Innovation management. There isn’t a business in America that doesn’t want to be more creative in its thinking, products and processes. Tom Kelley knows how to foster a culture of creativity and develop processes for continuous innovation.
Tom is the general manager of IDEO, the widely admired design and development firm that brought us the Apple mouse, the Palm V and hundreds of other cutting edge products and services. Fast Company listed IDEO as number five in its 2008 list of The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies.
Books. Tom has written two outstanding books on innovation:
The Art of Innovation describes IDEO’s "deep dive" approach to successful product creation, focusing on brainstorming and teamwork as invaluable tools.
The Ten Faces of Innovation reveals ten unique strategies for making sure that good ideas make it to market.
A genial and entertaining speaker, Tom gives business leaders tools and insights for managing innovation gleaned from the experience of IDEO and other successful design teams.
Tom was named the first-ever Executive Fellow by the dean of the Haas Business School, University of California Berkeley, and received the 2009 Kellogg Award for Distinguished Leadership from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Experience. Few people have Tom Kelley’s depth of experience managing innovation and design. Working with his brother, IDEO founder David Kelley, Tom has helped manage the firm as it has grown from 20 designers to a staff of more than 500. During that time, he has been responsible for such diverse areas as business development, marketing, human resources, and operations.
Philosophy. IDEO has proven over and over that everyone can contribute creatively to a project, that innovation can be made a cultural way of life in an organization. Tom has mastered the methods for bringing this about.
Recognition. IDEO has won more awards in the last decade than any other design firm. A full half-hour Nightline presentation of its creative process received one of the highest ratings in the shows history. In 2007, IDEO won a stunning seven International Design Excellence Awards, cosponsored by BusinessWeek. Fast Company magazine named IDEO number five on its list of "The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies."
The Art of Innovation takes readers behind the scenes of IDEO to reveal the strategies it uses to turn out hit after hit: a focus on teams, an atmosphere conducive to free expression of ideas, and a battery of tested techniques for incubating ideas.
Nothing is more effective at stifling innovation than the devil’s advocate—the role that allows an individual to raise questions that end up killing a project without claiming personal responsibility. In The Ten Faces of Innovation, Tom shares ten approaches developed at IDEO for fostering new ideas while heading off the naysayers. These alternative roles give managers and team members new ways to contribute to the success of great ideas.
- General Manager of IDEO
- Named first-ever Executive Fellow, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
- Kellogg Award for Distinguished Leadership, Northwestern University
- Delbert J. Duncan citation as U.C. Berkeley’s top marketing scholar
The Ten Faces of Innovation
IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving CreativityThroughout Your Organization
In The Art of Innovation, IDEO's managing director Tom Kelley described IDEO’s "deep dive" approach to successful product creation. Their focus on brainstorming and teamwork has resulted in world-wide acclaim as the leading design and innovation firm in the world. In The Ten Faces of Innovation, Kelley reveals the strategies IDEO uses to help foster innovation throughout the culture of a business and counter the debilitating effect of the devil's advocate.
The role of the devil's advocate is nearly universal in business today. It allows an individual to step outside themselves and raise questions and concerns that effectively kill new projects and ideas, while claiming no personal responsibility. Nothing is more potent in stiffling innovation, Kelley claims.
Over the years, IDEO has developed ten approaches businesses can use to foster innovation and new ideas while offering an effective counter to naysayers. Among these approaches are the anthropologist — the person who goes into the field to see how customers use and respond to products, to come up with new innovations; the cross-pollinator who mixes and matches ideas, people and technology to create new ideas that can drive growth; and the hurdler, who instantly looks for ways to overcome the limits and challenges to any situation.
Filled with engaging stories of how companies like Kraft, Intel, Safeway and the Mayo Clinic have incorporated IDEO's thinking to transform the customer experience, The Ten Faces of Innovation is an extraordinary guide to nurturing and sustaining a culture of continuous innovation and renewal.
Currency/Doubleday; 1 edition (October 18, 2005)
The Art of Innovation
Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm
There isn't a business in America that doesn't want to be more innovative and creative in their thinking, products, and processes. At many companies, being first with a concept and first to market are critical just to survive. In The Art of Innovation, the general manager of the world-renowned design firm IDEO, Thomas Kelley, takes readers behind the scenes of this wildly imaginative and energized company to reveal the strategies and secrets it uses to turn out hit after hit.
IDEO doesn't believe in the myth of the lone genius working away in isolation, waiting for great ideas to strike. The fact is, as Kelley points out, everyone is creative, and the goal at IDEO is to tap into that wellspring of creativity among its employees. How does it do that? First, IDEO fosters an atmosphere conducive to freely expressing ideas, throwing out (most of) the standard rules, and freeing people to design their workspaces and environment to fit their personalities. It is IDEO's focus on teams that has resulted in its countless innovative breakthroughs — the constant give-and-take among people willing to share ideas and trust in the group process, dubbed "the deep dive" by IDEO. In entertaining anecdotes illustrating some of IDEO's own successes (and mistakes), as well as poineering efforts at other leading companies, Kelley shows how teams — usually in groups of twelve to twenty people — research and completely immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a concept or problem, examining it from the perspective of the companies they are designing for, from the perspective of safety, and from the perspective of consumers. In the course of the book, Kelley outlines the steps IDEO and other successful companies use to achieve successful problem solving:
Closely observing the behavior of the people who will be using a product or service — what Kelley calls the "anthropology of design," of which IDEO is a master
Prototyping designs and ideas at every stage
Using "cross-pollination" to find solutions to trickyproblems in other, unrelated products or fields
Setting frequent deadlines along the way to keep the momentum going
Fostering a climate of innovation, flexibility, and camaraderie
Taking risks, being unafraid of goofing up, and ultimately aiming for "good enough" rather than perfection
IDEO has won more awards in the last ten years than any other design firm, and a full half-hour Nightline presentation of its creative process received one of the highest ratings in the show's history. Total immersion in The Art of Innovation will provide business leaders with the insights and tools they need to make their companies the leading-edge, top-rated stars of their industries.
Crown Business; 1 edition (January 16, 2001)
Tom tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.
Growth and Renewal with the Faces of Innovation
The Art of Innovation
Failing Your Way to Success
Designing the Future
A global hospitality company:
Wanted to tell you how much everyone enjoyed Tom Kelley. He was a great listener and listened to what Senior Leadership wanted to convey and help make both meetings a success. I would gladly recommend Tom to any organization looking at him as a speaker.
A diversified technology, media and financial services company:
Tom was wonderful! Everybody loved him – was exactly the punch in the arm and thought provoker we needed to energize the end of the conference. Great recommendation from you and very pleased!!
A leading global marketing communications company:
Your speech was terrific and hugely appreciated by all the leaders.
A technology partner for providers, sellers and buyers of travel:
I'm glad to report that the conference was a great success, and Tom went down extremely well. We had many very good reports about his presentation which was highly entertaining, informative and relevant for the conference.
The VIP lunch was also successful, Tom said a few words and then mingled with all the guests. Everyone went away very satisfied and with a copy of Tom's book in hand.
A national tourism membership organization:
Hi Tom — It was a pleasure meeting you in Savannah.
Thank you again for presenting at our [...] conference. Indeed, the feedback from your presentation has been extremely positive. Delegates were talking about your comments throughout the rest of the conference. You delivered! Thank you for making those of us responsible for programming look so good.
A major computer entertainment corporation:
Tom's talk was spectacular! I got a lot of very positive feedback from the attendees who found the talk very inspirational, relevant and thought provoking. And a lot of fun!
An event planning company:
You were an enormous hit, and the RSA people were extremely happy. And thank you for being such a delight to work with. I have worked with many celebrities and speakers over the years, and none compare to your warm, friendly (Ohio) charm.
Convention organizers for an industry association:
Tom — I want to follow up on the Convention to express, both personally and as a planning committee member, our deep gratitude for your participation in the Convention. Your presentation was a "slam dunk" — I heard so many people talking about how much they valued your talk (and your blaster rockets were quite the hit as well).
A major sporting goods company:
Just wanted to thank you again for adding tremendous insight and value to our Annual Management Meeting. Everyone was truly happy and impressed, and the words you spoke were quoted again and again in the presentations that followed Wednesday and Thursday. It really made a tremendous impact on my team, and I can't thank you enough. And our dinner the evening before was delightful as well.
A research institute conference on marketing and business strategy:
- 5 stars - the highlight of [...] - again please and longer
- Engaging, exciting and inspiring. A fascinating blend of thought-provoking ideas and practical, down to earth advice"
- He's wonderfully approachable and full of value
- Best speaker of the conference
A specialty food company:
Yes, everything went well, Tom was there with no symptoms of jetlag whatsoever, the finger arrow exercise was a great success - but not only the arrows were successful. In conversations but also on their feedbacks forms, Tom was rated highly. Our managers liked his clear message, and it made perfect sense because right after Tom's presentation we started the "Deep Dive" session.
The "Deep Dive" methodology that is used by IDEO, has worked extremely well with our managers, and we had the result at the end of the conference we had been aiming for.
So in a nutshell: Tom's presentation has been a great success and we were happy to have him. Thank you for organizing everything so nicely behind the scenes.
A major food company:
Tom did a terrific job for us. His presentation was passionate, on target, and very insightful. I would say it was an unqualified success.
"Tom — Thank you very much. Your presentation was terrific. I believe you helped our organization "get back to the basics" on innovation and created a tremendous amount of energy within our group.
Your points were quoted liberally throughout the rest of our meeting which I believe is the mark of an effective presentation."
— Harvard Business Review