Seth Kahan
Getting Innovation Right
how to turn ideas into outcomes
Seth Kahan's Twitter Feed
Free Resources

Innovation: Deb Mills-Scofield, Business Innovation Maven

Deb Mills-ScofieldDeb Mills-Scofield calls herself a long-term trouble-maker. What she really does is resolve paradoxes, or show people how odd partners can coexist creatively.

Deb has long been an innovator, beginning with her work at AT&T Bell Lab where she created the patent for a multimedia messaging service in the early 80s.

Today she applies her skills to strategy, business models, adaptive change, and predicting success through leading indicators.

Describing her work to me she said, "I do strategic alignment and planning in a way that execution is built in - it's a constant adapting process. Rather than being cast in concrete, it's cast in jello."

Deb has a unique approach to innovation she calls innovanomics™, a framework for integrating strategy and innovation in a unified process. To support this work she has created a unique way to measure innovation using what she calls innovametrics that identify, apply, and analyze direct and indirect metrics for successful, profitable innovation.

Deb says, "I am very much into paradox. I love oxymorons, because usually they are not. People tend to look at the world as either/or. For me the world is and. It's all about recombining, repackaging, and putting things together.

"Most innovation metrics are trailing. I am interested in how you can look for, find, and measure leading indicators. The front end of innovation that is very hard to measure. Some would say it's a paradox, or it's impossible. I don't think so.

"When different people in different spheres or different parts of the globe start recognizing something, we can see it emerge - we know something is there. There are ways to name that process, to capture that phenomenon.

"After being in a venture capital firm for 10 years, I have gotten much better with my assessment. Some of it is plain old experience. But, there is something else operating, a sensitivity to something new before it arrives."


Deb writes the Forbes blog, Work in Progress, and can be found on the web through her website, mills-scofield.com. She is a major player in the upcoming event in DC, Revolutionizing the World of Work. These two days, hosted by Steve Denning and I, will be dedicated to remaking the management mindset; that is, reinventing business, government, education, and health.

  • Seth Kahan on Twitter
  • Seth Kahan on Facebook
  • Seth Kahan on LinkedIn
  • Seth Kahan on YouTube

Monday Morning Mojo

Sign up for Seth’s weekly newsletter to jump start your week. Read a sample >

Leaders Rave About Seth

John H. Graham, IV, CAE
President & CEO
American Society of Association

"It is important to get some practical advice in a world filled with innovation theory. That’s exactly what Seth offers in his latest book, Getting Innovation Right..." Read More

Mike Panaggio
Chariman
DME Holdings, LLC

"Seth is a boundless strategic thinker and motivator. Getting Innovation Right can propel your organization’s next move upward..." Read More

Michaela Oliver
Senior Vice President of Human Resources,
Rosetta Stone, Inc.

"Seth does it again with his latest book, Getting Innovation Right. After reading this book, you will not only have an approach to utilize, but the tools to help you make things happen quickly, and succeed..." Read More

Linda Hallman
CEO
American Association of University Women

"Seth motivates and inspires me to approach new challenges in different ways — not with fear, rather with anticipation..." Read More

Barbara Tulipane
CEO
National Recreation and Park Association

"My work with Seth helped me to achieve greater success in both my career and in my life..." Read More

Bill George
Harvard Business School

"Seth Kahan informs leaders on how they can strategically and logistically enact change..." Read More

Chris McEntee
Executive Director / CEO
American Geophysical Union

"Seth Kahan excels at bringing together disparate groups and individuals so that they can find common ground and achieve breakthroughs in performance..." Read More

Mary Power
CEO
Council of Better Business Bureaus

"Seth helped us truly focus on our story and our value. He was my Organizational Yoda..." Read More

Ralph Nappi
President

"Seth has the unique ability to help leaders facilitate transformative change not just for their association but for their industry..." Read More

Executive Clients

70 CEOs in the corrugated industry

Virginia Council of CEOS:
120 CEOs of Richmond, VA

Jane Anderson
Executive Director, Fulbright Association

John Alfano
CEO, AOPHA

Gregory Balestrero
CEO, Project Management Institute

Tony Cancelosi
CEO, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind

Matthew J. Clark
Managing Partner, Arent Fox

Doug Culkin
CEO, National Apartment Association

Mike Finnell
CEO, Youth for Understanding USA

Jill Hreben
CEO, Otterbein Retirement Living Communities

Diane James
Executive Director, Womens Transportation Seminar

Pat Jones
CEO, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association

Mark M. Katz
Chairman, Arent Fox

Doug Kleine
Executive Director, Association for Conflict Resolution

Andrew Kutt
Director & Founder, Oneness Family School

Jack Lewin
CEO, American College of Cardiology

Dan Longo, MD
Scientific Director, National Institute on Aging

Chris McEntee
CEO, American Geophysical Union

Marcia McNutt
Director, US Geological Survey

Bill Millar
CEO, American Public Transportation Association

Susan Newman
Secretary General, Inernational Real Estate Federation

Julie Oyegun
Director, World Bank Diversity Programs

Mary Power
CEO, Council of Better Business Bureaus

Susan Sarfati
CEO, Center for Association Leadership

John Saunders
Executive Director, National Forum for Black Public Administrators

Jimmy Neil Smith
International Storytelling Foundation

Barbara Tulipane
CEO, National Recreation and Park Association

Robert T. Van Hook
Interim Executive Director, Center for American Nurses

Gaddi Vasquez
Director, Peace Corps

Kathy Warye
CEO, Association of Professionals in Infection Control

James Wolfensohn
President, World Bank

Claudia Zacharias
President and CEO, Board of Certification/Accreditation, International

Ken Garrison
Executive Director, Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals

Ralph Nappi
CEO, The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies

US Congressman Christopher Shays
Connecticut

Kerry Stackpole
President, Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic

Linda Hallman
Executive Director, American Association of University Women

David Baxa
CEO, VISTA Technology Services Inc.

More >

Getting Change Right

Getting Change RightRead Seth's Washington Post bestseller, the definitive strategy guide for leading transformation.

Read Excerpt >
Learn More >
Buy Now >

Getting Innovation Right

Getting Innovation RightLearn how to transform ideas into outcomes. Getting Innovation Right is the second commercial publication from Seth Kahan.

Read Excerpt >
Learn More >
Buy Now >