An innovation consultancy led by John Palumbo that strategically pairs corporate teams with OUTSIDE (even surprising) perspectives and sources to foster DISRUPTION.      

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“I know the people you don't even know you need to know.”
- John Palumbo
"Innovation never comes from the established institution. It’s always a graduate student or a crazy person or somebody with great vision."
– Eric Schmidt, Executive Chariman of Google
“If you’re not making room for the unexpected meeting of minds, you could be missing out on the next big breakthrough.”
– Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of GE

I believe corporations have a better chance of creating truly DISRUPTIVE business models, product and service concepts, digital solutions, customer experiences and marketing strategies when they explore sources and perspectives from OUTSIDE (even surprising) disciplines and areas...and then CONNECT-THE-DOTS between the information they gather and their own business.

Of course, most corporate teams don’t have the time, capacity and, quite frankly, the expertise to identify, assemble and mobilize the disparate perspectives they need. So, that’s where I come in. I aggregated a vast BRAIN TRUST of some of the brightest minds and biggest thinkers from DIVERSE fields and interests (I call them "BigHeads")...and my consultancy specializes in STRATEGICALLY PAIRING corporate teams with the (often unexpected) BigHeads we believe they need to access in order to uncover breakthrough inspiration and solutions.

We were introduced to a color-matching technology by a car restoration specialist and brought it to a cosmetics company to help them "get unstuck" and solve a product development challenge they'd been facing.

We enlisted a children’s book author, a documentary producer, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and other "professional storytellers" and created a Storytelling Lab to help a marketing team craft a consumer-facing story for their highly technical brand.

We had disruptive startups apply their leaner strategies and models to a large, slow-moving corporation’s antiquated business. It’s a Lean Startup-inspired process we call “Goliath, Meet David.”

So, if you’re ready to go beyond the USUAL SUSPECTS for ideas, insight and inspiration…get in touch and I’ll bring you together with the UNUSUAL ones.

-John Palumbo

About Bigheads

Meet The BigHeads

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Beekeeper
  • Biologist
  • Botanist
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Broadway Performer
  • Car Restoration Specialist
  • Cardiologist
  • Cartoonist
  • Chemist
  • Chef
  • Chocolatier
  • Coder
  • Comedian
  • Concierge
  • CTO
  • Deejay
  • Documentary Producer
  • Dog Walker
  • Drone Pilot
  • Fashion Designer
  • Firefighter
  • Fortune 500 CEO
  • Food Blogger
  • Growth Hacker
  • Hotel Designer
  • IoT Architect
  • Iron Worker
  • Makeup Artist
  • Marine Biologist
  • Mayor
  • Mixologist
  • MLB Umpire
  • MMA Fighter
  • Mommy Blogger
  • Musician
  • NASA Engineer
  • Navy Seal
  • News Anchor
  • Novelist
  • Photographer
  • Preacher
  • Pro Skateboarder
  • Professor
  • Reality TV Producer
  • Relationship Expert
  • Restaurateur
  • Regulatory Affairs Director
  • Roadie
  • Robotics Engineer
  • Sculptor
  • Serial Entrepreneur
  • Sommelier
  • Super Mom
  • Tattoo Artist
  • Theme Park Designer
  • Toy Inventor
  • UX Guru
  • Venture Capitalist
  • Video Game Tester
  • Web Designer
  • Winemaker
  • Yoga Instructor
  • …and many more

The Biggest Head - John Palumbo

For more than 20 years John Palumbo has been developing unique and innovative products, ideas, insights and solutions for major corporations and brands. In 2006 he launched his innovation consultancy, BigHeads, which helped pioneer the (now popular) open innovation and crowdsourcing movements. Over the years BigHeads has brought companies such as American Express, Domino’s, General Electric, Mondelēz and Procter & Gamble together with outside (even surprising) perspectives and sources to solve some of their toughest problems and create truly breakthrough products and ideas. Furthermore, John’s opinions, work and approaches have been featured in a range of publications including Fast Company, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, The Wall Street Journal and a host of other national, local and trade outlets. He also authored the book Brand Opening and speaks regularly at companies, universities and industry conferences about his unique “Cross Pollination” process, which involves finding a clever solution in one context or industry and translating it successfully to another. Connect with John here.


We work regularly with R&D and new product development groups, innovation teams, research departments, marketing and brand teams, customer experience leads, internal venture groups, HR departments and operations groups...but we have to admit that, for us, it's really about finding individuals within corporations who truly want to disrupt the status quo and solve the problems they're facing in new and unique ways. We call them the CORPORATE CRAZY ONES…and they’re our kind of people!

How We Work

We’ll get together for a "meet-and-greet" where we’ll give you a peek-behind-the-curtain and show you how we go about identifying strategic sources and perspectives for our client partners. We’ll also show you sample deliverables and highlight projects we’ve executed. Then we’ll get to the important part and give you the floor so you can brief us on your innovation challenge.
Next, we’ll design an exploration specifically for your innovation challenge/need. We'll then regroup and take you through the fields, areas and perspectives we recommend exploring (and the BigHeads we plan to access for information and expertise)…along with other details such as the step-by-step process we'll follow, the deliverables you can expect, the project timeline and, of course, pricing.
If you decide to move forward, we’ll execute your project. On average, our engagements take 4-8 weeks, so you'll have results quickly!

Our Sweet Spots

Beauty & Cosmetics
Consumer Packaged Goods
Consumer Technology
Ecommerce & Retail
Financial Services
Food & Beverage
Hospitality & Travel
If you take away one thing from the list above, we hope it’s the fact that we’ve applied our approaches across a wide range of categories and industries…and we’re always looking for new areas and unique innovation challenges to tackle!

Buzz About Bigheads

Grow Your Head

"Brand Opening" Book

Grab a copy of John’s book about the power of OPENING the door to new and unexpected perspectives to foster innovation and creativity for your BRAND.

"The Unusual Suspects" Seminar

John’s seminar will teach your team about the benefits of going beyond the USUAL suspects and tapping the more UNUSUAL ones to drive innovation.

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To learn more about our processes, discuss new business opportunities or to book speaking engagements and media interviews, please contact:

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