David Schonthal electrifies audiences with actionable tips for how to be a change-maker in today’s rapidly evolving world.
He is an award-winning Professor of Strategy, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management where he teaches courses on new venture creation, design thinking, healthcare innovation, venture capital, and creativity.
Along with his colleague Loran Nordgren, David is one of the originators of Friction Theory – a ground-breaking methodology that explains why even the most promising innovations and change initiatives struggle to gain traction with their intended audiences – and more importantly, what to do about it.
This work is popularized in David’s Wall Street Journal and National Bestselling book, The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas (Wiley). Outside of Kellogg David has been a practitioner of entrepreneurship, design, and innovation for over 20 years. He has spent a decade working at a world-renowned design firm, IDEO, and currently serves as an Operating Partner at 7Wire Ventures, a healthcare technology-focused venture capital firm, and a Venture Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital, a consumer and enterprise-focused fund. David is also a Global Advisor at Design for Ventures (D4V ), a Tokyo-based early-stage venture capital fund that invests in designed Japanese startups.
He is a contributing writer to Forbes, Inc., Fortune, and Harvard Business Review magazines, authoring articles on entrepreneurship, innovation, change, and business design. David was honored as a Distinguished Achievement Award Finalist and one of “30 Global Thinkers to Watch in 2022” by Thinkers50, an international organization that identifies, ranks, and shares the leading management ideas of our age. He has won Kellogg’s Executive MBA Outstanding Professor award 7 times and has received the school’s Faculty Impact Award for excellence in teaching.
As much as David would like to think he’s one-of-a-kind…he’s actually a triplet.
OVERCOMING THE RESISTANCE THAT AWAITS NEW IDEAS
How do you get people to say yes to a new idea or innovation? In this interactive session, David Schonthal highlights the Frictions that operate against new ideas and innovation; describes the unexpected reasons why the ideas and initiatives people are most passionate about get rejected; and explains how to transform those frictions into important, powerful catalysts for change.
Design is not just a verb – it is a way of thinking. In this interactive session, David highlights some of the fundamentals of Design Thinking and discusses how they can be applied to everything from products and services to business models. Participants will explore how to apply these principles across a variety of industries, in small companies and large enterprises alike.
QUESTION 0: BEGINNING THE HUNT FOR NEW IDEAS
Inspiration for innovative new products, services and ventures is all around you – sometimes hiding in plain sight. The best way to discover these opportunities often starts with asking the right questions. In this session, David shares tools and techniques for reframing the world around you, identifying ways to make an impact and mustering the confidence to do something about it.
HUMAN—CENTERED INNOVATION SPRINT
Business is, at its core, a social enterprise. As a result, understanding the social, emotional and functional needs of humans is essential to providing true and lasting innovation. In this workshop, David highlights the fundamentals of Human-Centered Innovation and discusses how they can be applied to everything from products and services to business models. Participants will explore how we can apply these principles across a variety of industries, in small companies and large enterprises alike. The workshop culminates in a popular hands-on design sprint where audience members will roll-up their sleeves and design new products and services for each other.
THE POWER OF WHY
Truly innovative products and technologies start by focusing on the consumers’ problems to be solved. What do consumers really want to accomplish? What are the tradeoffs they are willing to make to achieve better outcomes? Why do they make the choices and decisions that they do? The key to all of this is finding the right struggle to address. In this session David unpacks the most powerful tools and techniques for discovering the hidden needs of consumers and translating them into compelling new products, services and ventures.
“FUEL AND FRICTION” - MASTERING THE FORCES THAT DRIVE (OR STIFLE) INNOVATION
How do you get people to say yes to a new idea or innovation? In this interactive session, David Schonthal highlights the Frictions that operate against new ideas and innovation and the Fuels that can help supercharge them; describes the unexpected reasons why the ideas and initiatives people are most passionate about get rejected, and the right types of “fuel” that can propel a good idea forward; and explains how to transform those frictions and fuels into powerful catalysts for change.
SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF CUSTOMER ACTIVATION AND RETENTION
Why do people show interest in a product or service, but never buy? It’s probably not due to the product’s lack of appeal but rather because of the frictions companies inadvertently create as they try to help get, keep and grow customers. In this talk, David explains that the things you think will get customers to sign on are probably making things worse, and offers specific case studies for what to do to make sure your customers don’t disappear.
“THE ULTIMATE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE” - HOW TO LEARN THINGS ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS THAT YOUR COMPETITORS HAVE NOT FIGURED OUT
The most successful companies in the world are the ones that know things about their customers that competitors haven’t figured out, and know how to use this knowledge to maintain their competitive edge. In this session, David walks participants through novel research techniques to better understand customers and their needs, and other steps to unlock this competitive advantage.
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