Gregory Hicks
Gregory Hicks

I Solve Problems, Develop Products, Coach Startups; Crowd-Sourcing Expert; Innovation Methods Guru; Connector

Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

  • Focus: Contributions are valued by peers
  • Accountability: Thoroughly contributes in all areas
  • Sense of Urgency: Consistently responds in a timely fashion
  • Team: Frequently supports and responds to peers

Awards earned:





Level: LEVEL 02 (12mo pts: 22 pts)

Lifetime points: 74 pts View details

Open Innovation 10
Strategy 10
Business Analysis
Project Management
Strategic Planning
Marketing Strategy
Brand Management
System Deployment
System Design
System Testing
System Architecture
Executive Reporting
Graphic Design
Program Management
Web Design
Process Improvement
Process Management
Innovation Management
Innovation Development
Innovation Consulting
Market Analysis
Competitive Analysis
Microsoft Office
Adobe Creative Suite
Database Design
Business Process Improvement
Vendor Management
Business Development
Team Leadership
Strategic Partnerships
Professional Services
Product Marketing
Cross-functional Team Leadership
Enterprise Software
Software Documentation
Product Management
IT Project & Program Management


Innovation means a lot of things to different people so I’ll give you my version. Innovation is the way you see, think about, and interact with the world. While most people describe “innovation" as a noun or the output (e.g. iPhone, automobile, Internet), I think of “innovation” as a verb, as in “innovating,” akin to problem solving, building, making, tinkering, seeing, understanding. In my world view, innovation is how we decide to travel, not where we decide to travel to.

To this end, being good at innovation means having a mindset that is properly aligned with a skillset and a toolset. Like a good mechanic, carpenter, or engineer, not committing to a single tool to complete a job, but having the knowledge and skill to deploy a variety of tools for any given situation is the way of becoming the best possible innovator.

I am skilled at: crowd-sourcing, facilitation, Lean Startup, Business Model Generation (business model canvas, value proposition canvas), startup coaching, human-centered design, product design, and business strategy. I have developed two proprietary tools, the Innovation Program Handbook assessment and Innovation IQ, an innovation project assessment, risk manager, health check, and decision-making tool.



Innovation IQ

June 2016 - Present

Even with great methodologies like Human Centered Design and The Lean Startup, business and product innovation can fall victim to confirmation bias. Innovation IQ applies analytics to drive out bias in the evaluation, decision making, and validation of innovation projects. Access for free at:

Business, Product and Innovation; Crowd-Sourcing Guru; Innovation Methods

Unlabel Innovation

June 2013 - Present

Business, Product, and Innovation Consultant; Crowdsourcing Expert

Helping organizations with business strategy, product development, and innovation program design that fits their employee and leadership culture based on hands-on experience with business strategy, operations, and corporate innovation programs using my deep knowledge of program execution coupled with innovation methodology. In short, I get things done. Clients include:

Financial Services Industry: 2015 to Present
Minnetonka Public Schools: 2013 to Present
Technology Industry: 2015 to Present
Healthcare Industry: 2016 to Present

Startup Advising

Providing a variety of services and support for startups, including: strategy, market analysis, value proposition definition, business modeling, product development, persona development, marketing strategy, marketing messaging, financial modeling, pricing, market research, testing/QA, prototyping, customer insights, and business development.

Proxi by Incente: 2016 to Present
Behavorial Healthcare technology startup:

Ready to Work Business Collaborative: 2016 to Present
Rockefeller Foundation Non-for-Profit with a focus on hiring best practices in marginalized workforce categories. Co-founded by Wells Fargo, Principal Financial Group, PG&E, US Bank, and Frontier Communications:

Crowdsourcing Expert

theDifference Consulting

January 2017 - Present

Provide expertise in the design and delivery of crowdsourcing strategies, techniques, and software to clients of the firm; leveraging 8 years of global experience from over a dozen corporate crowdsourcing program deployments (client side experience).