In this interview, Saul explains why putting yourself in new situations is the best way to learn about new perspectives and approaches. Through his inspiring journey, Saul was Senior Strategist at Accenture before becoming an "accidental bureaucrat" and starting the Business Innovation Factory in 2005.
We have asked Saul about how looking at innovation through the lens of a corporation differs from looking at it through the lens of a community, and what makes innovation happen more effectively.
Saul shares his belief that we don't necessarily need to invent new solutions: the problem is not in technology, but in us humans because we tend to be stubborn and resistant to change. This is why we need to create safe and manageable environments where we can play with the parts to change some of the big social systems which we desperately need to perform better in the 21st century.
The "BIF Genome" that makes innovation happen more easily has 15 principles divided around 3 themes:
- Connect - Innovation is a team sport
- Inspire - Do what you are passionate about and create movements people can join
- Transform - Go beyond tweaks and incremental change
Saul Kaplan is the founder and Chief Catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory and author of The Business Model Innovation Factory: How to Stay Relevant when the World Is Changing.
Kaplan started BIF in 2005 with a mission to enable collaborative innovation. The non-profit is creating a real world laboratory for innovators to explore and test new business models and system level solutions in areas of high social importance including health care, education, entrepreneurship, and energy independence.
Prior to focusing on business model and system level innovation at the Business Innovation Factory Kaplan served as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and as the Executive Counselor to the Governor on Economic and Community Development. Kaplan created Rhode Island's unique innovation @ scale economic development strategy aimed at increasing the state's capacity to grow and support an innovation economy, including an effort to turn the state's compact geography and close knit public and private sector networks into a competitive advantage.
Prior to his state leadership role in economic development Kaplan served as a Senior Strategy Partner in Accenture's Health & Life-Science practice and worked broadly throughout the pharmaceutical, medical products, and biotechnology industry. Kaplan also spent eight years working for the Pharmaceutical Division of Eli Lilly and Company. As a Marketing Plans Manager, Kaplan assisted in developing the launch strategy and successful introduction of Prozac into the U.S. market.
Kaplan shares his innovation musings on Twitter (@skap5), his blog (It's Saul Connected) and as regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg Business Week.
Kaplan holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute focusing on the strategic management of technology and a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island.