The Rotman School of Management is putting on a one-day conference in New York next Thursday—November 16—that is one of the most important innovation events of the Fall. I don’t know who will emerge as the Deming of the Innovation Movement, but surely Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School, is a major candidate. Martin is a major thought leader in turning innovation and design thinking into a systematic, predictable methodology that people can use to boost their “hit rate” of innovation initiatives. He is leading the move to redesign B-school education to focus on innovation, imagination, creativity—design thinking. An opportunity to spend a day with Martin is an opportunity that anyone interested in innovation should not pass up. The conference is small—up to 200 people only—so you’ll be able to really talk to Martin and the rest of the speakers. Including me—BW is hosting the event and I’ll moderate.
The conference also has a number of innovation deep-thinkers and practioners. David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group is one of the best experience designers in the world—hotels, restaurants, hospitals, spas, broadway shows. David has a remarkable book out just out called Spectacle, designed with Bruce Mau, that should be read by anyone interested in designing great consumer experiences.
Beth Comstock leads GE’s digital media operation that is sure to explode in the near future. Before taking this position, she worked with Jeff Immelt to implement the company’s imagination initiative—a transformative initiative. Beth will have seriously important things to say about making innovation work in a big corporation.
Larry Keeley of the Doblin Group is worth $1 million in IP alone. His work on innovative landscapes and metrics is brilliant and he advises many of the top CEOs in the country. If you’re looking for tools and innovation measures, Larry is your man.
Yves Behar, founder of fuseproject, one of the hottest design/branding firms in the world, will present as well. His work for BMW’s MINI and for so many other companies is brilliant. The $100 laptop that is about to go into production will reflect Behar’s efforts to make a useable and useful laptop for children at the Bottom of the Pyramid.
Sohrab Vossoughi, founder of ZIBA, is one of the smartest design strategists that I know. He’s expanded the use of design thinking way beyond product design to the design of great experiences and brands in all kinds of contexts, including banking and condos. When it comes to designing an emotional connection, Sohrab—and Yves—and David—can’t be beat.
Finally, there is Jeneanne Rae of Peer Insight, who is one of a handful of innovation coaches helping CEOs understand and execute service innovation. UVA, Harvard MBA, IDEO, now Peer Insight, Jeneanne has the background and experience to really get granular.
The conference is at a W hotel, so that will be fun and is over at 4 with an hour for cocktails and networking.
There have been a slew of innovation conferences this fall and many people, myself included, feel conferenced out. But this Rotman one-day event promises to teach tools and analysis that can be applied the very next day in your work. It’s worth it. Besides, fall in New York, with the leaves turning yellow and red, is incredibly beautiful.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.