Innovation Lessons from This Week

Innovation Lessons from This Week

1. Passion Trumps Expertise

We wrote about Meredith Perry back in our February 2013 newsletter. As a college student with no engineering experience and limited scientific background, she developed a potentially groundbreaking technology. This week, her company uBeam, inked $10M in Series A financing

2. Resourcefulness Key to Execution

We all know about Detroit's woes and the bankruptcy that turned what was once one of America's most vibrant cities into a ghost of itself. Entrepreneur Andy Didorosi learned what resourcefulness truly means in a city with many obstacles and limited-to-no resources. Successful innovators are propelled by passion that fuels their ability to gain resources (money, people and time) and navigate uncertainty.

3. The Power of Small and Reverse Assumptions

Tyler Fishbone's idea may seem small, but it demonstrates that innovations don't always need to be large in scale. And he did this by reversing assumptions. He decided against road rage already by letting another car cut him off on the highway. But the when that driver showed no gratitude, an idea was born, and that led to a Kickstarter campaign.


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.

Can you Innovate in Static Industries?

Can you Innovate in Static Industries?

When people think about innovation they often think about the newest Apple or Google product launch. However, innovation isn’t just about products. Innovation is possible in every field. It doesn’t matter if the field is Human Resources, Operations, or Accounting—innovation can happen. This example shows that if you combine engineering and traditional advertising you can jumpstart static industry: higher education.

Top 3 Innovation Articles of September 2013

Top 3 Innovation Articles of September 2013

Every day thousands of people and companies search for innovation tips. In fact there are nearly 600 million websites devoted to answering the question, “How can I be more innovative?” Each month, The Medici Group highlights the top innovation stories of the last 30 days and what you can learn from them. Last month we looked at a organizational revolution in professional football. This month we look at the power of articulation and Voyager 1.

How the Amish are Creating Green Technology

How the Amish are Creating Green Technology

Almost everyone agrees that renewable energy is the future. A 2013 Gallup poll revealed that ¾ of all Americans favor increased investment in solar energy.  Investment trends mirrored this sentiment; Silicon Valley invested in renewable technology at record rates. In fact, last year globalinvestment in renewable energy reached $257 billion. When we think about renewable technology, we often think of graduate degrees, complex technology and dot-com billionaires.

Top 3 Innovation Articles of August 2013

Top 3 Innovation Articles of August 2013

Last month, we looked at how a steel company harnessed a click moment and found an unexpected niche, and why some innovations spread (and others don’t). This month’s selections feature stories from Football, Publishing and Design. 

3 Things Innovators Can Learn from Jeff Bezos and Amazon

3 Things Innovators Can Learn from Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Jeff Bezos shocked both the media and business world with his purchase of The Washington Post. Within minutes analysts and pundits speculated on the future of one of the world’s most powerful newspapers. The New York Times wrote that, “Bezos Brings Promise of Innovation to Washington Post.” Forbes continued the sentiment asking, “Can Jeff Bezos Bring Amazon Innovation To The Washington Post?”