Learn More About Larry Keeley
In today’s new economy, leading businesses like Amazon and Airbnb function as digital platforms within a broader ecosystem rather than as standalone organizations. The innovative company of the future will depend on its ability to be connected to hundreds or thousands of other firms of various sizes, and within multiple industries. Straight-talking design and innovation expert Larry Keeley has studied and analyzed companies for nearly four decades. His most recent work has focused on advising organizations on managing this often-bewildering transition from a “lone wolf” idea of the corporation to seeing one’s business as inhabiting a “coral reef” of interactive entities.
Keeley’s framework for identifying opportunities and implementing an innovation strategy was codified in his acclaimed book, “The Ten Types of Innovation and the Discipline of Building Breakthroughs” (Wiley, April 2013), co-written with Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel and Brian Quinn. Using a list of more than 2,000 successful innovations, including Cirque du Soleil, early IBM mainframes and the Ford Model-T, the authors applied a proprietary algorithm to determine ten meaningful groupings—the Ten Types of Innovation—that provide insight into corporate transformation. More recently, Keeley has zeroed in on ways companies can manage seamless orchestration across ecosystems of other firms. He urges his clients, which have included such brands as American Express, Apple, Boeing, McDonald’s and Pfizer, to see their role as being not to compete in a “winner takes all” environment but rather to cooperate for mutual benefit. As companies like Amazon rise to dizzying heights by aggregating fellow businesses large and small, Keeley’s prescriptions become increasingly relevant and prescient by the day.
Keeley is co-founder and former president of Doblin Inc., an innovation strategy firm known for pioneering comprehensive systems that materially improve innovation success rates. Doblin is now a unit of Deloitte Consulting LLP, where Keeley previously served as a director. Bloomberg BusinessWeek named Keeley one of seven Innovation Gurus who are changing the field, and specifically cited Doblin for having many of the most sophisticated tools for delivering innovation effectiveness. In 2010, they also selected Keeley as one of the 27 most influential designers in the world.
Keeley teaches graduate innovation strategy classes at the Institute of Design in Chicago, the first design school in the U.S. with a Ph.D. program, where he is also a board member. He lectures in executive education programs at Kellogg Graduate School of Management and is an adjunct faculty member for their core MBA and Master of Manufacturing Management program, where he was recently named a Distinguished Fellow. Keeley also serves as a member of Mayo Clinic’s External Advisory Board which, combined with Doblin’s applied innovation tradecraft, has been credited with helping Mayo Clinic to create advanced innovation initiatives to transform one of the world’s leading healthcare providers in the midst of radical industry shifts.
Keeley’s keynotes and presentations can be tailored to any industry, as his own career as an analyst and consultant has never been confined to a single field. An indispensable advisor to companies across the business spectrum, Keeley is renowned for his highly entertaining, “tell it like it is” speaking style, exhibiting a refreshing degree of clarity and relatability in a world filled with incomprehensible jargon. His speaking and advisory services help organizations chart their own path toward innovation and growth in a radically changing world.
Larry Keeley is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
Ten Types of Innovation
As the pace of change continues to increase, innovation is no longer optional for firms, it’s imperative. Customers demand it. Competitors will outflank you if you don’t achieve it. Talented employees won’t join your firm if you don’t deliver it. Analysts expect it. Investors reward it. And yet most people still believe in primitive myths about innovation that are simply not true. Most people equate “innovation” with “new products.” Through a decade of analysis, Larry Keeley has identified nine other types, and innovators overlook them at their peril. As it happens, product innovation alone has the lowest return on innovation investment. Keeley widens the frame to include innovation in customer experience, business models, core and enabling processes, channels, brand and more. Through these enabling innovations companies have enjoyed sustainable success, such as Wal-Mart’s real-time inventory management systems, Apple’s digital media platform and Target’s customer experience approach. Larry gives a lively account of the hype and reality of making innovation happen.
Navigating the Innovative Ecosystem
Historically, companies have seen their goal as being to dominate – or at least capture sizable market share in – their own industries. Innovation and growth were geared toward besting similar competitors and amassing wealth and clout as a standalone player. But according to Larry Keeley, the modern digital economy makes that approach obsolete and counterproductive. As major conglomerates built on the old model face decline, innovative powerhouses like Amazon and Alphabet dominate through a new model: navigating a complex, multi-industry ecosystem. The biggest corporate stars of the past decade have been digital platforms that bring together and utilize the efforts of hundreds or thousands of other firms and millions of individuals. And future innovation will depend on companies being able to find their roles in the dynamic “coral reef” of global business. In this presentation, Keeley reveals the realities of the new normal for innovative business models and, tailoring his approach to individual industries and companies, offers tools for implementing the right strategy.
The Ten Types of Innovation
November 22, 2019
How B2B Companies Can — and Must — Innovate
October 24, 2019
How to Design an Opportunity City
December 12, 2018
Design Thinking: Beyond Good Design
May 23, 2017
3 Lessons From a Chicago Innovation Guru for 2016
December 30, 2015
Innovation Conversation With Doblin's Larry Keeley
November 21, 2015
May 8, 2013
The Science of Innovation
May 7, 2013
The Kodak Lie
January 18, 2012
Recognized as one of the “World’s Most Influential Designers”