BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY

May 22, 2006
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Tom Kelley
IDEO’s Tom Kelley discusses the keys to innovation in his Sebo entrepreneurship lecture.

Looking with ‘fresh eyes’ key to innovation: Kelley

We’re living in a sort of Wonderland these days where, like the Red Queen, we must all run twice as fast just to keep up, according to Tom Kelley, general manager of IDEO, a California design and development company.

In today’s business environment, “running fast” means innovation, he said.

Kelley addressed a business and University audience at his Bob and Karen Sebo Lecture in Entrepreneurship April 28. IDEO, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., has contributed to many well-known innovations, including the first Apple mouse, the world's first laptop computer, Procter & Gamble's Swiffer CarpetFlick, the Palm V and Polaroid's I Zone instant camera.

How do they do it? Primarily by employing “anthropologists,” people who go out in the field with no agenda and simply observe other people’s daily activities to see what problems they encounter, according to Kelley.

The anthropologist is one of the “10 faces of innovation” Kelley has described in a book in which he identifies an array of personalities and roles needed to create something new and take that idea through to production.
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No Monitor next week
Due to the Memorial Day holiday, Monitor will not be published May 29. The next issue will be June 5.