SPARK Series

Dan Kraemer

March 3, 2020

Design Your Next Competitor

Dan Kraemer, Founder, Chief Design Officer at IA Collaborative

The forefront products and services of today quickly shape the basic expectations of tomorrow. Leaders at modern organizations such as Airbnb, FedEx, Nike and Samsung know that to stay at the forefront, you must continuously immerse yourself in new user behaviors and uncover new insights to create your next competitor before someone else does.

During this workshop, you will experience how organizations like these are converging design and business thinking to drive growth and make innovation scalable — from idea, to prototype, to pilot. The key is in mastering methods to make four critical growth decisions: where to play, how to win, what to build, and when to fund.

This interactive session will provide participants with the conceptual framework for how to design their next competitor, along with tools and strategies to jump-start such projects within their organizations.

Reserve Your Seat Add to Calendar

SPARK is an opportunity to welcome new faculty and explore new Executive Education content with our participants who are in attendance at the Allen Center for a variety of programs. SPARK classes are offered Tuesday evenings from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. and are an opt-in enrichment experience for participants, faculty, and staff.

To receive invitations for SPARK or to suggest a topic or recommend faculty for the SPARK series, please email Melissa Passalacqua.


November 12, 2019 Culture and Character: Leadership Lessons Military Veterans Can Bring to Your Organization

Eric A. Hoggard, Colonel, United States Army, Kellogg Senior Army Fellow

Military veterans have a breadth and depth of expertise, skills, experiences and perspectives not found in any other population and that are highly valued in the private sector. Their unique work inculcates a deep understanding of teamwork and leadership, along with a well-developed ability to manage complexity and ambiguity. Kellogg research shows these characteristics pay off, including that CEOs with military experience perform better in economic adversity.

Join us in a conversation led by Colonel Eric Hoggard, U.S. Army Senior Fellow at Kellogg, with a panel of veterans pursuing their MBA at Kellogg. We’ll discuss hard lessons that shape how veterans think, how they foster a culture of accountability, what inspires them to study business, and more.

June 4, 2019 Beyond Pride and Prejudice: Can Insights from Relationship Psychology Improve Our Politics?

Eli J. Finkel, Professor of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences; Professor of Management & Organizations

When interpersonal or intergroup conflict challenges our core values, we develop a moralized narrative that makes victory essential and compromise intolerable. In this presentation, we’ll consider how leaders can reframe seemingly intractable conflicts in ways that can push toward resolution. We use the case of American politics circa 2019, where the divide between liberals and conservatives has grown wider and more vitriolic, and it’s not clear how this trend might reverse. If we can devise an approach to conflict resolution that works in a context that extreme, we’ll have strong clues for conflict resolution in contexts like industry, labor, and the family.

May 21, 2019 Driving Change in Organizations

Michael Rogers, Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor within the Kellogg Public Private Interface

How does an organization turn the culture and mission it wants to embody into desirable outcomes? Change is necessary for any organization to evolve. However, organizations with large, complex hierarchical structures can find driving change especially challenging.

Admiral Mike Rogers will lead a discussion on how those leading change can leverage institutional knowledge and experience into methods for implementing change while fostering support for organizational goals. Admiral Rogers will address how to asses an organization’s values and what shapes its behaviors and attitudes, explore ways to channel those behaviors and attitudes to drive change, and discuss the integration of organizational culture and mission into the ultimate outcome.

May 14, 2019 Psychological Insights into the Customer Experience Journey

Angela Lee, Mechthild Esser Nemmers Professor of Marketing

What psychological factors influence and affect a savvy, yet time-strapped consumer’s purchasing decisions? Behavioral research sheds light on the customer experience journey, from motivation to information search, preference formation to choice, and finally to loyalty. In this session we will explore how consumers’ basic survival needs shape consumption goals, and in turn, influence how we engage with brands. We will also discuss what drives brand loyalty, how loyal customers may react when their brand is under siege, and how the architecture and heuristics of consumer choice can produce seemingly irrational or economically suboptimal decisions.

April 16, 2019 Crisis Management: When Values Are Polarized

Nicolo Persico, John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences, Director of the Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics & Management

Join us for a discussion of the impact of increasing political polarization, both within and outside companies, that is changing the landscape for business decision making. The discussion will also explore the difficulty of handling crises with conflicting values within an organization, and the extent to which leadership should view these crises as opportunities to affirm their values, or rather, to lay low and deflect.


December 4, 2018 Breaking Bad: Designing Work Habits for Outstanding Brands, Cultures, and Customer Experiences

Andrew Sykes, Adjunct Lecturer in Executive Education, CEO of Habits at Work and founder of BRATLAB

A company’s brand, culture and customer experience have traditionally been viewed as three distinct yet related phenomena. In this session, we’ll see the power of approaching them as a single phenomenon grounded in habits at work. For example, the habit of reflective listening is key to driving strong relationships between partners, colleagues, and customers.

Because so much of human behavior is habitual, organizations end up with brands, cultures, and customer experiences that develop over time and are very stable. But what if we as leaders want to change these habits?

Join us for this dynamic session on habit design in organizations. You’ll gain insights on how to break bad habits and intentionally design habits to create brands and customer experiences with intense customer loyalty, and to create company cultures that foster employee engagement.

November 6, 2018 Your Media Diet: The Consequences and Opportunities of What You Listen To, Read, and Watch

Rachel Davis Mersey, Associate Professor, Medill School of Journalism

Much of the blame for the troubles in the media ecosystem has been heaped on news organizations and social media networks. It turns out your choices play a role in this too. Much of the American public has a limited media diet. We'll discuss how individuals' media consumption habits are drivers behind the phenomenons such as "fake news" and "echo chambers." We'll cover practical strategies that enhance your marketplace knowledge, and your leadership and communication skills.

October 16, 2018 The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017: Why It Happened, How It’s Working, and What’s Next

Ben Harris, Visiting Associate Professor of Kellogg Public-Private Initiative (KPPI)

Virtually every business and family in the United States is affected by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017. This legislation changed incentives and tax rates for individuals and businesses across the country while also lowering tax revenues and increasing projected deficits over the next decade. This is one of the most consequential pieces of tax legislation to pass in the past 30 years.

Join Professor Ben Harris, previously chief economist and economic adviser to the Vice President of the United States, for an expert take on what this economic policy includes. You’ll see who won and who lost in the tax plan, what economic forecasters see as economic consequences of the Act, and what taxpayers and business leaders can expect out of future Congresses in the way of tax changes.

July 17, 2018 The Poison Chalice: Recent Effects of Digital Marketing’s Quest for Hyper-Targeting

Jim Lecinski, Associate Professor, Medill School of Journalism

Consumer privacy has received a great deal of attention of late, highlighted by extensive media coverage of Cambridge Analytica, GDPR, data breaches, and Facebook’s US hearing in April and EU hearing in May.

What does all this mean for business leaders, for brands and for marketers who increasingly rely on digital marketing? Has perhaps the "holy grail" of digital marketing, the quest for more and more hyper-targeted messaging based on personal information, in fact now become a "poisoned chalice" instead?

This session will examine (1) why hyper-targeting has always been the "holy grail" of digital marketing; (2) how the quest for more and better hyper-targeting has evolved; (3) how recent events that have called these practices into question; and (4) the implications for the marketing industry moving forward.

May 15, 2018 Customer Journey Evolution and Application in Today's Landscape

Mark Skroch, SVP, Client Services Fusion92

Marketers have evolved in their level of understanding of the customer purchase journey. From the basic idea of attracting people to come into a store, to the emergence of a marketing funnel for aligning activities, this evolution has continued to today’s customer need-based journeys. Data, research, and strategy come together to inform today’s marketing activities in more dynamic, customized, and informed ways than ever before. This session will examine the underlying drivers of the customer journey evolution (the availability of marketing data), how to develop a customer journey using relevant research techniques, and how these journeys can help inform marketing activities as well as overall business strategy.

May 1, 2018 Transformation: The New Steady State

Diane Brink, Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor within the Kellogg Markets & Customers Initiative

Reinvention is here to stay. Technology is changing the way industries and professions operate. New competitors and business models are being created every day. Leaders who embrace change will win in the market, while others will be left behind. As a global technology company, IBM has gone through continual transformations throughout its 106-year-plus history. Learn an insider's perspective about the steps you can take to successfully lead a transformation.

April 17, 2018 Gray Rhino Proofing Your Business: A New Risk Management Framework

Michele Wucker, Founder and CEO of Gray Rhino & Company

A “gray rhino” is a highly probable, high impact yet neglected threat – kin to both the elephant in the room and the black swan. Gray rhinos happen after warnings go unheeded: market bubbles on the verge of bursting, corporate scandals, crumbling infrastructure and other crises that often can be prevented. Why do leaders keep failing to address obvious dangers before they spiral out of control? And why are some better than others at recognizing and countering gray rhino risks?

The 2016 book, The Gray Rhino, which explores these questions, has shaped the thinking of financial planners, business continuity and risk managers, policy makers and central banks around the world. In this interactive workshop, author and strategist Michele Wucker shares the simple but powerful gray rhino framework that will help you and your team to strategically counter avoidable crises.


December 5, 2017 How Certainty Transforms Persuasion in Marketing

Derek Rucker, Sandy & Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in Marketing, Professor of Marketing, Co-chair of Faculty Research

A critical challenge in marketing is fostering favorable brand associations that persist over time, resist competitive challenges, and ultimately influence the behavior of consumers. One way to accomplish these goals is by reducing consumers’ uncertainty through enhancing their sense of psychological conviction. Join Professor Derek Rucker for an engaging session that will explore four principles to enhance consumer certainty: consensus, repetition, ease, and defense, including illustrative examples of each of these principles in practice.

November 14, 2017 Corporate Ethics in the Context of Artificial Intelligence: Why It Matters Even More Now

Adam Robert Pah, Clinical Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations, Associate Director and Research Assistant Professor Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)

Artificial intelligence is being touted as the most transformative change in business since the industrial revolution, upending the structure (and human element) of businesses and disrupting entire sectors. However, our "intelligent" machines are a far cry from the all-powerful, turnkey solutions depicted in the press and social media. These machines require significant human creativity and work to build, customize, and optimize to suit any business process. And how do you build ethics into a machine? Intelligent machines have neither built-in ethics, nor an easy way to be instructed on how to act ethically or in accordance with an organization’s mission statement. Join Professor Adam Pah for an engaging exploration of how and why imparting ethics to an intelligent machine is more challenging – and important - than making it "intelligent" in the first place.

November 7, 2017 Business Unusual: Competing for the Future of Innovation

Andrew Razeghi, Founder and Managing Director of StrategyLab, Inc.

In a recent study, CEOs from across industries ranked creativity the #1 most desired leadership skill of the future (IBM CEO Study). Companies today are in need of those who can navigate a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous marketplace. However, this requires more than innovation in new products, new services and new business models. This requires re-thinking the very business of innovation itself.

In his inspiring keynote, StrategyLab, Inc. founder, Andrew Razeghi, will explore how "frictionless capitalism" is changing the competition and its implications for you and your organization.

October 24, 2017 From Funnel to Engine: The Evolution of Consumer Engagement

Tom Collinger, Associate Professor, Executive Director of Medill IMC Spiegel Digital & Database Research Center, Senior Director of Medill Distance Learning Initiative

The language of "managing the customer" is no longer reflective of how consumers engage with brands. Tom Collinger will join us from Northwestern’s Spiegel Research Center to explain their Customer Engagement EcoSystem/Engine framework, which explains the way that customers interact with brands today, and indicates different strategies to successfully drive value. He will also share several studies with evidence of the financial impact of customers engaging differently today.

October 17, 2017 The World in 2050: Preparing for Opportunities and Changes

Russell Walker, Clinical Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

The world is at an unprecedented point of change. Shifts in population, demographics, birth rates, life expectancy, and GDP rates describe a future that looks and operates economically very differently from today. Some changes are easier to predict than others. China will have fewer people, while Europe will age and shrink. Africa’s population will see major growth, whereas the US population will grow only modestly. But many surprises may lie ahead. For example, how closely do changes in population align with GDP? Join Professor Russell Walker for an exploration of these dramatic changes confronting the world, and how firms and industries can make investments and take action to claim opportunities that lie ahead. This session will give special emphasis to labor and commodity markets.

October 3, 2017 Intrapreneurship: How To Succeed As An Entrepreneur Within Established Organizations

Paul Earle, Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Large corporations often pine for the entrepreneurial behaviors and cultures they observe on the outside, now even going so far as to institute programs to promote “intrapreneurship” inside their own organizational structures. In theory, simple modifications to the legacy modus operandi will help established corporations become more entrepreneurial, in the service of innovation and, ultimately, shareholder value. But... implementing such changes is notoriously difficult. Nevertheless, entrepreneurial behavior inside established companies is possible, and in fact required for progress.

Join us to examine the roots of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship alike. Learn some best practices, and walk away with four lessons to begin or enhance your own career as an intrapreneur.

Sept. 26, 2017 Platform Strategy: Pricing and Mobilization

Sarit Markovich, Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy

Many of today’s most successful companies are software platforms connecting two different types of customers, e.g., drivers and riders (Uber, Lyft) or travelers and apartment owners (Airbnb). It is hard to launch such a “two-sided” market, because each kind of customer only wants to participate once there is a critical mass of the other kind of user. Few property owners, for example, will be inspired to list their property in a lodging listing service that only attracts a few prospective travelers, and no prospective travelers want to waste their time on a vacation lodging site with few listings. Come learn about the unique structure of two-sided markets, strategies to activate them and how the right pricing approaches can help.

September 19, 2017 Scientist Meets Manager

Ned Smith, Associate Professor of Management & Organizations, Associate Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences

One of the best ways to learn what will work in your organization or market is to do experiments. Being good at running experiments, though, is an organizational capability not all organizations have or know how to develop. Join Professor Ned Smith for an engaging session on how to design and run good experiments that yield useful insights. You’ll learn about companies using experiments effectively in their day-to-day operations and you'll roll up your sleeves to design experiments in this interactive experience.

June 6, 2017 Aligning Health Care for 4 Million People – How the Army Does It

Lieutenant General Nadja Y. West, U.S. Army Surgeon General & Commanding General, Army Medical Command

Join Lieutenant General Nadja Y. West for an evening devoted to the topics of organizational leadership and strategic alignment to assure the well-being and readiness of the workforce. In this session you will learn the strategy and leadership approach of how the United States Army Medical Command addresses the wellness and health care needs for nearly 4-million active-duty members of all services, retirees, and military family members around the globe. Discover how the focus on strategic readiness, organizational leadership, education, innovation, research and development, and strategic alignment are all essential to maintain a competitive edge for facilities and personnel.

May 23, 2017 Communicating with the New Machine: Human Insight at Machine Scale

Kristian J. Hammond, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The world of data is at an inflection point. We have crafted powerful methods for gathering, managing and analyzing massive data sets for business, government and our day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, this data is not in a form that is understandable to most of the people who need it.

In this session, Professor Hammond will outline an Artificial Intelligence approach to narrative generation that bridges the gap between the numbers that confuse us and the language that illuminates. Using examples from business, education and everyday life, Professor Hammond will demonstrate how machine generated narratives provide us with the insights trapped in the data the machine controls.

May 16, 2017 Question 0: Beginning the Hunt for New Ideas

David Schonthal, Clinical Associate Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Inspiration for innovative new products, services and ventures is all around you – sometimes hiding in plain sight. The best way to discover these opportunities often starts with seeing an environment through fresh eyes and asking the right questions. In this session, Kellogg Professor and IDEO Business Designer, David Schonthal, will share some tools and techniques for reframing the world around you, identifying ways to make an impact and mustering the confidence to do something about it.

May 9, 2017 Customer Loyalty: A Framework

Tom O’Toole, Clinical Professor of Marketing and Senior Fellow

Customer loyalty is a subject of enduring importance to the study and practice of marketing. It is foundational to value creation by a wide range of enterprises. The term “customer loyalty” spans a range of meanings that intertwine value, behavior, affinity and advocacy. We will relate definitions, business objectives, metrics and drivers in a structured approach to the development of customer loyalty strategies and practical guidance for the design and execution of customer loyalty programs and marketing activities. Plus, we’ll discuss new models for customer loyalty in the digital era.

May 2, 2017 Situational Awareness and Self-Awareness: The Intersection of Leadership

John Ambery, Psy.D., Leadership Instructor, Psychologist, and Executive Coach

Explore a unique leadership framework based on alignment of values, intentions, behaviors and your environment. Learn how situational awareness and self-awareness intersect to maximize your professional and personal effectiveness. Examine the critical roles feedback and continuous learning play in your leadership development, and apply this framework to build a pathway toward impact and fulfillment through authentic leadership.

April 11, 2017 How Deep Learning is Driving Disruptive Artificial Intelligence

Diego Klabjan, Prof. of Industrial Engineering & Management Sciences; Director, Master of Science in Analytics

The artificial intelligence landscape has seen stunning technological advances in recent years, including autonomous cars, chatbots, language translation, and image object detection. A number of these advances are production-ready and waiting to disrupt your industry and existing business models. Learn about deep learning, the main technology driving these advances in AI. This evening’s session will explore the business and scientific problems impacted by deep learning; the skill sets, metrics, and processes needed to fully leverage it; and what deep learning can and cannot do, today and in the near future.

April 4, 2017 Designing for Persuasion: The Perceptual Science of Graphic Design

Steve Franconeri, Director of Cognitive Science Program; Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University

Your ideas are more persuasive when your documents and presentations have a polished look. Learn the four simple rules that will make your presentations and documents seem professionally designed, along with the cognitive and perceptual science underlying those rules. Gain hands-on experience with exercises in PowerPoint using either sample documents or your own materials.


December 6, 2016 Strengthening Your Financial Acumen
Efraim Benmelech, Harold L. Stuart Prof. of Finance; Director of the Guthrie Center for Real Estate Research

Business leaders with a firmer footing in finance and accounting topics are better equipped to contribute more meaningfully to financial decision making including knowing the right questions, evaluating investment opportunities, and better understanding the implications of financial decisions on firm value.

Join Professor Efraim Benmelech, Harold L. Stuart Professor of Finance, for a session that provides the foundation for understanding important financial and accounting ratios as well as how different operational strategies can be reflected in financial reports. In particular, you will cover concepts such as ROA, ROI, working capital and financial leverage, using financial reports of the largest and most well-known US firms, to understand the main value drivers of their operations.

November 1, 2016 Dancing With Startups: How Corporations are Tapping Into the Entrepreneurial Movement to Disrupt the Disruptive Disruptors
Dean DeBiase, Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Chairman of Reboot Partners

Corporations are living in the age of “Uber yourself before you get Kodaked,” and executives are hearing a lot about disruption, fueling concerns about the competitiveness of their company’s innovation plans. With pressure for growth and the need to expand product, sector and geographic categories, executives are shifting toward open-innovation platforms that rely on partnering. Join us for a behind the scenes look at how corporations are leveraging networks of start-ups, incubator accelerators, labs, university and government institutions to accelerate innovation, improve results and upgrade their talent along the way.

October 18, 2016 The New Practice of Marketing: Restructuring How Marketing Is Done
Tom O’Toole, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer and President, MileagePlus at United Airlines

The practice of marketing has shifted in critical ways that are not yet fully realized. Wrenching and consequential changes will come as the applications and implications of new marketing practices continue to play out at every level of the enterprise. The conventional structure of marketing function is an artifact of an earlier era...that is increasingly problematic. The much used term “digital marketing” is a euphemism for a broader set of developments that have not been articulated as a whole picture. What is happening and required is a restructuring of the marketing function within the enterprise and in the broader marketing environment.

October 11, 2016 Don’t Take Trust for Granted: Managing Trust in Your Organization and in the Marketplace
Kent Grayson, Associate Professor of Marketing, Bernice and Leonard Lavin Professorship

Most business leaders know how to build trust, but what they know is based mainly on intuition and common sense. Building on material developed by The Trust Project at Northwestern, this session will provide a systematic framework for thinking about trust and how it can be built both within the organization and with customers and other external stakeholders. This session will enhance your understanding of trust and of the strategies for fostering it.

October 4, 2016 The Convergence of Authenticity / Innovation / and New Concepts
Jim Cohen, Founding Principal, Spark / Co-Founder Chief Strategy Officer, HERE Life, LLC

We marvel at successful businesses that grab our attention, engage our emotions and deliver on promises. We wonder how do they conceive their models and build their cultures? Join Jim for an animated and interactive evening of how to create authentic, inventive frameworks, models and concepts for business. He’ll share real world examples drawn from his work with Starbucks, Redbox, Sodexo and many others, and he will get you involved in how it’s done.

September 27, 2016 Rising to Global Leadership Challenges
Brigadier General John S. Kem, Provost of U.S. Army University, and Alum of the Kellogg School of Management

Join Brigadier General John S. Kem (Kellogg ’94, McCormick ’95) for an evening devoted to the subject of leadership in a complex world. In this session you will learn how the United States Army meets global challenges while navigating the complexities of competing stakeholders. Discover how strategic priorities such as leadership development, education, and commitment to values and professionalism keep the all-volunteer Army the most highly-trained and capable land force in the world, and how your organization can benefit from similar practices and ideas.

September 20, 2016 Mindfulness: Developing Focus, Clarity and Resilience to Succeed in Today’s Workplace
Mary Beth Leisen, Ph.D., of Leisen Consulting and The Potential Project

With our high-pressure, information overloaded, distracting work environments, managing attention is now the single most important determinant of business success. Companies like McKinsey, Google, Nike, Sony, GE, and Intel use corporate-based mindfulness training to excel and innovate even under these demanding conditions. Join us to learn the neuroscience foundations and simple practices of mindfulness.

June 21, 2016 A Consultant's View on Developing Strategy in an era of Disruption and Uncertainty
Peter Skarzynski, Director of Global Strategy and Innovation at Deloitte

One of the senior leader’s most important roles is to set and implement strategy. All too often, however, the challenge lies in creating compelling strategies that drive true value creation. In this interactive session, Peter Skarzynski will share practical frameworks, principles, and process through which leading organizations develop and act on strategies. You will learn:

  • An overview of a comprehensive process for creating business unit and enterprise strategy
  • Examples of specific frameworks and approaches to help ensure your strategy creates value for customers, internal stakeholders and shareholders
  • Roles of the CEO and leadership team in developing and implementing strategy
  • What you can do - and pitfalls to avoid - to make your strategy actionable

June 14, 2016 Engineering Mindfulness: Training your attention to embrace uncertainty
Joe Holtgreive, Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of Personal Development, McCormick

How does our increasing reliance on technology affect our ability to confidently navigate uncertainty? Ever lose your GPS connection and wonder in panic if you still even own a map? At such challenging moments, when it matters most, your mindset determines your performance – and it is a trainable skill. Join McCormick School of Engineering’s Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of Personal Development Joe Holtgreive for an interactive session exploring the science of self-management and ways of training your attention to respond effectively in uncertain situations. You will come away with strategies and techniques for improving the quality of your attention, equipping you to respond productively and perform better during moments of intense uncertainty.

June 7, 2016 Executive Time Allocation
Nicola Persico, John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences, Director of the Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics & Management

There’s never enough time in the day—or is there? Leaders understand they must focus their time and that of others appropriately to drive outcomes; however, they often overstate how efficiently they are doing so. Learn the science behind time allocation in the workplace, and how to leverage your time for optimal results. You’ll understand how executives allocate the minutes in their days, and how to identify the psychological traits that correlate with your own time management style.

May 24, 2016 The Malleable Mind: Brain Science in the 21st Century
Robin Nusslock, Assistant Professor at the Weinberg College of Arts and Science – Psychology Department

The Malleable Mind: Brain Science in the 21st Century Are you stuck with the brain you have, or does your brain change based on your experiences? The outdated answer is that your brain is unchanging, but new evidence suggests the parts of the brain governing mental agility, memory, and emotion are more adaptable than was previously believed. Join Professor Robin Nusslock for an engaging session about this work and implications for mental and physical well-being as well as maximizing personal and professional potential.

May 17, 2016 Strategy Implementation
Matt O'Rourke, Vice President of Commercial Planning and Development, Power Solutions; Johnson Controls, Inc.

Senior leaders have the ultimate responsibility: implementing strategy to help their organizations and people reach their objectives. However, this can prove a daunting task as goals change and new obstacles arise. Agility in implementation is essential to taking strategic plans from vision to reality.

In this session, we will get to the heart of what an agile strategic leader looks like. We will delve into the lessons learned when facing potential pitfalls and how to navigate these challenges in a complex business environment.

May 10, 2016 Courageous Empathy
Mark Achler, Adjunct Lecturer of Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management

We usually filter experience through the prisms of our own internal world and “known truths,” which prevents us from truly understanding the needs of customers and other key stakeholders. Learn the skills of courageous empathy to glean essential nuances of what your customers say, and more importantly, how they act and why that matters. Join Professor and Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners Mark Achler for a compelling exploration of how to learn your customers’ true needs through the “secret weapon” of courageous empathy.

May 3, 2016 Staying Ahead of Your Napster: How the re-invention of the music industry can inspire new approaches to marketing strategy
John Greene, Senior Partner, Chief Strategy Officer; Translation, LLC

The fifteen years since the launch of Napster have eviscerated what we once knew as the music industry. In the face of this free-fall, innovators within the music industry have had to re-think every aspect of their approach to marketing strategy. The scary truth every business executive must acknowledge is that any industry can be swiftly and devastatingly Napster-ed.

In this session we will examine the how insights from re-invention of the music industry can inspire any industry to stay ahead of their Napster. With specific case examples and tangible tools, this session will illuminate new ways of thinking and give attendees pragmatic ways of applying this new thinking to their companies.

April 19, 2016 Rising to Global Leadership Challenges
Major General Daniel Karbler, Commanding General of the United States Army

Join Major General Daniel L. Karbler for an evening devoted to the subject of leadership in a complex world. In today's complex marketplace, leaders must ensure their organizations prepared to take advantage of emerging opportunities and meet demands around the globe. In this session, you will learn how the United States Army meets global challenges while navigating the complexities of competing stakeholders. Discover how strategic priorities such as leadership development, operational testing of new equipment, and commitment to values and professionalism keep the All-Volunteer Army the most highly-trained and capable land force in the world, and how your organization can benefit from similar practices and ideas.

April 12, 2016 Getting Diverse Stakeholders Buy-in for Innovation
Klaus Weber, Associate Professor, Management & Organizations

To create something new, executives must orchestrate the collaboration of diverse stakeholders inside and outside the organization. The “new” may be the development and commercialization of innovative products or driving organizational change. A frequent barrier to stakeholder buy-in is how innovation and change are communicated. The problem is less about agreement but about talking past each other. The session offers a way to effectively segment stakeholders according to seven fundamental mindsets about business. We then draw out implications for getting diverse stakeholders to support innovations.

April 5, 2016 Design Thinking Mini Boot Camp
Liz Gerber, Associate Professor of Design, School of Engineering, Kellogg School of Management (by courtesy)

Ready to drive innovation in your organization? Interested in understanding your customers more deeply to discover unexpected opportunities in the marketplace? Eager to generate better ideas with your team and quickly learn what works and doesn't work? Join Design Thinking Mini Boot Camp: an intensive, experiential workshop. Professor and Design for America Founder Liz Gerber will lead this fast-paced, evidence-based workshop for leaders.


December 8, 2015 Online Learning:  Implications for the Future
Candy Lee, Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Northwestern University

As interest in self-directed learning grows, online learning in many forms has exploded as a global phenomenon, introducing new kinds of complexity.  For example, how is digital-only learning faring in environments where face-to-face learning is an integral part of the organization's value proposition?  A new world of concepts arises, too, from “asynchronous” to “blended” learning, which mean different things to different stakeholders.  What is a “flipped classroom," for example, why has this concept emerged, and with what consequences?  Join Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications Professor Candy Lee as she explores the current and emerging state of online learning and its implications for the future, in the workplace as well as the classroom.

November 17, 2015 Consumer Neuroscience: The brain’s reward system as a source of market intelligence
Neal Roese, John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management

Neuroscience may capture market intelligence invisible to other means, but misinformation and over claiming abound. This session conveys the current scientific understanding of the brain’s reward system, what current neuroscience can and cannot offer, and which future breakthroughs may help shape marketing.

November 10, 2015 Making Better Decisions: Why You Need Analytics Now
Joel Shapiro, Clinical Associate Professor and Executive Director for the Program on Data Analytics at the Kellogg School of Management

Join Professor Joel Shapiro for a session about how analytics can help you ask the right questions, understand what works, and better allocate scarce resources. By developing an early-stage strategy around analytics, you can more quickly identify and nurture opportunities that lead to success. This session will provide a framework and examples for how to ask smart questions and use analytics to drive business success.

November 3, 2015 Behavioral Design: A Framework For Taking People Where They Are Reluctant To Go
Loran Nordgren, Associate Professor of Management & Organizations

Human behavior doesn’t occur in a vacuum; it is carried out in a rich, complicated environment. Changing even small features of the environment can have a profound influence on how people think and act. Join Professor Loran Nordgren for an evening dedicated to an exploration of behavioral design. Behavioral design is the practice of changing behavior by altering the physical and mental landscape. Drawing on insights from the fields of psychology, behavioral economics, and evolutionary biology, this session will present a variety of tools you can use to change the habits of your employees, customers, and even yourself.
October 20, 2015 The SPARK session with Professor Robin Nusslock has been rescheduled(future date TBD)

The Malleable Mind: Brain Science in the 21st Century

Robin Nusslock, Assistant Professor at the Weinberg College of Arts and Science - Psychology Department

Are you stuck with the brain you have, or does your brain change based on your experiences? The outdated answer is that your brain is unchanging, but new evidence suggests the parts of the brain governing mental agility, memory, and emotion are more adaptable than was previously believed. Join Professor Robin Nusslock for an engaging session about this work and implications for mental and physical well being as well as maximizing personal and professional potential.

October 13, 2015 Harnessing Your Inner Chimp: Using Insights from Evolutionary Biology to Enhance Leadership
Jon Maner, Professor of Management & Organizations

Both good and bad forms of leadership behavior reflect underlying motives (including the desire for power and the desire for respect) that are deeply rooted in our primate history. In this session, Professor Maner will explain how harnessing this knowledge can help you be a better leader, increase the performance of your organization, and enhance your relationships with others.
October 6, 2015 Uniquely Human Leadership
Adam Waytz, Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations

What most distinguishes humans from other animals is not language, logic, or emotion, but rather the capacity to transcend the here and now. We are more capable than any other species of mentally traveling back in time, imagining what it would be like to be in a distant geographical location, projecting ourselves into another person’s mind, or conjuring up a hypothetical reality. In fact, the human brain contains a network of neural regions — the “default” network — specifically dedicated to this process of transcendence, and this network is unlike that of any other animal’s brain. Despite this capacity for transcendence, our decision-making is bound to the here and now, often producing suboptimal outcomes. In this session we'll explore the importance for leadership of four essential features of transcendence — mental time travel, spatial projection, perspective-taking, and counterfactual thinking — for effective leadership, and how to avoid getting stuck in the here and now.
September 29, 2015 The Theater of Leadership Communication
Professor Cindy Gold, Northwestern University Theatre and Drama

Join actor and director Professor Cindy Gold for an interactive session on leadership communication.  Using theatrical character psychology, language, and movement, Professor Gold will explore how we can “read” each other for effective interaction.
September 22, 2015 AMBITION: Is your definition of success helping or hurting you?
Lisa Fortini Campbell, Adjunct Professor of Executive Education

We are ambitious in our work and we should be. Ambition is the powerful and necessary engine that drives us to strive for greater and greater achievements. But what happens to us if we don't achieve all we are striving for? And, just as importantly, what happens to us if we do? Join Lisa Fortini-Campbell for a session to reflect on the seldom-considered implications of our ambition to achieve and explore how by reframing our definition of success and failure we can find an otherwise elusive equilibrium in our work that will sustain us throughout the ups and downs of our careers.
September 15, 2015 Unleash Your Narrative Intelligence
Esther Choy, President and Chief Facilitator, Leadership Story Lab

Everyday opportunities abound and they beg us to tell stories. “Tell me about your work,” a colleague might ask. How would you respond?

You can enhance your leadership effectiveness and ability to influence by telling brief and compelling stories. Join Esther Choy for this interactive SPARK presentation to unleash your narrative intelligence, learn the fundamental structure and elements of stories, and, as an example leave with a working draft of your response to, “What did you learn at Kellogg?”

June 9, 2015 The Vital Interplay of Business and Lawmaking
Brad Schneider, Former U.S. Representative, Illinois 10th Congressional District

Join Brad Schneider for an insider's view on the interaction between business and lawmaking, exploring the impact each has on the other. Gain insight into the legislative process, and examine how business executives can engage effectively on national policy matters.
June 2, 2015
When Norms Collide: Doing Business when the Relationship Matters
Eli J. Finkel, Professor of Psychology at Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Management & Organizations at Kellogg School of Management

In principle, there's a clear distinction between the sorts of communal norms we have with friends and family and the sort of exchange norms we have with coworkers and business contacts. In practice, the distinction gets blurry, which poses complex challenges. This presentation reviews the science of communal and exchange norms and offers guidance on dealing with situations when the line between them gets blurry.
May 19, 2015
The Improv Toolkit: A New Model For Leadership
Mark Sutton, Artistic Director of Training and Development, and Tom Yorton, CEO of Second City Works

Join Mark Sutton and Tom Yorton for an evening dedicated to leadership through improvisation. Long-time executives of The Second City show how the seven elements of improv can help all kinds of organizations and leaders build the toolkit they’ll need to meet reality head on. The Improv Toolkit  helps to increase creativity, collaboration, an teamwork, and foster skills in high-potential leaders and their teams. 

The interactive session will feature Co-author and CEO of Second City Works, Tom Yorton, with Second City trained facilitator and Artistic Director of Training and Development, Mark Sutton. The session will include live exercises demonstrating the tenets of improvisation and how they can be used in executive professional settings.

May 12, 2015
Meaningful Social Metrics
Rick Wion, Senior Director, Consumer Engagement at Kellogg's

Join Rick Wion for an evening dedicated to social metrics. The rise of digital and social media has brought with it a tidal wave of new KPIs and terabytes of deeply insightful yet at other times useless customer data. Is all this information making companies smarter and more agile or just further annoying customers with unending torrents of digital spam in the quest to determine the ROI of a Like? Join us for a lively discussion with a leading hands-on social media executive.
April 28, 2015 Marketing Communications - How Digital is Changing (and not changing) the Game
Kevin McTigue, Group Strategy Director, Razorfish and  Adjunct Lecturer of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management

Join Kevin McTigue for an evening dedicated to digital marketing communications. Digital marketing enables many capabilities in terms of targeting, engaging, informing, and measuring, but they are generally still just tools that need to be grounded in thoughtful strategy.  In this session we will examine how current trends are intersecting with fundamental marketing concepts, and discuss what makes for great marketing communications online and off.

April 21, 2015 Leading in a Complex World
Lieutenant General Anthony R. Ierardi, Lieutenant General of the United States Army

Join Lieutenant General Anthony R. Ierardi for an evening devoted to the subject of leading in a complex world. In today's complex marketplace, organizations must be prepared to take advantage of emerging opportunities and meet demand around the globe. In this session, you will learn how the United States Army meets the challenges of the future security environment while navigating the complexities of competing stakeholders. Discover how strategic priorities such as leadership development, managing organizational change, and commitment to values and professionalism keep the All-Volunteer Army the most highly-trained and capable land force in the world, and how other organizations benefit from similar practices and ideas.

April 14, 2015 Unleashing the Authentic Self
Peter Himmelman, Big Muse CEO, Dream Enabler, and Grammy & Emmy award nominee

Join Peter Himmelman for an evening dedicated to creativity and the authentic self. Using live music, storytelling and hands-on audience involvement, Peter’s Big Muse workshop has helped leaders and teams from companies like Gap, McDonalds, and United Health Group discover novel -- yet practical-- ways to become more creative, more expressive and better able to succeed in their day to day challenges.

March 31, 2015 Communication Creates Growth
Teri Goudie, Communications Consultant & Founder of Goudie Media Services

Join Teri Goudie for an evening dedicated to communication. Communication creates growth when leaders learn how to strengthen their core skills in a personal, practical and relevant way. Learn how to put big ideas into a few well-selected words in this interactive session with Teri Goudie, of Goudie Media Services. You will learn Goudie's five-step approach to turn words into action for presentations, media interviews, teleconferences, meetings and email.


 November 18, 2014 Strategy Beyond Markets: Changing the rules of the competitive game
Nicola Persico, Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences

A company’s competitive position in a market is influenced by "rules of the game:” laws, regulations, and implicit norms of behavior. Antitrust legislation, product liability laws, and privacy norms are but a few of such rules. In this session we will explore a strategic framework for how successful companies excel at reacting to and even influencing these rules.

November 11, 2014 Executive Presence: Deconstructing "Gravitas"
Brooke Vuckovic, Lecturer of Leadership Coaching

In this session, we will deconstruct what is most commonly referred to as executive presence and “gravitas." Participants will actively work to diagnose the common issues they see in the workplace. By the end of this session, participants will have a set of tools and strategies they can use in giving (and receiving!) feedback in this arena.

October 14, 2014 Incentives: Friend or Foe?
Jim Woodrum, Clinical Assistant Professor of Executive Education

Whether it is stock incentives for the CEO, commissions for the sales force, or a $5 gift card for filling out a survey, incentives are everywhere. While it is clear that the existence of an incentive changes behavior, it is not always clear these are positive changes. In this session Professor Woodrum will discuss why some incentives actually backfire and what you can do to make sure you get what you pay for.

October 7, 2014 Leading Without Authority
Tim Feddersen, Wendell Hobbs Professor of Managerial Politics

Professor Feddersen will discuss his recent research on how crisis decision-making breeds new leaders when there is no formal authority. The workshop will involve a simulation and discussion of how these concepts apply to real crisis and emergency situations.

September 30, 2014 Engaging Policy: How Business Executives can Influence Policy
Jan Eberly, James R. and Helen D. Russell Professor of Finance

There is enormous interplay between business and the public interest such as making investments that drive growth and paying taxes that fund public activities. On the other hand, the public sector invests in infrastructure and research and adjudicates the law to support the private sector. How can business leaders play a constructive role in these interactions? We’ll explore the ways that business engages with government, and how leaders can facilitate good policy.

September 23, 2014 Leading a Marketing Transformation in a Time of Crisis
Eric T. Anderson, Hartmarx Professor of Marketing, Chair of Marketing Department, Director of the Center for Global Marketing Practice

Professor Anderson will lead a discussion on how a marketing strategy can transform a value-chain eco-system. This session will feature the new Kellogg case on the transformation of Nascar and how the leadership handled substantial marketing and organizational challenges in the process.

September 16, 2014 Strategies for Shared Value
Jamie Jones, Innovation Advisor, RTI International

Despite more companies embracing and investing in corporate social responsibility strategies, the private sector is increasingly blamed for society's failures. This eroding trust in business has led to the enactment of public policies that undermine economic growth. This session will discuss how shared value strategies, models for simultaneously creating economic and societal value help break this cycle. The session will include a framework for why firms engage in shared value strategies.

June 24, 2014 The Mindful Leader
Alison Niederkorn, Associate Director, Ford Center, Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences; J. L. Kellogg School of Management

Mindfulness practices are growing in popularity among leading executives and Fortune 500 companies. This workshop will provide an overview of applications, explore the relationship to our demand for increased cognitive agility in the workplace, and give participants exposure to a variety of practices that enhance clarity in thinking, intuitive sensibilities, concentration, and stress relief. Comfortable clothing recommended.

June 17, 2014 Data Analytics
Florian Zettelmeyer, Nancy L. Ertle Professor of Marketing and
Faculty Director of Program on Data Analytics at Kellogg, KMCI

Two data scientists present contradictory conclusions:  One idea leads to breakthrough success, the other to failure.  Many executives think big data and analytics is best left to the technicians, but doing so can lead to misinterpretations and mistaken decisions.  Big data is a managerial responsibility, and executives armed with a working knowledge of data science will be more effective leaders.   In this session Professor Florian Zettelmeyer will explain why it’s essential—and easier than you think—for smart executives to learn the basics.

June 10, 2014 Social Construction of Knowledge
Sandy Goldberg, Professor and Department Chair of Philosophy

This session will discuss how knowledge differs from mere opinion or belief, and how one can assess his or her own capacity for it. We will apply this framework to knowledge in the individual, knowledge in social settings, and “communal” or “collective” knowledge. This will show how the phenomenon of knowledge in social or communal settings complicates our answers to these questions.

May 20, 2014 Storytelling: An Ancient Art Made for the 21st Century
Rives Collins, Associate Professor of Theater

The ancient art of storytelling is experiencing an extraordinary renaissance in the 21st century. This talk will examine the global roots of this folk art form and explore its contemporary applications in such fields as medicine, law, business, education, parenting and grandparenting. We will explore the power of stories as we learn from the past and look to the future.

May 13, 2014 Improv Skills for Executive Leadership
Geoff Tarson, Radio, TV & Film Lecturer

In this interactive session you will learn - and practice - improvisational skills for executives.  By working together and honing your own instincts, you become more adept at moving conversations forward, collaborating with others, and fostering creativity.

May 6, 2014 Communicating for Change
Shana Carroll, Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Communication

As leaders we are faced with constant pressure to improve, innovate and adapt.  While we can’t guarantee successful advancement, we have the power to engage others to support and drive change.  In this session we’ll focus on the critical role leadership communication plays in the change process and identify strategies to move your team and organization forward.

April 29, 2014 Leadership Autobiography
Professor Leigh Thompson

In this interactive, session, we will explore the purpose of leadership stories - what they say about us and how they affect our teams and organizations and even how they affect our psychological and physical well-being.  We dispel the notion that leadership stories are about changing the world and achieving the extraordinary and are, instead, about having an impact on one person at a time.

April 15, 2014 Whole-Brain Persuasion
Steve Franconeri, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology

Too often, important ideas fail to gain traction. Learn how to assure that your ideas become implemented realities using the power of visual persuasion. Anchored in the latest research on cognitive psychology, this session identifies strategies for using compelling visuals to engage your colleagues and customers, make your message stick, and inspire action.

April 8, 2014 Lifestyle Branding: The New Frontier of Competitive Differentiation
Alex Chernev, Professor of Marketing

Lifestyle branding has become an increasingly common approach among executives, especially in categories in which functional differences are hard to maintain. Lifestyle positioning may be a way to break free of the cutthroat competition within a product category by connecting with consumers on a more personal level, deeply connecting products to consumers' sense of identity. In this session we will explore whether this strategic positioning pays off, or whether firms simply end up trading competition within a category for even fiercer competition at the lifestyle-level. We will conclude with implications for marketing strategies.

March 18, 2014 Mind the Gaps: Catalyzing Intergenerational Collaboration
Nicholas Pearce, Clinical Assistant Professor

This session will equip leaders with practical strategies and peer-to-peer insights to motivate, integrate, and strategically leverage individuals across the generational divides.

February 25, 2014 Manufacturing Renaissance
Hal Sirkin, Adjunct Professor

Join Professor Hal Sirkin for an evening dedicated to the manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. You'll explore the impact of seismic shifts in manufacturing, sourcing, distribution, and access to natural resources on global competitiveness. Learn why you need to pay attention to reshoring, industrial agglomeration and soft costs for your business strategy.

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208