Engineering Leadership SIG: Building an Organization that Fosters Creativity and Innovation



  • Topic: 

    Building an Organization that Fosters Creativity and Innovation

    Presented by: 

     Kimberly Wiefling

    Many companies that were successful 100 years ago no longer exist. (The average company in the US lasts 15 years.) Trapped by their own success, they gradually learn to reduce risk, avoid mistakes and failure at all costs, and consequently squelch or kill innovation and creativity. This makes them vulnerable to global competition from new or more aggressive companies with less to lose. Oddly enough, the most successful companies are the most vulnerable, as their very success can lead to an inability to recognize and adjust to shifts in the environment. This phenomenon has been described in detail in books like Clayton Christensen’s “The Innovator’s Dilemma” and Jim Collin’s “How the Mighty Fall”.

    This presentation will explore the biggest barriers to breakthroughs in an organization, and include practical discussions of ways to promote risk taking, thinking differently, and sparking innovative thinking in our organizations.


    • What is Creativity?
    • Relationship of Creativity to Innovation
    • Barriers to Creativity and Innovation
    • Building Environments that Foster Creativity and Innovation

    Kimberly Wieflingpresident of Wiefling Consulting, enables teams to achieve what seems impossible, but is merely difficult. She regularly facilitates workshops on creativity, innovation, leadership, team effectiveness, and execution excellence globally.

    Kimberly has worked with people from over 50 different countries, in companies ranging from startups to the Global 1000. A physicist by education, she began her career with 10 years at HP in product development program management and engineering leadership. She then spent 3 years growing Silicon Valley startups, including a Xerox Parc spinoff where she was the VP of Program Management and Organizational Effectiveness.

    In the past 7 years she’s worked mainly with the globalizing Japanese companies. In 2007 she wrote what became a very popular project management book, Scrappy Project Management - The 12 Predictable and Avoidable Pitfalls Every Project Faces”, also published in Japanese by Nikkei Business Press. Kimberly is a force of nature - a menace to mediocrity on a mission that matters. She’s determined to transform Planet Earth for the better one inspired and engaged team at a time.

    SNACK SPONSOR: UCSC Extension Project Management Program

    UCSC Extension Silicon Valley’s renowned Project Management program is the region’s only credential fully recognized by the American Academy of Project Management. It offers the latest methods, tailored to the demands of Silicon Valley industries, with skill-based, practical instruction taught by recognized experts in the field. The PPM certificate can be completed in 12 months or less, and fully prepares you for the PMP certification exam, or to pursue the Master Project Manager credential. Select courses are also recognized for master's degree credit. The entire program is available at our convenient Santa Clara location and online. Learn more at

    ONGOING MANAGEMENT SPONSOR: Project Connections is our EL SIG Management Sponsor. is dedicated to practically and affordably supporting inpiduals as they do their jobs day-to-day and helping them grow their management abilities and careers. We also provide management development and support resources to organizations, through group subscriptions, methodology content licenses, on-demand virtual training programs, virtual coaching, and more - all to help managers improve how critical project work gets done, and to help grow the capabilities of everyone on their staffs and teams.

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    6:15 - 7:00 Early arrival recommended! 

    6:30 - 7:00 Registration / Checkin 

    6:30 - 7:00 Enjoy wine, beer, cheese, fruit, snacks, pizza, soda and networking 

    6:31 - 6:59 Engineering Leadership Peer-2-Peer Roundtable 

    7:00 - 7:10 Introduction and opening announcements 

    7:10 - 8:25 Keynote and Q&A 

    8:25 - 8:30 Closing announcements 

    8:30 - 8:45 Informal networking and followup Q&A 

    8:45 - 8:50 Clean up - please leave the room beautiful 

    8:50 - 9:00 Clear the room & have a safe trip home!