Skip to main content

Magnificent Seven

19 February 2019

Man delivers presentation
Professor Mann and colleagues have helped many of the world’s top companies create stronger intellectual property and participated in the creation of over 500 inventions.

An expert in systematic innovation has introduced an audience of business, academic and third sector practitioners to ‘first principle delivery’ at the latest in Cardiff Business School’s Breakfast Briefing Series.

Professor Darrell Mann, CEO & Technical Director of Systematic Innovation, outlined the ways in which his organisation works across business disciplines to successfully deliver innovation by taking each project down to the first principle level.

Over the last 18 years, Professor Mann and colleagues have helped many of the world’s top companies create stronger intellectual property and participated in the creation of over 500 inventions.

“That’s what enables us to go to just about every different industry with a message that says, if we understand your industry at this first principle level then we’ve got a good chance of successfully delivering innovation.”

Professor Darrell Mann CEO & Technical Director of Systematic Innovation

Terabytes and terabytes of information

Through a series of case studies taking in the insurance, ICT services, social media, and artificial intelligence sectors, Professor Mann demonstrated how the fastest and most effective way to innovation is through the virtuous circle of data.

Professor Mann said: “If organisations have terabytes and terabytes of information coming into their algorithms on a daily basis then they’re going to learn very quickly.

“And when you’ve trained those algorithms what to look for, then they’ll learn more quickly. This results in a virtuous circle whereby the more data you get the better you’re able to set up the next thing. These might be products or engagement which encourage customers to share more information.”

Reverse engineer success stories

Having painted a somewhat pessimistic view of the innovation landscape in the first half of his presentation, Professor Mann turned to the success stories for firms that don’t have access to the types of data accumulated by the likes of Google, Facebook, Apple and their like.

He explained how industry averages, when talking about innovation, are useless. Instead, organisations must look to the fringes of such data and ask what processes and procedures the one percenters followed that the rest did not.

Professor Mann said: “Look at the successful stories and try to reverse engineer what these organisations do.”

Free, perfect and now

Professor Mann drew his presentation to a close by describing the way in which the first principle not only drives organisations towards a consumer focussed model but a system in which everything evolves towards free, perfect and now.

Examples from the insurance industry in which policies were unlimited, free, invisible, transparent and immediate were shared and also the lawnmower industry in which growthless grass is the ultimate aim.

These allowed Professor Mann to end by explaining that successful innovators always look for the contradictions and solve them.

“Make sure you know where perfect is. You may never get there in reality, but at least know where it is.”

Woman talks to audience
Sarah Lethbridge introduces attendees to Professor Mann's upcoming executive programme and other School events.

The Executive Education Breakfast Briefing series is a network that enables business contacts to find out more about the latest research and key developments from industrial partners.

If you were unable to attend, catch up with this live stream of the event.

Professor Mann is set to return to Cardiff Business School on Monday 29 April when he will deliver an Innovation Masterclass, entitled: InnovationDNA: The pragmatist’s guide to innovation.

Register now and prepare to learn how you and your business can implement low-risk innovative step-change in chaotic markets and chaotic times.

Share this story

Enabling our business contacts to find out more about latest business research and key developments from industry partners and practitioners.