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Episodes

Why GE’s Jeff Immelt Lost His Job – Disruption and Activist Investors

11/3/2017
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Jeff Immelt ran GE for 16 years. He radically transformed the company from a classic conglomerate that did everything to one that focused on its core industrial businesses. He sold off slower-growth, low-tech, and nonindustrial businesses — financial services, media, entertainment, plastics, and appliances. He doubled GE’s investment in R&D.

Duration: 00:09:28


The Red Queen Problem – Innovation in the DoD and Intelligence Community

10/19/2017
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“…it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. ” - The Red Queen Alice in Wonderland Innovation, disruption, accelerators, have all become urgent buzzwords in the Department of Defense and Intelligence community. They are a reaction to the “red queen problem” but aren’t actually solving the problem. Here’s why.

Duration: 00:17:36


Office of Naval Research (ONR) Goes Lean

10/12/2017
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The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been one of the largest supporters of innovation in the U.S. Now they are starting to use the Lean Innovation process (see here and here) to turn ideas into solutions. The result will be defense innovation with speed and urgency.

Duration: 00:07:29


How companies strangle innovation – and how you can get it right

9/19/2017
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I just watched a very smart company try to manage innovation by hiring a global consulting firm to offload engineering from “distractions.” They accomplished their goal, but at a huge, unanticipated cost: the processes and committees they designed ended up strangling innovation. There’s a much better way.

Duration: 00:12:07


Working Outside the Tech Bubble

8/16/2017
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Annual note to self – most of the world exists outside the tech bubble. —– We have a summer home in New England in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street. Drive down the road and you can see the tall stalks of corn waving on other farms. Most people aren’t in tech or law or teaching in universities; they fall solidly in what is called working-class. They work as electricians, carpenters, plumbers, in hospitals, restaurants, as clerks, office...

Duration: 00:05:52


Why good people leave large tech companies

7/11/2017
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If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry I was visiting with an ex-student who’s now the CFO of a large public tech company. The company is still one of the hottest places to work in tech. They make hardware with a large part of their innovation in embedded software and services. The CFO asked me to stay as one of the engineering directors came...

Duration: 00:06:18


Why a Company Can’t “Be More Like a Startup”

6/29/2017
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As more and more companies face disruption from globalization, new technology, and startups that have more capital than the incumbents, the continuing cry from Wall Street investors is, “Why can’t companies be as innovative as startups?” Here’s one reason why: Startups can do anything. Companies can only do what’s legal.

Duration: 00:09:07


Tesla Lost $700 Million Last Year, So Why Is Tesla’s Valuation $60 Billion?

6/20/2017
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Automobile manufacturers shipped 88 million cars in 2016. Tesla shipped 76,000. Yet Wall Street values Tesla higher than any other U.S. car manufacturer. What explains this more than 1,000 to 1 discrepancy in valuation? The future.

Duration: 00:05:42


Hacking for Defense @ Stanford 2017 – Lessons Learned Presentations

6/20/2017
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We just finished our second Hacking for Defense class at Stanford. Eight teams presented their Lessons Learned presentations. Hacking for Defense is a battle-tested problem-solving methodology that runs at Silicon Valley speed. It combines the same Lean Startup Methodology used by the National Science Foundation to commercialize science, with the rapid problem sourcing and curation methodology developed on the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq by Colonel Pete Newell and the US Army’s...

Duration: 00:08:01


Innovation, Change and the Rest of Your Life

5/11/2017
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I gave the Alumni Day talk at U.C. Santa Cruz and had a few things to say about innovation...Even though I live just up the coast, I’ve never had the opportunity to start a talk by saying “Go Banana Slugs.” I’m honored for the opportunity to speak here today. We’re standing 15 air miles away from the epicenter of technology innovation. The home of some of the most valuable and fastest growing companies in the world. I’ve spent my life in innovation, eight startups in 21 years, and the last...

Duration: 00:16:48


Herding Cats – Using Lean to Work Together

3/31/2017
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When Colonel Peter Newell headed up the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) he used lean methods on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to provide immediate technology solutions to urgent problems. Today, his company BMNT does for government and commercial customers what the Rapid Equipping Force did for the U.S. Army. Pete and I created the Hacking for Defense class (with Joe Felter and Tom Byers.) One of the problems our students run into is that there are always multiple...

Duration: 00:12:52


Why Some Startups Win

3/20/2017
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I was having a second coffee with an ex student, now the head of a marketing inside a rapidly growing startup. His company had marched through customer discovery, learning about the customer problem, validated solutions and was now scaling sales and marketing. All good news.

Duration: 00:10:28


The Innovation Insurgency Gets Educated: Hacking for Defense, Diplomacy, Development

12/21/2016
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We’re holding our 2nd Hacking for Defense, Diplomacy,… educators and sponsors class January 17-19 at Georgetown University.

Duration: 00:06:16


What the Harvard Business Review and The People’s Daily think about leadership succession

12/4/2016
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I had to laugh when my post about what happens when innovative CEOs retire or die appeared in both the bastion of capitalism– the Harvard Business Review— and in the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party – The People’s Daily.Then I didn’t.

Duration: 00:04:06


Hacking for Diplomacy – The State Department Takes Notice

11/23/2016
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We’ve just held our seventh and eighth weeks of Hacking for Diplomacy at Stanford, and the attention our course is getting from Washington – and around the world – has been interesting. Following Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with the students early in the quarter, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken paid a visit to the class in Week 7 and four foreign ministers in week 8.

Duration: 00:18:14


Hacking for Diplomacy at the State Department – Breakthroughs, breakdowns

11/9/2016
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Time flies. We are already past the midway mark in our new Hacking for Diplomacy course at Stanford, and for both students and instructors, it’s an intellectually and emotionally charged period.

Duration: 00:16:17


The 11 Bad Habits Killing Innovation in Your Company

10/13/2016
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Alexander Osterwalder invented the Business Model Canvas, co-founded strategyzer.com and was the lead author of Business Model Generation which sold a million copies in 30 languages. Alexander and I often collaborate on new ideas for corporate innovation. Here’s his guest post on what bad habits to avoid inside of a company.

Duration: 00:12:24


The Innovation Insurgency Scales – Hacking For Defense (H4D)

9/23/2016
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Hacking for Defense is a battle-tested problem-solving methodology that runs at Silicon Valley speed. We just held our first Hacking for Defense Educators Class with 75 attendees.

Duration: 00:08:51


The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Goes Lean

9/23/2016
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We tend to associate the government with words like bureaucracy rather than lean innovation. But smart people within government agencies are working to change the culture and embrace new ways of doing things. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a great example.

Duration: 00:12:36


Hacking for Defense & Hacking for Diplomacy – Educator/Sponsor Class

8/2/2016
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On September 7th – 9th we are holding our first Hacking for Defense & Diplomacy – class for Educators and Sponsors, training educators how to teach these classes in their universities and sponsors how to select problem sets and manage their teams.

Duration: 00:11:20

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