Jay van Zyl

In early 2007, Jay was approached by the CEO of South Africa’s oldest bank with an interesting proposition, to make them the most innovative bank in the world. So he did.

Jay spent most of his working life in the field of innovation including obtaining a PhD focusing on Capability Driven Innovation in 2001. Initially trained in?software engineering and then shifted his focus away from his technical background and turned instead to working with the true nuts and bolts of the organization its people. The result has been numerous academic papers, ongoing engagement as a professor of innovation at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, and two books.

Jay has co-founded a number of breakthrough companies in the last 20 years including Innovation Agency, an innovation change management firm, and Innovation Cafe, a breakthrough innovation management software platform. He was instrumental in developing process innovation based approaches that have since been adopted in the fields of software engineering by various services firms including financial services, technology, and telecommunications companies.

Social Based Innovation is his current focus as continues to explore emergent innovation approaches for a new world utilizing deep learning algorithms and machine learning to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of enterprise innovation approaches. Unlocking value in the social ecosystem requires a renewed look at how machine and human interact. Data about our behaviors and preferences are brought into a multi-dimensional capability to drive innovation success into the future.

He is involved with ground-breaking work in Silicon Valley, for example the Innovation for Jobs community lead by David Nordfors and Vint Cerf. As the key analytics partner he brings a unique perspective as data, behavior and human elements come together in complex networks.

His latest book ??Built to Thrive, making your mark in a connected world?? was published in 2011 focuses on the social aspects of innovation. His first book ??The Process Innovation Imperative??, focuses on innovation in product companies and was originally published in 2003.