San Diego: Innovation Rainforest by the Beach

San Diego: Innovation Rainforest by the Beach

Joe Sterling interviews Jacques Chirazi, City of San Diego, Economic Development Department. They discussed how this municipal government is acting as a potent force for innovation and entrepreneurism - an innovation Rainforest by the beach; and about how many elements of the Rainforest Scorecard were being well expressed in City of San Diego programs. 

A Revolution is Brewing

A Revolution is Brewing

By Henry Doss. There is today an emerging distinction between “leadership” and “innovation leadership,” a new vision of what it takes to become an innovative leader and a leader of innovation. This new model of thinking requires a new way of preparing leaders, and a new way of thinking about leadership. The rules are changing and it might not be stretching the point to say there is actually a leadership revolution brewing.

Why Big Business Fails at Innovation

Why Big Business Fails at Innovation

By Henry Doss. Big businesses don't seem to be very innovative. An informal glance around the big business landscape won't reveal much in the way of innovation beyond perhaps the routine adoption of a new technology, a bit of chasing the most current business model paradigm or acronym, or maybe rejiggering organizational charts here and there. But, innovation?  Not so much. It doesn't have to be that way. 

How Innovation Became A Whim

How Innovation Became A Whim

By Henry Doss. If innovation is the topic, culture should be your first concern. If innovative practices, innovative execution, innovative output and innovation as a means to long-term excellence are a desired outcome, your attention should go first to culture. If innovation is a "strategic imperative" or some such other phrase or vision or story line, then culture change should be the path you pursue. Start anywhere else and shy away from culture, and at best you will likely achieve only incremental tactical and structural improvements.

Alistair Shares Expertise with Foreign Delegations

Alistair Shares Expertise with Foreign Delegations

Rainforest Strategies partner Dr. Alistair Brett was recently invited to meet with two groups visiting the USA under the International Visitor Leadership Program, the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program.

Innovation & Sales Inextricably Linked

Our partner, Alistair Brett, is quoted in this Entrepreneur article. The question the article raises: if an innovation occurs in the forest and there's no one there to buy it, is it really an innovation? Until a new solution is put to into play to make an improvement for its users/buyers it really can't be called an innovation. The development may be technically brilliant, an artisanal masterpiece, but it has yet to add any value to users. The challenge is concurrent design of technical solution, value proposition, and the influence methodology needed to achieve uptake. Our Rainforest Strategy programming and facilitation methods specifically addresses this challenge.

Entrepreneur, 2017-04-10: Why Even Space Startups Insist Sales Are More Important Than Technology It doesn't matter how great your product is -- if you can't sell it, you'll never be able to make it. By Harry Red

Shutter Stock

Shutter Stock

Henry Speaks To Latin American Business Group In Miami

Business challenges -- especially those associated with creating innovation at large-scale -- tend to be uniform across geographies, cultures and business lines.   This was evident when Henry spoke at the "Future Leaders" meeting in Miami, FL, on April 15.  The meeting was attended by Latin American business leaders, all of whom had a deep interest in how to leverage innovative practices for their businesses.  "There are only so many competitive levers to be pulled in the 21st century," Doss noted.  "And innovation holds promise as the key -- if not the only -- driver of efficiency,  market/product expansion and sustainable growth.  I think this is why so many business leaders want to better understand what innovation is, how it can be harnessed, and how more innovation can be engineered into their organization."

Henry Addresses Plenary Session At EDA Annual Conference In Washington, DC

On April 7th, over 800 people gathered in a conference hall to hear a joint presentation by Henry Doss and Victor Hwang, addressing issues of innovation.  The occasion was the EDA's annual meeting, bringing together hundreds of business people, economic developers, elected officials, and DC luminaries to meet, greet and talk about issues of economic development in the United States.   Henry and Victor's plenary session address focused on the science and pragmatics of innovation -- what it is, how do you measure it and, most important, how do you actually engineer innovation into large-scale systems.

Victor Hwang, the Kauffman Foundation; Tom Guevara, EDA; Henry Doss, Rainforest Strategies.

Victor Hwang, the Kauffman Foundation; Tom Guevara, EDA; Henry Doss, Rainforest Strategies.

"This was one of the more interesting and fun opportunities I've had in some time to talk about innovation," said Doss.   "This was a particularly skilled and knowledgeable gathering and that gave me and others an opportunity to not only share ideas, but also to continue informal discussions well beyond the bounds of meeting rooms and conference halls.  It was a blast!"

Interested parties can receive a copy of the slides from this presentation by writing directly to RFS from the contact page of this web site and asking for a copy.

Innovate Daytona: Rainforest Discovery Session with Business Leaders in Daytona Beach, FL

logo innovate daytona blue.jpg

RFS is conducting a Rainforest Discovery Session today in Daytona Beach, Florida, for 50 Daytona movers and shakers. Henry Doss is onsite and Joe Sterling is co-facilitating and providing graphic capture (remotely via WebEx). The group is examining their local innovation ecosystem with the aid of our Rainforest Scorecard. They will be synthesizing strategic issues and developing initiatives from Scorecard data. Those actions will help Daytona improve its innovation ecosystem and thereby improve economic development and collaboration in the region. 

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Fostering A Culture of Innovation:

Daytona Beach boasts a rich heritage of innovators coming together to experiment, iterate and push the state of the art. Building on that heritage and fostering a renewed culture of innovation is the core purpose of Innovate Daytona.


Our mission is to:

·        make the Daytona region a hub for innovation that attracts and retains highly talented individuals, increasing the area’s average income

·        launch initiatives that will attract media attention to innovation and entrepreneurship

·        develop synergy between companies, agencies, and leaders to create clarity of vision

·        connect people, innovations, and funding

·        integrate entrepreneurship activities into local schools, colleges, and universities

·        increase trust, diversity, and mentorship while reducing the fear of failure in our community

RFS at Nanjing University, Global Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

RFS at Nanjing University, Global Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dr. Alistair Brett presented at the Nanjing University, Global Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Q&A was robust and points to important evolution in innovation culture in China. This has implications for the global economy. Rainforest Strategies, LLP is pleased to participate in shaping innovation ecosystems between colleagues in China and the US.

Growing the Ashville Innovation Scene

Keynote by Henry Doss on March 22nd

Join other thought leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators as they come together to discuss the growing tech ecosystem in the Asheville Community. This invitation only event will be held at Asheville's highly anticipated climate science coworking, education, and event space, The Collider.

Henry H. Doss currently serves as managing partner for Rainforest Strategies, an innovation consultancy. Henry’s work is primarily in the area of innovation ecosystem consulting, the merger of theory and practice in innovation culture work and the study of innovation leadership. In particular he focuses on the correlations between culture and performance in organizations and has an abiding interest in how individuals grow and learn.

Henry writes extensively on innovation, the impact of humanities studies on personal growth, and innovation leadership. He is a contributor to Forbes, and his book, The Rainforest Scorecard, provides a tool to measure the innovation potential in organizations.

Secure your tickets as soon as possible. Seating is very limited.

Attendees will connect with CEOs of leading tech companies operating in the WNC region, as well as the high caliber list of attendees, including local Investors, Mentors, Advisors, and Service Providers.

In addition to the keynote, Henry Doss, attendees will hear updates from the following individuals:

  • Josh Dorfman, on Venture Asheville's AVL 5x5 plan to grow Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Marilyn McDonald, on The Collider facility and mission to support Climate Science Entrepreneurship
  • Jonathan Snover, on the North Carolina Biotechnology Center's regional programs & direction
  • Emily Breedlove & Angela Raimondo, on The UpScene, Asheville's new multimedia publication on Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Oby Morgan, on Capital At Play and the magazine's growing role in sharing the Entrepreneurial story of WNC

Presentations will start promptly at 6:00 and will last until 7:15. Appetizers and beverages will be provided. We encourage attendees to come prepared to learn, network, and peruse the 10 local companies showcased in the Innovation Hub.

The final list of companies in the Asheville Innovation Hub will be announced soon. Want your business involved? Contact


Tuesday, March 22, 2016 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT) - Add to Calendar


The Collider - 1 Haywood Street 4th Floor, Asheville, NC 28801 - View Map

To book a Rainforest Strategies presentation and workshop for your upcoming event you can review our Speaking offers, then contact us for details. 

The Unbearable Messiness Of Innovation

The Unbearable Messiness Of Innovation

There is a deep irony lurking about in any conversation concerning innovation.  It’s always there, and it’s always influencing what you will do — or not do — with respect to improving innovative thinking and practice.  Without recognizing and understanding that irony, it is next to impossible to ever develop a working model of how innovation works.  It is a problem that is pretty easy to recognize, but much, much more difficult to understand.

Our Rainforest Thinks, Speaks, and Engages in Dialogue

We look forward to engaging with you, our communities, clients, and fellow Rainforest practitioners. In this forum, the RFS Blog, we will be posting the writings of RFS Partners as well as those of our Associates. We'll encourage you to comment upon, challenge, and extend what we offer here.

We'll also be posting news from the many users of the Rainforest Scorecard and Rainforest Master Plan (RaMP) from around the world. Thanks for coming to our site.

Wondering where to start to solve problems and grow a culture of innovation?
Check out our speakingconsulting and event/facilitation services that have generated breakthroughs for organizations much like yours.