Michael Steep

Executive Director, Stanford Engineering Center for Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities, & Former SVP of Global Business Operations at PARC Xerox
  • Highly sought-after strategic leader who has advised clients from including Airbus, BMW, and Google
  • Contributing editor to Forbes and a sitting member of the Smart City London Board
  • Helps audiences get ahead of disruption with practical tips for fueling innovative ideas powered by new technology

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Disruptive technology is growing at an exponential rate, but few people know how to transform disruption into opportunity. Drawing on decades of experience driving innovation and leading operations at companies including Apple and Microsoft, Mike Steep shares strategies on how to leverage emerging technology into bottom line business opportunities. Throughout his career, Mike has worked in the presence of industry legends including David Packard, Bill Gates, and Satya Nadella, witnessing first-hand some of the greatest breakthroughs and transformations within organizations and entire industries. All of this change has been powered by the invention of the digital camera, cloud computing, mobile devices, IoT, meta-materials, and privacy preserving analytics.

Mike is currently the founder and Executive Director of Stanford’s Engineering Center for Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities, a global speaker, and contributing editor to Forbes. He reveals the specific process companies can use to transform disruptive technology into exponential opportunity, and is the speaker for groups asking themselves “What can I do now to get ahead of disruptive technologies? How do I acquire the right talent, organization, and structure to drive innovation more effectively?”

Mike is the former SVP of Global Business Operations at PARC, where he worked with CEO’s and R&D executives from companies including BMW, Google, P&G, L’Oreal, and Air Bus to transform technology disruption of their industries into new lines of business. Mike believes we are at the beginning of a new golden age—where emerging technologies define who we are, what we can accomplish, and how we can redefine entire companies and industries. Just as Apple transformed the mobile industry through the introduction of the iPhone, emerging technologies will offer exponential opportunities if we know how to capitalize on them. As Mike explains, "innovation is not a drawn-out process or the result of a “light bulb” moment, but rather the ability to apply the right idea, technical expertise, and business model to a strategic problem." Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Mike speaks passionately and with great insight about the importance of making disruptive technologies trump company culture and legacy competencies—not the other way around.

Mike has had an exceptional career with more than two decades of global operating experience at companies including HP, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and PARC’s world-renowned innovation center. Mike earned his MBA from the University of Virginia, and his BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

He is an Adjunct Professor of Digital Business at Imperial College London and has served on several Smart Cities Boards including the City of London, advising commercial clients on the impact of emerging technology in their industries.

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Mike Steep: Power of Disruptive Technology

Michael Steep: AI, Emerging Tech, Autonomous Vehicles

Michael Steep On Today's Technological Explosion

Michael Steep On Changing The Way We Look At Disruptive Technology

Michael Steep: Tech In Urban Life

How To Get Ahead Of Disruptive Technology Now. Mike Steep’s speeches offer audiences a first-hand look at the inner-workings of Silicon Valley and the specific processes that make the world’s most innovative companies so successful. An expert on “operationalizing innovation” who has worked to drive new products and strategies for companies including Boeing and BMW, Steep inspires audiences to rethink current business models and stresses that innovation is not necessarily the result of a “light bulb moment” but rather the ability to apply the right idea, technical expertise, business model, and even company culture to an existing problem. This speech answers the big question for companies today: “What can I do about technology disruption?” With anecdotes from his time working for Apple, Lexmark (IBM), Microsoft, and HP, Mike dissects technological advances and subsequent business successes and failures to provide an overview of where innovation really comes from, how to best create and implement change, and what each audience he speaks to should specifically aim to do now to stay ahead of disruption.

Reinventing Effective Leadership For Disruptive Innovation: How To Acquire The Right Talent, Expertise, & Organizational Structure To Transform Innovation. Constant change is the new mantra in companies today. Innovation, reinvention, restructuring … all require every level of the organization to not only embrace change but also to lead by example. Unfortunately, very few companies get it right. Instead of working within the company to mitigate resistance to change, many leaders struggle, finally giving up and instead going to the more expensive and illusive Plan B—a spin up of a new company or subsidiary to drive innovation with the hope to accelerate time to market. Steep helps companies lead effectively by touching on:

  • How to design an organization to enable more effective innovation
  • What leadership that creates real opportunity looks like
  • How to create an environment that attracts and retains the right talent
  • Real-world examples of successes and failures—plus what went right, and what went wrong

Discovering Exponential Opportunity: Find It Before It Finds You. In 2019, most established companies fail to spot exponential opportunity until it’s too late. That’s because five breakthrough technologies are changing the human lifestyle—and the way we think about technology disruption. These areas of innovation include: meta-materials, privacy-preserving analytics, predictive analytics on big data, content-centric networking, and printed electronics. This customizable speech tackles how these technologies are changing varied industries including automotive, financial services, manufacturing, aerospace, cosmetics, and pharma. Steep also shows how the few companies who have effectively embraced innovation, including BMW and Apple, have taken advantage of exponential opportunity to drive revenue growth. He provides a roadmap for companies seeking to replicate that success.

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, & Crowdfunding: Managing FinTech Disruption. Financial services is one of the industries most vulnerable to disruption by emerging technologies—but it’s not all bad. While new technologies will restructure the very nature of financial institutions and transactions, they simultaneously present untapped opportunities for growth and success. For example, while a new wave of startups are increasingly “disaggregating” banks, blockchains have the potential to restructure the cost of transacting. While institutions work to manage structural change, new privacy-preserving technology and content-centric networking are also creating new ways to think about security existing data. And new emerging technologies, including autonomous cars, are creating mobile networks that will merge big data layers from home to car to office. With this highly-customizable talk, Mike covers what organizations need to know now in regards to both existing and early-stage disruptive technologies that will have major impact on financial institutions and banking companies, presenting options for tapping into that change and getting ahead of innovations still yet to come.

The Theatre of Privacy: Is Privacy A Thing Of The Past? This speech looks at the complex issue of privacy in a highly-digital world. Steep examines the intersection of federal law, corporate policy, and consumer interests, and addresses pressing issues including how emerging technologies are changing the way businesses need to think about privacy, how companies should protect customer privacy while complying with federal law, and what the most effective and practical plan forward should be. Steep draws on case studies from companies with varied approaches but similar goals, including Apple and Microsoft.

Keys To Innovation: How To Harness The Forces Of Disruption. Mike Steep has identified five major disruptive forces at work in today’s global business environment and shares how they can be used to bring significant breakthrough change to various industries. With unparalleled experience stemming from his work on over 250 innovative projects across the world, Steep is singularly qualified to equip audiences with the tools and information they need to take advantage of the vast opportunities that today’s shifting digital and technological advancements present.

Steep has developed specific systems and models, such as the “Outside-In” model, that is ready for implementation at any company and are apart of his presentation on innovating from the ground up. The “Outside-In” model focuses specifically on locating key industry issues and using technology to turn those problems into significant revenue growth opportunities.

Understanding China. This talk is a comprehensive executive briefing on the current state of China. It is designed for the business executive who needs a comprehensive understanding of the economic, political, and business strategies needed undertake a successful business in China. It draws from Mike Steep’s 30 years of experience in the developing businesses in this market for companies including HP, IBM, Apple, Microsoft, and PARC as well as some of the work done at Stanford University, Imperial College London, and the Wharton School of Business. Steep uses real case examples of companies doing business in this market, outlines how to develop a strategy for entry, and identifies both the challenges faced and the likely trajectory of where China is going in the future. Steep visited China for the first time as a student immediately following the great opening undertaken by Richard Nixon and Zhou Enlai.

Technology in the Year 2045. Mike Steep is the author of the new fiction book First Light of Day, which takes place in 2045 and provides a look at the not-too far off reality where technology and computers quite literally have a mind of their own. Steep transports us years into the future and provides a companion guide of just how technology will achieve this fully autonomous state. With years of experience at Microsoft, Apple, and BMW, Steep is deeply aware to the fast pace of technology and the lack human ability to cope. This book allows the reader to close that gap and truly imagine the future of our world.

The Politics of Disruptive Technology. In this speech, highly sought-after strategic leader, Mike Steep, delivers a nonpartisan presentation on the realities of disruptive technology and the role of Silicon Valley in politics. He offers his expert perspective to audiences, helping them understand how disruptive technology can be used as a force in election outcomes, what the future holds for privacy, and how to think about regulatory and other issues that are impacted by technology.

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