Blog >
Innovation

Innovation

Robyn Bolton shares an article that explores whether staff resignations help or hinder innovation within the company. The Great Resignation is real. At the start of 2021, 40% of employees thought about quitting. Between April and September, more than 24MM turned those thoughts into action. You don’t want your people to be in either of those stats. You value them and their experience, so you work hard to ensure that the most common causes of attrition — poor wages and…
Kaihan Krippendorff shares an article that identifies how to use language to stimulate innovation. Last week, the Outthinker Strategy Network (OSN) hosted our first in-person roundtable of the year at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in New York City. The island, located in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, once a site of abandoned prison buildings and mental institutions, has been transformed into a hub of innovation. Opened in 2017, the Cornell Tech campus and its Tata Innovation Center…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Sonny Ali.  Sonny has over 20 years of track record of delivering shareholder value as management consultant (BCG, GHD) and CxO-accountable operating leadership roles (Microsoft, IBM, GHD, Engage, TransCapacity, et al) and numerous marque clients (Cisco, SAP, Samsung, Pandora, Intel, PE firms), etc. Sonny lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and two teen-age children. Happy to collaborate on projects involving digital transformation, technology product/service strategy (SaaS, Software, IoT, AI, Hardware), innovation, incubation, partnership, and…
Kian Beyzavi shares a post that takes a look at the driving factors behind innovation in Life Sciences.  The healthcare industry is changing worldwide.  The key trends contributing to this change stem from evolving behaviors and needs of the key stakeholders: Patient, Providers, Payors/Employers as well as emerging technologies: Patients are empowered, educated and tech savvy.  They increasingly demand the same user experience in managing their disease as they receive in other parts of their lives such as banking or…
Jared Simmons shares an episode from his podcast, What is Innovation. In this episode, he interviews William A. Lumpkin, Head of New Products Strategy & Business Development for Alexion, Astra Zeneca Rare Disease Business Unit. Will shares how innovation works within the pharmaceutical industry and how marketing and science differs especially in commercialization. EPISODE SUMMARY William A. Lumpkin is Head of New Products Strategy & Business Development for Alexion, Astra Zeneca Rare Disease Business Unit. Will shares how innovation works…
In this article, Robyn Bolton guides the pursuit of innovation through various storms. Everyone knows about brainstorms but did you know there are three other types of storms that can blow you to your innovation destination? Questionstorms First introduced in The Innovator’s DNA, these storms happen at the start of an innovation effort and seek to surface all the assumptions, expectations, concerns, and actual questions currently locked in individuals’ brains.  The value of this session is that it makes the…
Kaihan Krippendorff provides an article that offers a new twist on innovation development.  To keep up with today’s rapid pace of disruption, every company feels the pressure to innovate. Most of them, when trying to shift to an innovative culture, feel like they have to pursue brand new ideas. But when I was recently invited to judge an innovation competition for Macmillan Learning, I saw that there is another way. An innovation competition without any new ideas? This was the…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Ana Maricevic with Partners for Life. Ana is a research immunologist by training and still fascinated by all things medical. She started out at McKinsey and moved on to be an independent consultant, investor and board director in Life Science companies. She has expertise in innovation, new business development and oncology among others. Having recently arrived in Boston she is looking forward to potential collaboration….
Robyn Bolton shares a post on where innovation happens and why. “Innovation happens in the gaps.” It’s a statement so simple yet so profound that as soon as my client said it, I wrote it down.*  It’s not sexy to innovate in the gaps.  Most people and companies believe that innovation must be something entirely new for the world.  That innovation is all about filling a white space, thinking blue sky, or swimming in a blue ocean.  That innovation must…
Robyn Bolton shares one simple rule that can help build a culture of innovation and a solid team.  I do.  We do.  You do. My Mom taught pre-school.  It wasn’t a job; it was her calling.  Kids gravitated to her like she was the Pied Piper, and she greeted them with unequaled patience, acceptance, and love.  Years later, her students would talk about how she changed their lives when they were only four years old.  And she did it by…
Robyn Bolton shares a well-balanced post that explains why 95% of new products fail and how to do the right things in the right ways at the right times to ensure success.  Most people know that 95% of new products fail within three years of launch.  It’s often cited as evidence of big companies’ inability to be innovative, keep up with changing consumer demands, and respond to the nimbleness of start-ups. Naturally, companies don’t want to fail in the market,…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rob Mann with MilestonCVC. Having worked across the globe, Rob has over 20 years of consulting and industry experience focused on growth and innovation, product development and related operations. He previously worked at McKinsey as a Senior Expert in Product Development & Design. He led North Highland‘s Growth & Innovation Practice which became an ALM Top 10 practice under his leadership. While working at PwC (PRTM), SapientRazorfish and Kearney, his work entailed growth and innovation,…
  Peet van Biljon shares a white paper on the benefits of ethics-driven innovation. Is your company innovative? No doubt, you would like to say yes. Everyone wants to be innovative, which is why the word “innovation” appears frequently in annual reports and press releases. However, there can be a large gap between saying we are good at innovation and being truly good at it. How to close this gap is the topic of a multitude of publications on innovation…
  With Mother’s Day comes memories of small moments that had a big impact. Robyn Bolton shares a wholly amusing, moving, and inspirational story on innovation found in unlikely places. My Mom was a nursery-school teacher. It was more than her profession, it was her gift. Long after my sister and I were grown and out of the house, my mom chose to spend her days with 4-year olds, teaching them everything from the ABCs to how to use the…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Berthold Hannes with Dr. Hannes Consulting. Berthold spent 15 years with A.T. Kearney in the Munich and Duesseldorf offices, leading A.T.Kearney’s Utility practice in Germany, Switzerland and Austria for many years. He was also a member of the European and global Utility practice leadership team. From 2006 until 2013 he was a Bain & Company partner in the Duesseldorf office, leading the Utility practice in GSA. In 2014 he started his own consulting business, based…
  Indranil Ghosh takes the pulse of the future and delivers it through the podcast Powering Prosperity Weekly. This week, he interviews Louis Ferro, vertical farming entrepreneur, on vertical farming and the inevitable transformation of agriculture.  You know by now that I’m passionate about companies that are addressing the planet’s major issues, including the climate crisis, population growth and food and water scarcity. My book, Powering Prosperity (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Powering-Prosperity-Citizens-Shaping-Century/dp/1642933082), outlines my thoughts on these matters – as do my vlog and…
  Robyn Bolton draws innovation inspiration from the Princess Bride to illustrate how the innovator embarks on a hero’s journey within a corporate setting.   A few weeks ago, I wrote a post using quotes from “Moneyball” (the movie, not the book) to describe the experience of trying to innovate within a corporate setting. It was great fun to write, I received tons of feedback, and had many fascinating conversations (plus a fact check on the year the Red Sox broke…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Derek Robinson with Renegade. Derek is a hands-on Strategy advisor with a track record of developing high-impact new business ventures. Derek trained at Bain, Coca-Cola and Cox Media Group before launching Renegade – a boutique collective of ace consultants, built to drive explosive growth for their clients. He lives in Atlanta with his husband, Eric, and can’t wait to travel again once the dust clears. Derek is always up for a collaboration, either in Atlanta…
  Susan Meier asks us simply to think about love and how it works when we want to bring positive and productive energy into play.   “Think about love. In the early days of running my own company, I was feeling nervous about a pitch meeting with a potential new client. My friend suggested matter-of-factly, “Just think about love.” I laughed at first, because love seemed like an odd thing to be thinking about while discussing digital media strategies in…
  Barry Horwitz explains why he believes industry experience is overrated and provides examples from Ford, Staples, and health organizations to back up the claim.    “In September of 2006, Boeing executive Alan Mullaly was named the new CEO of Ford Motor Company. Not only did he have zero experience in the auto industry, he drove a Lexus (shocking!). The hiring decision was widely panned by industry experts and “regular people” alike. But Mullaly wasn’t fazed. When asked how he…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Guilherme Bcheche. Guilherme has already dedicated more than 12 years to supporting leaders and teams in complex strategic and organizational challenges. Having worked for several years at McKinsey & Company leading projects for large corporations around the world, Guilherme is focused on supporting leaders and their businesses in their transformation journeys. He is a professor at Fundação Dom Cabral Business School, where he teaches leadership and strategy. He is a psychoanalyst, executive coach, specialist in…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Willem Koelewijn. Willem is an independent healthcare services entrepreneur. After several years in management consulting (McKinsey) and telecoms, marketing 3G equipment to operators in Europe, Willem set a several Ambulatory Surgery Centres in the Netherland under the Alant Medical brand name. These clinics were merged with Bergman Clinics to become the largest chain of private clinics in the Netherlands. He served on the board as COO. He subsequently became an independent healthcare entrepreneur working in…
  In this article, Robyn M. Bolton illuminates how our personal bias comes into play with the co-creator syndrome and how it can affect innovation.    When I was a senior in college, I took a pottery class.  One of our assignments, before learning to throw on the wheel, was to create a functional piece using slabs of clay.  I designed an Alice in Wonderland-inspired vase and built something that somewhat resembled the design. Obviously impressed by my innate talent, the…
  Susan Hamilton unlocks the beautiful paradox hidden in the boundaries that constrain us, whether physical, intellectual, or emotional, and reveals a few obstacles that have stimulated creativity.  At the moment, many of us are encountering more constraints than we have ever experienced in our lifetimes. Options and freedoms of all kinds are limited. Your summer vacation plans? Canceled. Back to school in the fall? Not so sure. Even a simple trip to the grocery store has become a somewhat…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Bart Sichel with bps Captura. Bart is President of bps Captura, which provides independent advisory and consulting to corporate senior leaders, private equity firms, and boards across multiple consumer facing industries.  Bart has hands on experience driving growth, and provides expertise in Marketing, Digital Transformation, Ecommerce, Innovation, Format Renewal, and Customer Loyalty. Bart was Chief Marketing Officer at Burlington Stores, leading Marketing, Ecommerce, and Corporate Strategy, and he was part of the dedicated executive management…
  In this article, Dan Markovitz identifies the problem with striving to be on the leading edge and why focusing on achieving lean operations is a better strategy.  Don’t be seduced by the siren song of the leading edge. While it’s a nice concept, it’s not nicknamed “the bleeding edge” for nothing. All too often, companies that strive for first mover advantage bleed their products—or their entire organization—to death.  Peter Golder and Gerard Tellis’s seminal study of 500 brands in…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Agnes Allotey with Stratosphere. Agnes is a Strategy, Innovation, Product and Organizational Development expert and a Management Consultant with 19 years of experience at firms including McKinsey and Company, Bloomberg L.P., Dow Jones & Company and Milvik (BIMA).  She has exposure to multiple industries and functions including the development of Public-Private Sector Partnerships, Insurance, Mining, Banking, Sustainable Enterprises and Media.  She is currently the Founder and Executive Director of Stratosphere, a management consulting firm focused…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Przemek Czerklewicz. Przemek worked as a specialist consultant focused on end-to-end support for M&As in the strategy practice at McKinsey. In 2017 he started his independent consultancy, advising on transactions, technology strategy and innovation. Przemek has been responsible for over 30 due diligence and acquisition screening studies, both for financial and industrial buyers. Most of his Clients are healthcare institutions, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, as well as high tech and social sector organizations. He has also…
  In a recent interview on The Transformative Leader Podcast, Susan Meier discusses the importance of integrating creativity at work even, and especially, in jobs not traditionally considered creative. I always had these two very strong, for a long time, parallel and separate tracks of things that I was interested in. I was always interested in the arts, both in making art and studying the history of art, and then I was also really captivated by the problem solving analytical…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Elias Boustani. Elias is a Strategy Consultant with 13 years of experience. He has led the design and implementation of Tech entrepreneurship programs for the World Bank, General Electric, the American University of Beirut (AUB), Expo 2020 Dubai, MCIT KSA, and Beirut Digital District among others. Prior to that, Elias was a Senior Associate for Strategy& (previously booz&co) working in the Telecom practice on Corporate strategy, Marketing strategy, Demand analytics, Business Planning, Human Capital and…
  Alex Sharpe takes a look at where we are, where we’re going, and why history can help us identify possible opportunities. The CORONA Virus is rocking our worlds – no doubt. It is a scary time with lots of uncertainty. Fortunately, times like this cause a disruption which also means opportunity. For many of us that is not easy to hear as we watch businesses struggle and industries change. It is even harder as we hear about the loss…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Sean O’Toole with Forge.  Sean O’Toole is a Partner at Forge > Outcomes, a growth innovation firm to F1000 companies. Sean specializes in deploying coaching leadership teams through change, building innovation capabilities, and launching new businesses. A former McKinsey consultant, Sean has over 15 years P&L experience with American Express, Progressive Insurance, and Western Union. founded and sold a fintech company; and is an EIR Sean is happy to collaborate and provide input on projects…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Surbhee Grover with Steel & Graffiti Strategy consulting. With 18 years experience in consulting and brand management, Surbhee Grover provides growth strategy, innovation, digital and marketing advice to leading companies across consumer oriented industries (incl. food & beverage, beauty/ cosmetics, education, hospitality, luxury and digital media). She gained considerable experience during her six year tenure with Booz & Company (2004-2010). Her work has included projects such as the development of an innovation strategy & processes…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Uma Sethi. Uma was a Founding member and Principal at BCG Digital Ventures, where she led multi-disciplinary teams to innovate and launch new startups, digital products or experiences. Prior to that, she was at McKinsey for nearly 10 years. She served as the America’s Retail Practice Manager for 4 years and the remainder as a classic strategy consultant. Uma was also a Founding Member of globalgiving.com. Uma currently lives in Redondo Beach, California with her…
  Kaihan Krippendorff takes a left turn off a straight road to discover the benefits of not planning as a fundamental benefit to innovation.   Twenty years ago, long before we had children, my wife and I decided to spend Valentine’s Day weekend in Tuscany. We were living just a two-hour flight away in London at the time, so leaving on a Friday and returning on a Monday would still mean two days and three nights of rolling hills, wineries,…
  With New Year in the rear view mirror, are you driving forward with your resolutions?  Robyn Bolton provides five ways to improve your resolve.   According to research by Strava, the social network for athletes, most people will have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions by Sunday, January 19. While that’s probably good news for all the dedicated workout enthusiasts who will be glad to get their gyms back, given that the most common New Year’s resolution is…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Ricardo Fernandez to our community.  Ricardo Fernandez spent 10 years in consulting in BCG, Accenture and KPMG focusing on strategic projects, due diligences, innovation, integrations and business plans. The last 8 years he has been focusing on digital growth technology companies where he has experience in Growth, Sales, Marketing Operations and mostly in Financial Services. He recently left Prodigy Finance a Fintech marketplace that has originated $1B to lend to international students going to the top…