December 18th: Digital Transformation Leadership Course – “Mastering the PIE,” Led By Gon Nivron

This December 18th, Gon Nivron, Senior Digital Transformation Advisor at i8 Ventures will deliver a lecture as part of a course to Innovation Managers by the Israel Innovation Institute.
Topics covered will include:
  • What is leadership – and how is it different from management?
  • Dealing with change in the fast messy and global = Innovation
  • Why is digital critical to innovation?
  • Mitigating external forces and understanding scalability
  • How? One tool: The Digital PIE (Plan, Implement, Evaluate)

About Gon:

Gon brings over 20 years of experience in International Enterprise Software companies, including Mercury and NICE. He Served in various business and technical leadership positions, with strong customer orientation, influencing business optimization and growth. Today, Gon serves as a Senior Digital Transformation Advisor at i8 Ventures

Watch: Nir Barkat on Innovating Innovating

On this episode of Innovating Innovating, former Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barakat and Yaakov Eilon discuss leading innovation both as a mayor and a private entrepreneur; Watch More

Nir Barkat started his career in the hi-tech industry by founding a software company called BRM in 1988, which specialized in antivirus software. Later, the company became an incubator venture firm that invested in several companies such as Check Point and Backweb. He later helped found the social investment company IVN, Israel Venture Network. Barkat has said that he has brought the skills he harnessed in his work in high-tech to his role as Mayor: “Now I see myself as a public entrepreneur, so it’s very methodological. We use data and information, and we scale successful pilot studies, using the same approach that I took with technology in the business world to change things in the city.”

Moving from Digital Transformation 1.0 to 2.0 : Know the Difference Between “Regular” and “21st century” Digital

Many managers feel that their organization is already digital. Consequently, they don’t understand why they have to burden themselves and their organization with yet another journey of digital transformation. 

From their perspective, the organization has already implemented the required digitalization and there is less need for more. To support this view, these managers will note that their company has already implemented an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, a supply chain management (SCM) system, and a business intelligence (BI) system, maintains an e-commerce website, and manages its social media accounts. 

In fact, this contention is largely justified – many organizations are indeed digital. However, digital transformation is not static, and the rate of new waves of “digital attacks” is only accelerating.

Digital 2.0

Most organizations have already completed what we call “digital transformation 1.0” and are now in the midst of what we call “digital transformation 2.0.” Digital transformation 2.0 means companies continuing to examine new technologies, improving their digital footing, and continuously adopting new business models at an increasing rate.

To keep pace with new technologies, the 2.0 model calls for significantly more resources diverted to digital transformation than 1.0. While on the surface this may be seen as a burden, it is absolutely necessary given the exponential rate of technological shift. 

The inflection point at which organizations are poised today. The choice is just to continue with digital transformation 1.0, or to follow the new developments and embark on a new wave, digital transformation 2.0.

The Giants Have Already Started

It’s no surprise that some of the largest organizations in the world already understand this, and have already constructed the relevant business models.

These are models incorporating “21st Century” digital as opposed to regular digital. For example, Amazon has launched a store without checkout counters or cash registers (Amazon Go); Domino’s Pizza is delivering pizzas with drones in a pilot project in New Zealand; factories are deploying an increasing number of smart robots; full digital banks are entering the financial market, focused on meeting customer needs; insurance companies are increasingly offering smart insurance policies based on pay per usage, and more.

Other examples of 21st century digital technologies include  the Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive computing, machine learning, advanced robotics, 3D printers, wearable computing, virtual reality, augmented reality, voice-operated interfaces, blockchain, and autonomous cars.

The disruptive forces that bring change are only accelerating, and thus forceful action is the solution. If companies want to mitigate the fallout, and even capitalize on it, they need to act.

If management claims the organization doesn’t need to implement new digital transformation because it is already digital, be skeptical, and ask them if a CRM for Barnes and Noble helped them? 

Watch: Chemi Peres on Innovating Innovating

Chemi Peres and Yaakov Eilon talk venture capital success, innovation’s role in competition, and the value of human capital in entrepreneurship. Featured on Innovating Innovating, a series on i8 venture’s e-learning platform, i8 Academy (Beta mode) :

Chemi Peres is a Managing General Partner and Co-Founder of Pitango. In 1992, he founded the Mofet Israel Technology Fund, an Israeli venture capital fund publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Prior to Mofet, Chemi held managerial positions at Decision Systems Israel (DSI). Chemi served as a pilot in the Israeli Air Force for 10 years. Chemi has served on the boards of several NASDAQ companies, such as AudioCodes, BackWeb, Magic Software Enterprises, Aladdin, VocalTec, Orckit Communications and Koor Industries, among others.

For more information about the father of Chemi Peres, Shimon Peres (past President of Israel), see his book No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel

Exploitation versus Exploration: Know the difference and master both types of innovation

Charles O’Reilly and Michael Tushman’s Lead and Disrupt: How to Solve the Innovator’s Dilemma, published in 2016, maps two types of innovation:

  1. Exploitation: Innovation that emerges from existing assets of the organization and improves them through innovation. This kind of innovation is relatively moderate, focused mainly on enhancement and efficiency — most managers of organizations feel comfortable with it. It deals with questions familiar to them: improving existing products, improving the product for a proximate market, etc. They know the customers and their expectations and thus find it relatively easy to address the challenge of exploiting.
  2. Exploration: This type of innovation requires the organization to leave its comfort zone and examine new markets, products, and business models unfamiliar to them. From the managers’ perspective, this type of innovation obliges them to venture into unfamiliar territory.

Despite the challenges involved in the innovation of the exploratory type, O’Reilly and Tushman argue that organizations should formulate a portfolio of innovative projects that include both types. “Regardless of a company’s size, success, or tenure, we argue that their leadership needs to be asking: How can we both exploit existing assets and capabilities by getting more efficient and provide for sufficient exploration so that we are not rendered irrelevant by changes in markets and technologies?”




Five platforms supporting innovation (including a full draft chapter)

In this post, we present the five types of digital platforms that support innovation. Let’s first define the term platform as a cluster of digital technologies (with some shared affinity) that can drive innovation in the organization.

Each platform expresses a distinct aspect of how digital technology can be used to support innovation. The diversity of the five different platforms highlights the richness and depth of digital platforms, and their potential to serve as an infrastructure for innovation.

Grouping the various digital technologies into five platforms is designed to help digital leaders to first understand and then harness the potential of these technologies to drive innovation. Managers need to familiarize themselves with these five platforms and understand their relevance to their organization’s strategy and the creation of its competitive advantage.

  1. Platform 1: Supporting Innovation (Big, Med., Small) – the first and most common platform talks about the direct role of digital enabling big, medium, and small changes to business processes or products.
  2. Platform 2: Generating Innovation – talks about the use of digital to support the process of making innovation (on the individual, organizational, and mainly on the network level). (e.g., Slack as an internal tool).
  3. Platform 3: Analytics for Innovation – talks about the use of data to find and experiment with newer innovations. (e.g., A/B testing, analytics for micro-segmentation, etc.).
  4. Platform 4: Sub-Systems for Innovation – talks about harnessing the innovation value of common platforms like LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook, & modern technologies like the cloud, mobile, and data. (e.g., think of how Waze is using mobile connectivity, IP, mapping, and GPS to bring the unique value of user-based mapping.)
  1. Platform 5: Building Innovation Platforms – Last, but not least, what we call the 21st-century innovation – a unique type of innovation that in itself generates even more innovation (e.g., think Apple apps or Google Youtubers ecosystems.)

To receive the full draft chapter (free PDF) from the book “Doing Digital” (Hebrew) by Raz Heiferman and Prof. Yesha Sivan, please fill in the form below.

Click here for the full e-book published online in E-vrit (by Ynet).


28 July 2019, Ramat-Gan, Israel: Orange Bike Mind (OBM) workshop with PAI (the Israeli community for organizational change and development)

i8.venture and PAI (The Israeli community for Organizational change and development) are collaborating to offer a unique Orange Bike Mind Workshop on 28 July 2019.

It is rather unique in that its

(1) price is 900NIS (for non-PAI-members)

(2) facilitation will be in Hebrew (slides in English)

It will take place 28-July 2019 at 13h00 at Ramat Gan.

To confirm your spot.



OBM Itinerary jULY 28th 0002

Link to our website.





Prevent turf wars by selecting one digital leader

Due to both the “strategic importance” and the “organizational challenge” of the digital transformation process, a procedural question naturally arises:

Who should lead the digital effort? Here are a few options:

A. A new senior executive position of Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to lead the digital AXA, GE, CVS, Michelin, Caterpillar, and Starbucks are among the leading organizations that chose to appoint a CDO.

B. Other organizations have decided to designate one of their top executives or board members to serve as the Digital Leader or even assign the title of VP Digital, in addition to their other duties.

C. In some organizations, the CEO is leading, personally take charge of the digital transformation effort.

As the digital transformation evolved, additional positions with the name “digital” began to appear – despite the different focus in their role. One example is the use of the title “digital manager” for a marketing manager who is assigned responsibility for marketing and advertising in the digital channels (the website, mobile, social media, email, etc.) Digital channels are currently attracting more attention and resources at the expense of established channels (newspapers, radio. TV). The marketing digital manager usually receives responsibility for a specific area – marketing and advertising in digital channels, and not overall responsibility for leading the organization’s digital transformation

Let’s look briefly at two findings from the report “A New Class of Digital Leadership” survey published in June 2017 by Strategy &, a subsidiary of PWC. This study was based on responses from 2,500 managers who serve as digital leaders in a wide range of companies, business sectors, and countries. The survey indicated that

  • 19% of the organizations had a designated digital leader in 2016, up from only 6% a year earlier.
  • About 60% of the digital leaders identified in the study were appointed to their position since 2015 – that is, the process has accelerated in recent years.

Another survey shows the distribution of officers responsible for leading the digital transformation. The survey was conducted in April 2017 by The Economist’s research unit for British Telecom and included 400 CEOs in multinational corporations in 13 countries.

  • In 47% of the organizations that participated in the survey, the CIO was placed in charge of the digital transformation;
  • In 26% of the organizations, the responsibility was assigned to the CDO, and
  • In 22% of the organizations, the CEO decided to personally lead the process.

Neutrally, there is no correct or incorrect answer here. Each organization should choose to implement this idea of designating a Digital Leader in the way best suited for its business objectives, organizational structure, work processes, organizational culture, and relevant personnel.

Yet, one thing is clear: Someone must assume OVERALL responsibility for the digital transformation effort because it is a strategic mission that encompasses the entire organization – avoid the turf war (for example between the CDO and the CIO) and select ONE leader.

Innovating innovating: Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Dan Shechtman reflects on his journey in an interview with News Anchorman Jacob Eilon

Prof. Shechtman is the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, an Associate of the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, and Professor of Materials Science at Iowa State University. On April 8, 1982, while on sabbatical at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., Shechtman discovered the icosahedral phase, which opened the new field of quasiperiodic crystals. Shechtman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals, making him one of six Israelis who have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The full interview is here.


Jacob: Our guest today is Nobel prize winner – Prof. Dan Shechman. Take us to the Nobel Prize research of your’s great story the quasi-crystals?
Dan: I Have discovered something that was in the books “Forbidden”… it was clearly forbidden and yet – there it was!. I Tried to understand it based on periodic materials with some defects called twins. I spent the whole afternoon, trying to find the twin. Couldn’t find them they were not there. it was something else, this was the day of the discovery.

Jacob: So how did you react to this rejection? Skepticism even by other scientists?
Dan: the other scientists that rejected me, were no small fries. I mean they were really excellent scientists. But they were not open to really something new in crystallography anyway.

Jacob: You were a hundred percent sure that you were correct?
Dan: a new group of avant-garde mainly young scientists around the world, Took my discovery and turned into a flourishing science. the world was exploding with new activity.

Jacob: The dynamics of innovation these days?
Dan: to understand the concept of innovating innovation let us look at what happened in the past. In the past innovation was done locally within the company, the arena of innovation is global now You don’t look for innovators in your hometown or in your organization, You look for innovators around the world. And you go to places where innovating thrives, you look for the brightest minds and you ask them to tell us, what’s new?

Jacob: Giants like Google on one hand or Facebook or Huawei or Tencent, Huge companies.
Dan: they go after the small ones the smart ones wherever they are in the world.

Jacob: You can predict where the world is going?
Dan: The world of innovation because you see the evolution over Subjects But you cannot predict Revolution and the large companies they should look for the revolution because if they create a revolution it’s their own, and it gives them a fantastic edge and this is why they should look for the brightest minds because these are the people that make the revolutions.

Jacob: But they do fail sometimes.
Dan: Oh, yes startups fail, most startups fail, but the question is okay, so you failed once what do you do next? give up go to work for somebody or say I rise again. I have a new idea I start again In some countries mainly in the Far East but also in Europe Failure is a shame. It’s a shame on you – shame on your family Maybe a shame on your city and therefore people are afraid of failure, fear of failure is the major obstacle to Innovation.

Jacob: Can you teach and educate the younger generation in China, for example, to initiate more to think differently?
Dan: I try to teach the gospel around the world, teach size early, As early as the kindergarten! it may change our world if you start teaching science at a very early age. Don’t look at young people as retarded adults. They are very very bright Grandchildren are amazing absolutely amazing. invest in them, Make them the future scientist and engineer of the world

Jacob: What would be your best advice to the young students to the next generation if you want to innovate?
Dan: You have to have broad knowledge of what’s happening you have to understand the world around you but on top of it develop one peak of expertise become an expert in something you like and I tell young people I promise you if you have broad knowledge and Become an expert in something you like you’re likely to have a wonderful future

Jacob: Professor, Dan Shechtman. I thank you very much.
Dan: My pleasure.



Prof. Sivan in a Globes interview: “Taxpayers do not enjoy the Army’s added value”

Link to the original interview in Hebrew https://www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?did=1001285058
Reporter: Omri Zerachovitz / Globes news
Date: 11- May-19

Prof. Yesha Sivan, innovating expert, describes the influence of technological changes and how they affect the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Prof. Yesha also explains why the IDF should explore the commercialization of its knowledge.

In recent years, we have experienced changes in the nature of innovation, or what Sivan calls “innovating innovating.” For example, organizations used to invest 10%–20% of its energy in new products using both business development and research, while modern-day organizations invest 80%-90% of its energy and resources for the same purpose (Google, for example).

Prof. Yesha Sivan, the founder and CEO of i8 ventures (http://i8.ventures), a business platform focusing on “innovating innovating”, and a visiting professor of digital, innovation, and venture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School, says that the current pace is a new example of the change in innovation. That is, things are moving faster thanks to digital power that enables links among different technologies and ultimately, the creation of an innovating system.

How does such change affect an organization like the IDF?

On the one hand, the IDF, like other organizations, is dealing with the change. On the other hand, the IDF, unlike civil organizations, has special challenges due to its nature—namely, an organization that deals with national security.
Probing questions arise in this era of innovating innovating. For example, how do we deal with the relatively short lifecycle of most technologies? What does it mean to reduce the development price in a ratio of 1 to 1,000 that facilitates the possibility of an enemy having innovative technologies that only countries could previously access? The problem is that embracing new innovation methodologies in large organizations is a relatively slow process. However, the IDF does manage innovation processes through the Administration for Research and Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, or “Mafat” in Hebrew, in a very deep and conscious way.

Does the current era require a change in the army’s concept of intellectual property?

This is an extremely interesting issue. In the past, Israel has turned a blind eye to ideas developed within the army, assuming that these ideas would evolve into companies—such as Check Point—that would promote Israeli industry. In the last several years, although we have seen that ideas born in the army have become small companies, especially in the cyber field, many of them produce value primarily to foreign investors. These are companies that could move out of Israel, so the country could lose thousands of local jobs instead of producing more jobs, as companies such as Check Point have provided.
This situation causes two problems: First, how does the local taxpayer enjoy the added value created by these ideas on a national scale? The second problem relates to employees within different army units that are lured by attractive offers, as the knowledge they have acquired during their service is of great relevance.
“I believe that the IDF must deal with this question since this is interrupting units like 8200 in its routine work (and in the future, it might touch other technological groups as well.) The army has difficulty retaining young soldiers since the civil market is already offering doubled paychecks for the same job.
The private market could thrive with the commercialization of intellectual property since companies that use the army’s technology would enjoy a successful image in the eyes of the public. In addition, the army would also have the money to help retain their employees.

What special opportunities does the current era offer to the army?

Innovation allows the army to offer young soldiers fascinating employment opportunities that will attract the best of our younger generation, which is the true potential of innovation. Such opportunities might appear as small issues, but they are a big challenge for the IDF, which is currently failing to retain its people in the system.

To get our article by email, please complete the following form and press “send”:

[email-download download_id=”4378” contact_form_id=”4372”]