How Passion Turned a Teenager Into a Superstar

How Passion Turned a Teenager Into a Superstar

If you have ever worked with The Medici Group or follow this blog with any regularity, you know that we value passion more than most organizations. The reason for this is simple: we believe in results. In most cases, when executing an idea, passion will trump expertise almost every time. The reason for this is simple: human nature. 

Is a Lack of Randomness to Blame for Stagnation in Drug Discovery?

Is a Lack of Randomness to Blame for Stagnation in Drug Discovery?

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the pharmaceutical industry shed nearly 300,000 jobs in the last decade. To put that in perspective, in 2014 the three largest global pharmaceutical firms (Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Hoffmann-La Roche) employed about 292,000 people. The last two years have seen the industry rebound, but analysts argue that a lack of future blockbuster drugs may doom the industry’s slight resurgence. 

Spying for Public Health

Spying for Public Health

Brian Schwartz is an environmental epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health. After earning a medical degree from Northwestern and a masters at the University of Pennsylvania, he devoted his life to studying the effects of different chemicals on the average person. According to Google Scholar, his research has been cited nearly 8,000 times across hundreds of journals. In the last three years alone he has published papers on the public health impact of lead, uranium and high-density farming. In 2013 he turned his focus to a contentious issue: fracking. 

Crowdsourcing Your Way to Innovation Takes More than Just a Good Idea

Crowdsourcing Your Way to Innovation Takes More than Just a Good Idea

INNOVATION LESSON OF THE WEEK: This week, we look at crowdsourcing innovation programs. Los Angeles, following in the footstep so other cities like Atlanta, created a fund for employee-driven innovation. AT&T reports numbers on five years of such a program. Crowdsourced (or employee-driven or open) innovation programs have a fundamental flaw; they think innovation is predictable.

Innovation Lessons from This Week

Innovation Lessons from This Week

There are so many articles about innovation. We siphoned through the lot and picked a few that we believe illustrates some key lessons about innovation. This week, we showcase why passion matters, how to be resourceful, and why a small idea can have huge impact.

Medici Effect and Athletics

Medici Effect and Athletics

Michael Bergmann, a 30-year Nike veteran who we interviewed last year, assembled an innovative track and field program that applied Medici Effect principles. This led to the school's first conference title in 15 years -- and the turnaround only took two years. As if the immediate success didn’t answer any doubtful questions, the squad is back at it in 2014. Read what happened this year.

Diversity is Profit

Diversity is Profit

It started with a thread on Facebook this morning, and appeared a joke by the comments. The cited article reported that startup Walker & Company — a "Procter & Gamble for people of color" — had raised $7M in Series A funding from some heavyweight backers, including Andreesen Horowitz and Ron Johnson, former Apple retail chief responsible for the Apple Stores strategy. The comments on the Facebook post (private unfortunately) could have been accompanied by eye-rolling and head-shaking as a commentator lamented how Silicon Valley was trying to profit off America's "race issue". 

Cover Story: Renaissance Man

The January issue of Diversity Executive is out, and Frans Johansson is on the cover, in the feature story, “Renaissance Man.” 

Here's an excerpt:

Things are clicking these days for Frans Johansson.

The 41-year-old business consultant and author has turned heads with his recent book about creativity, “The Click Moment.” His New York City-based firm, The Medici Group, is snagging business with clients such as Nike, Caterpillar and Pfizer. Johansson himself is crisscrossing the globe to speak, including a stretch not long ago in which he delivered 10 keynote talks in five countries within a couple of weeks.

All this momentum is vindication of Johansson's long-standing argument about the connection between diversity and innovation.

You can read the full article here.

Cover Story: What Box?

The Medici Group is featured in the latest Black Enterprise, with our CEO Frans Johansson gracing the cover. In it, our approach to innovation is featured, from using diversity to our laser focus on execution.

Our clients MetLife and Nike are prominently cited. Here’s what they had to say:

Cindy Davis, president of Nike Golf, noted that the Medici process “really created an even more robust conversation about ideas and innovation and how to look at opportunities or challenges and how that comes together to create and even more exciting solution.”

Gina Warren, Nike’s vice president of global diversity and inclusion, on the global program, “Diversity and Innovation: The Medici Effect”, licensed from The Medici Group: “It’s a four-hour experience that we have made our signature experience for all Nike teams around the world.”

John Geyer, vice president of innovation at MetLife on what makes The Medici Group different: “Most other companies had the same pitch—do a bunch of market research, do a bunch of interviews and focus groups—like a formula. Frans and The Medici Group had a different formula: Bring together a bunch of diverse people, brainstorm intensely like you’ve never brainstormed before, ruthlessly prioritize, and go out and experiment—in a few months instead of a few years.”

IntersectionPoint: One Smallest Executable Step at a Time

IntersectionPoint: One Smallest Executable Step at a Time

One of the fundamental principles of The Medici philosophy is to apply Smallest Executable Step™ (SES) to execution. The SES entails testing innovative initiatives in a small way by using existing resources. Unlike what is commonly believed, asking for more resources, especially financial ones, early in the execution process of an initiative will not improve the chances of success. Instead, early financial resources can hinder creativity and innovation.