Seeing Around the Corner: The Innovator’s Key Challenge…and Skill

By Evan J. Cutts

Boston, MA — Dr. Hitendra Patel is an expert innovator and thought leader whose strategies have impacted the trajectory of major businesses and organizations, such as Verizon, Merck, and Cigna. He is the Managing Director at the IXL Center based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“It’s my role to make IXL Center the pre-eminent innovation consulting firm in the world,” explained Dr. Patel. “Our approach is three-fold: we show the best companies, universities, and regions how to increase their capabilities and future growth prospects by a factor of 10; we maintain a global presence through our own offices and international partnerships; and we develop cutting-edge thought leadership through our innovation gurus and world-class employees.”  

What makes IXL Center unique is its clear, organized, easy to mobilize strategy.

“We are uniquely configured to deliver innovation through our network of faculty, consultants, and coaches; our world-class innovation methodology; our technology platforms; our proprietary delivery format of high frequency/low touch approach; and, our ecosystem to help companies collaborate. It all fits together like puzzle pieces joining in order to realize a certain vision,” he said.

While successful business innovation involves much deliberate planning to navigate complex business environments, the most impactful innovations, according to Dr. Patel, start by asking two key questions: What’s Next? And What If?

The future will be shaped by trends and bring change on an unprecedented scale. Succeeding for IXL Center means anticipating and participating in that change.

“Success manifests by choosing the desired future and making it real versus waiting passively for the future to unfold,” he commented.

A leader who can make this strategy real, Dr. Patel added, is one “who is able to see what is around the corner, able to inspire others to see that future, and knows how to leverage small teams to get results.”

As a man of Color in 2018, Dr. Patel takes stock of the stark differences between now and when he began his business career in 1988.

“The Black Panther is among the highest-grossing movies in history. Educated men of color are sought after by corporations and more. Society can still improve, but great strides have been made. It still remains important for men of Color to stand up for what is right; the current political environment is divisive and may drag us back in time, but we must remain proactive to not allow progress to halt.”


Dr. Hitendra Patel will lead the Rapid Ideation of D&I Innovation Session at the inaugural Health & Life Sciences Conference taking place Thursday, March 22, from 12-6 PM. Sponsored by Color Magazine, IXL Center, and Biogen.