Since its publication in 2004, THE MEDICI EFFECT has become the definitive book on how diversity drives innovation. The book's premise is that we have the best chance of finding game changing ideas when we combine insights and concepts from diverse fields, industries, cultures and backgrounds. Over the years, my firm has helped hundreds of organizations and leaders strategically orient diversity and inclusion to create opportunities, innovation, and growth.
Perhaps the most consistently rewarding impact of my work is that I get to engage audiences and transform organizations’ and individuals’ journeys. I have had the opportunity to speak on six continents, in over 40 countries, and in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Through my speaking company, FJ Live, some organizations have brought me back more than 20 times, and every week people reach out to me to share how much a talk has changed their perspective or inspired them to act.
Today, organizations all over the world are creating new meeting styles inspired by the book’s message. In 2014, I even teamed up with legendary Walt Disney Imagineering executive, Joe Rohde, to create an epic event: a battle over the soul of creativity.
THE MEDICI EFFECT has become foundational to the fields of innovation, diversity, and inclusion. One of my intellectual heroes, Clay Christensen, called it “one of the most insightful books on managing innovation” that he has ever read, and cites it as support of his book The Innovator’s DNA. Thousands of organizations worldwide have incorporated The Medici Effect into everything from strategy and innovation to HR and marketing.
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There are some companies that have been on the cutting edge of design for decades, and it's always exciting when they can use my ideas to further their craft. For instance, Jason Mayden, Nike’s legendary top designer of the Air Jordan brand, drew inspiration from the place I call the Intersection. My firm eventually worked with Nike to create a customized 4-hour Medici Effect experience that inspired thousands at the company in over 40 countries. Many of these ideas were also incorporated into the creation of Blue Ribbon Studio, Nike’s design center.
IMAGE: Air Jordans by Nike
The fusion of technology and marketing is one critical example of The Medici Effect. For instance, Bob Lord, Chief Digital Officer of IBM, outlined how much The Medici Effect has influenced his worldview in his book, Convergence: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology. These ideas have influenced other leading organizations at this intersection, including McCann, Gartner, Porter Novelli, Google, and Microsoft.
I am most proud of the significant impact my work has had on the field of diversity and inclusion. The idea that Diversity Drives Innovation has influenced hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations around the world. For many leaders, this message has been a complete wake-up call. Governments, universities, NGOs, The Federal Reserve and global companies such as ESPN, Volvo, Nike, Novartis, and IBM have evolved their mindsets through this work.
IMAGE: Nike Pro Hijab
The Medici Method™ is one of the most effective ideation techniques ever, democratizing the process of innovation by enabling actionable change in all ranks of a workplace. The method is used by thousands of teams everywhere and it consistently generates ultra productive ideation.
The Medici Method™ relies on diversity, unpredictability, and the ideas in THE MEDICI EFFECT and THE CLICK MOMENT to transform an organizations’ cultures. This process creates an incredible increase in the speed at which leaders and organizations bring their ideas to fruition.
Within the span of a year, The Medici Group helped a division of a global entertainment company to become 5-10x faster at idea execution and to create new businesses with some of the division’s highest margins ever.
The Medici Effect has become a “go to” text for leaders in economic development, and has been used to stimulate economic growth and change everywhere from Silicon Valley to Nigeria, Sweden, and Australia. In Trinidad & Tobago, my firm worked with the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute, the International Financial Centre, and the Ministry of Planning to catalyze the local economy, which grew by more than 40% during this time.
In 2015, I advised the EU's Commission on Science, Research, and Development on how to boost innovation. What I did not know at the time was that The Medici Effect had already been incorporated as a key feature of The Dublin Declaration, a framework for creating and growing the EU’s Innovation Ecosystem. What’s more, the Swedish government created Research Institutes of Sweden (RiSE) by bringing together the country's leading research institutes to unleash The Medici Effect.
IMAGE: Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin, Ireland
In 2006, I gave a talk that inspired a number of initiatives. None, however, were as immense as the Medical City, a $2 billion life sciences development in Orlando. It was built specifically to create the Medici Effect by bringing together research facilities, educational institutions, entrepreneurs, and clinical treatment centers,. Its potential impact in the region has been compared to that of the Kennedy Space Center and Walt Disney World.
After I presented to Aditya Birla, one of India’s largest conglomerates, they designed a new Science and Technology Centre for the explicit purpose of creating a Medici Effect among its scientists and engineers. Similarly, Houston Community College, the fourth largest community college system in the United States, incorporated Medici principles into their West Houston Institute.
IMAGES: Aditya Birla Science and Technology Centre & Lake Nona Medial City
Both THE MEDICI EFFECT and THE CLICK MOMENT support curricula at business schools around the world, including Harvard, Berkeley, Singapore’s SMU, and Ukraine’s Lviv. In fact, entire university programs have been designed around THE MEDICI EFFECT, such as the IAE innovation program in Argentina. Disney has also made it a key component of their creativity and innovation curriculum at Disney College.
Even countries widely seen as global leaders in education, such as Singapore, find themselves aiming to integrate creativity more aggressively into their programs. I spoke to over 2,500 teachers in Singapore on how to accomplish this together with the country’s Minister of Education. These efforts, in turn, led to the creation of a creativity curriculum introduced to 8th-12th grade students.
IMAGE: Baker Library at Harvard Business School