Since the early 1980s, Ivy has been a passionate advocate for connecting creators/business-builders and users/customers. Her early work on technical communications and user interfaces (before there was a discipline of UI/UX) focused on collaborative innovation, employing techniques that included ethnographic research, “all-fidelity” prototyping, and iterative design and development. She raised eyebrows when she pulled programmers out of their cubicles at a large commercial bank and took them on a “field trip” to observe the data entry clerks who were keeping manual ledger books and would soon be using the new processing system.
In the 1990s, when she was working at Bell Atlantic’s Advanced Technology division, Ivy was introduced to Eric von Hippel’s “Lead-User Research,” a method that helped companies like 3M create radically innovative products and services by tapping into “lead users.” The term “Lead User” refers to those people who are way ahead of the customer curve, more advanced than even early adopters, who invent solutions that companies have not yet conceived in order to satisfy their extreme needs. Ivy led several lead-user projects with major companies, and she delivered workshops on the lead-user research method for corporate venturing classes at Stevens Institute of Technology.
In the late 2000s, Ivy played a crucial role in bringing the collaborative Employee Innovation Program to Pitney Bowes. Ivy then led the creation of the Open Innovation Program across nine business units, including industry benchmarking, needs assessment, technology scouting, market landscape analysis and external open innovation challenge projects. She launched the inaugural Pitney Bowes Entrepreneurial Competition, together with Connecticut’s Stamford Innovation Center. Ivy also conducted innovation workshops for Pitney Bowes, which brought business leaders together with customers, industry analysts, partners, and subject matter experts to create roadmaps for near-, mid-, and long-term growth.
In her current role as Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Our IdeaWorks, Ivy works with companies of all sizes to develop creativity and innovation workshops that connect businesses to customers or other members of the innovation ecosystem in order to solve problems and accelerate business opportunities. She is a member of the NASA Human Health and Performance Center (NHHPC), an organization that works across industries and the public sector to further the advancement of human health and performance innovations.
Ivy founded the Connecticut Open Innovation Workshop (COIN), together with the Stamford Innovation Center, a consortium that brings together local enterprises to discover best practices for working with startups and other outside entities. She created the Lean Customer Research™ workshop to provide training and consulting in Lean Customer Research™.
Ivy has worked in healthcare, financial services, B2B, consumer goods, manufacturing, and telecommunications. Infusing everything she does with passion, humor, and warmth, Ivy is also an award-winning humor writer, storyteller, business blogger, and performer. She holds an MBA in Marketing, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from New York University’s Stern School of Business.