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.


  • 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.


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.


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.