On Air: August 19, 2014

Michelle Kreger, Executive Director of Potential Energy

Michelle comes to Potential Energy after 7 years at Kiva, a nonprofit organization connecting people through lending to alleviate poverty. At Kiva, Michelle spent 5 years building their network of microfinance partners across Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and 2 years as Senior Director of Kiva’s Strategic Initiatives group, where she was responsible for overseeing their expansion into new impact areas including clean energy, water and sanitation, innovative agriculture and higher education. In 2012, Michelle served as a Rainer Arnhold Fellow, a prestigious program for social entrepreneurs with particularly promising solutions to the big problems in health, poverty, and conservation in developing countries. Prior to joining Kiva, Michelle founded a nonprofit organization in Costa Rica, NatureKids, which focuses on English literacy and environmental sustainability in burgeoning tourist hubs. She also worked at various organizations dedicated to financial inclusion, including ACCION International. Michelle graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Economics.

On the show, Michelle Kreger talked about Potential Engergy and its innovation practices. 3 billion people across the world prepare their meals over an open cooking fire. This smoke is one of the leading causes of death in the devloping world. Working with improved cooking stoves can drastically improve the amount of smoke in the home and can have an effect on not only the health of the women preparing the food, but also the children in the home. Potential Energy produces low-tech stoves, made of steel that have internal combustion chambers that burn wood. The structure drastically improves the efficiency of the burn, reducing the amount of smoke and wood needed by half. They have been able to produce these stoves under 20$ to get it in the hands of the user.

On Air: August 12, 2014

Mark Bonchek, Founder and Chief Catalyst of thinkORBIT

Mark Bonchek is the founder and Chief Catalyst of thinkORBIT, a designer of digital business strategies that pull employees, customers and partners into orbit around a brand. Mark has been a pioneer and guide to the digital revolution since receiving Harvard University’s first doctorate on digital media and social networks in 1997. Mark has launched new businesses and advised global leaders for such organizations as McKinsey & Company, The Economist, IBM, and the American Heart Association. He is a regular columnist for Harvard Business Review and was recently named to the Agenda Digital 50. Mark is also the founder of the ORBIT Club for 21st Century Explorers and the SHIFT Academy, updating mental models for a digital age.

On the show, Mark Bonchek discussed the importance of principles in innovation, instead of processes. In order to innovate, a company needs to develop a shared purpose and platform, a narrative or story for who you are and what your future is,and data collection and leverage. These are sources of attraction to generate pull. According to Bonchek, “innovation managers can learn from flocks of birds.” Some flocks have no leaders, yet are incredibly coordinated. They follow these rules: move to the center, follow your neighbor, and dont bump into your neighbor or a threat.

On Air: August 12, 2014

Steve Blank, Author of The Startup Owner's Manual

A retired eight-time serial entrepreneur-turned-educator and author, Steve Blank has changed how startups are built and how entrepreneurship is taught around the globe. He is author of the bestselling The Startup Owner’s Manual, and his earlier seminal work, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, credited with launching the Lean Startup movement. His May 2013 Harvard BusinessReview article on the Lean Startup defined the movement. Steve is widely recognized as a thought leader on startups and innovation. His books and blog have redefined how to build successful startups; his Lean LaunchPad class at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia has redefined how entrepreneurship is taught; and his Innovation Corps class for the National Science Foundation forever changed how the U.S. commercializes science. His articles regularly appear in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes,Fortune, The Atlantic and Huffington Post. Blank’s first book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany (2003), offered the insight that startups are not small versions of large companies – large companies execute business models, but startups search for them – and led him to realize that startups need their own tools, different from those used to manage existing companies. In 2011, Blank developed the Lean LaunchPad, a hands—on class that integrates Business Model design and Customer Development into practice through rapid, real—world customer interaction and business model iteration. In 2011, the National Science Foundation adopted Blank’s class for its Innovation Corps (I—Corps), training teams of the nation’s top scientists and engineers to take their ideas out of the university lab and into the commercial marketplace. In 2009, he earned the Stanford University Undergraduate Teaching Award in Management Science and Engineering. In 2010, he earned the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award at U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business. The San Jose Mercury News listed him as one of the 10 Influencers in Silicon Valley. Harvard Business Review named him one of 12 Masters of Innovation.

On Innovation Navigation, Blank discussed the Lean Startup Movement. He talked about his personal experiences that led to defining the Lean Startup Approach. He explained that startups are looking for business models that are repeatable and scalable, and in order to find these, they must treat their assumptions about the business plan as hypotheses and follow the “4 steps to the discovery:” Customer discovery, customer validation, customer creation, and finally, comany building.

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On Air: August 12, 2014

Michael Gelb, Author and Creativity and Innovation Expert

Michael J. Gelb is the world’s leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development. He is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership. Gelb leads seminars for organizations such as DuPont, Merck, Microsoft, Nike, Raytheon and YPO.He brings more than 30 years of experience as a professional speaker, seminar leader and organizational consultant to his diverse, international clientele. Michael Gelb is the author of 14 books on creativity and innovation including the international best seller How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. (1998)How to Think Like Leonardo has been translated into 25 languages and has appeared on the Washington Post,, and the New York Times best seller lists. In 2007 Gelb released Innovate Like Edison: The Five Step System for Breakthrough Business Success, co-authored with Sarah Miller Caldicott, the great grand niece of Thomas Edison. As Professor Vijay Govindarajan, author of Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators noted, “This book is a must have for anyone who wants to turn creative ideas into profitable reality.” In 1999, Michael Gelb won the Brain Trust Charity’s “Brain of the Year” award; other honorees include Prof. Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Garry Kasparov and Gene Rodenberry. In 2003, Michael was awarded a Batten Fellowship by the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. Michael co-directs the acclaimed Leading Innovation Seminar at Darden with Professor James Clawson. From 2008 to 2012, Michael Gelb also served as the Director of Creativity and Innovation Leadership for the Conscious Capitalism Institute. A former professional juggler who once performed with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, Gelb introduced the idea of teaching juggling as a means to promote accelerated learning and team-building. He is the author of The 5 Keys to High Performance: Juggling Your Way to Success. A fourth degree black belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido, Gelb is co-author with International Grandmaster Raymond Keene, of Samurai Chess: Mastering Strategic Thinking Through the Martial Art of the Mind. Michael Gelb is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, (the method taught at The Julliard School for cultivating commanding stage presence), and the author of the classic work:Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique. Michael’s 1988 release Present Yourself! Captivate Your Audience with Great Presentation Skills guides readers to develop the communication strategies they need to generate support for their innovative ideas. Michael has also created many best selling audio programs, include: Mind Mapping: How to Liberate Your Natural Genius,Work Like Da Vinci: Gaining the Creative Advantage in Your Business and Career and The Spirit of Leonardo. Michael Gelb’s passion for applying genius thinking to personal and organizational development is also expressed in his Harper Collins release (2002) Discover Your Genius: How To Think Like History’s Ten Most Revolutionary Minds. Published in 2010, Wine Drinking For Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices, offers a unique, original and very enjoyable approach to team building. In January 2012 Michael released Brain Power: Improve Your Mind As You Age, (New World Library). His new book Creativity On Demand: Ignite and Sustain the Fire of Genius is published by Sounds True.

On Tuesday, Michael Gelb discussed the importance of your body and energy in relation to relaxation, balance, and creativity. According to Gelb, “Managing energy,not time, is the key to enduring high performance, health, happiness and life balance. Gelb used Cloud Hands as an example. It is a specific set of movements to help get creative energy flowing within the body. The body is where we live every day, so when you move your body in a rhythmic balanced harmonious way, you are evoking balanced qualities. Cloud hands is an ancient practice, an efficient way to feel more relaxed, centered and balanced,but also can be used in martial arts to block a punch.

On Air: August 12, 2014

Jeff DeGraff, Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Jeff DeGraff is Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. His research and writing focuses on leading innovation. He is co-author of several books including Creativity at Work, Leading Innovation and Competing Values Leadership. His PBS programInnovation You introduces his ideas about innovation to viewers across America. Jeff’s opinions on contemporary business matters are covered byNPR, CNN and Forbes just to name a few. He writes a syndicated blog forPsychology Today, the Huffington Post and Big Think. He has consulted with hundreds of the world’s most prominent firms and has developed a broad array of widely used creativity and innovation methodologies and tools. Professor DeGraff founded a leading innovation institute, Innovatrium, with labs in Ann Arbor and Atlanta. Jeff got his nickname, the Dean of Innovation, while he was a member of the executive team at Domino’s Pizza when it was one of the fastest growing businesses in the world in the 1980’s. To learn more about Jeff and his work on innovation please visit You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffDeGraff and Facebook.

On Innovation Navigation, Jeff DeGraff discussed his book, Making Stone Soup: How to Jump-start Innovation Teams. The book is based on the stone soup parable, how innovation works when people contribute very small but very different things. According to DeGraff, there are 4 different ingredients to innovation: a Create Type, Control Type, Compete Position, and Collaborate position.

On Air: August 9, 2014

Charles Leadbeater, Author and Management Strategist

Charles Leadbeater is a leading authority on innovation and creativity. He has advised companies, cities and governments around the world on innovation strategy and drew on that experience in writing his latest book We-think: the power of mass creativity, which charts the rise of mass, participative approaches to innovation from science and open source software, to computer games and political campaigning. We-think was the latest in a string of acclaimed books: Living on Thin Air, a guide to living and working in the new economy; Up the Down Escalator, an attack on the culture of public pessimism accompanying globalization and In Search of Work, published in the 1980’s, which was one of the first books to predict the rise of more flexible and networked forms of employment.

In 2005 Charles was ranked by Accenture, the management consultancy, as one of the top management thinkers in the world. A past winner of the prestigious David Watt prize for journalism, Charles was profiled by the New York Times in 2004 for generating one of the best ideas of the year, the rise of the activist amateur, outlined in his report The Pro-Am Revolution.

As well as advising a wide range of organizations on innovation including the BBC, Vodafone, Microsoft, Ericsson, Channel Four Television and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Charles has been an ideas generator in his own right. As an associate editor of the Independent he helped Helen Fielding devise Bridget Jones’s diary. He wrote the first British report on the rise of social entrepreneurship, which has since become a global movement. His report on the potential for the web to generate social change led to the creation of the Social Innovation Camp movement. Charles has worked extensively as a senior adviser to the governments, advising the 10 Downing St policy unit, the Department for Trade and Industry and the European Commission on the rise of the knowledge driven economy and the Internet, as well as the government of Shanghai. He is an advisor to the Department for Education’s Innovation Unit on future strategies for more networked and personalized approaches to learning and education. He is a co-founder of the public service design agency Participle.

A visiting senior fellow at the British National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, he is also a longstanding senior research associate with the influential London think-tank Demos and a visiting fellow at Oxford University’s Said Business School and the Young Foundation. He is co-founder of Participle, the public service innovation agency, which is working with central and local government to devise new approaches to intractable social challenges.

Charles spent ten years working for the Financial Times where he was Labour Editor, Industrial Editor and Tokyo Bureau Chief before becoming the paper’s Features Editor. In 1994 he moved to the Independent as assistant editor in charge of features and became an independent author and advisor in 1996.

On the show, Leadbeater discussed his theory of lean innovation and how it not only applies to small, cash-strapped enterprises (though it certainly does), but also to the very biggest corporations. For example, General Electric practiced lean innovation when it sought to provide a low-cost heart monitor for use in India. Lean innovation isn’t simply about removing features from products so that lower-cost versions of them may be released, it is a fundamental rethinking of the product in order to conceive of a design that is lower cost by its very nature. One thought experiment Leadbeater spoke about was the consideration of building Chinese restaurants versus building McDonald’s restaurants. A McDonald’s is essentially a kit sold to a franchise owner, such that it is very much the same everywhere, but requires a lot of capital for a franchise owner to open. In contrast, a lean innovator pursues a Chinese restaurant approach – Chinese restaurants look more or less the same everywhere, and offer similar products, but they aren’t sold as kits, don’t require as much capital to open as a result, and are tailored to their specific environments in such a way as to appeal more strongly to locals.

On Air: July 29, 2014

Paul Nunes, Global Managing Director at Accenture Institute for High Performance and Co-Author of Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation

Paul Nunes is the Global Managing Director of Research at the Accenture Institute for High Performance, and the Senior Contributing Editor at Outlook, Accenture’s journal of thought leadership. His most recent book is “Jumping the S-Curve.” His research findings have been covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Forbes. He lives in Boston, MA.

On Innovation Navigation, Paul Nunes discussed his new book, Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation. He explained that, in today’s world, new products are better, cheaper, and more customized. An example is GPS systems.Google Navigaation is cheaper (on the customer’s phone), better (realtime updated), and more customer intimate- interoperates with data on the user’s phone, more integrated. New products are changing the product lifecycle curve from a bell-curve to a sharkfin. Because there is so much near-perfect market info now, the bell curve shortens and gets much higher.The market moves faster and saturates very quickly.

On Air: July 29, 2014

Ann Hand, CEO, Project Frog

Ann Hand is CEO of Project Frog, a manufacturer of smart building systems. She was recently ranked No. 32 in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” list. Before joining Project Frog in 2009, Hand was senior vice president of global brand marketing and innovation for BP, where she was responsible for developing new ways for consumers to engage with the BP brand and oversaw $300 million annually in marketing initiatives worldwide. Hand has also held marketing, finance and operation positions at Mobil Oil and McDonald’s Corp. She is now is putting her marketing and operational expertise to work at Project Frog, growing markets, developing products and increasing brand awareness for its smart buildings. Her goal is to make the construction industry – the largest consumer of energy, natural resources and landfill space – a great deal greener. Hand received a B.A. in economics from DePauw University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

On Tuesday, Ann Hand discussed her company, Project Frog, with Dave on Innovation Navigation. Project Frog is a company that is disrupting the construction business. Founded in 2007, their mission revolves around a group of people who they care a lot about- education. The occupiers of public schools are our future, and the proliferation of portables in schools throughout the country provides poor learning conditions. Frog looked to the outside to solve this problem. There are other industries that have gone through industrial revolutions. They put together a unique team with builders, architects, product designers, energy and manufacturing, to create a unique innovation engine to design an optimal building from the users perspective. Once Frog has designed the product, they break it down into components (flat-pack) and deliver the “kit” to job site that is built in half the time and 20-30% cheaper than traditional construction.

On Air: July 29, 2014

Mike Malone, The Intel Trinity

Michael S. Malone is an author, journalist and television host. After earning two degrees from Santa Clara University, he joined the San Jose Mercury-News as the world’s first daily high tech reporter. There, he was nominated twice for Pulitzer Prizes in investigative reporting. Malone has been a columnist for the New York Times, ABCNews and Forbes. At Forbes, he was editor-in-chief of the nation’s largest circulation high tech business magazine, Forbes ASAP. Malone is the author or co-author of nearly twenty books of business, history and biography, including several best-sellers. The host of four PBS interview series, he was co-producer and writer of the Emmy-nominated PBS primetime miniseries The New Heroes. A founding shareholder of several successful Silicon Valley start-ups, including eBay, in 2010 Malone was among the first to receive SCU’s Leader’s Legacy Award. For creating the Silicon Valley comes to Oxford program, now the largest event for entrepreneurs in Europe, Malone was named a Distinguished Friend of Oxford and Associate Fellow at Said business school. A regular op-ed contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Malone has three books slated for publication in the next year. He and his wife Carol live in the oldest frame house in Santa Clara Valley, and they are currently restoring a historic Oklahoma Land Rush homestead and farm. Malone now re-joins the faculty of the Department of English, where he will teach upper-division courses in Nonfiction Writing to help students learn about publishing in both print and digital media.

On the Show, Malone discussed his book, The Intel Trinity. “Often hailed the “most important company in the world,” Intel remains, more than four decades after its inception, a defining company of the global digital economy. The legendary inventors of the microprocessor-the single most important product in the modern world-Intel today builds the tiny “engines” that power almost every intelligent electronic device on the planet. (” One the segment with dave, Malone told the story of the beginnings of Intel, and how Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove passed through multiple other companies before forming Intel.

On Air: July 8, 2014

Luis F. Solis, Author of Innovation Alchemists:What Every CEO Needs to Know to Hire the Right CIO

Luis Solis is President of Imaginatik plc, a global innovation software and consulting firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. Born to Guatemalan pioneers, Luis is both entrepreneur and intrapreneur. He has applied his critical thinking, business development and leadership skills at McCown De Leeuw & Co. (private equity), GE Capital (global service roll-ups), Symbius (supply chain start-up), GroupSystems and Imaginatik (business software turnarounds), in addition to non-profit Boards. Author of “Innovation Alchemists: What every CEO needs to know to hire the right Chief Innovation Officer,” Luis is an in-demand speaker on corporate innovation leadership. In Malcom Gladwell’s terminology, he is two parts Connector, one part Maven and two parts Salesman. Believing in the inherent value of a liberal arts education, Luis majored in Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, then completed Business and Law degrees at Stanford University. Residing in Boulder, Colorado, he and his sons are avid skiers nine months of the year.

On the Tuesday, Solis talked about the role of the Chief Innovation Officer. The CIO needs to be the persistent voice at executive commitee meetings that is keeping innovation as a hot topic for funding, resource allocation, and enterprise. He gives an organization a better chance at getting more results out of innovation. It is the fastest growing C-level title around, representing a growing awareness that merely adopting a strategy is insufficient to get sustained outcomes. Solis discussed how to go about hiring a good CIO,how they should battle the HIPPO effect (highets paid person’s opinion), and he also explained why some CIOs fail.