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About Pi Innovation

Pi Innovation is a network of thought leaders focused on helping small-to-midsize enterprises (SMEs) and nonprofits to achieve their missions -- their purpose for existing. We do this by providing strategic support focused on innovation -- creating valuable solutions to customers' problems.

Creation implies not just novelty, but bringing something new into existence.  A clever idea on its own is not creativity.  Bringing a new idea to fruition is.

Valuable means that people genuinely benefit from what you are offering. For a business, that typically means someone will buy your solution. For nonprofits, it usually means that someone will donate their resources of time, money, and energy to getting your solution into the hands of those who can't get that help on their own.

Solution means that it fills a previously unmet need.  If there is no need, there is no problem to solve.

These are the key elements that distinguish an innovatve strategy from mere invention, ideation, conceptualization, modernization, and all those other related terms in the thesaurus.


So then the question is why?  Why innovation?  Because innovation derives value for all stakeholders -- owners, managers, employees, customers, communities, economies.  As Peter Drucker said, it is "the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth." It's about growing the pie, not just fighting for a bigger slice at others' expense.


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Brad Barbera, Founder, NPDP


My passion is for teaching, training, improving, growing, and enabling individuals and teams to innovate.  Just as engineers make practical application of the fields of pure science, I am an Innovation Engineer, taking the varied and often heavy results of academic research in the field, and making it applicable and accessible to those actually practicing it in the marketplace.  I help people and organizations apply the fundamental principles that separate true innovators from the lip-servants, and apply them to their specific practice for more successful outcomes. 


I have worked in a variety of industries over the past twenty-five years: food, OTC pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, ergonomic products, office furnishings, electronics accessories…even candles and other decorative things that could make your house smell like a summer field after a cooling rain.  I have been a member of, and devotee to, the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) for most of that time.  I am a certified New Product Development Professional (that’s the NPDP after my name), meaning I have demonstrated both the career experience and the academic mastery of NPD principles and best practices in the areas of strategy, portfolio management, NPD processes, tools and metrics, market research, and teams, people and organizations.  I have served as the PDMA’s Executive Director, where I had the privilege of working with some of the most brilliant thought leaders and accomplished practitioners in the innovation world.  I have learned much from them, and want to share that learning with you.




My academic background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, both from Northwestern University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  If you are interested in more details about my professional history, skills, and experience, please click the link to my individual website.

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