After rising to the position of vice president of engineering technology at International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), one of the top priorities for Steve Huang G’72, G’75 was to build a culture that supported the needs of everyone in the…
Alexander Manu gives students insight on strategic innovation
During a guest lecture on Oct. 7 in the Syracuse University course IST 500,“What’s the Big Idea,” international innovation consultant Alexander Manu spoke about empowerment, using the slogan “Because we can” to show how the future is affected by changes in people’s behavior and how those changes drive business ideas.
Manu is a strategic innovation practitioner, international lecturer and author. He is currently a senior partner and chief imaginator at InnoSpa International Partners, a worldwide consulting firm that helps large corporations define new competitive spaces.
Manu set the tone for the class when he displayed a viewer discretion advisory warning while playing the song “P.I.M.P” by rap artist 50 Cent.
Manu interacted with students, incorporating a diverse array of sound, color, typography and visual images. He kept his audience laughing and interested through various pictures and videos, such as the popular YouTube video “Charlie bit my finger,” which spurred millions of viewers to watch, manipulate and re-enact the video.
Manu stressed the idea of determining who you are in order to develop a new idea for the future. “The future will only be what we want to reveal next about ourselves,” Manu said.
During his presentation, Manu stated the number one issue for businesses today is location strategy. Businesses need to develop ways to become curators of the everyday experience, making everyplace make sense to every individual, he said.
Manu used the iPhone as a main example of fitting a business into a behavior. According to Manu, 85,000 applications for iPhones have come into existence within the last two years. This is a product that caters to users’ desires, wants and needs. When someone stops having a need for the applications on the iPhone, it will go away and be replaced by the next innovative tool.
Manu ended his lecture with some final words to the young entrepreneurs: “The future is the changes that you make to the present.”
For more information on the course, visit http://whats-the-big-idea.com. The course is the first step in a four-phase Student Start-Up Accelerator. Learn more at http://accelerate.syr.edu.