Tom Kelley practices innovation every day. His ability to foster a culture of creativity in the companies he works with has made him one of the most beloved figures in innovation.
Tom's newest book, Creative Confidence, is an out-of-the-box success; in its first week, it was already among the best-selling business books in the country, leading the field in motivational leadership and problem-solving.
Creative Confidence is a guide to recognizing and unleashing the creative potential in every employee. Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the "creative types" — artists, writers, the design team. But every one of us has the potential to be creative; creativity is a mindset that anyone can cultivate, not a personality trait you either have or you don't. And in a marketplace where competitiveness is defined by innovation, the more creativity you unlock across the board, the more likely you are to succeed. Creative Confidence was co-written with Tom's brother David Kelley, the founder of IDEO and creator of the Stanford d.school, and the book draws on both brothers' extensive work through these institutions with many of the world's top companies.
This is just the latest step in Tom's highly respected career as a leader in innovation management and design. Under his management, IDEO has won more admiration and awards than any other design firm in the last decade. At the heart of IDEO's success is the Creative Confidence philosophy: everyone can contribute creatively to a project if innovation is part of an organization's way of life.
Tom's earlier books include The Art of Innovation, which describes IDEO’s "deep dive" approach to successful product creation, focusing on brainstorming and teamwork as invaluable tools. The Ten Faces of Innovation shares ten unique strategies for making sure that good ideas make it to market.
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.
A strategic creative thinking company:
Your message was extremely well received by the entire audience and particularly by the team from our Travel Company. As you noted to [...], we have a focus on corporate events and are very passionate about our service ethic. The fact that you have noticed the difference in events that you have participated is music to our ears.
Thank you again Tom for your fantastic presentation and we look forward to seeing you again soon… and hopefully in [...] next year.
A creative innovation/strategy organization:
Dear Tom — Thank you so much! It was a wonderful event and having you present was a grand slam. Your presentation really put creativity in perspective. It's the golden thread of the experience.
Everyone is still buzzing from the event.
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."