Nancy Tennant

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF LEADERSHIP at Booth School of Business

at Mendoza College of Business

Schools

  • Booth School of Business
  • Mendoza College of Business

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Biography

Booth School of Business

Dr. Nancy Tennant is a practitioner, professor, consultant, and best-selling author in innovation, leadership, and organization change. She offers a unique blend of theory and practice in her courses and workshops. She is one of the world's leading pioneers and experts in transforming companies by creating and implementing enterprise strategies that facilitate leadership and innovation. She is the CEO of Innovation Universe®. Businessweek named Dr. Tennant one of the 25 Innovation Champions in the world. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where she is co-developing an innovative Leadership Studio MBA course that teaches leadership agility throughout career transitions. She is also an instructor at The University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, where she co-founded the top-rated Certified Innovation Mentor and I-Mentor Boot Camp Programs. She is a frequent public speaker to "C" level audiences around the world including Dubai's Innovation Forum, Copenhagen Innovation Roundtable, Hamburg’s DRDS Design Research & Design Strategy Conference, Brazil's ANPEI, Kuwait’s Innovation Universe Workshop, London's Financial Times Workshops, Harvard University, Penn State University, Wharton School of Business, and NASA.

Dr. Tennant is the Vice President Emerita, Innovation and Leadership, at Whirlpool Corporation. At Whirlpool she reported to two Chairmen and CEOs for over 20 years, where she helped transform Whirlpool to achieve innovation from everywhere and everyone.

Her most recent book, Transform Your Company for the Innovation Universe: FRAME | GENERATE | EMBED | LEAD, (Moonfish Press, 2019), is equal part thesis, practicum, and memoir informed by her decades of learning and teaching innovation within companies. Her previous publications include the best-selling Unleashing Innovation: How Whirlpool Transformed An Industry, Snyder, Nancy Tennant and Duarte, D.L., 2008, Jossey-Bass/Wiley; The 5 Requirements of a Truly Innovative Company, Hamel, Gary and Tennant, Nancy, 2015, Harvard Business Review; Strategic Innovation: Embedding Innovation as a Core Competency In Your Organization, Snyder, Nancy Tennant and Duarte, D.L, 2003, Jossey-Bass/Wiley: and the best-selling Mastering Virtual Teams: Strategies, Tools, and Techniques that Succeed, Duarte, D.L. and Snyder, Nancy Tennant, 1999 & 2006, Jossey-Bass/Wiley.

Nancy earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in industrial relations from West Virginia University, respectively. She earned a doctorate in organizational behavior/human resource development from the George Washington University with her dissertation, "Global Integrating Mechanisms and Global Dominant Logic: Managers' Perceptions of Global Integration."

Mendoza College of Business

Dr. Nancy Tennant is a practitioner, consultant, and best-selling author on innovation, leadership, and organizational change. She is one of the world’s foremost thought leaders in transforming businesses to achieve innovation from everyone and everywhere. In recognition of her unique contributions to the field, Businessweek named Nancy one of its 25 Champions of Innovation.

Nancy, who co-founded the Certified Innovation Mentor Program and the highly rated Innovation Action Boot Camp, is the Chief Innovation Officer Emeritus for Whirlpool Corporation. There, she received acclaim from publications such as Fast Company and Fortune for creating billions in new revenue from innovation.

She is the co-author of numerous articles, including “The 5 Requirements of a Truly Innovative Company” with Gary Hamel (Harvard Business Review). She is also the co-author of the book Unleashing Innovation

Nancy Tennant is the chief innovation officer and vice president for Margin Realization for Whirlpool Corporation, reporting to the chairman and CEO.

In this capacity, she is responsible for creating and implementing enterprise strategies that facilitate innovation, leveraged learning, competitive knowledge, and margin optimization. She leads Whirlpool’s innovation practice, transforming Whirlpool into an innovation powerhouse and benchmark, starting in 1999, resulting in top innovation ratings and acclaim from publications such as Fast Company and Fortune and billions in new revenue for Whirlpool.

She also started Whirlpool University, Whirlpool’s award-winning corporate university. She is one of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners (theoretic practitioner) in transforming businesses and nonprofit environments to achieve innovation from everyone and everywhere. Bloomberg Businessweek named Tennant one of the 25 Innovation Champions (IN25) in the world.

As an adjunct faculty member of both the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business since 2003, she teaches innovation and organization change in the MBA programs. In 2013 she cofounded the certification program for innovation mentors (CIMp) at the University of Notre Dame, a groundbreaking program that teaches a new breed of specialists in government, nonprofit, universities, and industry how to lead innovation.

Tennant is the author of numerous articles and the coauthor of two bestselling books on innovation: Unleashing Innovation: How Whirlpool Transformed an Industry (Tennant Snyder & Duarte; Jossey-Bass, Wiley, 2008), and Strategic Innovation: Embedding Innovation as a Core Competency in Your Organization (Tennant Snyder & Duarte; Jossey-Bass, 2003).

She is presently working on a new book about innovation to simplify how to get started in innovation, with a publication goal of 2015. She is the coauthor of the bestselling Mastering Virtual Teams (Duarte & Snyder; Jossey-Bass, 2006, 3rd edition), ranked by Amazon as one of the 50 bestselling team books of all time.

She is a frequent public speaker on the topic of innovation and organization change to level audiences around the world, including United Arab Emirates, China, Brazil, Peru, India, Italy, and the UK.

Tennant received a doctorate in organizational behavior from The George Washington University. She is the president of the board for the first tee of Benton Harbor, a nonprofit organization that offers character development and life skills to at-risk youth through golf.

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