The Innovation Global Network ( Mount Freedom)) is the brainchild of Arthur Fox, who has worked in innovation for many of the 28 years he spent in big pharma. Prior to founding the Innovation Global Network, Fox worked for the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer (New York), where he created Pfizer’s first multifunction innovation team to incorporate best practices. He also developed a mentor innovation program for all of Pfizer’s global brands. After he left the company, he considered how he could leverage his experience and passion for innovation, “which was now part of my DNA.” Thus, the Innovation Global Network was born.
When considering how to implement the Innovation Global Network, Fox spoke to former colleagues about their problems with innovation, and he learned that most large companies weren’t good at implementing new ideas. These executive- and management-level individuals were looking for expertise and best practices to help them, and were reaching out to sources outside their companies. At the same time, service providers were telling him that they had the best practices and processes, but found it difficult to connect with those who needed to know about them. Fox realized that there was room for an innovation marketplace. “I designed the Innovation Global Network as a combination of traditional networking features and outreach features, so individual members can achieve their specific objectives,” he told us.
More than 2,600 members have joined the Innovation Global Network, and they come from all over the globe. Fox monetizes the network through membership fees. There are three types of membership, including a basic free membership. The next level is “Innovation Leadership,” whose members tend to be the practitioners who are the most active in the network and who participate most often in virtual networking events, Fox said. The third membership level, “Innovation Provider,” is for organizations, consultancies and service providers. A recent addition to the site has been a section where vendors can present their innovation solutions to the membership. Fox says he is looking for additional innovation professionals to join, as well as vendors who have methodologies and techniques that can help the network.
Company name: Innovation Global Network
When did you launch the company? 2012
Product name: www.innovationglobalnetwork.com
CEO: Arthur Fox
New Jersey location: Mount Freedom
Team: Solo founder
Any employees? Professionals hired as needed for specific tasks
Market you are serving: Professionals in companies and other organizations, entrepreneurs, consultants, service providers, inventors and academics across industries and sectors who are focused on innovation, entrepreneurship and organization change
The 10 questions:
1. What is your New Jersey connection? What brought you to New Jersey, and do you plan to stay here?
2. What problem are you solving?
3. Why can you address this problem better than anyone else?
After a number of years of witnessing innovation programs struggle to produce successful results, I developed the insight that the main reason for this poor track record was that the managers that were being asked to lead those initiatives were never trained on how to create innovation in their MBA programs, and the company itself did not have a set of best practices and processes to train them on. Typically, these managers would then try to hire innovation experts to coach them and help them with their programs. I pointed this out, and was asked to review and assimilate what was known about innovation and to recommend how the marketing team I was working with should proceed.
A short time later, I became the leader of the company’s first innovation team and created the first successful new product pipeline in the history of the large Consumer Products division, which I was part of. Using this success as a role model, I then helped create an innovation program for the whole division. Later I created and mentored innovation teams on all of the company’s global consumer brands, such as Listerine, Nicorette, Rogaine, Sudafed, and Benadryl. Having helped build sustainable innovation programs and processes from the bottom up, I developed an intimate knowledge of the challenges of creating innovation and how innovators and innovation expert service providers can facilitate meeting those challenges by networking and engaging with each other.
4. How did you come up with your startup name?
5. What was the biggest mistake you’ve made so far in your entrepreneurial journey, and what did you learn from it?
6. When was the last time you thought about quitting your startup and going back to corporate life, or doing something else? What got you to stay?
7. If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
8. What’s the best place to find founders to network with
9. What does your family think about you being an entrepreneur?
10. What has helped you the most to achieve your current success?