The Office of Strategic Innovation, Inc. is a process consulting firm that focuses on connecting and
integrating innovation, creativity and quality into a deliberate strategy for generating and implementing
new ideas on a continuous basis. The techniques and processes we use today were originally developed
to support long-range technology planning for the Air Force's Innovation Initiative. Rolf Smith, the firm's
principal, is a retired Air Force officer who created and ran the first military Innovation Center and Office
Rolf retired in 1987 as a Colonel and entered into an exclusive long-term contract with Exxon with the
charter of creating an Innovation Center on the Air Force model. He incorporated the Office of Strategic
Innovation (OSI) and assisted in the design and rollout of an innovation system within Exxon's Marketing
Department. By 1989 the innovation process had spread to virtually every department in Exxon, and
OSI created the School for Innovators to teach people how to jumpstart new ideas, facilitate innovative
thinking, and lead change processes. OSI also brought its out-of-the-box thinking techniques to bear
in developing and training the 280-person Emergency Response Team which was created after the
Valdez oil spill.
Exxon's Vice President of Marketing expanded the innovation initiative by launching the company into a
large-scale continuous improvement program. The challenge lay in integrating the concepts of continuous
improvement and Quality with creativity and innovation. OSI developed a very successful model for that
and trained a network of 170 innovation and Marketing continuous improvement facilitators. Similar to the
innovation initiative, continuous improvement rapidly spread from Marketing out into the rest of the company.
By 1992, the use of creativity and innovation processes, tools and techniques was widespread and heavily
coupled into major change projects, including restructuring and reengineering.
In 1992 we negotiated changes to the exclusive contract with Exxon and began assisting other
companies interested in innovation as a strategy. We have since worked
with companies such as IBM, Shell Oil, E-Systems, Hoechst Celanese, R J Reynolds, Kentucky Fried Chicken,
Mohawk Industries, Texaco and Chase Manhattan Bank on various aspects of innovation, creativity and change
-- and the School for Innovators has continued to be a mainstay for facilitator training.
What we do falls into six major groupings. These six groupings are the key thrusts of our efforts to make innovation and
creativity strategic values in America.
- Strategic Innovation
- Thinking Expeditions
- Innovation Consulting & Unusual Problems
- Innovation Education & Training
- Innovation Jump-Starts
- Keynotes & Large Conference Facilitation