13 years helping companies with strategic innovation. Specializes in company culture and administrative capabilities.
Brian is a managing partner and co-founder of The Inovo Group. In addition to working closely with clients, Brian serves as Inovo’s chief operating officer. In that role, he focuses on building Inovo’s administrative capabilities. Most importantly, he works on an organization’s cultural foundation in order to best serve clients. The culture that he, with partners Larry Schmitt and Steve Schwartz, strive to create suffuses the organization with the same sense of curiosity, possibilities and a Test-and-Learn mindset that Inovo brings to its clients.
Brian rediscovered his passion for innovation while a vice president at Whirlpool more than a decade ago. He left Whirlpool in 2005 to pursue a dual challenge. He wanted to help large companies accomplish their ultimate challenge – strategic innovation – while simultaneously growing an innovation consulting firm. The Inovo Group reflects his belief that large, mature organizations can indeed create nimble new businesses and innovative cultures but often need a catalyst to do so.
Brian and his wife moved back to Ann Arbor a few years ago. They first met as students here in a physical chemistry course (no kidding) at the University of Michigan, where he earned a BS in chemical engineering. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is an avid reader, runner, Hobie Catter and fair-weather golfer.
Innovating and creating innovation systems for over 40 years with all size companies.
Larry Schmitt, PhD
Larry’s passion for innovation is a driving force for Inovo, which he co-founded and is a Managing Partner. He lives and breathes innovation, creating new innovation methodologies and systems as well as actively participating in client projects. His deep knowledge advances innovation thinking and the development of new processes, methods, and tools in collaboration with other innovation thinkers. Larry’s desire to help organizations gain the capabilities and insights to solve their critical innovation problems fuels his innovative activities.
Larry draws upon years of experience in both large corporations and startups that wrestled with being innovative. As a matter of fact, he saw firsthand how, if you don’t push your boundaries and constantly innovate innovation itself, you fall behind. This observation has informed Larry’s guiding philosophy at Inovo. Furthermore, it keeps the company continually creating, developing, testing and learning to push the boundaries of strategic innovation itself.
Larry is a voracious reader with wide and diverse interests. He regularly posts his thoughts on innovation on Inovo’s blog and in numerous articles and white papers. He is frequently invited to speak about innovation at conferences, on webcasts, at private events and for colleges and universities.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Larry loves the outdoors. He likes exploring new places with his globetrotting family. He holds a BS in computer science from the University of Michigan; and an MS and PhD in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
35 years working in innovation and entrepreneurship. Specialize in technology effects understanding and system design.
Steve is an engineer by training, but an entrepreneur by disposition. He has worked for 30 years in various technology and commercialization sectors. The art and science of innovation fascinates Steve. What can new technologies make possible? What do people really want? How can innovators get better at answering these and so many other related questions? Steve is highly passionate about innovation in general as a result of pursuing questions like these. He is deeply engaged in his work with clients.
Steve began his career in the cellular industry during its early days of explosive growth. It was hard to keep up and harder still to predict. He leveraged that experience to use it well in other industries on the verge of similar growth and change: semiconductors, e-commerce, machine vision, and life science. Inovo is now a chance to share what he’s learned – and to keep learning.
He holds a BSE in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; an MS in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
A lifelong Midwesterner, Steve is active with his family and enjoys sailing. He also takes part in triathlons and plays the piano. His school-age daughters keep him busy and remind him everyday of just how much he has yet to learn.