Business Advice from Leonardo da Vinci

Event Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT

Great businesses – like great artists – know how to appeal to the instincts of their audience. Da Vinci's seven principles embodied the essence of genius:
  • Curiosità – insatiable curiosity
  • Dimostrazione –willingness to constantly test and learn
  • Sensazione – continual refinement of the senses
  • Sfumato – willingness to embrace uncertainty
  • Arte/Scienza – ability to balance science and imagination
  • Corporalità – cultivation of fitness and poise
  • Connessione – appreciation for connectedness.
These same principles can be applied to running a successful business. Some great great brands excel at one principle, as Nike does at Corporalità. Others, like Amazon, succeed by combining several principles into the customer experience. What's important is not to try to deliver on every principle but to know which ones work for your customer. Then focus your energy on providing a unique and memorable experience in those areas where you can excel.

Bill Noakes explains how the seven da Vinci principles map to customer experience. He offers examples of successful companies that embody at each one and provides a framework for applying this concept to any business. Attendees will learn a unique and powerful new approach to understanding their markets and discover new ways to delight and excite their customers.


Bill Noakes is the founder and managing partner of NoakesGroup, a firm that provides consulting services and advice to senior executives. He was previously Executive Vice President of Meijer, Inc., a multi-billion dollar Midwestern-based retailer. From 2006 to 2008, he led Meijer's legal, information technology, real estate, construction, and procurement departments. From 2000 to 2006, he served as the company's Chief Legal Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Director of Corporate Strategy.

Prior to that, Bill was a partner with the law firm, Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss, where he represented Fortune 1000 corporations, including clients such as General Motors, Smith & Wesson, and DTE. He has also been the General Counsel of an automotive supplier, an attorney with the General Motors Corporation, an attorney with the SEC, and an Air Force Judge Advocate.

Bill is an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University and has been a lecturer at the University of Chicago, where he earned both his M.A. and J.D. degrees.

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