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Michael Steep

Michael Steep

    • Executive Director, Stanford Engineering Center for Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities
    • Former SVP of Global Business Operations at PARC Xerox
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Darden School of Business Interview

Darden School of Business Interview

Michael Steep Speaker Biography

Michael Steep is a senior global executive specializing in operational excellence, innovation leadership, business development, and venture. In January of 2017, he founded Stanford University’s new program on Digital Cities and Emerging Technologies. Throughout his career as an operating executive, he has successfully built, managed, and transformed international organizations by leveraging the power of emerging technologies to deliver fully integrated, scalable, and practical approaches to innovation. Mr. Steep excels at leveraging strategic alliances and an extensive, high-level network to drive new revenue opportunities. His strengths include executing a broad range of technology initiatives and joint ventures in areas of big data, predictive algorithms, cloud, location-based services, and mobile. He also served on the London Smart City Board of Directors – providing technology advice to the city government.

Before Stanford, Mr. Steep worked as Senior Vice President of Global Business Operations at PARC, a Xerox Company. As SVP, he oversaw corporate and P&L management for Commercial and innovation services – with a focus on transforming their commercial business model into a sustainable growth engine. He also managed business development, sales, corporate strategy, intellectual property, marketing, and strategic alliances. While at PARC, he helped Fortune Group companies transform early-stage technologies into new revenue-generating business models crossing predictive analytics, AI, privacy preserving analytics, and radical new hardware technologies for low-cost sensor development used in autonomous vehicles and IoT. He also developed new approaches to understand human behavior and emotion through imaging technologies and behavioral algorithms.

He founded Transform Innovation as a partnership with Stanford faculty to help clients transform disruptive technology into paths to monetization. Mike is often retained as a keynote speaker speaking on the topic of disruptive technologies and new business models. This year he is scheduled to speak across the country on that topic to a dozen CEO conference events. Transform clients include a wide range of companies including IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Cushman Wakefield, and many others. He is regarded as a world class expert on digital transformation and business modeling.

From 2005 to 2011, Mr. Steep worked at Microsoft in executive roles including Global Managing Director in the Office of the CTO – Bill Gates. While in this role, he was integral in setting the overall vision for customer-driven Microsoft innovation, capitalizing on emerging technologies and industry breakthroughs in smartphone, tablet, and cloud. His prior role at Microsoft included overseeing a $1.5B global enterprise sales organization.

Prior to Microsoft, he held various leadership roles including VP at IBM (Lexmark), and Chief Operating Officer at ENCAD where he turned around the public company resulting in its successful sale to Kodak. He also drove top-line, international revenue growth at Lexmark and launched 30+ products at Apple including the first consumer digital camera and other imaging products. In the early years, he launched the first software for the introduction of the IBM PC.

Mr. Steep holds a Master of Business Administration from the Darden School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his extensive corporate experience, he is a Distinguished Speaker at Imperial College London. He currently resides in the Rancho Santa Fe with offices at Stanford and in Southern California.

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.

Discovering Exponential Opportunity: Find It Before It Finds You

In 2016, 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.

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