Keynote Speaker Jeff DeGraff Exclusive

Jeff DeGraff

"The Dean of Innovation," Business Professor and Author

  • Speaker's U.S. Fee Range
    $20,001 - $40,000 i
  • Languages Spoken
  • Travels From
    Michigan, USA

Suggested Keynote Speeches & Programs

View More

Jeff DeGraff’s Key Accomplishments Include . . . 

Jeff DeGraff’s life reads like an innovation playbook. The pages are speckled with failures followed by great successes all because of the mantra adopted at an early age from icon Walt Disney: “Keep moving forward.” Jeff knows how to innovate because he has been through the wringer and rolled with the punches, each time adding a new, better, and cleverer play than the last to his dossier. Jeff’s creative and direct take on making innovation really happen have made him a world renowned thought leader and have prompted his clients and colleagues to dub him as The Dean of Innovation.

Why Jeff DeGraff?

Watching Jeff speak is akin to going to the theater: he is more than anything a natural performer. Combine these talents with his extensive experience and knowledge on the topic of innovation and what you get is an exciting presentation that will propel any company to innovate. Jeff has several popular and highly customized presentations, however, he does give the option of creating an entirely new presentation for your company based on your needs.

Jeff has advised many of the world’s leading corporations, using the Competing Values Framework that he co-created, on how to grow, change and ultimately move forward to see positive results. Jeff’s clientele list reads as a ‘who’s who’ of the business world, boasting Eaton, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, General Electric, Prudential and Pfizer, all as happy customers.

Clients call Jeff when they want to achieve a cultural change that leads to sustainable innovation and growth. Time and time again, clients have been enthralled and inspired by Jeff’s speaking abilities and unorthodox view of innovation. He commands the room as he combines theory and practice to instill the mindset needed to make innovation truly happen. Jeff’s ideas have gained such a following that he created the Innovatrium, an innovation institute in the heart of the University of Michigan’s campus.

The Innovatrium is what every great innovator in the past has had: a laboratory for experimenting with new ideas and creating tangible prototypes to prove the concepts. Throw in the fact that you can write or draw on every surface while looking out the large bay windows at one of the most prestigious schools in the world and the inspiration simply becomes organic.

Not to be pigeon-holed; Jeff is also well known as an author whose witty and insightful prose have landed him regular columns with The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and Management Innovation Exchange. His talent for breaking down the steps needed to innovate effectively also prompted him to write a slew of successful books on innovation including Creativity at Work, Leading Innovation, Innovation You: Four Steps to Becoming New and Improved, and The Enlivened Self: The Art of Growing. His newest book, Making Stone Soup, explains the key to make collaborative innovation happen. Other publications that showcase Jeff’s innovation principles are Business Week, Fortune, USA Today, Training+Development and the Wall Street Journal. He also has video learning modules with Big Think. Jeff’s new radio program with Michigan Radio, called The Next Idea, invites discussions about innovation in the State of Michigan and beyond.

For the past 25 years Jeff has also spent his time as a Clinical Professor of Management and Organization for the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross Business school. His energetic personality and practical business experience have made his classes some of the highest rated and hardest to get into at Ross, and he enjoys discussing the changing face of innovation with the next generation.Taking into account Jeff’s extensive experience and mixing it with the creative streak and competitive edge he’s known for, it is not hard to see why he is called ‘the guru to the innovation gurus’ of Fortune 500 Companies.

More About Speaker, Jeff DeGraff. . .

Professor DeGraff is the creator of the Certified Professional Innovator Program at the University of Michigan. This certificate program develops innovation leaders through an integrated curriculum and practicum of assessments, on-line modules, project jumpstarts and coaching. Professor DeGraff founded a leading innovation institute, Innovatrium, with labs in Ann Arbor and Atlanta.

Professor DeGraff holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Stay up-to-date and read more about Jeff at his blog,, and follow him on LinkedIn,


Testimonials 9

  • “Jeff’s presentation was far and away one of the best that I saw last week. Our team debriefed for quite some time on it and are reviewing how we can implement some of the suggestions.”


  • “Innovation is a skill, not a gift.  It can be routinized like any other business imperative such as productivity, leadership, or quality.  DeGraff shows you the way.”

    Drew Boyd

    Director, Johnson & Johnson

  • “I could not be any more pleased with how well it went over and I know my team feels the same way.  It truly was a very valuable experience for everyone.”

    Robert D. Barber

    Chief Executive Officer, Environmental Data Resources, Inc.

  • “Simply put, Jeff DeGraff’s methods work!  In working with Jeff and his framework to transform various aspects of our business model, it became increasingly clear that he was also subtly transforming me and my team. It’s clear that the step by step process he’s used to transform business, can likewise, be unleashed to re-shape and transform the individual.”

    Pfizer, Inc.

  • “Jeff was a HUGE success at our meeting! He definitely hit a home run with our attendees and many of his talking points (including the ‘4 colors’) were referenced throughout the entire weekend.  Jeff certainly set the stage for our most successful Matrix Leadership Meeting to date.”

    Suzanne Ziemnik, M.Ed.

    VP, Education and Assessment, American Society for Clinical Pathology

  • “We received very positive feedback…folks wanted more. I think that Jeff has put us on the right track. Looking forward to seeing these proof of concepts come to life.”

    Wendy Race

    General Electric Company, GE Infra, Energy

  • “We got TONS of great feedback on Jeff, his presentation and his work.  The presentation was high energy and simple, yet insightful.  The model presented was very helpful in providing a common language to help categorize, discuss, and — most importantly — create choiceful decisions as to where and how to innovate.”

    Ashland, Inc.

  • “Jeff DeGraff has a unique ability to combine entertaining and thought provoking material into a truly enjoyable evening of learning and growth! We can’t wait to use him again in one of our corporate programs.”

    David Daugherty

    VP of Talent Management, Plastipak Packaging

  • “Jeff has provided marketing professionals across GE with a collaborative, measurable process that leverages existing creativity.”

    Beth Cornstock

    SVP & CMO, General Electric

Have Questions? Need Suggestions? Want Help?

Contact Us Any Time:


Innovation You Workshop

Jeff will show you how to make your early mistakes productive ones that you can learn from. You will figure out what works and what doesn’t work. The key here is making room for what you don’t know yet so you can revisit your future and continue to grow.
A specialized workshop with Jeff means not only a new mindset towards change but also the practical tools to make that mindset a

Jumpstarting Innovation Workshop

Now that Jeff has begun to change your mindset toward growth, it is time to put this new way of thinking to work. With Jeff’s
customized one- and two-day workshops, you will develop an action plan that makes these concepts come to life in the everyday
reality of your organization.

First, Jeff will help you assess the inner and outer realities of your organization: both the needs and current situation of your firm and
Innovation is about arriving at a place we have never been before by doing something we have never done before. the larger trends shaping your world. Each participant will come away with his or her own profile, a profile of the company culture, and a clear, shared vision for the future. Together, you will set high-quality targets—specific goals you can measure in ways everyone can agree on. These goals will be feasible and will have end dates. Most importantly, though, they will move you. If a target doesn’t have the subjective, personal feeling of “wow,” it’s not an innovation target—it’s just an ordinary goal. Jeff will help you find goals that are just that: extraordinary.

Innovation Coaching and Executive Retreats

In order to achieve change, we need to surround ourselves with the people and resources that will help us grow. Think of innovation as a playbook and Jeff DeGraff as the coach who will move you forward to sustainable growth. As an innovation coach, Jeff—internationally renowned Dean of Innovation and professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan—will partner with you as
you navigate your way to change. Jeff will not only help you tackle your current challenges—he will also reinvent the way you think about innovation more broadly.

A seasoned consultant to multi-national Fortune 500 companies, Jeff has studied and practiced innovation at both the group and individual levels. With this diverse expertise, Jeff offers three kinds of coaching services: executive coaching, innovation project coaching, and personal
development coaching.

Certified Professional Innovator

This program is designed to develop highly practiced innovation leaders. It will provide the necessary tools and techniques to stimulate and manage innovation. Leaders will be given frameworks and methods for strategizing, developing, and implementing innovative solutions. The aim of the program is to provide leaders with the perspective and skill base necessary to manage breakthrough innovation-focused projects, people, and ventures.

This unique program consists of both an online component and a 2-day on-site boot camp. You will complete distance learning assignments and collaborate with peers in online communities of practice. Throughout the program you will develop, refine, and implement a customized plan to bring about a significant innovation initiative at your organization. Participants will spend an average of three hours per week on program activities when not on site.

Each segment of the program is designed to engage leaders in action based learning experiences and develop real expertise in innovation. In this rigorous, multi-media program, you will explore and master research-proven and real world-tested methods in a minimal amount of time.

Personas who have benefited from this program:

  • UX Architect, Apple
  • Engineering Manager, Toyota Technical Center
  • Senior Director (focused on product and marketing development, Honeywell Aerospace
  • Faculty, UM Medical School (Translational Oncology Program)
  • Director, Operational Excellence (focused on User Experience), Honeywell Aerospace

My Catalog


Clear All

You have not added any speakers yet.