Who: Margot Silva
Company: The Business Innovation Consortium
Has held title for: 3 years
Previous title: Business manager at CSC Index
Double, Double, Toil and Trouble. As the knowledge sorceress of the Business Innovation Consortium, Margot Silva's job is to help companies such as BMW and Pfizer Inc. conjure up ideas for new areas of business. How? By revealing the best practices of other companies in a nontraditional way. Who needs white papers when you can have some practical magic?
What kind of sorcery do you use with your clients?
I take them through a process called a "Learning Journey." It's like best-practice research in real time — and on steroids.
What is the source of your sorcery?
The best ideas come from pulling people out of their industry and shaking them out of their tunnel vision. When I have particularly difficult clients whom I have to spin a little bit more magic on, I take them to unexpected places. We'll go to a children's museum to watch how kids learn, so that they can remember what learning is all about.
Do you cast any spells on your clients?
Typically, a transformation does begin to happen: A team changes its way of thinking because of an insight that has come from its Learning Journey. Then the team members go back to their company and, like germs, begin to infect the rest of their organization.
A version of this article appeared in the February 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.