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BIF Welcomes the Joe Andruzzi Foundation

We’re pleased to announce our newest BIF Member, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. JAF inspires us all by helping to alleviate the financial burden for cancer patients and their families throughout New England.

“As the Joe Andruzzi Foundation enters its tenth year, we are thrilled to become members of the extended BIF community,” said Joe Andruzzi, President and Co-Founder of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. “Our entire organization is looking forward to tapping into the extensive resources offered within a BIF membership as we strengthen a strategy and business model that will help carry the Foundation’s mission into its next decade of operation.”

As a Member, JAF will gain access to BIF’s innovation experience, community, and unique approach to developing next practices and new business models through BIF’s Design Methodology. With a growing financial burden placed upon patients, JAF and BIF will work together to explore and test new ways of addressing rising and oftentimes unexpected medical costs to alleviate the burden facing patients and their families, building on the organizations 10 years of experience.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. JAF shares BIF’s core human-centered values and strategic focus on transforming healthcare” said BIF Founder and Chief Catalyst Saul Kaplan. “The financial toxicity of cancer is increasing and is as important to manage as the toxicity of cancer treatments. BIF is excited to help JAF explore new transformational models that rise to the level of the financial problem that families impacted by cancer face.”

Founded by former New England Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jen in 2008, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation grew from Joe’s own successful battle with cancer and serves as a means to provide financial assistance to cancer patients and their families so they can focus on recovery – not bills. It also funds research at Boston Children’s Hospital, building on the Andruzzis’ longstanding commitment to cutting-edge pediatric brain cancer research.

If you’d like to get involved or lend your support to the organization, please visit: JoeAndruzziFoundation.org

You can hear more on Joe’s story from the #BIF2017 Summit below:

https://vimeo.com/236473359

When Transformation Feels Intimidating, Membership Can Help

Membership is the first step in shifting the conversation towards what is safe, practical, and possible. It’s a low-threshold way to catalyze your innovation agenda and an easy initial engagement with BIF.

Start Your BIF Membership Today


Co-Creating a New Future of Wellbeing
Providence, Rhode Island
October 22-24, 2019

For 14 years, the Business Innovation Factory has hosted its annual BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit, bringing like-minded innovation leaders to inspire each other with genuine personal transformation stories. The BIF Summit has always been more community than conference. We get together to catalyze something bigger than any one of us. It’s about engaging and collaborating as a purposeful network to unleash the adjacent possible. That’s why Forbes named it one of the “Top 5 Conferences that will Expand Your Mind (and Your Network)”. 

This year, in order to increase our collective impact we are transforming the BIF Summit to make it more intimate, focused and experiential to help our self-organized networks become more purposeful. On October 22-24, for the first time in the summit’s history, the experience will explore a specific theme that aligns with our current design focus at BIF. This year’s summit will engage the BIF community experientially to explore wellbeing.

  #BIF2019 Wellbeing Experience

The BIF2019 Wellbeing experience blends storytelling, co-creation and random collisions of unusual suspects creating the conditions for us to reimagine the future of wellbeing together. 

Storytelling Sessions – Genuine personal stories heal, inspire, and call us to action

Co-Creation Sessions – Opportunities to collaboratively craft the future of wellbeing 

RCUS Breaks and Meals — Interstitial spaces between sessions to mine the gold in the grey space between us and to feed our bodies and souls

Tuesday, October 22  

7:00pm – America Too: It’s Our Health at Trinity Rep

The #BIF2019 Wellbeing experience begins with an incredible theatrical performance at Providence’s Tony-award winning Trinity Rep theatre. America Too: It’s Our Health will immerse us in the voice and wellbeing experience of local residents rendered beautifully through performance art, movement and storytelling. The stage performance followed by a lively town hall discussion will lay the foundation for our following two days of co-creation. See the teaser video here.

9:00pm Innobeer at Backstage Kitchen and Bar at Hotel Providence

Following the performance at Trinity Rep, let the RCUS making begin over a beverage or two at our annual Innobeer mixer, a casual event designed to help us break the ice for our next two days of co-design. There might even be a little surprise musical entertainment… ! Don’t stay out too late though, as you’re going to need your rest before embarking on the rest of our summit journey starting bright and early the following morning.

Wednesday, October 23

8:00am – 9:00am Breakfast and Registration at District Hall

Rise and shine as we gather at District Hall in the Jewelry District of Providence in the new Wexford Innovation Center building. Breakfast will accompany registration and RCUS making before Saul Kaplan, BIF’s Chief Catalyst, offers his words of welcome and introduces the opening session storytellers.

9:00am – 10:30am Storytelling Session #1  

click to see the full storyteller lineup

10:30am – 11:00am RCUS Break

11:00am- 12:30pm Co-Creation Session #1: The Unwritten Rules of Wellbeing    

If we want to imagine and co-create a new future together we have to start by uncovering the unwritten rules of wellbeing. Unwritten rules are remarkably powerful, informal suggestions about how we’re expected to behave in social settings. They are the single biggest influence on our daily behaviors, setting the norms for how we interact with each other. In our first BIF2019 co-creation session Jeff Leitner will lead us in a fast-paced and inspiring group exploration of the current unwritten rules of wellbeing and help us to imagine new unwritten rules that will provide us with an actionable foundation to co-create a new wellbeing future together.

12:30pm – 1:30pm RCUS Break: Lunch

1:30pm – 3:00pm Co-Creation Session #2 Art Heals

We’re all storytellers. Now it’s time to express our personal wellbeing stories by making art, writing songs and getting on our feet to dance together. Let’s experience for ourselves that art heals. Choose one of these three expressive art activities to participate in. Let’s go! 

Create Peace of Mind with Jeff Sparr and the Peace Love CREATORS through expressive art making. PeaceLove promotes mental wellness by using creativity and expression to inspire, heal, and communicate. 

Get up and dance with movement artist Quentin Robinson. Physical movement has a grounding effect on our body, emotions, thoughts and spirits. Intentional movement fully focuses us in the moment and attend to the personal space we are moving through. 

Write songs of wellbeing with Darden Smith and Mary Judd who transform lives by using collaborative songwriting to expand creativity, connections, and strengths. Songwriting enables us to tell our stories, rebuild trust, release pain, and forge new bonds.

3:00pm – 3:30pm RCUS Break

3:30pm – 5:00pm Storytelling Session #2 

click to see the full storyteller lineup

6:30pm – 9:00pm Reception and Dinner at The Pavilion at Grace Church 

Grace Church Pavilion, Location: Providence, Rhode Island, Architect: Centerbrook

It’s time to unwind, reflect and to nourish our bodies and souls together at a perfect venue for our summit theme of wellbeing at the Grace Episcopal Church in downtown Providence. 

In between our reception and dinner, we will be graced with the music and performance of poet, singer, and spoken word artist Yolanda Wisher, who was named Philadelphia’s third-ever poet laureate and is the Curator of Spoken Word at the Philadelphia Contemporary Museum. Yolanda will deliver a message of creative wellbeing through song and story.  

After being inspired by Yolanda we will experience a special dinner together as Mark Brand puts on his chef’s cap to collaborate with Amos House, an amazing local social services agency, to plan and serve us an incredible dinner. Amos House manages the largest soup kitchen in Rhode Island and its innovative More Than a Meal Program operates a catering service which trains and employs formerly homeless and unemployed community members.  

Thursday, October 24

9:00am – 10:30am Storyteller Session #3 at District Hall

click to see the full storyteller lineup

10:30am -11:00am RCUS Break

11:00am – 12:30pm Co-Creation Session #3 Fractals of Wellbeing

A fractal is a pattern that the laws of nature repeat at different scales. In this co-creation session artist Aithan Shapira will enable us to imagine and shape new fractals of wellbeing aligned with our shared vision of the future. Aithan will help us understand and experience the power of fractals setting the stage for group co-creation. How do each of us show up in service of improving the wellbeing of those around us? How can we form personal networks of support for each other? How can institutions change to enable our personalized wellbeing vision? How can society and culture change to align with our purpose?

12:30pm – 1:30pm RCUS Break: Lunch  

1:30pm – 3:00pm Storyteller Session #4 

click to see the full storyteller lineup

*Let us know if you are interested in participating in-person at #BIF2019: Wellbeing, or remotely.

 *With only 150 spots available for the in-person convening at BIF they will go quickly!

*We will notify you if your application is accepted.

*There is no fee to attend the gathering, but participants must pay their own travel and lodging

Click here to apply for a spot


Co-Creating a New Future of Wellbeing
Providence, Rhode Island
October 22-24, 2019

For 14 years, the Business Innovation Factory has hosted its annual BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit, bringing like-minded innovation leaders to inspire each other with genuine personal transformation stories. The BIF Summit has always been more community than conference. We get together to catalyze something bigger than any one of us. It’s about engaging and collaborating as a purposeful network to unleash the adjacent possible. That’s why Forbes named it one of the “Top 5 Conferences that will Expand Your Mind (and Your Network)”. 

This year, in order to increase our collective impact we are transforming the BIF Summit to make it more intimate, focused and experiential to help our self-organized networks become more purposeful. On October 22-24, for the first time in the summit’s history, the experience will explore a specific theme that aligns with our current design focus at BIF. This year’s summit will engage the BIF community experientially to explore wellbeing.

#BIF2019 Wellbeing Experience

The BIF2019 Wellbeing experience blends storytelling, co-creation and random collisions of unusual suspects creating the conditions for us to reimagine the future of wellbeing together. 

Storytelling Sessions
Genuine personal stories heal, inspire, and call us to action

Co-Creation Sessions
Opportunities to collaboratively craft the future of wellbeing 

RCUS Breaks and Meals
Interstitial spaces between sessions to mine the gold in the grey space between us and to feed our bodies and souls


Tuesday, October 22  

7:00pm – America Too: It’s Our Health at Trinity Rep

The #BIF2019 Wellbeing experience begins with an incredible theatrical performance at Providence’s Tony-award winning Trinity Rep theatre. America Too: It’s Our Health will immerse us in the voice and wellbeing experience of local residents rendered beautifully through performance art, movement and storytelling. The stage performance followed by a lively town hall discussion will lay the foundation for our following two days of co-creation. See the teaser video here.


9:00pm – Innobeer at Backstage Kitchen and Bar at Hotel Providence

Following the performance at Trinity Rep, let the RCUS making begin over a beverage or two at our annual Innobeer mixer, a casual event designed to help us break the ice for our next two days of co-design. Don’t stay out too late though, as you’re going to need your rest before embarking on the rest of our summit journey starting bright and early the following morning.


Wednesday, October 23

8:00am – 9:00am Breakfast and Registration at District Hall

Rise and shine as we gather at District Hall in the Jewelry District of Providence in the new Wexford Innovation Center building. Breakfast will accompany registration and RCUS making before Saul Kaplan, BIF’s Chief Catalyst, offers his words of welcome and introduces the opening session storytellers.


9:00am – 10:30am Storytelling Session #1

View Full Storyteller Line-Up

10:30am – 11:00am RCUS Break


11:00am- 12:30pm Co-Creation Session #1: The Unwritten Rules of Wellbeing

If we want to imagine and co-create a new future together we have to start by uncovering the unwritten rules of wellbeing. Unwritten rules are remarkably powerful, informal suggestions about how we’re expected to behave in social settings. They are the single biggest influence on our daily behaviors, setting the norms for how we interact with each other. In our first BIF2019 co-creation session Jeff Leitner will lead us in a fast-paced and inspiring group exploration of the current unwritten rules of wellbeing and help us to imagine new unwritten rules that will provide us with an actionable foundation to co-create a new wellbeing future together.


12:30pm – 1:30pm RCUS Break: Lunch


1:30pm – 3:00pm Co-Creation Session #2 Art Heals

We’re all storytellers. Now it’s time to express our personal wellbeing stories by making art, writing songs and getting on our feet to dance together. Let’s experience for ourselves that art heals. Choose one of these three expressive art activities to participate in. Let’s go! 

Create Peace of Mind with Jeff Sparr and the Peace Love CREATORS through expressive art making. PeaceLove promotes mental wellness by using creativity and expression to inspire, heal, and communicate. 

Get up and dance with movement artist Quentin Robinson. Physical movement has a grounding effect on our body, emotions, thoughts and spirits. Intentional movement fully focuses us in the moment and attend to the personal space we are moving through. 

Write songs of wellbeing with Darden Smith and Mary Judd who transform lives by using collaborative songwriting to expand creativity, connections, and strengths. Songwriting enables us to tell our stories, rebuild trust, release pain, and forge new bonds.


3:00pm – 3:30pm RCUS Break


3:30pm – 5:00pm Storytelling Session #2

View Full Storyteller Line-Up

6:00pm – 9:00pm Reception and Dinner at The Pavilion at Grace Church

It’s time to unwind, reflect and to nourish our bodies and souls together at a perfect venue for our summit theme of wellbeing at the Grace Episcopal Church in downtown Providence. 

In between our reception and dinner, we will be graced with the performance of poet, and spoken word artist Yolanda Wisher, who was named Philadelphia’s third-ever poet laureate and is the Curator of Spoken Word at the Philadelphia Contemporary Museum. Yolanda will deliver a message of creative wellbeing through poetry and prose.  

After being inspired by Yolanda we will experience a special dinner together as Mark Brand puts on his chef’s cap to collaborate with Amos House, an amazing local social services agency, to plan and serve us an incredible dinner. Amos House manages the largest soup kitchen in Rhode Island and its innovative More Than a Meal Program operates a catering service which trains and employs formerly homeless and unemployed community members.  


Thursday, October 24

9:00am – 10:30am Storyteller Session #3 at District Hall

View Full Storyteller Line-Up

10:30am -11:00am RCUS Break


11:00am – 12:30pm Co-Creation Session #3 Fractals of Wellbeing

A fractal is a pattern that the laws of nature repeat at different scales. In this co-creation session artist Aithan Shapira will enable us to imagine and shape new fractals of wellbeing aligned with our shared vision of the future. Aithan will help us understand and experience the power of fractals setting the stage for group co-creation. How do each of us show up in service of improving the wellbeing of those around us? How can we form personal networks of support for each other? How can institutions change to enable our personalized wellbeing vision? How can society and culture change to align with our purpose?


12:30pm – 1:30pm RCUS Break: Lunch


1:30pm – 3:00pm Storyteller Session #4

View Full Storyteller Line-Up


BIF Welcomes the Alliance for Innovation & Transformation as its Newest Member

Providence, RI (April 23, 2018) —  The Business Innovation Factory (BIF) is pleased to welcome our newest Member, the Alliance for Innovation & Transformation (AFIT), a learning network of 50 community colleges and higher ed organizations committed to transforming student experience and outcomes.

AFIT’s mission is to lead systemic change in higher education by providing learning, development, and networking opportunities focused on customer-driven value. AFIT and its members recognize the imperative to not just improve incrementally but to transform the higher education experience.  

“AFIT is a great addition to our innovation community,” said BIF Founder and Chief Catalyst, Saul Kaplan. “Community college is a lynchpin for needed transformational change in our national higher education system. It is the perfect bridge for so many between K-12, higher ed, and the workplace. We’re excited for this opportunity to engage AFIT members to help make transforming higher ed safer and easier to manage.”  

This year’s AFIT strategic theme is business model innovation and BIF has been selected as the Lead Learning Partner for the Annual AFIT Summer Institute planned for this August in Kansas City. AFIT members attending the Summer Institute will embark on an innovation journey to imagine, design, prototype and test entirely new business models and next practices to transform student experience and outcomes and to create sustainable futures for their higher ed institutions.

At the AFIT Summer Institute, BIF will guide over 250 participants through our Business Model Design Process giving them tangible tools and skills to take back home on their campuses to explore and test next practices and transformational new business models. The teams will also explore the conditions necessary for their innovation strategies to be successful at scale. In AFIT’s own words, no longer will “‘take no action’ or ‘move forward with incremental change’ mindsets sustain operations; innovation and organizational transformation must become a priority.”

We have already started working on a project with six AFIT community colleges that signed up and dedicated the time and expertise of their presidents and leadership teams to become “early adopters” of BIF’s Business Model Design Process. These community colleges are being guided by BIF’s Methodology to prototype and test next practices and new business models relevant to their own context. Each team is adopting a student experience lens as a foundation for design to help them reimagine how their community college might transform how they create, deliver, and capture value.

Here at BIF, our Student Experience Lab (SXL), is focused on the imperative for business model innovation in education, from pre-K to higher ed to workforce development. Our national higher ed system was designed for a different era and hasn’t innovated its business model fast enough, leaving a growing number of students behind.

As BIF Members, AFIT will access our network of institutional business model innovators in education, health care, and public services to take advantage of opportunities to connect to a steady flow of business model design ideas, practices, and tools.

We’re honored to welcome AFIT as a BIF Member and to catalyze transformational change for higher ed institutions in its learning network. We look forward to sharing what we learn with the broader BIF community.  

Make sure to follow along on Twitter (@BIFsxl) for updates on our collaboration! And if becoming a BIF Member sounds intriguing, find more information here. We’d love to talk.

Start Your BIF Membership Today


Jeff Leitner: Discovering Unwritten Rules

Jeff Leitner believes that if we want to create a new future together we have to start by uncovering the unwritten rules. Unwritten rules are remarkably powerful, informal suggestions about how we’re expected to behave in social settings. They’re the single biggest influence on our daily behaviors, setting the norms for how we interact with each other. Change starts by discovering the unwritten rules all around us.
Tune into this episode of the Business Model Sandbox podcast to hear Saul Kaplan and Jeff Leitner explore the evolution of social innovation and how to discover the power of unwritten rules to enable transformation change that matters.

If you prefer listening via YouTube, press play below.


Converting Emerging Tech Into Next Practices

To appreciate the full breadth of possibility created by emerging technologies is to feel like a kid in a candy store. Our candy store is overflowing with brain-exploding and exciting new technologies including genomics, robotics, internet-of-things, big data, artificial intelligence, drones, and 3D printing to name just a few.

Any one or combination of these emerging technologies has the potential to change the world. Whether they will or not, and at what pace, depends on our ability to combine and recombine emerging technologies into next practices and new business models to solve the important social challenges of our time.

Why do companies fail at turning emerging technologies into real value?

Reason no. 1 for failure is an infatuation with technology instead of the business problem that needs to be solved. Many human beings in the corporate world fall in love with bright new shiny objects and then try to force-fit the business problem to their favored technology.

As the saying goes, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” It’s usually after the initial glow wears off and millions of dollars have been burnt in the innovation bonfire that organizations realize they are not any closer to seeing results than they were 12 months back.

The key to successful innovation is accepting that not every technology is right for your business. Selecting the right technology requires steely-eyed focus and clarity of purpose. Instead of pondering whether AI or VR is the “best” or “coolest” technology, you should be asking, “Which new technology will help my business stay competitive and relevant over the next 100years?”

Another reason why companies fail at meaningful innovation is they invest in areas that are unrelated to their core competency or business. It’s like a tire company investing in an AI-powered skateboard, which doesn’t make them more relevant or add more value to their target audience. Smart companies invest in adjacent and synergistic categories to stay competitive. Lately, there has been a flurry of innovation labs and incubators at global companies who are trying to stay relevant in a very disruptive age, but innovating in a silo doesn’t help the organization break old business models. The innovation model must have connectors to existing parts of the business and leverage strengths wherever possible.

The most devastating threat to the adoption of new technologies and innovative business models is a legacy company culture that is fiercely resistant to change. An organization’s attitude towards change and willingness to adopt new ways of doing things can make or break the most promising innovation program.

How can you bring about an innovation-centered mind shift in a legacy organization?

Transformation is a team sport. It requires a shared language. Very often the same people who are tapped for running innovation are folks who have experience with the company but have zero expertise driving innovation. They stifle innovation.

Today’s corporate innovation strategies and approaches are organized to produce tweaks to today’s business model. The new corporate innovation imperative is to do ongoing R&D for next practices and new business models.

Emerging technologies don’t deliver value in the real world until they’re converted into capabilities. If they’re constrained by the straightjacket of today’s business model, they will deliver tweaks at best.

Emerging technologies don’t deliver transformational value until they’re converted into next practices and either integrated into today’s business model or leveraged to launch entire new business models.

Understanding the promise of emerging technologies is an important first step but their transformational promise will never be realized without innovation strategies and approaches to go beyond incremental change to the way things work today.  It’s not the technology that is getting in our way, it’s us. Stubborn humans and organizations that through around all the innovation buzzwords but then constrain the exploration and development of transformational next practices and new business models.

Here are the 8 key steps to explore, test, and commercialize next practices and new business models. 

  1. Focus on business problem you are trying to solve rather than the technology itself so you can generate maximum value for your business.
  2. Stop innovating in silos and build connectors to other parts of your existing business so you can leverage current strengths and competencies.
  3. Have a well-thought-out plan for scaling innovation by acknowledging and preparing for the various constraints within, across and outside of the organization.
  4. Hire catalysts and enablers rather than familiar faces to turn innovation into opportunity.
  5. Transformation starts when you ‘Shift” your lens to see opportunities from the perspective of customer experience and jobs-to-be-done.
  6. Customer experience provides the best foundation for the ‘Conceptual Design’ of a next practice or new business model.
  7. The only way to know if a design concept will survive customer contact is to ‘Prototype and Test’ it in the real world.
  8. To successfully ‘Commercialize’ next practices and new business models, start with a market-tested Minimum Viable Business Model.

In conclusion, turning technology buzzwords into real business capabilities takes focus and discipline. Innovation is a marathon, not a sprint and the real business value is realized long after the glamor of a new bright shiny object has worn off.

About the Authors:

Saul Kaplan is the Founder and Chief Catalyst at Business Innovation Factory. His mission is to enable collaborative innovation and contribute to a more prosperous local and national economy and to catalyze business model innovation in healthcare, education, public safety, and consumer experience.

Mia Dand is the CEO of Lighthouse3.com, a Digital Strategy & Research Advisory firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an experienced marketing leader who helps F5000 companies innovate at scale in the digital and social media space. Mia has built and led digital/social media programs for world’s best-known brands including Google, Symantec, HP, eBay and others. Her firm Lighthouse3.com authored the first definitive guide for Influencer Technology, which you can download athttps://lighthouse3.com/influencertech2017.


BIF Welcomes Global Legal Services Provider Epiq as New Member

PROVIDENCE – April 24, 2018 –  The Business Innovation Factory (BIF) is pleased to announce its newest member Epiq, a global leader in the legal services, to enable transformational next practices and new business models to reimagine the customer experience.

As members, Epiq will have access to the BIF network of institutional business model innovators and unique approach to developing next practices and new business models, utilizing BIF’s Design Methodology and over 14 years of experience in the innovation space.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Epiq as a Corporate Member in BIF’s innovation community and to begin working together to integrate customer-centered business model innovation into Epiq’s product innovation roadmap. Epiq shares BIF’s passion for transforming customer experience by continually exploring new ways to create, deliver, and capture value. Epiq’s commitment to innovation will enable it to strengthen its market leadership position in providing differentiated technology and data-enabled legal services” said BIF Founder and Chief Catalyst Saul Kaplan.

“Our approach to innovation includes product innovation, process innovation, and business model innovation,” said Cliff Dutton, chief innovation officer. “We are working with BIF to bring best and next practices in client-centric business model innovation to our product innovation roadmap.”

Utilizing BIF’s innovation expertise, Epiq will be focused on building a client-centric business model innovation into their product innovation roadmap, connecting leaders with a proven methodological approach to becoming market makers, unleashing new customer and commercial value by imagining, designing, prototyping, and commercializing transformational data products, services, and new business models.

 

About Epiq

Epiq, a global leader in the legal services industry, takes on large-scale, increasingly complex tasks for corporate counsel, law firms, and business professionals with efficiency, clarity, and confidence. Clients rely on Epiq to streamline the administration of business operations, class action and mass tort, court reporting, eDiscovery, regulatory, compliance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. Epiq subject-matter experts and technologies create efficiency through expertise and deliver confidence to high-performing clients around the world. Learn more at www.epiqglobal.com.

 

Start Your BIF Membership Today


Introducing BIF’s Design Methodology for Next Practices and New Business Models

A successful business model is like a shark that has to keep moving to stay alive. But how do you make sure you’re not stuck in a crowded swim lane with declining margins, swimming upstream against disruptive currents, or even worse, find your organization dead in the water? A growing number of institutional leaders tell us that their current approach to innovation isn’t working. Inertia and culture are getting in the way of what’s next. The job-to-be-done for institutional leaders is to explore, test, and commercialize next practices and new business models. R&D for new business models is the new strategic imperative.

A next practice is a new and improved version of a capability or group of capabilities. It has the potential to transform customer experience promising a better way to deliver value. A market-tested next practice can either be integrated into today’s business model or be leveraged independently to enable entirely new business models. Since its inception twelve years ago, Business Innovation Factory (BIF) has been developing and integrating the next practices of human-centered design, rapid prototyping, and storytelling/engagement into all of our client project work. These lynchpin capabilities now enable us to deliver on our value proposition: BIF helps institutional leaders make transformation safer and easier to manage.

I am beyond proud today, on behalf of our entire BIF team, to introduce:

 

BIF’s Design Methodology includes detailed inputs, key activities, and outputs for each of the four phases of the process.

It is the result of a 12-year labor of love. Here are ten things our team has learned along the way:

    1. You can’t analyze your way to transformation; it’s a generative act.
    2. Transformation requires a different approach than incremental change.
    3. Leadership in the 21st century requires more focus and new approaches to explore and test what’s next.
    4. Institutions have the capabilities to accelerate society’s path to what’s next, but they’re locked in the straightjacket of what’s now.
    5. Emerging technologies are an exciting and important enabler, but without the human side of innovation, transformation isn’t possible.
    6. Transformation starts when you ‘Shift” your lens to see opportunities from the perspective of customer experience and jobs-to-be-done.
    7. Customer experience provides the best foundation for the ‘Conceptual Design’ of a next practice or new business model.
    8. The only way to know if a design concept will survive customer contact is to ‘Prototype and Test’ it in the real world.
    9. To successfully ‘Commercialize’ next practices and new business models, start with a market-tested Minimum Viable Business Model.
    10. BIF’s Design Methodology helps make transformation safer and easier to manage.

Everyone on Team BIF has contributed to our Design Methodology in countless ways over the years. We wouldn’t be able to share it today without each team member’s amazing effort and without collectively living our BIF value of collaborative innovation. Innovation is a team sport. Special thanks to BIF Experience Designers Crystal June Rome and Kay Zagrodny, who did the hard project work. They immersed themselves into herding passionate inno-cats at BIF, spent countless hours listening to me drone on about the underlying idea, and stayed true to their most recent project experience. Crystal and Kay had just wrapped up an amazing project, working with BIF’s Chief Market Maker, Elizabeth MacLaren. They worked with the Population Health team at Children’s Health in Dallas, prototyping and testing a transformational next practice centered on family well-being. The next practice we helped them develop was then stitched together with the capabilities to deliver an insurance product. A brand new business model is being launched by Children’s Health now in Dallas. Imagine that, a hospital commercializing a new business model that is on the hook to economically improve family well-being. Team BIF rocks!

“At BIF, we believe that social system transformation becomes possible when we all open source our new approaches, platforms, and tools. That’s how we get better faster together.”

We have also benefited enormously from a growing and engaged community of innovation junkies from around the world who inspire us and help us to get better faster every day. At BIF we believe in enabling random collisions of unusual suspects or making a RCUS! It’s key to finding opportunities between our silos, disciplines, and sectors. I’m grateful for a random collision with XPLANE Co-Founder Dave Gray, and their crazy cool and talented team. XPlane’s superpower is using visualization to help teams align around a shared purpose and story. We leaned heavily on XPlane’s superpower to create this visualization of our BIF Design Methodology, and it won’t be the last time we collaborate.

We share our BIF Design Methodology today to more clearly describe how we help institutional leaders explore and test what’s next. We also share it because, at BIF, we believe that social system transformation becomes possible when we all open source our new approaches, platforms, and tools. That’s how we get better faster together. The 12-month process depicted in BIF’s Design Methodology is intended as a guideline. We always customize it to meet the specific needs and requirements of each client project.

We live in a time that screams for transformation yet too many institutions are only capable of tweaks. We developed BIF’s Design Methodology because a growing number of institutional leaders know they need a better approach to innovation. Together, we can make transformation safer and easier to manage.

 
Saul Kaplan
@TheBIF Founder & Chief Catalyst.
Author, The Business Model Innovation Factory

Tim McDonald Speaks on the Power of #RCUS

“We want our Collaborative Innovation Summit filled from stage to seats with people sharing transformation ideas and stories,” says BIF Creative Catalyst Saul Kaplan.

After all, it was out of the Summit that the hashtag #RCUS was coined — Random Collisions of Unusual Suspects. And from now until the Summit takes place in September, we’ll run a series of short interviews with former Summit attendees who’ll tell us in their own words why the BIF Summit is a must-go event and how #RCUS has changed their lives.

Up first: Tim McDonald (@tamcdonald). Tim builds communities, not networks, through relationships that create movements. As the Purveyor of Purpose at Be The Change Revolutions, Tim helps build communities and ignite movements on the No Kid Hungry account to make #NoKidHungry a reality. Previously, Tim was Director of Community at The Huffington Post.

Here’s how Tim answered the question, “Why go to the BIF Summit?”

Three things:

1. Open your mind to new ideas.
2. Connect you with amazing people.
3. Never feel like a stranger from the second you walk in.

I knew a few people who were going to be at the BIF Summit, but I got there after it started, toward the end of the first day. I didn’t know what to expect. As soon as I walked into the lobby area, the few people who were there were coming up and saying “hi” to me. So before I even sat down, I met people. They were strangers, but there didn’t feel like strangers! And then it seemed like there was a chance to connect with someone different every time I turned around.

Right afterward I went back to New York on the same train, by chance, as a couple of other people who had been at the BIF Summit. I went immediately to the Work Revolution Summit and began to run into people I had intended to meet at the BIF Summit but hadn’t had a chance to. I met Whitney Johnson and she said, “I have just heard that you know everybody.”

A similar thing with Matt Murrie (who I didn’t meet at Work Revolution Summit). We didn’t meet at the BIF Summit but we connected because of the BIF Summit.

Those connections have just developed further, into 3rd- and 4th-level relationships I’ve developed just because Matt and I were both at the BIF Summit, made a connection and stayed in touch.

The BIF Summit is unlike any other conference. It’s a combination of things that makes it different. Amazing people go there, and you can easily connect with those amazing people. I’ve committed to putting myself in unusual, uncomfortable situations because I went to the BIF Summit and saw the benefit of doing that.


Deb Mills-Scofield Speaks on the Power of #RCUS

“We want our Collaborative Innovation Summit filled from stage to seats with people sharing transformation ideas and stories,” says BIF Creative Catalyst Saul Kaplan.

After all, it was out of the Summit that the hashtag #RCUS was coined — Random Collisions of Unusual Suspects. From now until the Summit takes place in September, we’ll run a series of short interviews with former Summit attendees who’ll tell us in their own words why the BIF Summit is a must-go event and how #RCUS has changed their lives. Next up, BIF board member and BIF9 storyteller Deborah Mills-Scofield. A former Bell Labs scientist who is now a consultant and venture fund principal, Deb connects people, ideas, and businesses. She is a proud Brown University alumni who mentors students, as well as a prolific writer who publishes in the Harvard Business Review, Switch and Shift, Innovation Excellence, and more.

“The BIF Summit is the ultimate interdisciplinary happening. ” — Deborah Mills-Scofield

 

Here’s her answer to the question: Why go to the BIF summit?

To me, the BIF Summit is a humbler, more intimate version of TED. It’s where you can talk to people doing amazing things and there’s a sense of inclusion between the participants and the storytellers. People share ideas and learn new ways of doing things from different industries that you can apply to your own. At the BIF Summit, people treat each other as peers and are really anxious to learn from and give to each other. It’s a great critical mass of people from so many walks of life for you to learn from, that’s hard to find anywhere else, frankly. It’s the ultimate interdisciplinary happening.

Some specific examples: John Hagel (who is also a BIF10 storyteller) was a guru of mine growing up. I had read his stuff and knew his writing. At BIF6 I was standing in line for Tony Hsieh’s Happiness Bus right behind John Hagel and was starstruck. I introduced myself, calling him “Mr. Hagel,” and he said, “call me John,” and I said, “I don’t know if I can!” We were able to develop a professional friendship that’s now more of a personal relationship. I can actually call him “John” now! And my relationship with Whitney Johnson came about because I saw her at the BIF Summit, and she’s helped broaden my perspective and ways of thinking.

Whitney and John were more into technology, but Carl Størmer — I never would have crossed paths with him if not for meeting him at BIF9. He would not have been in my normal day-to-day! But now we’ve co-written stuff together and become very good friends.

I’ve been able to get my clients to go to the Summit, and it’s broadened their perspective. But I tell them, “this isn’t about our work, I don’t want to see you at the Summit. I already know you!” At the BIF Summit, random collisions are not just for me, but for my clients too. And I’m happy to say the connections go both ways as well — Liza Donnelly and Matthew T. Fritz, both of whom came to BIF’s attention through my network.