Michael is a concept architect, creator and director of the visionary "Day Made of Glass" videos for Corning. Michael's creation has received over 20 million views on YouTube and countless mentions in the press and blogosphere, earning Corning the status of innovator and thought leader.
See the videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ382
Why do people see Michael as an innovator? It’s the way he thinks. He just looks at things, at challenges, through a different lens. Described by Carl Anderson, our CEO, as having a restless mind, Michael is not one for following rules, or abiding to convention. This, combined with his willingness to reinvent, his insatiable appetite for knowledge, his knack for creative thinking and problem solving (prior to his role as a Creative Director, Michael was an engineer), gives him a unique qualification as an innovator. His work, and his many awards, underscore this quality.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects?
Inertia. Corporate inertia. Or rather, corporations that are held back by engrained thinking, legacy processes, and denial (denial that they may need to change). Many corporations seem to like the idea of innovative thinking rather than the application of it.
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? I hold up my own ideas and work to the following tenets: Is it provocative (does it provoke thought or action)? Is it unexpected (for if it is expected, it is taken for granted and usually ignored)? Is it remarkable (in that it may be remarked upon)? Is it relevant? Is it entertaining? I don’t believe I’ve been ever able to check them all off on any one project (and nor is it necessary), but I try for the highest count.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? Marketing and advertising is an ever changing landscape. But, never has change been so large in the mirror. Not only is it gaining momentum, it’s looking like it might run us over. Innovation is key for this industry to evolve and survive. It’s that simple.
Any other interesting aspects to your international background? Funny, I never really considered myself as 'international' - especially since coming from one of the smallest nations, and from one so far away.
I get disoriented in northern hemisphere - but not in the southern. It's true. It's as if my internal compass is all messed up.