We live in a world screaming for transformation and the best we seem capable of is tweaks. We’re surrounded by leaders and decision makers who share a deeply rooted obsession with scale. An obsession enabled by business models and social norms as straight jackets to keep us in our assigned place aboard the bigger is better bandwagon. Far too often we deflect attention away from the growing number of people harmed and left behind by the one-size-fits-all models, the flywheels of our most important social systems including healthcare, education and the public services we rely on. …


At BIF we design human-centered business models for social impact. It’s an exciting time right now for Team BIF as we scale our first self-initiated design, a personalized maternal wellbeing model we named LunaYou to empower Black and Latina women to improve their own maternal health outcomes. 15+ years since I founded BIF, I’ve never been more inspired and energized. We could never have done it without the BIF network. We could never have done it without networks of networks.

Let me start by coming clean on why I’m obsessed with the idea of networks of networks. It’s personal. I’ve…


(Update: Emerging details since my original post about Tony’s tragic death and battle with mental health and substance abuse are heartbreaking and a clarion call for all of us to pay far more attention to mental health and wellbeing. I double down on the importance of honoring Tony’s life by enabling more random collisions.)

It was beyond sad to learn over the Thanksgiving holiday that we’ve lost an iconic entrepreneur, innovator and friend, Zappos founder Tony Hsieh. He was 46. I haven’t stopped thinking since about Tony’s impact on those of us who had the opportunity to learn from him…


It’s hard not to see another temporary lockdown in our near future. Lockdown seems like the only viable option left to safely bridge to mass vaccination without an unthinkable loss of life. This week’s promising news on the vaccine front is encouraging and hopefully we won’t have to hunker down for long. But hunker down we must.

Here are 10 ways to make it through another lockdown to mass vaccination:

1) Revive our shared springtime mantra and commitment to “flatten the curve”.

2) Accept mask mandates and tighter constraints on gatherings. …


From Tweaks to Transformation During COVID-19

How many times have we heard leaders use the expression ‘burning platform’ in their failed efforts to get us to change? Leaders incessantly call for transformation and the best we seem to be capable of are tweaks to the way our stubborn mindsets, industrial era institutions and social systems work today. All of that has changed overnight as together, we face the mother of all burning platforms, COVID-19. Transformation is our only choice in this crisis.There is no shortage of urgent problems screaming for transformative solutions amidst the COVID-19 crisis. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the breadth and immediacy…


Don’t cancel your event or close up shop because of #COVID19, engage virtually. A growing number of cancelations and closures are already affecting our daily lives. My family had to cancel a personal trip to Japan in April that has been in the works for a year to meet up with our son living in Asia. We all have a personal story to share and the impact from #coronavirus is getting more real with each passing day. Whether we agree or not with the response from our institutional and government leaders, without question we face a global pandemic together, and…


Why do we only do story sharing circles in workshops? What if we shared our real selves and stories with each other every day?

Over the last 14 years, the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), has focused on how to make social system transformation safer and easier to manage. During that time, working on over 70 projects, one consistent learning is that storytelling and engagement are central to transforming any human system. Let’s face it, if we want to transform education, healthcare and public services we must imagine and design new systems with a deep understanding of customer experience and personal…


As an innovation junkie, Amazon is the elephant in a whole lot of rooms I find myself in these days. The number and variety of the rooms in which the elephant seems to be hiding in plain sight are remarkable.

Amazon either already impacts or is poised to disrupt many traditional retail industry segments ranging from books to food to consumer tech to prescription drugs. No retail segment is immune. And now Amazon has announced it will aggressively extend its platform more broadly into healthcare sending shudders through the entire industry. …


Business Innovation Factory (BIF), in collaboration with The School of the Possible founded by Dave Gray, Hatch founded by Yarrow Kraner, and Overlap founded by Michael Dila, is launching a project to explore the opportunity for a transformational personalized medicine business model. Leveraging a network of networks we will start with a four-month exploratory phase of work to establish a deep customer experience foundation upon which we plan to design, prototype and commercialize a new model that empowers individuals and families to improve their own health and wellbeing. Our intention is to start-out-loud and to work iteratively and collaboratively to…


Let’s Catalyze Something Bigger Than Ourselves.

Welcome to #BIF2018

September is a beacon of light for us every year. At BIF, we pride ourselves in living and breathing the human side of innovation day in and day out, but it’s really our Annual Collaborative Innovation Summit that reminds us of our shared purpose. It touches our souls, refreshes our outlook, and energizes us for the hard transformation work ahead. For those of you that are new faces in the crowd, you’ll soon experience what we mean. And for those who have returned year after year, I can’t thank you enough for strengthening our growing network of human-centered innovation junkies…

Saul Kaplan

@TheBIF Founder & Chief Catalyst. Author, The Business Model Innovation Factory

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