Unfinished Business Lecture Series - Towards a Science of Innovation


The Unfinished Lecture is a monthly event hosted by the Strategic Innovation Lab at OCAD and sponsored by Torch Partnership. Part of the Unfinished Business initiative, the lectures are intended to generate an open conversation about strategic innovation in the business and design of commercial enterprises and public organizations.



While many have advocated approaches to innovation that highlight creativity and imagination, brainstorming and "outside the box" thinking, there has been a quiet minority who have argued that innovation must be crafted into a legitimate discipline. Successful innovation, they argue, can not only be measured, it can be scientific. Are there a set of proven methods for creating the future? With high stakes and higher rates of failure, how do innovation efforts improve their odds? What are the core problems of innovation and who is most competent to solve them?



Larry KeeleyLarry Keeley is an innovation strategist who often wonders why people bother to listen to innovation "experts" at all. After all, since innovation fails about 96% of the time, it seems self-evident that the field has advanced to about the same state as medicine when leeches, liniments and mystery potions were the sophisticated treatments of the day. On occasions when Larry can get someone to listen, he is inclined to reveal pieces of the emerging science of innovation that is at the heart of Doblin's practice. By being obsessive about identifying the root causes of innovation failure and injecting better methods, it is now possible to systematically boost innovation 'hit rates' to between 35% and 70%. That still isn't perfect but it is an improvement of 10-15 times over the pathetic results people try to convince themselves is "normal."

Larry is a co-founder of Doblin and was lucky enough to have Jay Doblin as a mentor for a decade. He is the current president of Doblin, and a frequent lecturer and teacher about frontiers of innovation and strategy. Larry has worked with a wide variety of pioneering enterprises since 1979. He is a board member for the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology, where he also teaches graduate level innovation strategy classes. He is a lecturer in innovation at Kellogg and University of Chicago and at many executive education programs. He is also a board member for WBEZ-FM in Chicago, where he has been instrumental in charting strategies that have made it the nation's most innovative public radio station.



Name Sales End Price
General Admission Ended Free
OCAD Students Ended Free
OCAD Faculty Ended Free

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