National Innovation Agenda
The Foundation for Innovation created by Bankinter, in Spain, works to increase innovation and entrepreneurship in the Spanish economy. Their programs include the Future Trends Forum, a semi-annual meeting that convenes a group of experts about topics driving change in the world economy, and the development of an Innovation Agenda for Spain, a process organized to engage business, government, financial, and civic leaders in committing to a set of actions that will help Spain incorporate innovation in its economy.
Detecting Weak Signals
As part of Monitor Networks (see GuruCo, below), FutureMonitor was an experiment aimed at replicating the Ernst & Young's Center for Business Innovation's weak signals research using an open web community instead of dedicated researchers. It involved providing curated stimuli to attract an audience; inviting the participants to (1) sense and report weak signals; (2) interpret what the community reported; and (3) select the ideas with the greatest potential for impact. The FutureMonitor group would then research and report on these ideas.
Innovation Advisory Board
A corporate development group feared "going native" after acquiring small operating businesses, and turned to an external advisory board to help maintain focus on further innovation rather than ongoing operations. The design incorporated novel approaches to composition, participation, and governance.
An Immune System for Fraud
Following the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley and the expectations placed on accounting firms to prevent fraud, Ernst & Young took a radical approach: could the principles of the human immune system, which had already been productively applied to protect data networks against viruses, point the way to confer immunity to fraud on the financial system? A conversation among computer scientist, forensic accountants, fraud experts, and a wet-bench lab immunologist produced useful results.
Immersive Experience in Healthcare
The business development arm of Wellpoint (now Anthem) wanted to immerse the executives running the mainstream business in the future of the healthcare industry. The merger with Anthem interrupted the project, but the design of the experience points to still-current issues around feedback and behavior change, illness and well-being, and the demographic and economic context.
Based on the ideas in Future Wealth, Chris developed the strategy for a business ("GuruCo") designed to improve the performance of markets for human capital. This plan was funded by the Monitor Group as Monitor Networks. This unit grew into Monitor Talent, founded in 1995.
BLUR: The Speed of Change in the Connected Economy
Perseus Books, April 1998
IT'S ALIVE: The Coming Convergence of Information, Business and Biology
Crown Business, May 2003
Detecting Weak Signals, Again: NERVE
Detecting Weak Signals: NERVE was a conference conducted by the Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation. Premised on Isaac Asimov's insight that the most exciting phrase in science is not "Eureka!" but "Gee, that's funny....," the meeting brought together a highly diverse group of twenty five business practitioners, academics, and public intellectuals to identify and amplify "weak signals" pointing to coming changes in business and economics. Artist Michael Counts collaborated on the design of the meeting, which included installing a swamp in a conference room, walking in a rooftop garden, and the use of wireless audio to create private communication in public spaces.
The Center for Business Innovation
The Mission of the Center for Business Innovation was "To Anticipate and Shape the Future of Business." The CBI was a think tank within Ernst & Young (later Cap Gemini Ernst & Young) tasked with identifying new service opportunities and working with the consulting practices to develop them. While Chris was Director (1995-2002), CBI researchers explored topics including the application of Complexity Theory to business, the measurement of intangible value in business, the role of emotion at work, and the nature of scarcity in an information economy. The design of the physical space and management systems embodied biological principles of innovation - diversity, recombination, and selection.