Nurturing Innovation Stanford Executive Brief with Judy Estrin

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Program Highlights

  • How today's business climate stifles new breakthroughs.
  • Why it has to be OK to fail.
  • Allowing customers to inspire your innovators.

Most of us would agree that innovation drives economic cycles. Yet, in recent years we've seen a risk aversion among investors and corporate leaders alike that has stifled innovation by emphasizing "time to market" as the highest good. Judy Estrin challenges this trend, pointing out that if your focus today is on short-term profits, what will your source of short-term profits be five years from now?

Based on lessons learned in several successful and highly innovative start-ups, Estrin describes how to create an environment in which innovation can flourish in companies large or small. She explains that innovators must be allowed to fail; that pushing to scale a product too early can be a mistake; and why it's usually necessary to plan for leadership change once the innovation matures.

Judy Estrin, a seasoned entrepreneur, has been named three times to Fortune magazine's list of the 50 most powerful women in American business. She sits on the boards of directors of the Walt Disney Company and the Federal Express Corporation. Estrin holds a BS in math and computer science from UCLA, and an MS in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

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