Be the lion tamer: manage the chaos of creativity

A 60 minute Keynote by:

Jon Kolko

GE Aviation

Slides from session

The slides used for this session are available to download from here.

About this Keynote

We look with longing at companies like Uber, AirBNB and Apple, comparing our company culture and our products. Our companies are conservative, risk averse and downright scared. Why can't we be like those cool and creative companies, known for their culture and idolised for shipping great products?

Creativity is the difference between a staid operational organisation and an innovation powerhouse. Any company can be transformed into a creative leader. But managing creativity is like taming a lion — it takes practice, courage and a little bit of crazy.

In this keynote, I'll describe how you can let the lion loose in your company and emerge unscathed, shipping great products in a cool, creative environment. You'll learn how to:

  • build a process that rejects requirements and embraces constraints in order to empower teams to take strategic risks
  • use framing to establish creative alignment and solve the right problem
  • work through bad ideas to get to great innovations
  • build a culture of constructive criticism

Along the way, you'll see examples of organisations that have let the lion of creativity roam their halls. You'll learn the language and methods necessary to start changing your own culture. And most importantly, you'll learn to tame the lion and manage the chaos of creativity in order to create products people love.

About the Speaker

Jon Kolko is the Executive Director of Product Design at GE Aviation. Prior to this, he was the Vice President of Design at Blackboard, the largest educational software company in the world. He joined Blackboard with the acquisition of MyEdu, a startup focused on helping students succeed in college and get jobs.

Jon is also the founder and director of the Austin Center for Design. His work focuses on helping design students develop autonomy through making. He has worked extensively with both startups and Fortune 500 companies, and he's most interested in humanising educational technology.


Listen to the interview