About Geoff Waite

I've been at the cutting edge of the FEI for many years. I blame Edward deBono, who's "Lateral Thinking" I picked up in a used book store as a curious thirteen-year old!

While my educators were frantically training my logical and reasoning powers as a scientist and then engineer, I never could shake off the question: “how do people think and have ideas”, Over the years, this has lead to a continuous series of parallel tracks to  “hard” engineering and technology, ranging from structured problem analysis to psychometric profiling to thinking styles to QFD to TRIZ to crowdsourcing and networked innovation.

As an engineer, I love solving (technical) problems and finding creative solutions.  Working with a variety of clients from many industries, I came to realize that this is necessary, but not sufficient, to create true innovation, and that the asking of the right question is just as important and just as hard to do.

This lead me to build

  • first, an holistic approach to the front end of innovation, particularly opportunity discovery, and
  • second, a 360o view of what makes a company innovative effectively.

This has been the basis of many talks and workshops that I have run in the US and Europe a number of companies, executive education seminars and at FEI conferences.

I’ve also learned that there is no “universal truth” or “grand unified theory” of innovation and that all situations are different, requiring a unique approach to every situation built upon knowledge of how the innovation system works and insight into what will fit each specific instance.  A corollary of this is that “one stop shops” rarely work, as they will inevitably result in compromises to the best fit in some parts of the system (unless you’re very, very lucky!)

So this is what I do: Using my management consulting background and my broad knowledge of FEI, I lay down a plan, identify the critical resource gaps, and plug them with right resources.  I get to do what I love doing (helping companies execute FEI more effectively) and my clients get someone with a proven track record to pull a complex project together.

Bio

Geoff Waite specializes in the “art and science” of innovation, working with cross-functional teams to develop an integrated and holistic approach to front end opportunity discovery, ideation and concept creation.

With 25 years consulting and contract development experience in R&D,  product development and innovation/R&D management, he is experienced in all aspects of font end work from strategic marketing to user needs analysis to IP management to technical ideation to downstream product development. Geoff is an experienced facilitator and presenter,  and is regularly asked to facilitate creative technical sessions and speak at Innovation events.

He is well known and highly commended for his work in the front end by both his clients and members of the product development and innovation community.  He has generated thought leadership in Innovation Approaches, Opportunity Discovery and Technology Roadmapping.  In addition to his work at the front end, he is an experienced development engineer.

For the last 10 years, he has served as a member of the senior management team at Sagentia Inc. in Massachusetts and Cambridge, England.

Prior to Sagentia, Geoff has worked in various consulting, R&D and technology roles with PA Technology in NJ and in the UK, the British Technology Group, Warwick University and Rover Group. He has an honors degree in Physics and a masters in Engineering. His diverse range of clients include John Deere, Carl Zeiss, Procter & Gamble, Xerox, Kraft Foods, Diebold, SCJ and FortuneBrands.

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