Jeff DeGraff – The Dean of Innovation
The charismatic Jeff DeGraff began his career as a VP at Domino’s Pizza, where he was responsible for developing innovative strategies, communication & support technologies, and new business ventures. The title on DeGraff’s business cards read “Dean of Innovation” and he helped spur Domino’s meteoric growth during the 1980’s from a regional success story to an international franchise phenomenon.
With over twenty years experience in management issues, DeGraff is the Clinical Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, teaching MBA and executive education courses; the Managing Partner of Competing Values Company, a consulting firm that assists leaders in facilitating change, innovation and growth; and the Executive Director of the Innovatrium Institute for Innovation, Ann Arbor, MI, where ideas grow. Known as the ‘guru to the innovation guru’ at companies such as 3M, Apple, American Express, Coca-Cola, GE, Johnson & Johnson, LG, Pfizer, Reuters, Toyota, and Yahoo!, he has created a broad array of widely used tools and methodologies for implementing innovation.
DeGraff is an in-demand speaker at both academic and business events as well as a thought leader at top innovation incubators and think tanks such as the Aspen Institute. His advice is frequently sought after by the investment community on how to pick, manage and harvest winning ideas and successful business enterprises. He shares his expertise in over 30 countries and with many of the world’s leading corporations in the Automotive, Biotech, Consumer Electronics, Information Technology, Financial Services, Food Service, and Pharmaceutical industries.
DeGraff has written about innovation in numerous articles and books. He is the co-author of Creativity at Work: Developing the Right Practices to Make Innovation Happen, (Jossey Bass, 2002), Competing Values Leadership: Creating Value in Organizations (Edward Elgar, 2006) and Leading Innovation: How to Jump Start Your Organization’s Growth Engine (McGraw-Hill, 2006). DeGraff holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
DeGraff’s Books and Key Readings
Leading Innovation: How to Jump Start Your Organization’s Growth Engine
(McGraw-Hill, 2007) co-authored with Shawn E. Quinn.
Competing Values Leadership: Creating Value in Organizations
(Edward Elgar, 2006) co-authored with Kim S. Cameron, Robert E. Quinn, and Anjan V. Thakor.
Creativity at Work: Developing the Right Practices to Make Innovation Happen,
(Jossey Bass, 2002) co-authored with Katherine Lawrence.
How You Innovate is What You Innovate,
Book chapter featured in The 2009 Pfeiffer Annual: Leadership Development (Wiley, 2009)
Inside the Innovatrium,
Cover feature article in Training (January 2010)
Make Innovation Work in Your Workplace,
Article featured in Training and Development (August 2006)
DeGraff’s Speaker Testimonials
Jeff DeGraff has helped Pfizer’s senior leaders advance the company’s innovation agenda by bringing deep expertise to his sessions, complemented by an engaging style and tremendously high level of energy. From his own business experiences, he adds a practical perspective on how companies build innovation competence, balancing the research and theory that grounds his framework.
Jeff was a HUGE success at our meeting! He definitely ‘hit a home run’ with our attendees and many of his talking points (including the “4 colors”) were referenced throughout the entire weekend. Jeff certainly set the stage for our most successful Matrix Leadership Meeting to date.
You ‘hit it out of the park’ during the session. Our post meeting survey had you at a 95% rating! I really enjoyed your passion & enthusiasm as well as the message…it hit close to home.
Thank you again for speaking at our 2008 AECOM Planning Council. We had very positive feedback on your presentation and your enthusiasm!
The workshop was an absolute overwhelming success! The best take away of the workshop was that the material presented could be applied to daily life situations. Also, Jeff conducted the workshop and created a ‘casual environment’ for the group, presented thought provoking issues/ideas and encouraged/expected participation, which engaged the entire group for the most productive session that we have had.
I didn’t have a chance to say thank you for an excellent training session. We received very positive feedback…folks wanted more, which is exactly where I’d prefer to be. I think that Jeff has put us on the right track. Looking forward to seeing these ‘proof of concepts’ come to life.