Interview with Tendayi Viki. Author of The Corporate Startup and The Lean Product Lifecycle.

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

I have recently joined Strategyzer, working with Alex Osterwalder to develop new tools for innovation. I am also writing my next book entitled Pirates In The Navy – which focuses on how intrapreneurs can navigate the choppy waters of big corporations and innovate successfully.

How was the last year, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?

Last year was hectic. My last book The Corporate Startup won awards and that led to a lot of travel and client work. Senior leaders in large companies now fully understand the importance of innovation for the future of their companies. Interestingly, even with that understanding, it still takes corporate leaders a while to start working with contemporary innovation tools. It seems they are distracted by running their core business.

What are your plans for the future?

Beyond publishing Pirates In The Navy, I am working with Strategyzer to develop tools for helping corporate leaders design their innovation strategy. Innovation does not work really well when it is done as bunch of random one-off projects. Instead, all innovation projects should be run as an expression of the company’s strategic goals. This requires leaders to strategically define where their innovation team can play.

What will you be talking about at the Lean Startup Conference in Berlin Feb. 12? 

My talk will focus on how executives can lead innovation by asking the right questions at the right time. Rather than asking for long business cases, how can leaders lead innovation using a non-linear and iterative process. I will also be running a workshop based on Pirates In The Navy on how innovators can navigate the choice between working on new product ideas and transforming the culture of their companies.

What inspired you to attend it?

I am passionate about the field of innovation – in particular corporate innovation. I want to share lessons with others and help move the field forward.

Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?

Needless to say, I have been heavily inspired and influenced by Alexander Osterwalder. It’s great for me to be working daily with one of my heroes. I am also inspired by Yves Pigneur, Clayton Christensen, Steve Blank and Rita McGrath.

How can people find out more about what you are working on?

You can follow us on Twitter @tendayiviki or @strategyzer. My website www.tendayiviki.com.


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