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Jul 26, 2020

 As we continue to adjust to living with the uncertainty about the future and experiencing the reality that the Coronavirus pandemic is changing the world forever, we are also experiencing something else.

We are experiencing innovation.

Entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and change makers are jumping in to help. All around the world, people are shifting focus and pivoting efforts. Start-up companies began quickly using 3D printing technology to create lifesaving ventilator parts to meet unexpected, extraordinary demand. Gin distilleries shifted production to make hand sanitizer. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been quickly used to scan online articles all over the world, every day to gather and analyze public health information. Drones are delivering medical supplies to remote or quarantined areas and infectious hot zones. Video doctor appointments and telemedicine are helping patients get the care that they need, without leaving the house or putting doctors at risk of infection. Germ-killing robots are sanitizing high-traffic public areas allowing for the safety of workings while observing social distancing.

All of these technological answers have been created to solve problems…..and problem-solving is always at the heart of innovation. Although horrible and scary, a crisis presents innovators with an opportunity to think and create fast, impactful change. All while working in the service of people and organizations for the greater good and maybe even the bottom line. In the midst of a crisis, the ideal that “failure is not an option” aligns everyone’s energy toward clear purpose in resolving the crisis which prompts a groundswell of new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.

Today we are fortunate to be joined by a world-recognized innovator that is known for inspiring out-of-the-box thinking, driving innovation, motivating engagement and generating energy toward the innovation goals of an organization. Not unlike a crisis, disruptive, innovative thinking in an organization forces change and intense effort – the speed of creative-thinking, decision making, and facilitation all surge intensely and forces an organization to quickly think differently, to fail or succeed fast, to learn, and to progress…..to innovate.

Alex Goryachev is an entrepreneurial go-getter. He takes risks, thinks ahead, and loves making way for new innovations. Over the past 20 years, he’s made it his business to turn disruptive concepts into emerging business models. In his new book, Fearless Innovation: Going Beyond the Buzzword to Continuously Drive Growth, Improve the Bottom Line, and Enact Change, Alex explores how, no matter their function, leaders and managers can cut through the noise to understand change and deliver real results.

For him, it’s all about a passion to create a strategy and then drive it home to “get things done.” And as Cisco’s Senior Director of Innovation Strategy and Programs, he has plenty of opportunities to put this passion to the test. He sparks internal innovation by providing employees at all levels the chance to share their big ideas, many of which make their way into the company’s innovation engine. Alex also carries the torch for co-innovation across Cisco’s ecosystem.

At Cisco, Alex spearheads several award-winning international programs and initiatives to accelerate innovation – whether that impacts operations, businesses processes, or technology. Alex is an award-winning Silicon Valley veteran whose resume reads like a brief history of tech disruption. He is a sought-after speaker on innovation and a regular contributor to Forbes, Chief Executive Magazine, Information Week, and other leading media outlets.