Technology and Innovation: Instilling Passion Into One’s Students

Technology and innovation go hand in hand when it comes to digital. However, to perceive innovation rightly, deft computer literacy isn’t sufficient. A clear vision and understanding are way more important. One must be able to analyse innovation with a keen eye. In the light of experience. This post is dedicated to a training module by Lee Schlenker on Technology and Innovation as part of my Advanced Master’s in Digital Business Strategy from Grenoble Ecole de Management.

A history of Technology and Innovation

Such experience is what makes students come down from the heights of the auditoriums and gather around Professor Schlenker. Face to face teaching isn’t a thing of the past, even in the Internet age. It is even more critical in the Internet age I should say. Teaching indeed is not just a mere question of expressing an opinion or a theory publicly. It is also about encouraging, leading and providing hindsight, delivering powerful storytelling and taking learners beyond the perception of their knowledge requirements.

The April 5, 2019 technology and innovation session of the Digital Business Strategy Advanced Master's of Grenoble Ecole de Management was delivered offsite on April 7 on Vinci's superb "Leonard" accelerator premises in Paris.

The April 5, 2019 technology and innovation session of the Digital Business Strategy Advanced Master’s of Grenoble Ecole de Management was delivered offsite on April 7 on Vinci’s superb “Leonard” accelerator premises in Paris.

Philosophers (Camus comes to mind) often debate that individuals may dissociate the theory they preach from the lives they lead. A good philosopher — say, Schopenhauer as quoted by the French thinker in the Myth of Sisyphus — may praise suicide in front of a good meal and yet be sincere. That said, those who live and breathe the stuff they teach are often admired and able to lead the pack. The proof of the pudding and commonality between thought and action are incredibly effective, and learners are rarely mistaken by that.

Lee Schlenker during his Technology & Innovation course at the Leonardo Incubator Leonard. He who not only "professes" but shows students places they didn't think existed — like here with the Third Place — is a real teacher.

Lee Schlenker during his Technology & Innovation course at the Leonardo Incubator Leonard. He who not only “professes” but shows students places they didn’t think existed — like here with the Third Place — is a real teacher.

Fifteen years ago, time flies, I met Lee Schlenker. I was at EM Lyon and Cranfield (UK) after years in the field in an attempt to retrain and change courses. I was learning a lot, and I was fascinated by Lee’s teaching. He always remained humble, inspiring and genuinely interested in exchanging with people. His ability to continually switch between theory and practice, both impeccably delivered, explains why he is one of the lecturers I have most appreciated.

One day during a break, as we were discussing technology and innovation, he advised me to read Visionary Marketing’s analysis on Carr’s IT does not matter (i.e. my own for those who don’t know me). This persuaded me to overcome my natural shyness and start investing some of my time in teaching.

Fifteen years later I still have the pleasure of working with Lee, and now he is a lecturer in my Master’s. It’s a great honour. Since then he has launched BAI (Business Analytics Institute) and jumped on the Big Data, analytics and AI bandwagon. His kindness and competence remain the same.

Such were the topics he discussed during his speech in early April on the extraordinary premises of the LEONARD incubator. Leonard was launched by Vinci, a world leader in building and airport management.

The Vinci’s building is located in the 12th district of Paris, France. It’s situated near the Gare de Lyon railway station, and you can enjoy the pictures of the event in the above slideshow by clicking the above image. It’s not just a building; it’s also a philosophy and a working environment whose goal is to spur innovation internally as well as externally. So Mathieu Lerondeau explained. Vinci’s idea was to hire the maverick creator of the Netscouade — an LSE alumnus — to innovate and bring out-of-the-box ideas.

Expert from the BAI Website

Prof. Lee Schlenker facilitated the “Technology and Innovation” module of GEM’s Specialized Masters in Digital Strategy this month in Paris, France

Student discussion focused on the foundations of digital economics, artificial intelligence, innovation, managerial decision making, the internet of value, and digital ethics.  Several models were debated and tested in class, including the 4ps of digital innovation, AI First, the AI Continuum and the AI Roadmap, as well as a variety of Data Science methodologies and algorithms.

The case studies in manufacturing, public works, health analytics, smart cities and were illustrated by corporate testimony from Yann Gouvernnec, Mathieu Lerondeau, Quentin Panissod, and Camille Combeas well as a visit to Vinci’s Leonard Center for Innovation.

he Digital Business Strategy Advanced Master provides students with the keys to understand, manage and lead change in a global economy facing the challenges of a fourth industrial revolution.  The program’s international faculty facilitate a 360-degree approach on digital to offer students the needed skills to detect, analyze and leverage the opportunities of digital transformation. The curriculum combines topics in management sciences, information technology and digital marketing to create a top-notch international program that meets the needs of learners who are passionate about the digital innovation. For more information on the GEM’s Advanced Master’s in Digital Strategy, please go to http://en.grenoble-em.com/digital

Read more on Lee’s BAI website