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Ikhlaq Sidhu
Contact: For interest in new projects and/or affiliated programs, email sidhu@berkeley.edu or is@innovation-engineering.net

Bio: See this link or LinkedIn for details  

My Projects:
My projects and programs help people – who want to create new things, grow their businesses, or transform their organizations no matter how complex the situation or technology – by teaching tactics, innovation culture, collecting helpful data, and/or coaching the leadership.

On a day-to-day basis, I work with people at..

  • Innovative Firms: Engineering leaders at Apple, Google, Samsung, Cisco, Applied Materials, Lam Research, Yahoo, Network Appliances, GM, Bosch, Qualcomm, PayPal, Broadcom, VMware, and many other leading firms.
  • New Ventures: Undergraduate, Ph.D. students, and faculty colleagues at UC Berkeley and the global partner institutions of the College of Engineering.
  • Organizations, Universities, and Governments:  Includes Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar, Chile Engineering 2030, Onset Ventures, a leading Silicon Valley investment firm, Hong Kong (HKBU), the Government of New Zealand, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Jacobs Institute for Design at UC Berkeley.

Interests:

  • Teaching teams and firms how to adapt, grow, and develop an innovation culture, no matter how complex the situation or technical factors.
  • Advising and coaching to leaders to reduce risk in strategic and innovative projects.
  • Data analytics to support strategic projects and direction changes.
  • Policy, process, and structure for innovation in firms and regions.

Current Programs

Data-X: A Framework for Digital Transformation and Data Strategy

A technical course that teaches students at UC Berkeley to use foundational mathematical concepts and current computer science tools to create data-related applications and systems for real world problems.

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Engineering Leadership Program

This program is the management track for Silicon Valley.  The program builds upon the core technical skills of managers, engineers, and scientists; and provides breadth, strategy, market focus, operations, and communication skills for engineering leaders to be able to take larger roles within innovative companies.

Berkeley Innovation Index

A data-analytic approach to measuring innovation mindset and innovation culture inside companies.

Perspective:

To grow or run innovative projects, the main challenge is that an an organization must learn to do something that it has never done before.   At a company level, many firms have done it well (eg. IBM, Apple, Netflix, GE) while other firms have not been so successful (e.g. Kodak, Tower Records, Blockbuster, Novell).  And at a project level, many expensive, strategic projects go off track and fail miserably.  In fact, a lot tends to go wrong:

  • People on the team don’t even know what innovation is supposed to feel like or what the steps are.
  • The team can not get the commitment of stakeholders and customers.
  • The culture of the organization offers too much friction, i.e. a culture of “No.” 
  • An innovative team has irritated the rest of the organization so much that the project is already doomed, unless the organizational dynamics are fixed first.
  • The value creation argument is not really there. It is really just a science project.
  • The new project has no strategic alignment. Even if it works, it is actually distractive to the mission of the firm.   And the team does not understand why.
  • The team does not have the necessary technical or business skills.
  • There is no accepted framework or language in the company that allows this program to be framed, measured, or supported. No one can describe the process to others.
  • A leader may be insecure and/or does not create trust in the organization. Or the leadership has simply has not set the tone for the correct culture in the organization.
  • The processes in the organization do not balance “organic growth” with “top-down strategic direction”.
  • Structurally misaligned incentives. Why innovate if it is only a risk, and the behaviors are not measured or rewarded.
  • People can’t work effectively with each other in non-traditional areas. Or possibly, the wrong team is assigned to the project.