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Taking the mystery and misery out of Innovation & Digital Transformation

It is the human element behind technology and innovation that business success depends on.

“Innovation” and “Digital Transformation” were two of 2018’s loosely defined, catchall phrases. In practice, both refer to disciplines that will upend how firms will compete for the foreseeable future.

The acceleration of innovation and the velocity of disruption are sometimes hard to grasp or anticipate and have become a source of constant surprise for most. In our fast-moving new world full of promise and excitement around innovation and digital transformation (IDX), how do you set people up for success? Also getting benefits from either requires a mindset and skillset that is often unfamiliar and uncomfortable for leaders and managers today.

Join Peter as he shares what he has learned over the years from his work with world-leading organizations such as Amazon, DBS, Google, Microsoft, and NASA. Some of the themes he’ll be exploring include:  

  • How to develop leadership capabilities that will not only help accelerate innovation and digital transformation but also foster a culture in which innovation and digital transformation can thrive.

  • “Performing whilst Transforming”. How to help your leaders (at all levels) to scale today’s business while simultaneously exploring, experimenting, and innovating tomorrow’s.

  • The essential principles, techniques, and leadership behaviours that companies need to master in order to develop and sustain a culture of innovation and digital transformation to seize the new opportunities.

  • “Tomorrow will be nothing like today” – How to provide leaders the platform to practice what is required to discover emergent user needs, ideate new approaches to meeting them, and to test these ideas fast and cheap.

About the speaker:

Peter Mulford is chief innovation officer and an executive vice president at BTS based in New York, where he leads the firm’s Innovation & Digital Transformation practice, as well as the Global Insights and Design Laboratory.

Peter leads business transformation and capability-building efforts with Fortune 500 firms around the world (such as Amazon, Sony, Microsoft, Time Warner, DBS, including NASA) with a focus on developing innovation leadership, design thinking, and disciplined experimentation capability. His work redefines not just how to do innovation, but how to create and lead a culture in which innovation and divergent thinking can flourish.

Peter’s writing and research has been featured in CLO and training magazines. He is a frequent guest lecturer on Innovation and Strategy for the MBA programme at Columbia Business School in New York.

Peter joined BTS in 1998 and has worked in the firm’s offices in San Francisco, London and New York. From 2005-2010, he was the Managing Director of BTS’s East Coast region, leading the largest global office for BTS through a period of market turbulence and growth during which it more than tripled in size.

Peter holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School, with extensive experience in Retail, Consumer Goods, Electronics and Telecom, among many other industries.

​Additional Info:

Registration: 17:45


Ends: 19:30

A light dinner will be served after the event.

Please note: GIBS forums are filmed for City Press and BDTV

Want to attend but can't afford to? email for one of the limited free seats available.

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  • Dr Jefferson Yu-Jen Chen is a full-time faculty of the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, and a consultant of Forward Notion Advisory. Apart from coaching, delivering speeches and advising leaders across different sectors in his consulting capacity, Dr Chen is also involved in the designing and lecturing of various customised executive education modules. Many of these modules aim at fostering innovative leaders, strategists, and consultants.? 

    Prior to joining GIBS, Dr Chen served the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for 8 years and spent the prior 4 years managing his family retail stores. As Dr Chen's second PhD (WBS) focuses on enhancing the collective intelligence of teams for corporate innovation, he is always fascinated by how certain corporates manage to harness the right paradox between contextual self-disruption and steady incremental improvement.  

    Dr Chen was one of the advisory council members for IBM SA’s Equity Equivalence Investment Programme in 2015. He also served as the Lead Faculty for GIBS–Dimension Data collaboration until 2016 and the GIBS–Accenture partnership around Transforming for Digital Futures until the end of 2017. He is also co-leading the GIBS MBA Consulting Stream and trains a group of meticulously selected MBA Students to become next generation of problem-solvers. 

    Dr Chen is always fascinated by how certain corporates manage to harness the right paradox between contextual self-disruption and steady incremental improvement. In his spare time, he enjoys chatting with random strangers and often stumbles upon many great insights as the result of these seemingly unrelated conversations. 


    • PhD (Wits) 
    • PhD (UCT) 
    • MPhil Executive and Management Coaching (SU) 
    • EDMP (SU) 
    • MSc Chemistry (RU)
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