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Moving an idea to execution….successfully and sustainably is no child’s play – even for the biggest and the best.   Some do it well, and others….just don’t.  And these days, it seems like everyone’s trying.  I read about the likes of Coca Cola,  Intel, and Johnson and Johnson all reaching into disparate, amorphous, sometimes crowd sourced networks of inventors, “Querdenkers” (the german word for unconventional thinkers), and under the radar “tinkerers” to find their next big break.   What amazes me, is that some of these corporate giants are able to take these new ideas and concepts into their own sluggish, hierarchical, and rather resistant organizations, and use them to ignite new products, new business models with a rather admirable degree of success.    But how?  Is it having irreverent swashbuckling buccaneers at the helm of your ship?  A culture that RESPECTS and REWARDS “failure” , or a mash up of that and more?   

I’ll be at the Business Transformation Summit this year, where I intend to explore this mystery and hear from more than 10 thought leaders will share their insights and best practices for deep business transformation.   And these are not your regular “business conference attendees”.   I’m especially excited to hear from an extreme mountain climber, a toy company exec, and a rather maverick industrial engineer who decided to up-end the helicopter industry, all come together and share their insights.  What I gather is that each of these individuals has risked failure to overcome a very different set of tough challenges. Yet they’ve all succeeded through innopreneurship–a potent combination of innovative thinking and entrepreneurial skill.   I am so hungry to learn more…

Alexander Huber,  the record-breaking mountain climber also happens to be a physicist.  He will share his experience in overcoming nature’s extremes. Throughout his career, he and his older brother Thomas have been driven by an insatiable desire to tackle new fears and obstacles–from ascending El Capitan in Yosemite National Park to climbing the big walls of the Himalaya Mountains. Their approach to these extreme, physically demanding situations is a blueprint for business and IT professionals as they explore their own personal leadership and organizational boundaries.

Daiva Staneikaite Naldal, Senior Business Manager, LEGO, will reveal how one of the world’s most beloved toy companies uses technology to get close to customers and produce a steady stream of new innovation. LEGO is an iconic brand that came back from the brink in 2003 with a new approach to innovation that not only revived the company from breathing it’s last gasps, but also took it to a new level of performance not yet seen before. Today, LEGO has reinvented itself.  The company is leveraging user-generated product co-innovation through a crowdsourcing platform called LEGO Ideas. The company also runs a collaboration program with talented entrepreneurs in a community ecosystem supported by social media. For every industry and company size, LEGO provides a powerful case study for radically rethinking innovation processes to meet the demands of a constantly changing marketplace.  And that’s just the beginning of it all…

Moving from stagnation to transformation through innovative and entrepreuneurial thinking does not happen for even the most successful business people so easily. In about 15 days, I’ll be at the BT Summit and hope to share more on what I learn about how to balance a tolerance for trial and error with operational excellence and how it can transform an entire organization with amazing results.

Stay tuned for more from this year’s BT Summit….Nov. 10-11 in Berlin…and follow me on Twitter @Shuchi5.  I promise to report back on key insights and learnings from these amazing individuals…

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