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Dr. Stephen A. Di Biase served as the Chief Executive Officer of Laser Applications Technology (LAT) LLC and as currently President of Premier Insights, LLC. He is an entrepreneur, building businesses and capabilities from emerging technology.  In leading LAT, Dr. Di Biase developed the business model and go to market strategies for introducing a disruptive technology for labeling produce.  With Premier Insights, Dr. Di Biase teaches leaders how to become more innovative by making innovation a discipline they can refine.

During his 40 year career, Dr. Di Biase has become accomplished in using innovation to create value in a global commercial setting.  He has over 20 patents, mentored technical professionals, and taught innovation and human resource management in both corporate and university settings. He has guest lectured at several academic institutions and has authored books, patents and corporate publications. 

Dr. Di Biase graduated from The Pennsylvania State University and sits on the Science Advisory Board for The Pennsylvania State University. He is also a retired member of the Board of Trustees for the Mt. Union College, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Industrial Research Institute, a leading experienced based innovation management association.

Prior to joining JohnsonDiversey, Dr. Di Biase spent 26 years with the Lubrizol Corporation, where he held a variety of leadership positions, including general management roles and those with profit and loss responsibility for emerging businesses derived from technology platforms.  These global assignments often involved business development from strategy conception to execution managing teams of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development professionals.

Prior to accepting the assignment in business development Dr. Di Biase was the Vice President – Research, Development, and Engineering where he was responsible for the global technical and scientific leadership for a centralized R&D function comprising of 700 professionals, an operating budget of $120+ million, and a capital budget of $10+ million. 

In this role Dr. Di Biase fostered innovation and delivered results using processes such as stage gates, project and portfolio management, 6-Sigma, and advanced statistics while introducing a variety of IT based tools such as data mining and predictive modeling.

Dr. Di Biase has served as chairman of The Lubrizol Foundation Scholarship Committee, Chairman of the Northeastern Ohio Section of the American Chemical Society, Board member of the Cleveland Area Research Directors (CARD) and in The Boy Scouts of America where he served in a variety of posts.   Dr. Di Biase has been honored by The Pennsylvania State University College of Science with its 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award and serves as an adjunct professor at Benedictine University in Naperville IL.






Food for Thought

Innovation in the 21st Century

Stephen Di Biase

Innovation in the 21st Century

Innovation, a discipline highly impacted by the environment in which it is conducted, is the life blood of creating wealth and sustainable competitive advantage.

The industrial revolution was thunderous. You could hear the factories and trains; you could see cities transforming; you could smell the changes. Key to the innovation process and business development was the centralized research laboratory that evolved from a prototype developed at Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park facility into a general model in the 20th century.

Today another revolution is occurring driven by the wide availability of information which was coined by Peter Drucker as “The Silent Revolution”.  We can't look out our windows and see the catalysts that will change the way we innovate and organize our companies and employees do their work. However, it’s becoming clear that this silent revolution is built around human assets which are the key to all innovative activity. It's all about knowledge, information, and collaborative connections and partnering which impact how companies are designed and compete on a global basis.

The impact of this silent revolution is far from quiet. The role of management at every level is amplified as is the influence of the customer. Employees must learn more quickly and work collaboratively while dealing with ever increasing complexity. Employee motivation is driven less by financial gain and more by organization purpose. In this revolution, leaders are seeing the heightened risks from wrong decisions, no decisions at all, or poor execution of right design decisions concerning innovation and wealth creation.

These change forces are mandating that innovation management and business development move from the internally driven centralized model that has worked so well in the past to an external view where virtual organizations and processes become key factors.  A key driver of the virtual concept is the acceptance by companies that they can’t be good at everything and in reality they can only be competent at a few distinct skills with other requirements being coming from specified external sources. In a highly networked, global economy, skillful execution of a well-crafted open innovation program, designed to consider the elements of the “Silent Revolution” and new knowledge worker employee, is critical to their survival. My comments will touch on innovation management within this new paradigm driven by “Silent Revolution”, the emergence of the knowledge worker and the need to access innovation external to the organization while skillfully integrating such acquisitions within the existing enterprise.  The ultimate goal is the development of new businesses that become the source of wealth.