C. Josh Abend:

Josh is one of the few grey-haired Silicon Valley entrepreneurs around here; small kids sometimes ask if he is Albert Einstein and he always replies…Yes . Abend has a DaVinci appetite for innovative interests and a diverse range of innovation experience. He has taught creative problem solving at several product design colleges including CEF Buffalo.

* Apprenticeship at age 15, to design icon Norman Bel Geddes, considered the father of modern Industrial Design.

*He has been a car designer at GM in Detroit.

*A Human factors design/engineer on team of Polaris nuclear submarine, control station for the US Navy. Appointed in ’82 by President Regan to Whitehouse counsel on US productivity.

* Held office as national Vice President of IDSA.* One of first three world class designers to rise to level of a corporate, vice president.

*Was VP of product design for 5 divisions of a Fortune 500 company.

*Served as a PDMA officer in it’s national formation.

*Founder of INNOVATION AMERICA Inc.’79 *Director of the Innovation Management Center for SRI International.

*Holds a US patent for “Innovation Engines” which is an enterprise innovation software System.

*Is completing a book titled 101 Models of Innovation practice.

*Presently focused on C-level Innovation management via Innovation Masters® LLC. Still an avid skier and yacht racer. Served in US army 1253rd combat engineer battalion. Architectural graduate of historic Cooper Union NYC. and Mech Engr. Stanford University. Josh has 2 adult children and lives in Menlo Park, California.


Puzzles, Mysteries, and Muddles: Problem Solving and Innovation with Jerry Talley

We live in a world filled with problems that are more complex, more conflicted, and more interconnected than ever before. And yet we bring to this daunting challenge the same, linear problem solving model articulated in the 1950’s. Over the last 20+ years of consulting, my colleagues and I have come to believe there are 6 types of problems in the world — not just one! And each type requires a different strategy for successful resolution. The “one size fits all” strategy we have grown up with will not suffice if we are to address the volume and difficulty of modern day problems.

This limited view of problem solving has also limited our understanding of the role of innovation in problem solving. Each problem type calls for a different innovative focus.

When you discern the essential nature of any problem situation, you can pinpoint the most powerful strategy for addressing it, the point where innovation will add dramatic value rather than just variety, and the best role you can play in facilitating the process which often, if not usually involves improvisation.

For more information: JLTalley & Associates

Jerry Talley is the veteran of 3 careers. His first venture was on the faculty of Stanford University teaching in the Sociology Department for 18 years. Stanford was also the source of his PhD.

Coincident with that experience, he had a practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist for about ten years. He still sometimes lectures at Stanford and other Bay area schools on relationship issues.

Starting in the late 1970’s, he moved into organizational development consulting, accumulating over 250 client engagements since that time. For 16 years he managed the South Bay Organizational Development Network, a 500-member professional development group for HR, Training, and OD practitioners.

His clients have included companies in high tech R&D, hospitality, health care, the military, manufacturing, insurance, banking and credit unions, education, publishing, entertainment, mental health, city and county government, not-for-profits, and large consulting houses…and one organic grocery store.

Through all these experiences, the common focus was on how people think about and manage complex and troubling situations, and how they form relationships with each other (or not) in the process.

CPS Practices for Innovation: An experiential evening

Barbara Kivowitz, Innovation/Measurement 21st Century

The Creative Problem Solving (CPS) method has been in use for over sixty years. It was developed as a response to the question, “So, how do you actually do innovation?” CPS provides a process discipline to the action of creative thinking in order to progress systematically (and creatively) from challenge to ideas to solution development to implementation.

In this session, Barbara Kivowitz of Innovation/Measurement 21st Century will lead us as we explore the principles that underlie CPS and learn the four stage CPS method. We will also put the CPS method into practice.

We invite you to bring a real challenge you are dealing with. The ideal challenge is a problem that requires an innovative solution, one that you are prepared to work on with a group and about which you have some concrete information. The challenge could be about your professional work, or even your personal life. You will need to be able to describe your challenge to a small group in 3 minutes. Do not come with answers — just with an interesting problem! Some example might be:
How can I decrease travel expenses for my business?
In what ways might my company go green?
How can I build up my consulting practice during this economic downturn?
In what ways might I help my daughter deal with the college application experience?
How can we increase fundraising for our nonprofit organization?

When Innovation Goes Social: CSR in Action

Rossella Derickson and Krista Henley, Corporate-Wisdom and CSR in Action
with Cecily Joseph, Symantec

Our inspiring feature presentation will guide us to integrate corporate social responsiveness (CSR) into the fabric of our work and our organizations. Our speakers, authors Rossella Derickson and Krista Henley will ask us to think out of the box about our products and services, to find ways to become responsive local and global citizens.

Studies show that professionals are more engaged when involved in purpose-driven initiatives that connect product and service to the greater needs of society. This engagement translates to our competitive advantage, inspiring us and driving solutions to global problems. This session will offer inspiration from Silicon Valley leaders, from the collaborative book and consulting practice CSR in Action. One of those Silicon Valley leaders, Cecily Joseph, will share with us her corporate journey to create Symantec’s successful CSR initiative.

This program is sure to help you shape your own thinking
about how to be an awakened and socially responsive professional and leader.