Keynote, Tom Kuczmarski from Chicago Innovation Awards


Kellogg School of Management
Adjunct Lecturer of Executive Programs, Academic Director for CRTI Executive Programs

Thomas D. Kuczmarski, senior partner and president of Kuczmarski Innovation, is a nationally recognized expert in the innovation of new products and services. Over the course of his career he has helped hundreds of clients, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 corporations, learn to systematically unlock the value of innovation.  Mr. Kuczmarski teaches  product and service innovation at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management where he is an Adjunct Lecturer of Executive Programs.  For more than three decades his executive education courses at the Kellogg School have attracted students from around the world.  He is the author of six books and many publications on innovation and leadership.

Mr. Kuczmarski is founder, with the journalist Dan Miller, of the Chicago Innovation Awards, which recognize the most innovative new products and services brought to market each year in the upper Midwest.  The awards, which are endorsed by every major business association in the Chicago region, showcase the creative spirit of America’s heartland.  In 2013 they expanded the work to include a new venture, Innovators Connection, designed to help expand the region’s economy by creating business connections among the region’s innovators, large and small. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and an appointed member of the Illinois Innovation Council.

Mr. Kuczmarski is the author of six books.  Innovating Chicago Style: How Local Innovators are Building the National Economy (Book Ends Publishing), written with Dan Miller and Luke Tanen and published in 2012 profiles the first decade of winners of the Chicago Innovation Awards and the lessons of innovation that they reveal. Apples are Square: Thinking Differently about Leadership (Kaplan), co-authored with Dr. Susan Smith Kuczmarski and published in 2007, explores the qualities of the ideal leader and how to build those qualities into one’s own career. Innovating the Corporation (NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group) reveals the seven steps for achieving growth through innovation. Managing New Products (Book Ends Publishing), now in its third edition, is endorsed by the American Marketing Association and widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive treatises on the development of new products. Values-Based Leadership: Rebuilding Employee Commitment, Productivity and Performance (Prentice-Hall) was also co-authored with Dr. Susan Smith Kuczmarski. His book Innovation was co-published by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group and the American Marketing Association.

He is extensively published and cited  on radio, television, and in national periodicals including: The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Newsweek, Bloomberg Business Week, The Today Show, Planning Review, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Marketing News, Advertising Age, Crain’s Chicago Business, Business Marketing, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, and many more. He has a chapter published on new products and services in the Marketing Encyclopedia, a publication of the American Marketing Association. He serves on the editorial review boards for The Journal of Product Innovation Management and The Journal of Consumer Marketing. In addition, Mr. Kuczmarski is a highly regarded speaker on innovation management and leadership, and lectures nationally and internationally to a broad range of corporations and associations.

Before founding Kuczmarski Innovation, he was a Principal at Booz · Allen & Hamilton. While there, Mr. Kuczmarski assisted more than 100 U.S. consumer and industrial goods companies in the areas of marketing, new product development, strategic business analysis and organizational planning. In addition, he led the firm’s in-depth research of the best practices employed by more than 700 U.S. firms in their new product management processes. His prior experience as a brand manager at Quaker Oats Company also provided a solid and broad-based foundation unique to his consulting specialty.

He earned an M.B.A. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, and holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s Graduate School of International Affairs, where he was named an International Fellow of the University. He received a B.A. in French from the College of the Holy Cross.

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