Gijs van Wulfen


About Gijs van Wulfen - Author and Founder of the FORTH Innovation Method:

Gijs van Wulfen (based in the Netherlands) is a professional inspirational speaker on innovation and design thinking, a widely followed innovation blogger, published author, founder of the FORTH innovation method and an exceptional facilitator.

Gijs is a recogniSed innovation authority. Gijs was chosen as one of the first LinkedIn Influencers and as of the end of 2014, over 250,000 people across the globe are following his notably engaging, prolific and insightful posts. In 2013 Gijs came number 3 in the international Top 40 Innovation Bloggers. Gijs is also the author of the innovation bestseller The Innovation Expedition (published in English, Russian, Turkish, Dutch, and in 2015 in Chinese and Japanese). Gijs furthermore founded the FORTH innovation method, which provides structure to the chaotic start of innovation, while still fostering creative thinking. The FORTH method helps businesses to generate well-constructed new product, service, and business model concepts. To date, the FORTH innovation method has been implemented in 35+ Europe businesses.

Most recently Gijs was the keynote speaker at the Turkish Innovation Week in Istanbul and at Product Innovation Berlin. Gijs is retained as a motivational innovation speaker with institutions and companies such as Strelka Institute Moscow and Tebodin Amsterdam. Gijs performs in English, German and his native Dutch language. Gijs is an illustrative lyrical storyteller with an articulate informal style, which is full of humor, entertainment, and insight.

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What Gijs van Wulfen Talks About:

How To Start Innovation
Innovation is highly relevant to every organization. Yet, eighty percent of innovation projects never reach the market. Many have a false start. This lecture will inspire you with practical tools on how to begin innovation effectively. It is intended for innovators: managers, consultants, entrepreneurs and organization leaders. The process of innovation is highly relevant in their professional capacity; and it is a process that many struggle to master.

“When is the right moment?” “How do I discover what customers want?” “How do I get breakthrough ideas?” “How do I get internal support?”

This lecture takes an original approach to show how you can innovate the expedition way! Innovation author and Linkedin Influencer Gijs van Wulfen, from the Netherlands, draws parallels between mankind’s greatest explorations in history and modern-day innovation. The fundamental parallels are that the process takes time, it’s full of risks, and there will be unexpected setbacks. Gijs van Wulfen will talk on “How Columbus discovered America, how Hillary reached the summit of Everest, and how Neil Armstrong got to be the first man on the Moon.” Their remarkable stories of exploration and how they overcame unexpected setbacks will inspire you to innovate with a new mindset in a structured way according to the FORTH innovation methodology. FORTH is a customer-oriented and inspiring innovation expedition to create new business cases for innovative products, services and business models. It connects the day-to-day business reality with outside-the-box creativity and combines design thinking and business principles. The scientifically proven method is used worldwide and described in his innovation bestseller The Innovation Expedition, published in English, Russian, Turkish, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese.

There are five simple take-aways for the audience on how to start innovation:

  • Never innovate alone
  • Do it the expedition way
  • Solve a relevant customer friction
  • Use the voice-of-the-customer
  • Bring back business

10 Insights To Be A Better Innovator! 
This lecture from innovation author and Linkedin Influencer Gijs van Wulfen, is a thought-provoking speech on how you can innovate more effectively in a corporate setting. 

Gijs encounters so many people struggling with innovation. Here’s a list of five reasons why innovation goes wrong in daily practice at so many large companies all over the world:

  • Our short-term mindset rules. Your company focuses on getting results next quarter, as your shareholders demand profits today.
  • We cannot change our habits. Your company lacks the ability to invoke change, the ability to change their mindset. “My colleagues don’t think beyond what made our company successful thus far.”
  • We fear failure. Your past innovations were not successful and have cost a lot of money. “Managers were fired because their launches of new products failed.”
  • Our innovation process sucks. When you lack a process or when you have an ‘over-structured’ process, it’s really hard to achieve tangible results.
  • Customers reject our innovations. A lot of our new products and services fail because customers don’t want them. “We struggle to get inside the head of potential purchasers of the product or service.”

In a  very practical way brought to you through his engaging and humorous real-life stories, Gijs will share the following 10 insights to be a better innovator:

  • Managers say yes to innovation only when doing nothing is a bigger risk. 
  • Pick the right moment. You can invent on your own, but you cannot innovate alone.
  • Innovators need the patience of a hunter. Wait for a shot you’re sure you can make.
  • An organization is like a herd. The slowest animals determine the pace.
  • A big Idea is a simple solution for a relevant customer friction or dream.
  • You get new ideas when you stop thinking 
  • Think outside the box and present inside the box otherwise nothing happens. 
  • Nobody buys innovation from a clown. So bring back a business case. 
  • The voice of the customer is your best support 
  • Innovation does not stop at the first “No”. That’s the moment it really starts.

These insights will create a more innovative mindset and will inspire people to apply them in their working environments. This lecture is a fast paced, interactive, and entertaining experience.

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 Recent Publications

Gijs has a natural ability to engage with his audience in a thoughtful balance of anecdotes, facts, personal insights and humor.

Heather Spidell, President and CEO of the Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Development

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