Oren Harari Breaks From the Pack

oren_harari_half.jpgIt was a marvelous privilege to spend the morning filming Oren Harari, Ph.D. where he teaches at the beautiful campus of The University of San Francisco. He has both rich contemporary business acumen and the ability to speak in the vernacular that resonates from Gen Y to the Boomers sitting in the executive suite of today’s leading business organizations. What do you suppose you can learn from Madonna and Willie Nelson about developing a leading edge product innovation strategy? More than you might expect.

Madonna has managed to be incredibly disciplined in tracking emerging trends and reinventing and branding herself in new iterations regularly including the Virgin, the Material Girl, the Marilyn Monroe glamour girl, the buff ripped 90’s uber-mom, the female-spiritual-power woman, the AIDS-gay-rights activist humanitarian, and even the sensitive children’s book author, just to name a few. In each iteration she spotted a distinct and madanna.jpgpowerful emerging zeitgeist and placed herself at the forefront of it – effectively being “first to market.” Similarly, Ford and GM were first to develop commercially scalable hybrid vehicle technology but were waiting for the market to reach critical mass. Toyota came later to the hybrid technology development but didn’t hesistate to bring it to market. They saw the nacent trend emerging and were first to market and now virtually dominate with the Toyota Prius.