Renowned Competing Values Experts

The co-creators of the Competing Values methodology along with the experienced facilitators who run the Competing Values playbook, making innovation and growth part of an organization’s core business practices, are available as speakers for your events and workshops.

Jeff DeGraff

Featured Speaker
Jeff DeGraff – The Dean of Innovation
Managing Partner, Competing Values Company

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.” In this role, 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 a Professor 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. Known as the ‘guru to the innovation guru’ at Fortune 500 companies, he has created a broad array of widely used tools and methodologies for implementing innovation.

3M, Apple, American Express, Coca-Cola, GE, Johnson & Johnson, LG, Pfizer, Reuters, Toyota, and Yahoo are a few of his representative clients. He has also contributed his expertise in publications such as Businessweek, CIO, Leadership Excellence, T+D (Training + Development), Training, and USA Today. Besides being an in-demand speaker, DeGraff is 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.

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.
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Kim Cameron

Kim Cameron
Partner, Competing Values Company

Kim is a Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and he is a Professor of Education at the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Kim’s past research on organizational downsizing, organizational effectiveness, corporate quality culture and the development of leadership excellence has been published in more than 70 articles and 7 books.

His books include: Coffin Nails and Corporate Strategies (Prentice Hall), Developing Management Skills (Prentice Hall), Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture (Addison Wesley Longman), Organizational Decline (Ballinger), Organizational Effectiveness (Academic Press), Paradox and Transformation (Ballinger), and Positive Organizational Scholarship (Berrett-Koehler).

His current research was funded by the Templeton Foundation and focuses on virtuousness in organizations such as forgiveness, humility and compassion and their relationships to success. He is actively engaged in developing a new field in organizational studies entitled Positive Organizational Scholarship–the examination of extraordinarily positive dynamics in organizations and the factors that unleash the highest in human potential. Kim holds a B.S. and M.S. from Brigham Young University, and he holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University.
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Anjan Thakor

Anjan Thakor
Partner, Competing Values Company

Anjan is the Senior Associate Dean and the John E. Simon Professor of Finance at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He has served on the faculties of the University of Michigan, Indiana University, Northwestern University, and UCLA.

Present and past clients include Allison Engine, Anheuser-Busch, Borg-Warner Automotive, Brown Shoe, Bunge, CIGNA, Citigroup, Dana, Enterprise Car Rental, Landscape Structures, Lincoln National, Nestle-Purina, Reuters, RR Donnelley, Ryder Integrated Logistics, Smurfit Stone, Spartech, The Limited, U.S. Department of Justice, Waxman Industries, Whirlpool, and Zenith Industrial.

Anjan is a prolific writer and editor with over 75 articles published. His books include Competing Values Leadership; Contemporary Financial Intermediation; The Value Sphere; Becoming a Better Value Creator; Designing Financial Systems in Transition Economies; and Credit, Intermediation and the Macro Economy. He holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
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Aneil Mishra

Aneil Mishra
Associate, Competing Values Company

Aneil is a Professor and the Director of Executive Education at Michigan State University’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations. He previously served on the business school faculties of The Pennsylvania State University and Wake Forest University.

Aneil currently teaches in several executive programs at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, provides executive coaching at Duke Corporate Education, as well as at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D., Aneil worked for the General Motors Corporation as a human resource specialist and manufacturing engineer. Aneil’s interests include the dynamics of trust within, and across, organizations, and how to lead effective organizational change.

He has consulted and conducted research on these issues with a number of Fortune 500 companies, including AlliedSignal, Kodak, Deutsche Bank, General Motors, SC Johnson, Oshkosh Truck Corporation, and Two Men and a Truck International. His research has been cited over 800 times in scholarly publications including Sloan Management Review, Human Resource Management, and Industrial and Labor Relations Review. Aneil is a member of the Academy of Management, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Organizational Behavior and the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, and served as a past editorial board member of Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education from 2001 – 2005.

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John DeGraff

John DeGraff
Managing Partner, Competing Values Company

John is a Managing Partner for the Competing Values firm. He offers over 25 years experience as a marketing professional, as well as his skills in building brands, guerilla marketing, innovative new products, strategic planning, e-commerce and turnarounds. John’s early career was defined by his role as a young leader and creativizer who realized that innovation was the surest pathway to growth. A specialist in consumer packaged goods, he went on a fifteen year innovation rampage by bringing 150 new products to market.

At Gerber Baby Foods, to keep up with his aggressive innovation process, he was promoted to lead an elite team to streamline Gerber’s new product process. This team accomplished the unthinkable—retooling Gerber’s new product cycle, from three years in development, into a six month jumpstart. This approach generated the highly successful Gerber Graduates, Gerber Tropical (the first Hispanic line of baby food), Gerber Pure and Simple, and Gerber Formula, along with a company record of 43 products in just one year. The end result of this innovation was enormous growth for Gerber Baby food; the company attained an industry record 71% share of market.

John’s other notable successes include inventing the first multi-pack microwave popcorn in Wal-Mart for Weaver Popcorn, popularizing Trail’s End fund raising program for the Boy’s Scouts, developing Jones Dairy Farms foodservice precooked line of products, and sparking Kellogg’s new venture program with Whitney Yogurt.

John DeGraff Bio