05.28.2013
Tom Kelley: Innovation in theory and practice
  Tom Kelley

05.28.2013

Tom Kelley

Tom Kelley: Innovation in theory and practice

Tom Kelley: Innovation in theory and practice

It happens only rarely that a good consultant is also a good manager, or that an engaging theoretician in any area also proves to be effective in putting theory into practice.

Tom Kelley is one of this rare breed, a worldwide guru in innovation and “design thinking”, and it is one of the reasons he has been given the task of opening the second Technology Forum to be held Friday, May 24 in CastelBrando (Cison di Valmarino - Treviso, Italy).

Tom Kelley is the respected author of two works fundamental for every businessman: The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation. The first takes the reader behind the scenes of IDEO, the company known worldwide for design and innovative development of products, services, processes and corporate culture, in order to reveal the secrets and power of a tool often misunderstood— brainstorming.

The second book is an extraordinary guide for companies that want to foster and reinforce a real innovation culture. Written after years of direct observation in such global corporations as Kraft, Samsung and Procter&Gamble, the book teaches how to recognize and neutralize the “devil’s advocate”, that figure present in every company, that camouflages his nature as an assassin of ideas under the impersonal mask of prudence and responsibility.

But what is distinctive in Kelley’s work is that it is not only convincing, it also works. Proof of this is his rise within IDEO where Kelley manages the Business, Marketing, Human Resources and Operations departments. When he arrived at IDEO, the company had just 15 designers—today there are over 600 because the approach of Tom Kelley—and IDEO—to innovation is centered around the individual. It starts from the tools of a designer and integrates the needs of people, the potential offered by technology and what the company needs to succeed.

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