Leadership – Our Strategic Innovation Leaders

We are a group of seasoned business leaders who know what it takes to get to the next level. We help innovative leaders disrupt the mindsets of their teams and organizations in order to disrupt their markets with business breakthroughs that positively surprise customers and grow the top line.

Our tools and processes are based upon decades of experience. We know that breakthrough innovation and business growth demands a dual-focus – on new strategies, products, services and business models and also on the leadership and strategic business alignment necessary for accelerating disruptive organizational change.

We provide thought leadership on what it takes to create new opportunities and business models, with an emphasis on the often overlooked and under-appreciated success factors and capabilities required for leading strategic innovation and change.

Soren Kaplan

Soren Kaplan is the bestselling and award winning author of Leapfrogging and The Invisible Advantage, an Affiliated Professor at the Center for Effective Organizations at USC’s Marshall School of Business, a writer for Fast Company and Inc. Magazine, a globally recognized keynote speaker, and the Founder of InnovationPoint. He has been recognized by the Thinkers50 as one of the world’s experts in business strategy and innovation. In his role at InnovationPoint, he works with Disney, NBCUniversal, Kimberly-Clark, Colgate-Palmolive, Hershey, Red Bull, Medtronic, Roche, Philips, Cisco, Visa, Ascension Health, Kaiser Permanente, CSAA Insurance Group, American Nurses Association, and numerous other organizations. Soren previously led the internal strategy and innovation group at Hewlett-Packard (HP) during the roaring 1990’s in Silicon Valley and is a co-founder of upBOARD, the world’s first Collaborative Dashboard software platform. He has lectured at the Harvard Business School, Copenhagen Business School, Melbourne Business School, and with other MBA and executive education programs globally. His Wall Street Journal bestseller, Leapfrogging, was recognized as “Best Leadership Book” by the Axiom Book Awards and his latest book, The Invisible Advantage, received the “Best General Business Book” by the International Book Awards.

Soren has been quoted, published, and interviewed by Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, CNBC, National Public Radio, the American Management Association, USA Today, Strategy & Leadership, and The International Handbook on Innovation, among many others. He holds Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Organizational Psychology, resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, and possesses dual US-French citizenship. For more information about Soren including his recent articles, videos, and keynote speaking, visit www.leapfrogging.com.

Derrick Palmer

As a Founder of InnovationPoint, Derrick Palmer helps global organizations create novel solutions to the tough challenges of driving strategic, breakthrough growth. Using non-traditional approaches, and with 30 years of line management and consulting experience, Derrick taps into his work across many verticals – including consumer products, financial services, health care, high tech, entertainment, professional services, retail, automotive, and hospitality. He has extensive experience leading cross-functional teams ‘from chaos to clarity’, fostering collaboration across organizational silos, and facilitating decision-making among disparate (and sometimes disconnected) stakeholder groups. Originally from England, Derrick brings an international perspective. Having lived and worked in six countries, he knows what it takes to drive breakthrough results from culturally diverse teams. He holds a BA in Languages/Linguistics and a Masters degree in Marketing Management.

Michael Lynch

Michael is a creative and successful executive with extensive leadership experience in delivering innovative products and building global businesses. Michael leads InnovationPoint strategic client engagements, is the CEO of upBOARD, and is focused on business strategy, digitization, and growth opportunities that leverage disruptive technologies, leading consulting engagements, delivering keynotes, and applying emerging technology to the business strategy and innovation process. Prior to joining InnovationPoint, Michael led the Internet of Things business at SAP. He joined SAP as part of the acquisition of Right Hemisphere Inc., where he held the position of CEO. As CEO of Right Hemisphere, he transformed the company from a small tools provider for graphics professionals to the global leader in Visualization and Product Communications software for Global 1,000 manufacturers. He closed multiple rounds of venture financing with Sequoia Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, SAP Ventures, NVIDIA, and other investors. Michael led the company to a successful acquisition by SAP. Previously, Michael was the VP in charge of creative product development at 7th Level where he helped grow the company from 20 employees to IPO. At 7th Level, he led the production of over thirty award winning Internet, education and entertainment software products for Disney, Real Networks, IBM, Microsoft and Sony. Prior to working in Technology, Michael was a successful actor/singer/dancer on Broadway where he starred in Fiddler on the Roof, Jerome Robbin’s Broadway and Les Miserables. Michael also starred on Television’s General Hospital and more. Michael attended the Manhattan School of Music where he studied Opera.

Gayle Jay

Gayle Jay has devoted her career to leading, inspiring and especially challenging others to consider creative and different paths in order to innovate. Gayle has an innate ability to relate to all types of individuals, levels and cultures, most likely due to a childhood of constant moves and career assignments working throughout Europe, all over Asia, including Russia. Gayle’s work spans many industries including work with Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Avery Dennison, Salesforce, Agilent Technologies, Disney and Avanir Pharmaceuticals, US West, Pacific Enterprises, California State Automobile Association Insurance Group, Campbell’s Soup, and DuPont. Gayle received a BS Business Administration and Marketing and an International Business Studies Certificate from Portland State University, contributes spare time working with Boards of nonprofit organizations like Make-A-Wish Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and is passionate about volunteering to aid abused and neglected children.

Cheryl Perkins

BusinessWeek named Cheryl as one of the top 25 Champions of Innovation in the world. As a global innovation thought leader, Perkins brings three decades of experience leading companies as a creative catalyst in brand-building initiatives that contribute to rewarding end-user experiences and breakthrough business performance. Perkins is the author of Conquering Innovation Fatigue and a passionate keynote speaker who inspires audiences all over the world sharing her insights with C-level executives and leaders on crafting winning business strategies, plans, alliances and partnerships for commercial success. Perkins’ 23-year career at Kimberly-Clark propelled her to Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, where she led the company in game-changing innovation and growth.

David Yudis

David has led global teams and advised senior executives throughout his leadership development career.  During more than a decade with The Walt Disney Company, David held a variety of executive positions with increasing responsibilities across several global, operating segments including serving as Vice President, Global Learning & Enterprise Executive Development for Disney Consumer Products. David has also led the talent acquisition and talent management functions in several large organizations, providing a suite a learning and development services to over 50,000 employees as Senior Vice President of People Development for Advantage Solutions. In addition to internal positions, David has led and managed a boutique consulting practice providing services to Fortune 500 through venture funded companies, focused on executive coaching, organization effectiveness and leadership development.  David is a licensed psychologist and holds a Doctorate and MBA in general business.

Gabriel Mendoza

Gabriel possesses extensive hands-on experience in defining transformational strategies and executing innovation roadmaps that deliver award-winning customer experiences, products, services, and business models. As former General Manager of eBay Marketplaces and Director of Product Innovation at Intuit, Gabriel leverages his deep expertise in design thinking, blueprinting, rapid prototyping, and agile iteration to help organizations transform their innovation processes and drive business growth. He has successfully led cross-functional and cross-business unit teams across disruptive technological shifts across the globe including programs spanning the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Russia and India. With 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and intrapreneur across a wide range of companies and markets, Gabriel’s background spans eCommerce Marketplaces, Consumer Products, Financial Services, FinTech & Payment Platforms, Digital Entertainment, Smart Appliances, Hardware, Software, SaaS, and Small Business Marketing. In his free time, Gabriel coaches early-stage startups and volunteers on the Board of Directors for several educational nonprofits.