Ruffle up your innovation feathers and get some new insights


In: Blogs

Print Friendly
Birds of a Feather, BOF, is an exclusive network for innovation management practitioners, founded in the US. The company behind it, Brightidea, is now coming to Europe to host its first event outside the US, this time in Zurich. The philosophy behind BOF is to create “progress in the field of innovation”, according to Matt Greeley, founder and CEO of

In May of this year, Brightidea kicked off its BOF 2010 Tour, a series of exclusive work-shops with intentionally limited numbers of attendees to facilitate collaboration.

-       BOF is our gift back to the innovation community. It is an open forum for peers across industries allowing them to exchange their experiences and best practices in implementing innovation in large organizations,” says Matt Greeley, CEO of We approach the subject by interactively applying new knowledge to real world situations.

The BOF 2010 Tour started at Nielsen’s Headquarters in New York City followed by an event in San Diego in early August, hosted by Sony Corporation. With the BOF October work-shop in Zürich, hosted by UBS, the tour continues its theme “A Next Step for Every Idea”. This means, the focus is on how to evaluate and prioritize ideas in order to decide which ideas should be implemented. Besides this, the work-shop will address issues like driving participation, intellectual property and other key challenges innovation practitioners face.

Bringing BOF to Europe and Asia

According to the organizers the BOF work-shops in the US have received great feedback from the attendees. And apparently the word about the BOFs has spread.

-       “We have been receiving more and more requests for regional events. So we decided to organize a global tour and give innovation practitioners in Europe and Asia the opportunity to meet and network with their peers on their home continents”, says Paul Tran, Director of Strategic Business Development at Brightidea and initiator of the Birds of a Feathers meetings.

Past BOF events have been attended by innovation managers of companies such as Hewlett Packard, Adobe, Cisco, American Express, Bristol-Meyer Squibb, Kraft, among others. André St-Martin of Emerson, for example, felt that the New York City event offered “innovation facilitators a chance to interact with other folks faced with similar challenges in their organization, and exchange on learning’s and best practices.”

-       “When innovation managers and experts come together to openly discuss their challenges and successes in making their companies more innovative, there is never a shortage of ‘light bulb moments’. Especially in a discipline as new as innovation management, an exchange of knowledge across verticals is crucial to achieve progress. Learning that other companies struggle with the same issues or have already found a solution to specific challenges helps put things into perspective and may provide valuable thought-starters for your own innovation processes”, says Matt Greeley.

While Birds of a Feather is not about the organizers, i.e. Brightidea, but about the higher goal of successful innovation management, the Brightidea team listens closely to the concerns, issues and ideas of the event’s attendees.

-       “Being able to meet with innovation executives and to learn from them firsthand about their daily challenges and successes is a great and humbling experience. It offers valuable insights that we try to implement into our software tools to meet our customers’ needs as effectively as possible”, says Greeley.

About BOF in Zurich

The BOF work-shop in Zürich will be held on October 19 and will be hosted by the global banking and finance company UBS. Example of participating thought leaders are Dr. Kai Engel and Dr. Michael Durst. Dr Kai Engel is one of the partners at A.T. Kearney and leads the European Innovation Service Practice and has published several books about innovation management capabilities. Dr. Michael Durst is Managing Director at ITONICS GmbH, specialized in innovation management and strategic IT consulting. Between 2007 and 2009, he was head of the Research & Innovations department at Adidas Global IT.

For more information about the work-shop you are welcome to contact Stefanie Mainwaring at Brightidea.

  • Paul Tran

    For more information and the latest updates on the Brightidea BOF, please visit: