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 recognising 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 organisation'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.
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.
Leading with Creative Confidence
Creativity has become a key success factor for companies of all kinds, and Tom Kelley will show how creative methodologies like design thinking can contribute to innovation and growth. Drawing on research from his New York Times bestseller, Creative Confidence, Tom’s presentation will cover three themes in the creative process:
- Blending technology with humanity at the front end of innovation, so that design and innovation resources focus on areas of human need
- Using experimentation to reduce the cost of failure and gain valuable learnings before the launch of a new idea
- Leveraging the power of storytelling to communicate your message and accelerate the adoption of innovations
Growth and Renewal with the Faces of Innovation
The Art of Innovation
Failing Your Way to Success
Designing the Future
Half-day Workshop on Creative Confidence
As well as giving keynote talks, Tom is equally able to talk over longer periods such as a half-day workshop, providing a more in-depth look at the process and application of design thinking in the workplace.
Doctors spend an extraordinary amount of time getting their qualifications at medical school, and the day they start practicing, they have an up-to-date knowledge of their field. But as medical advances occur on a regular basis, Doctors (and Surgeons) have to find ways of renewing their knowledge and expertise throughout their careers. The way medical practitioners keep themselves updated is with a learning process known as “Hear one, see one, do one”.
First, they hear or read about a new procedure. Then they watch carefully as they see someone else do it. Finally, they do one themselves, usually first in a safe practice setting. Each step reinforces the one that came before it, and practitioners build their expertise. In a similar way, IDEO’s experience with client executives shows that, when they use the “Hear one, see one, do one” learning model, there is a higher probability business audiences will retain the content and turn the ideas into action. Tom uses this process as the basis for this half day workshop and applies it very successfully to business scenarios.
The workshop is broken down into three parts, the design of which is as follows:
1) “Hear one” — This is a keynote presentation to familiarise the audience with concepts and examples for applying design thinking to complex problems of all kinds. After the presentation, there will be time for Q&A and a short break, which brings the workshop to the halfway point.
2) “See one” — The core of this portion is a short video case study of innovation at work called The Deep Dive. The video is from a television called “Nightline,” where IDEO was asked to reinvent a product category in just four days. The product turned out to be shopping carts/trolleys, but the real story of the video case study is the process for innovation. The video was a huge commercial success, the shopping cart went on display at America’s Smithsonian Institute, and The Deep Dive was so influential that it became the basis for a Harvard Business School case study which is seemingly still used in the MBA program there. This is followed by a short Q&A.
3) “Do one” — A practical activity lasting approximately 90 minutes, based on a mini-project from the d.school at Stanford University, (the d.school was founded by Tom’s brother David Kelley). This exercise to designed to allow the group to practice some of the tools used in ‘design thinking’ — this includes empathy, experimentation, and storytelling — to solve problems in new ways.
A leading global non-profit trade association:
Dear Tom — A big thanks for participating as a speaker at the [ . . . ] in Sonoma, CA. The feedback on our speaker line up has been overwhelmingly positive and your involvement was a key contributor to our success. In just our 5th year, we are proud of the event we have built and could not have done so without your willingness to share your expertise with our audience. With much appreciation - thank you again.
A professional member service organization for children’s museums:
- This was an outstanding presentation. So inspiring.
- Great choice of speaker and topic
- Tom Kelly was a fantastic choice. Thank you.
- The speaker was fabulous with great information.
- Wonderful speaker!!! Really worth staying the last day and attending.
- This was a very good and engaging session. The speaker was lively, dynamic, relevant and
- Tom Kelley is amazing and a true inspiration and applicable to my work in the industry!
- Great information — especially for all of us in the children's museum field.
- I enjoyed the closing speaker. He gave an inspiring keynote.
Our attendees (and staff) loved you!
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 organisation:
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 organisation:
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 organisers 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."