Blog - Jim Stikeleather: Looking forward to returning to Executive Breakout in October!

Exec Breakout Breakfast I am really excited to be returning to The Executive Breakout Program from the Innovation Academy at Trinity.

There have been a lot of changes in my life since I last visited. I decided that I really needed to focus on my passions around innovation and in particular innovation around business models, how stakeholders contribute to them and in turn how they reward stakeholders as well as the total role of business in society. Working with a number of universities in Europe, Latin America and North America I have also developed an abiding interest in the role of higher education in society and the transformations underway on its “what, how, where, when and whom “of interactions with society.

To that end, I left Dell as its Chief Innovation Officer in July. With the acquisition of EMC and the disposition of other capabilities, Dell is pursuing excellence in information technology infrastructure versus solutions and services to address business models, operating models, and management models. This freed me up to take on some interesting challenges. I have been appointed to the Board of Trustees for the University of South Florida System. The system is made up of 3 separately accredited universities located in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota Florida. Founded in 1956 it is a young university serving 49,000 students, an annual budget of $1.6 billion and is ranked 41st in the United States for research expenditure – both public and private and 25th among public universities. It has 14 colleges, 180 undergraduate majors and 3,450 graduate students. In addition to normal Board responsibilities I also sit on the Strategic Initiatives and Academic & Campus Environment working committees. This is giving me a chance to put some of what I have learned about the transforming and new emerging roles of higher education in society into practice.

Leaving Dell has also given me time to focus on completing my Doctorate. I am looking to provide a higher level abstraction from my work with business models to develop an über model of business. What if a new model of business precluded all of the unintended consequences of contemporary capitalism? Imagine the possibilities: little or no wealth inequity; little or no negative effect on the planet; little or no effect on social morals and values. Such a model would need fewer laws and regulations constraining business. Such a model could offset taxation and redistribution, with equitable access and distribution of enterprise wealth and value to all who are touched by the enterprise. Sound a little too socially utopian? Such a model would need to account for and compensate for all the value consumed, used, created, destroyed, and stored by a business in its operations. This means that all its decisions would be based on more complete information than the contemporary model of business uses, and consequently would be both more efficient and more effective. It would also match rewards to contributions among all stakeholders. Too good to be true?

Right now we are seeing experiments involving new forms of enterprises with new models of governance and legal strictures. They are an emergent societal response to the challenges of the unintended consequences businesses have presented to society. These are experiments that precede theory on what a new model of business might or should look like. A new model of business is not the immediate goal of my research, but significant attributes, entities, and relationships that are necessary—but perhaps not sufficient—for such a model are to be identified and discussed in the context of existing theories, knowledge, and research into business. The goal is a shareable conceptualization to prompt further research. Here is the conceptual model developed so far:

Conceptual Model

Just as I arrive in Dublin Harvard Business Review Press will be releasing “HBR Guide to Data Analytics Basics for Managers” that I have proudly contributed a section on visualization and storytelling with data. :
HBR GuideI have another book underway, “Bazaar: A New Model for Business”. The book is an homage to Eric S. Raymond’s (Raymond, 1999) classic “The Cathedral & The Bazaar”, describing the rise of open source software and the struggle between top-down and bottom-up design.

The essay's central thesis is Raymond's proposition that "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow": the more widely available the source code is for public testing, scrutiny, and experimentation, the more rapidly all forms of bugs will be discovered. This book will propose that a similar level of transparency applied to business will result in the same outcomes as achieved by open source: security; quality; specificity; freedom; flexibility; interoperability; auditability; cost; experience before commitment; support. Additional benefits would be “automatic” corporate social responsibility and creation of shared value. It will be a first attempt to translate my academic work to practitioners.

Finally, working independently I have begun to undertake projects for customers that are interesting and challenging around innovation, strategy and business models. I am also currently working with the Conference Board on an Innovation Training program for its members. So I guess you could say that I retired from Dell so I could work twice as hard, but at four times the fun! Cheers! See everyone in November.



Check us out - new video insights

Exec Breakout Breakfast Check out new video insights from Jim Stikeleather, Futurist, Innovator, Strategist, University of South Florida, and Prof. Paul Coughlan, Director of Research, School of Business. For full information and to apply online visit


Applications now open for Executive Breakout

Exec Breakout Breakfast Some amazing speakers planned for our new Executive Breakout programme this Autumn, including Colm Lyon, Founder of Fire Financial Services Ltd and Lorna Ross, Director of Design at the Mayo Clinic. Executive Breakout is a new and immersive learning experience designed for managers who want to build capabilities in innovation and creativity within their organisations. This programme is delivered via 7 days over a two month period in the historic city centre campus of Trinity College Dublin. For full information and to apply online visit


Executive Breakout launches with serial Medtech entrepreneur

Exec Breakout Breakfast Trinity’s new short programme for managers was launched this week with an information breakfast held at the Innovation Academy in Foster Place. Dr. Barry Mc Mahon, Director of the Innovation Academy opened the event and spoke of how the programme was designed to encourage managers to think differently, work more collaboratively and take their team and organisations to the next level. This was all put into practice with an inspiring talk from medtech entrepreneur Dr. Conor Hanley, a regular contributor on the programme.

Hanley, the recently appointed CEO of FIRE1 spoke candidly about chasing new projects and what it takes to build and run successful ventures in the healthcare sector. His talk focused on how connectivity is transforming health and how living longer provides an abundance of opportunity for entrepreneurs. His own company is currently developing a novel remote monitoring device and they have raised $7.5 million (US) from investors.

Exec Breakout Breakfast

Conor reflected on his own personal journey and included building and motivating the right team; getting out and meeting customers, and taking a global view from the get-go as key factors in his success. He also challenges himself every year to take some form of training and he views the Trinity Executive Breakout programme as welcome change for senior managers who want to get the best of their team and stay on top of their game.

If you are interested in taking part in the programme, please contact a member of our team, or fill out an Expression of Interest form on our homepage.


Exec Breakout Breakfast

15 Sept 2016: Executive Breakout Information Breakfast

On Thursday September 15 the Innovation Academy will host an information breakfast (8.00 - 9.00) for individuals interested in finding out more. Guest speaker is Dr. Conor Hanely, CEO FIRE1.

This event will take place in 3 Foster Place, College Green, Dublin 2. Register here.