Category Archives: Interviews

Babak Forutanpour on how to start a grass roots innovation program in a big company

babak forutanpourHow do you start a grassroots innovation program within your company?

On this episode of the Big Bang Podcast we interview Babak Forutanpour, Founder of Qualcomm’s FLUX employee-run open innovation program and creator of @TheAryaBall.

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to interview Babak to find out the story behind FLUX.

Arnold Beekes On Being A Generalist

the rise of the generalistOn this week’s episode we chat with my friend, and fellow Generalist, Arnold Beekes about being a Generalist and how to thrive in a society full of specialists. We need to cultivate more curiosity in people!

I came to use the word “Generalist” after knowing Arnold, and have previously written about it at length (here, here, here, here).

The benefit of cultivating a Generalist mindset is huge, and is widely considered a trait of innovators because new problems require new perspectives and approaches. The best leaders are pattern thinkers because they are always learning, that is what a Generalist brings to the table: an ability to connect the dots in new ways.

How to cultivate the Generalist within

The Creative GeneralistAs a rule of thumb, your business needs more generalists than specialists if it wants to innovate. Don’t get me wrong, specialists are valuable. But Generalists are the innovators, the ones who are most capable of dealing with complexity; the ones that connect that dots. For that very reason, as a generalist, I know it’s hard to get us to pay attention to anything uninteresting; much less get inspired. We need to be challenged; constantly. We also need to be unleashed; not managed.

But for an organization that is willing to change, as your own, you can turn yourself into a generalist, create the conditions for great ideas to emerge and spark the innovation mindset in your business.

How?

Simple: broaden yourself.

Here are a few ways how I do it:

Q&A: Changing Mexico from cheap labor provider to a global engineering powerhouse

alfonso aramburoThe following interview is about Alfonso Arámburo, CEO of Brecher Mfg, a product design company in Tijuana, Mexico that specializes in engineering development and mechatronic prototyping.

Alfonso is an entrepreneur and engineer with 6 years of experience. Alfonso has Bachelors in Mechatronic Engineering, in addition a Masters in Business Administration. Alfonso has worked for companies such as Turbotec, a Caterpillar company, Rockwell Automation, TECO GmbH in the city of Munich, Germany leading projects for companies such as Continental, BMW, Renault, Land Rover and Chrysler.

You can contact Alfonso at a.aramburo@brechermfg.com or on LinkedIn

Interview: My thoughts on the power of innovation

A few months ago I was interviewed by Media Shower about my thoughts on innovation. Here are the questions and my answers about the origin of the Game-Changer blog, my background, how companies can foster free thinking and the development of new ideas, recruit creative thinkers and how anyone can learn to think innovatively.

Q&A: Sangeet Paul Choudary on how open business models are changing how businesses compete

open business modelsThis is part two of a Q&A with Sangeet Paul Choudary on platform businesses and open business models. In part 1, he answered some questions about platform businesses.

Sangeet Paul Choudary writes the blog Platform Thinking which has been featured on leading publications and research labs including WSJ, HBR, WIRED, FastCompany and the MIT Centre for Digital Business. He is an innovation analyst and consultant who has lectured at leading academic institutions like MIT Media Labs and INSEAD and consults leading startups as well as traditional firms making the transition to digital platforms. He is a mentor at leading accelerators like 500Startups and serves on the advisory board of leading platform startups.

Follow him on Twitter at @sanguit. To know more about Sangeet, visit http://platformed.info/sangeet-paul-choudary/ and sg.linkedin.com/in/sangeetpaul‎.

Q&A: Sangeet Paul Choudary on how to succeed with a platform business

platform businessThis is part 1 of a two part Q&A with Sangeet Paul Choudary about platforms and open business models.

Sangeet Paul Choudary writes the blog Platform Thinking which has been featured on leading publications and research labs including WSJ, HBR, WIRED, FastCompany and the MIT Centre for Digital Business. He is an innovation analyst and consultant who has lectured at leading academic institutions like MIT Media Labs and INSEAD and consults leading startups as well as traditional firms making the transition to digital platforms. He is a mentor at leading accelerators like 500Startups and serves on the advisory board of leading platform startups.

Follow him on Twitter at @sanguit. To know more about Sangeet, visit http://platformed.info/sangeet-paul-choudary/ and sg.linkedin.com/in/sangeetpaul‎.