Forum on World Class IT - 295 Interviews and Podcasts

Welcome to the Forum on World Class IT podcast series, a collection of exclusive interviews with Chief Information Officers and other IT industry thought leaders. Learn from the experts on how best to establish a truly World Class IT organization.

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January 16, 2017: Rob Nail, CEO, Singularity University

Among other topics, Rob discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy:
  • Rob’s path from entrepreneur to CEO, and the growth he has led at Singularity University
  • The accelerating pace of technology progress, and the importance of thoughtful and creative futures thinking
  • How the lack of long-term thinking has contributed to economic instability and political class and social unrest in the US and across the world
  • The natural tendency for people to be pessimistic, and why the world needs rational optimists and storytellers
  • Why current frameworks are insufficient for keeping pace with change, and how leaders can begin to change their mindset
  • Best practices for corporations to experiment with new technologies and leverage innovation ecosystems
  • Intrapreneurship, innovation and scaling at the edges
  • Best practices from Lowe’s innovation lab Biography
Rob Nail’s Biography
Rob is the Chief Executive Officer and Associate founder ofSingularity University. Since assuming that role in 2011, Rob has overseen the growth of theorganization’s individual and organization-focused programs, its conference series, and itsglobal community, as well as championed SU Labs, a creative space that is part startupaccelerator, part corporate innovation lab, and part think tank.Prior to leading at Singularity University, Rob co-founded Velocity11, a robotics company forcancer research and drug discovery, which he led until its acquisition by Agilent Technologies.After its acquisition, Rob worked as a General Manager at Agilent. He is a Director at Harmanand Light & Motion, and co-founder and Director at Alite Design. He is also an active angelinvestor and advisor.

Rob holds a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical & Materials Sciences from the University of California, Davis and a master’s degree inManufacturing Systems from Stanford University. I recently caught up with Rob over the phone from his office in Silicon Valley, and ourconversation covered World Class IT Principle One, People, as we discussed the role of intrapreneurs and the importance of creative and forward thinkers in developing innovativecompanies and products, Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships, as we discussedinnovation processes and strategy setting, Principle Five, External Partnerships, as wediscussed the challenges and rewards of partnering with startups and of developing innovationecosystems, as well as a variety of other topics.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview