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Why do good teams kill great ideas? Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs and innovative organizations.
Culture may eat strategy for breakfast — but structure eats culture for lunch. Safi Bahcall
Safi Bahcall is a former public-company CEO, a physicist and an award-winning biotech entrepreneur. He is also the author of the international bestseller Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas that Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries—a book that combines physics, business and history—has been translated into 21 languages and was the #1 most recommended book of the year in Bloomberg’s annual survey of CEOs. An immediate WSJ bestseller, Loonshots was selected as a best business book of the year by Amazon, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Forbes, Inc., Newsweek, Strategy + Business, Tech Crunch, the Washington Post and many others.
Combining lessons from the science of phase transitions together with stories from the annals of business and history, Safi shows audiences why teams, companies or any group with a mission will suddenly shift from embracing bold new ideas to rejecting them. A master storyteller, Safi shares real-world examples from science, history and business to help audiences understand why groups behave as they do and why small changes to an organization’s structure, as opposed to its culture, will support innovation instead of stifle it.
Safi received his BA from Harvard summa cum laude, completed his PhD in physics at Stanford, and served for three years as a consultant at McKinsey and Company. In 2001, he founded a biotechnology company developing new drugs for cancer. He led the company’s IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years. In 2008, he was named E&Y New England Biotechnology Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2011, he worked with President Obama’s council of science advisors (PCAST) on the future of national research.
Books & Movies
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A perfect example of how an opening keynote should impact a meeting and set the tone. Having a message that will resonate with those who came to the event is always key.... Launch[ed] the event with real value….This session was meaty and worth the price of admission.... His message on experimenting for success and growth prompted me to take five pages of notes.ASAE Annual Meeting
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