Rebecca Kaul had planned to be a doctor. But life and the HMO era got in the way. As a result she went down an entirely different and windy path through chemical engineering, public policy, consulting on information systems and reinsurance. And together these all led her right back to a different way of contributing to the advancement of medicine. Today Rebecca is Chief Innovation Officer at MD Anderson Cancer Center where she is side by side with physicians delivering on the mission to end cancer as we know it.
Rebecca has a remarkable record as an intrapreneur, helping launch dozens of companies and new innovations first from inside UPMC and subsequently from her current role inside MD Anderson. If nothing else, she has learned that successful innovation is far more about culture change and shared values than about technology. As Rebecca says, one must focus on “purpose finding tech, not tech finding a purpose.” She speaks about the difference between innovation professionals and innovators, the former being at their best when they focus on helping operations realize a vision for change by serving as the facilitators, not as the problem solvers. Innovation professionals who “think they can ride in on a white horse and fix things,” she says, are not doing it right.
We are grateful to GE Ventures for their sponsorship today. GE Ventures – Multiple Paths to Big Impact.