lies and videotape). John is as close to a contemporary renaissance man as you're likely to find. He says his life always been about making journeys back and forth between different contexts. As it turns out, he found that Hollywood offers some of the best conditions and environment for innovative change.

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Risk-takers vs. Risk-Shapers: Achieving Paralllel Innovation in Profitless Times

I came across a good paper published by Oliver Wyman called The Discipline of Business Model Innovation. One of the co-authors is Adrian Slywotzky, author of several popular business books including The Profit Zone. He's spent a career helping companies work with the strategy of risk taking.

The paper offers a fresh perspective on the 'how' of business model innovation and outlines why it's easier to trace large shifts in the market value of companies by the business model decisions they've made rather than the unique product inventions they brought to bear.

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Video stories about sustainable design now available

A follow-up to my earlier blog entry Increasing the Ripple Effect of Green Design. Our friends at Continuum have posted the videos from their recent symposium on green design. There were so many inspired ideas worth spreading. From short-term strategies that can have an immediate impact on our atmosphere to long-term technologies that might render fossil fuels obsolete, from profiles in courage to a vision of a footprint free company, 7 innovators in the realm of green design gathered to share their thoughts on the necessary convergence of design thinking and thinking green.

Head to BIF Member Continuum's Studio

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Alph Bingham Joins BIF Research Advisory Council

Alph Bingham was one of my favorite storytellers from the BIF-2 summit. I'm so happy to announce that he has been appointed to our Research Advisory Council. Alph is the co-founder and President/CEO of InnoCentive, a Web-based community launched in 2001 that matches companies facing R&D challenges with scientists who propose solutions. His experience in developing new R&D organizational structures and new approaches to harnessing human intellect will be a tremendous benefit to our BIF community.

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Increasing the Ripple Effect of Green Design

Last Thursday, 60 or so green designers gathered at BIF member Continuum’s Newton, MA offices to spend the day talking about green design. Included in this conversation were 8 green believers who are trying to change the world. They came from all walks of life and from their stories, we were all trying to answer two big questions: what is sustainable design and how do you build (or evolve) a business model around it?

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Do Lead Users Have a Role In Business Model Innovation?

Let’s talk about lead user innovation. I traveled to MIT last week with BIF chief catalyst Saul Kaplan to spend some time with legendary innovation guru Eric von Hippel. A 45-minute packed conversation later, we left armed with a whole lot of questions about what it means to innovate and whether it might be prudent to put the lead user (as opposed to the average user) at the center of our innovation process.

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Clay Shirky Joins BIF Research Advisory Council

I'm thrilled to announce that Clay Shirky has joined our research advisory council. Clay is a writer, consultant and teacher who has spent years talking about the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. He teaches New Media as an adjunct professor at New York University's (NYU) graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). His courses address, among other things, the interrelated effects of the topology of social networks and technological networks, how our networks shape culture and vice-versa. His current course, Social Weather, examines the cues we use to understand group dynamics in online spaces and the possible ways of improving user interaction by redesigning our social software to better reflect the emergent properties of groups.

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BIF Receives Champlin Grant to Expand Innovation Story Studio

Storytelling has emerged as one of the most compelling ways to inform, inspire and engage. BIF has put a high priority on capturing and sharing the stories happening in and around the innovation community through its Innovation Story Studio. We are thrilled to report that we expand this activity in 2008 thanks to a grant from the Champlin Foundation. The $102k grant will be used to purchase equipment and create a physical studio to complement BIF’s current capabilities.

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BIF Research Advisor Clay Christensen Named to 50 Greatest Business Minds List

We're nearing the end of the year so of course the inevitable list launch is happening. This one we're rather fond of though - it's the London Times annual list of the globes top 50 business thinkers. BIF Research Advisor Clay Christensen comes in at no. 25. Of course we're not surprised. Clay Christensen has a brilliant business mind which he demonstrated at our recent summit. (His onstage interview with WSJ columnist Walt Mossberg can be watched here.)

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