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Spring Conference 2015: Leadership, Talent, and Culture: How to Win the Long Game in Innovation

June 11, 2015

Thursday, June 11 | 8:30 AM - 4:15 PM EDT

Read our conference recap here.

Managing innovation requires that leaders are sensitive to key intangibles, as well as various known lubricants, to make their innovation engine truly hum.

This conference will examine complex interactions among leadership, talent, and culture in order to improve an organization’s innovation capacity. Even though the classic debate continues over whether strategy leads structure or vice-versa, what matters is how well strategic leaders combine talent and culture to find imaginative solutions to unmet market needs. Examples of highly innovative companies operating in technology, healthcare, financial services, and others will be used to illustrate that the magic sauce lies in mixing various soft ingredients in proper parts:

Strategic Leadership: Advances in behavioral science and data analysis enable deeper and faster insights into customer needs, pain points, and adoption behavior. Technology-facilitated methods such as social graphing, web scraping, customer experience mapping, and fast prototyping help create and rapidly test ideas.

Managing Talent: Innovative moves are hard to automate or routinize. They require the genius and trust of committed teams who are rewarded for taking on tough challenges. Like cooking a fish, this delicate task has to be approached gingerly. Overcooking the innovation process, with a heavy hand, is a surefire way to chase away your best talent. Leaders need to inspire their top players so that they together can achieve more than anyone alone, while learning jointly from inevitable setbacks

Culture Shaping: As Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Despite its evident importance, culture remains an enigma to many leaders, especially in the domain of innovation. Soft issues such as organizational identity, shared values, legends and heroes, implicit norms, and how setbacks are handled influence greatly what gets done, by whom, and when. Culture shapes and is shaped by strategy, leadership, and talent in non-linear ways over longer periods time. Success and failure, especially when facing crises and crucibles, greatly influence how innovation cultures evolve.


8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m. — BREAKFAST

9:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m. — WELCOME

Saikat Chaudhuri
Executive Director, Mack Institute;
Adjunct Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

9:15 a.m.–10:00 a.m. — WINNING THE LONG GAME: How Strategic Leaders Shape the Future

Paul J.H. Schoemaker
Research Director, Mack Institute;
Chairman, Decision Strategies International (DSI)

10:00 a.m.–10:45 a.m. — REIMAGINE: Using collaboration to drive a culture of creativity and innovation

Gerard van Grinsven
CEO, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

10:45 a.m.–11:00 a.m. — BREAK

11:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m. — STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP: Experience Engineering Exercise

Elisa Jagerson
CEO, Speck Design

12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. — LUNCH & NETWORKING

1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. —FAST TAKES: Mack Institute Research and Impact

Mack Institute Funded Researchers and Collaborative Impact Program participants
(via Telepresence)

2:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m. — BREAK

2:45 p.m.–4:00 p.m. — PANEL: Creative Collaborative Innovation Cultures

Nate Fink
Director of Engineering, Microsoft Yammer

Chittaranjan Keswani
Director for Analytics and Test Engineering, Teradata–Aster

4:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. — CLOSING REMARKS

Saikat Chaudhuri & Paul Schoemaker


  • Date: Thursday, June 11
  • Time: 8:30 AM - 4:15 PM EDT

Event Organizers

  • Paul Schoemaker
  • Saikat Chaudhuri