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  • Matthew Chang

Dr. Carlton Robinson, Jax Chamber - Guest Speaker on Innovation

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

We were honored to have Dr. Carlton Robinson, JAX Chamber Vice President of Entrepreneurial Growth, share "Jacksonville's Innovation Story" at our annual leadership summit back in December 2020. Chang Industrial has a yearly summit, and thankfully, we were able to have some gather in-person at Jacksonville's River Club downtown.

The highlight of the summit was our guest speaker, Dr. Robinson who shared his story to becoming a lead innovator in Jacksonville, as well as, Jacksonville's progress in smart city initiatives. Dr. Robinson challenged us all to think bigger, and strive for more. We have included the insights from his talk below.

1. Use a model. Business models are much more efficient and effective than business plans. Business plans are often too rigid, and do not allow for surprises. Dr. Robinson recommends using a vision, rather than a structured plan. The ability to create a business model canvas to recognize what is most important, e.g. increased revenue, is key.

2. Innovation across platforms and the application of block chain technology are the way of the future. Dr. Robinson believes platforms will accelerate work functions in the future, mandi companies can use a platform to get P3's (public-private partnerships), for example. He highly recommends the book "Machine, Platform, Crowd" by Andrew McAfee. Essentially, this book covers each aspect of harnessing a digital future. Machine focuses on supervised learning. Platform focuses on peer to peer. Crowd focuses on getting "core" employees "crowd" level knowledge. Block chain enables secure, private, and automated record keeping.

3. Dr. Robinson plays a huge role in the Jacksonville community with mentorship, business development, and entrepreneurial support. He has learned that risk takers and entrepreneurs just need helping getting resources then need everyone to get out of the way. Business owners provide resources. Entrepreneurs and innovators "share" with each other (the "Crowd" in Machine, Platform, Crowd). Risk takers always say "I may fail, but my wins will be really big." As an innovator, Dr. Robinson focuses on the use case (Who do the cases benefit and what are the economics?).

4. Jacksonville is headed to a culture of open innovation, which simply means a collection of companies all using their resources to solve a common problem. A common concern with this can be Intellectual Property (IP). Innovation is prevented when this IP is kept only inside the core of an organization. Dr. Robinson explains that the key to promoting innovation AND protecting intellectual property is by sharing just enough IP with others, but not enough to compromise the organization. Sharing a little bit of IP will result in great innovation.

The Jacksonville community and Chang Industrial are excited and committed to work alongside innovators and leaders like Dr. Robinson in producing more innovation and connectedness throughout the city. We highly recommend you check out his book recommendation: Machine, Platform, Crowd:

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