Tom Kelley (author)
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Tom Kelley (born 1955) is an American business consultant, author, and public speaker who is globally recognized as an expert on innovation, design thinking, organization design, and related business topics.
He is the general manager of IDEO, a design and innovation consultancy founded by his brother, David Kelley. He joined the firm in 1987, and helped it grow from 20 people to its current size of 550-plus.
Kelley attended Oberlin College on a National Merit Scholarship. He earned an MBA in 1983 at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received the Delbert J. Duncan citation as the year's top marketing scholar.
As a public speaker, he has given talks at a wide variety of events, conferences, and organizations, speaking to 10,000 to 20,000 people a year. In 2001, he was a guest on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He is represented by the Leigh Bureau.
In 2001, he wrote The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm with Jon Littman. It became a business bestseller and was translated into nine languages. The book tells the story of IDEO’s origin and design process, and shares examples of innovation from both IDEO and such companies as REI, Pike Place Market, and Nike.
In 2005, he published The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization, also with Jon Littman. Taking the idea of a “devil’s advocate” as a negative persona people assume to shoot down ideas, Kelley prescribes ten positive roles suggested by stories of innovators in IDEO and elsewhere.
In 2005, Kelley was one of the "Group of 33" who contributed to Seth Godin's The Big Moo, the followup to his bestselling Purple Cow that collects stories and insights from a variety of business leaders and writers.
In 2007, Kelley became the first executive fellow of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The school said that his "renowned expertise in innovation makes Kelley, MBA 83, the ideal candidate to take on a newly created role."
In 2009, he was awarded the Kellogg Award for Distinguished Leadership by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. The school cited his "commitment to collaboration at IDEO, as well as for his advocacy of innovation in the business environment."
In 2010, Haas School of Business again honored Kelley with its second Haas Innovation Award, "for his contributions to advancing the understanding and practice of innovation."
- IDEO website
- The Art of Innovation website
- The Ten Faces of Innovation website
- Tom Kelley's page at the Leigh Bureau
- Collacott, Laura. A Fresh Eye. CEO Middle East, September 2008.
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