Dr. Stephen Brand – Curiosity at the Core, Cultivating Innovation

Curiosity at the Core: Cultivating Innovation, with Dr. Stephen Brand, Executive Director of Global Learning & Development, Strategic Alliances, Bay Path University

Curiosity can power new ideas.  New ideas presented in a supportive environment can transform your work and your company.  In this session, we will explore how to create an environment where ideas can thrive.  We will also give examples of organizational and procedural barriers that can impede curiosity, and how to overcome them.

A survey on curiosity conducted by Harris Poll, found two in three workers (66 percent) report they face barriers to asking more questions at work, and only one in four workers (22 percent) describe themselves as “curious” at work. In fact, in every industry included in the survey, employees ranked themselves personally as being more curious than their employers.

If we believe that a diversity of ideas results in the best innovations, why and how do our actions subtly silence input in the workplace?  To be a forward-thinking business it is critical to encourage as much questioning and ideation as possible.  Attendees will learn techniques to get their ideas heard.  Attendees who are managers, will develop strategies to spur curiosity throughout their teams.  All in attendance will leave with better ways to question.

Outcomes:

  • Develop techniques to help more reserved team members become idea generators
  • Understand how risk-taking ideas can fuel innovation
  • Learn how to better observe the world to spark new ways of thinking and new offerings to better engage those you serve
  • Explore how creativity at all levels will increase employee engagement and dedication to company/organization

About Stephen:

Dr. Brand received his BA from The Ohio State University; his EdM from Harvard University Graduate School of Education;  and his doctorate from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He is currently the Executive Director of Global Learning & Development in the Strategic Alliances division of Bay Path University.

Stephen is an expert in new venture creation in non-profits, start-ups, and corporate environments and brings to Bay Path extensive consulting experience. He has a specific focus in earned revenue and scaling existing organizations.  He worked for the Creative Education Foundation and produced the Creative Problem Solving Institute annual conference.  Additionally, he developed Design Thinking curricula for a new university in Saudi Arabia and has taught creative problem solving and entrepreneurship at UMASS, Case Western, Babson College and Olin College of Engineering. He was also the co-director of the Summer Venture Program at Babson College.

His research has allowed him to interview hundreds of innovators about what inspired them as children to be who they are today and these are featured in his recent TEDx talk called The Innovators Journey.

He volunteers with Valley Venture Mentors as part of a mentor team that supports emerging entrepreneurs in developing and launching their new ventures. He is the Past President for the Springfield Public Forum.  Some of his past consulting clients include:  WGBH, WNET, Sesame Workshop, Anchorage Museum, US Olympic Committee and the Jim Henson Company where he was the Educational Advisor for Doozers, a new show featuring the Doozers – of Fraggle Rock fame—reimagined as inventors vs. their history as builders.