Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Full-day Seminar, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Scott Berkun

The Myths of Innovation: How to Lead Breakthrough Projects

Scott Berkun,

Are you challenged with creating new products that recreate and capture the market? Is your team struggling to develop innovative designs?

Innovation is more than just a buzzword. All the great ideas we take for granted today, from the Internet, to the cellular phone, to anti-lock brakes, all started as ideas in someone’s mind, dismissed by leaders of major organizations. How innovations come to be, and the challenges the managers of those projects faced, are untold stories today, creating a gold mine of lessons ready for use today. Some examples of recent innovations include:

  • Flickr, the online photosharing web site, changed everything for web applications. For the first time, elements of Flash and AJAX were combined in a seamless form, along with the HTML page. It changed the way we'd look at web-based applications, forever. But Flickr wasn't originally conceived as a photosharing tool. It was an online game called The Game Neverending. Facing business obstacles with the game, the design team shifted priorities and recognized the value of the photosharing application.
  • Unwittingly, Paul Rademacher made history by fooling around in his free time to build Housing Maps. In an act reminiscent of early Reese's candy commercials, Paul married the data from's real estate listings with Google Maps to create an interactive housing viewer. What makes this story really interesting is that this little application has nothing to do with Paul’s real job -- a software engineer for animation company DreamWorks. He just whipped this little application up as a hobby.

This full day seminar centers on the team leader perspective of innovation. Using stories from history as a guide, Scott Berkun, the author of the popular O'Reilly's book, The Myths of Innovation, will demystify innovation and debunk dangerous assumptions about how breakthroughs happen. Through games, exercises, debates, and conversations, Scott will cover everything design teams need to develop innovative projects in their organization, including creativity, people management, and business thinking.

In this full-day seminar, you will come away with the foundation needed to lead innovative projects in your organization. You will:

  • Gain the essential skills and core concepts needed to lead innovative projects within your organization. Scott will share the key knowledge behind True Innovation, how it happens, and the role leaders play.
  • Get exposed to the greatest myths of innovation and use them to your advantage. Scott will lead you through a fun and interactive tour of innovation myths and misnomers. You will see why managers are trained to stop innovation and how you can combat this problem.
  • Learn how to grow creative environments within your organization. You will learn how to handle your organization's risks and fears of encouraging a creative environment and learn the biggest mistakes managers make to stifle creativity.
  • Learn how to schedule, plan, and manage an innovative process. Scott will teach you how to manage the design team's talent as well as schedule and implement breakthrough projects on a budget..
  • Uncover the key business practices that lead to new ideas and entrepreneurship. Scott will give you a crash course in several business innovation practices, introducing you to the concepts of S-curves (how technology is adopted) and chasms (the gap between early adopters and the early majority of a product.)

Who Should Attend?

  • Leaders and managers of creative work of any kind
  • Anyone who desires to push their organizations forward
  • Designers and creators who see innovation as central to their work
  • People who like to learn through situations, discussion and laughter

If you want to learn how to foster creative environments within your organization, this seminar is the perfect choice.

UI12 Seminar Recommendations: If you're interested in Scott's full-day seminar, you may also want to attend Gerry McGovern's seminar on Information Architecture or Luke Wroblewski's seminar on Visual Design.