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Eric Eskey - Strategyn. Denver, CO, US

Eric Eskey

Managing Director | Strategyn


Eric Eskey is a Principal of Strategyn and a Practitioner of Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI).

Answers (2)

How to encourage innovation in the workplace?

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It is possible to encourage innovation in the workplace, and there are 5 must-dos to make it happen in your business. First, each person must increase the density, diversity, and dynamism of their own networks of people and ideas. Second, there must be a mechanism for people to easily remember ideas (and find them when forgotten). This can be as simple as providing dedicated idea notebooks—or as involved as using a dedicated innovation platform. Third, leaders must increase the density, diversity, and dynamism of connections *between* people in their organizations. Foster internal meetups. If you can afford it, pay for their attendance at conferences. Open your all-hands meetings with an external speaker. If that’s unreasonable, play a TED talk. Fourth, teams must be aligned around a north-star—a strategic intent based on the core jobs your customers are trying to get done. Give your innovation teams a destination postcard—a strategic intent—that paints a picture of a future worth creating. For example: “Land a man on the moon ahead of the Soviets.”“We want to put 1000s of songs in your pocket.”“Save endangered species from extinction.” Fifth and finally, everyone must practice values that increase the odds of discovering the best that help them get their jobs done better. For example: Everyone must acknowledge that not everyone can be right about everything.Everyone must give airtime to conflicting views.You have to provide reasons for your beliefs.You’re allowed to point out flaws in the opinions, ideas, or thoughts of others.You’re not allowed to forcibly shut people down who disagree with you.Following these five steps will help any organization to encourage innovation in the workplace by encouraging new ideas—and helping them to flourish. Learn more about creating an innovation culture here.

How to come up with ideas?

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When a new idea comes to mind, it does so because a specific constellation of neurons in your brain fires with each other for the first time. Whether your idea is a new way to solve a complex business problem, a tagline in a marketing campaign, or a software application feature, ideas are physical networks of thousands of co-firing neurons. This makes several imperatives clear. A network must be both dense and dynamic to produce innovation. We can't have an epiphany with only a few neurons firing. And even if a network is dense, it must also be changing; a static network is incapable of exploring new possibilities and improving upon existing ideas. How, then, can we become more innovative individuals? We can push our brains to form more creative networks by placing ourselves in environments that mimic our neural signature—connecting with diverse people and ideas and experimenting with the ideas that emerge. First ask, “How extensive is your network?” If your network is small, expand it. Next ask, “How diverse is your network?” If your network consists of similar people, make it a priority to identify and get into conversation with people who are different from you. Actions you can take to expand your networks to come up with ideas: Attend a virtual cocktail partyAttend a couple of conferences each yearWatch one TED Talk dailyOnce we’re back in the office, commit to never eating lunch aloneTalk with new people—the teenager down the street; your uncle with opposite political leaningsLearn more ideas and the 5 steps to creating an Innovation Culture : 



Eric Eskey is a Principal of Strategyn and a Practitioner of Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI). As a Practitioner, he focuses on how corporations can create significant positive change with customers using ODI. As a Principle, he oversees everything from Strategyn’s reputation and service quality to the development of its analysts. Eric has more than 17 years of experience with innovation management and corporate venturing. Prior to rejoining Strategyn, he was a Senior Manager in the Innovation and Digital Enterprise Strategy practice of Ernst & Young LLP for two years. He began his career at Tektronix, spent six years with HP leading an R&D team and co-founding a new business creation team, and was a senior Strategy Advisor with Strategyn for ten years. Eric has a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Portland and an MBA from Purdue University. He also holds a certification in change management.

Industry Expertise (22)


Computer Software

Food and Beverages

Health Care - Services

Household Products



Management Consulting

Medical Devices

Professional Training and Coaching

Social Media




Media - Online

Market Research

Legal Services

Information Technology and Services

Health and Wellness

Health Care - Providers


Computer Gaming

Areas of Expertise (12)


Developing Strategy

Leading Change

Business Model Innovation

Innovation Strategy

Needs-Based Segmentation

Market Definition & Selection

Needs Identification

Innovation Management

Customer Analytics & Strategy

Marketing Strategy

Needs-Based Data & Analytics

Education (3)

Purdue University: M.B.A., Business 2000

University of Portland: B.Eng., Mechanical Engineering 1997

Arizona State University: B.Eng., Mechanical Engineering 1995

Testimonials (3)

Will W. Decker, Group VP | Strategyn

I had the pleasure of working with Eric during the first strategy engagement with a very large client in the Midwest. What immediately stood out for me was his openness, the ease with which he pulled from his deep innovation experience and his insatiable curiosity. After working very closely with him, something else became apparent to me: his capacity, more than anyone else I have worked with, to seek and provide honest and timely feedback. I could not recommend working with Eric enough and hope I have the chance to again in the near future.

Owen T. Hall, Global Strategy Executive | Strategyn

Eric was a key presenter and content developer for a c suite Innovation Workshop with an Oil & Gas client. As part of the Innovation workshop Eric developed detailed Innovation culture, strategy, and portfolio management methodology and approach. He also created insights around IoT in the sector, pulling video content and other research. During the workshop Eric established great relationships. He was key in driving the debrief conversations leading to additional opportunities. Throughout the work Eric acted as a gracious and nurturing coach with the team. It was a pleasure working with him and I look forward to working together soon.

Lukas Fisher, Director of Client Operations | GoodRx

Eric and I worked together to on two separate projects since I joined EY. 1) Developing an innovation maturity model for a global CPG company and 2) expanding our firm's innovation offerings playbook. Eric leads with such great energy and excitement that the employees he manage can't help but to be positively impacted by the example he sets . It is easy to see his passion about innovation, consulting and he makes a profound effort to understand the people he is working with. Additionally, Eric constantly challenges his teams to develop their own identity, by presenting them with new ideas and new ways of thinking. Eric is a master at skillfully handling several projects at once and was able to seamlessly move to project to project without missing a step. While at EY, Eric has stood out for his leadership, knowledge and excitement. His is a valuable asset to the firm and instrumental in providing a challenging and supportive environment to junior members.

Patents (1)

Needs-based mapping and processing engine


A mechanism is disclosed that dramatically minimizes the time it takes to gather needs, dramatically minimizes the expense it takes to gather those needs, and ensures those statements are formulated in manner that comply with a set of rules designed to ensure the right inputs are used in downstream strategy formulation, marketing, product development, and related company workflows. In addition, the mechanism may or may not minimize the time it takes for a company to acquire the capability to uncover these needs statements.

Articles (5)

Quantify Your Customer’s Unmet Needs


Eric Eskey


Innovation is transformed from an art to a science when you have the ability to quantify your customer’s unmet needs.

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Innovation Inspiration: Why Your Expert May be No Better than a Monkey


Eric Eskey


If the average expert is only as accurate as a dart-throwing primate, why should we hire experts? Why are those who have invested years developing comprehensive knowledge and skill no better than someone with limited or potentially none at predicting?

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Innovation Inspiration: Why You Need to Throw Away Your Idea List Today


Eric Eskey


Idea Lists are long. Success Lists are short. Idea Lists pull us in all directions. Success Lists help to maintain our aim on our target. Idea Lists contain everything, and they take us everywhere but where we want to go.

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Innovation Inspiration: Why You Need to Produce Masterpieces, Not Me-Toos


Eric Eskey


To adapt Cyril’s words, the more solutions I see, the clearer it becomes that the true function of an innovator is to produce a masterpiece. No other job is of any consequence. Innovation is often understood as introducing a new method, idea or product—anyone can do it, right? But introducing something new is not enough. Very few people produce a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship to be worthy of recognition­—let alone to be the best piece of work they are capable of producing.

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The Right Product For The Right Job


Eric Eskey


What if you could frame an innovation challenge, gather and analyze data, and develop customer value propositions, concepts, and plans in just four weeks? Some suggest that this can’t be done – at least, not at a price that many can afford. But what if it could be?

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