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Friday Seminar 6:  Driving Innovation in Organizations by Fostering Effective Change

Friday, April 20, 2018
3:00pm – 6:00pm
Ontario Room


Sam Hunter, Penn State University
Lily Cushenbery, Stony Brook University


Bart Weathington, WECO Solutions


Sustainable, novel, and useful change is important, however, natural bias against new things may inhibit innovation. We’ll discuss highs and lows of generating breakthrough ideas and managing the failures that lead to them. This interactive session will cover the latest research and provide practical, evidence-based guidelines for enhancing innovation.

Full Description:

We will use a mix of discussion, case studies, and interactive simulations to introduce key concepts for understanding the process of innovation. We’ll start by defining innovation and provide examples of creative products and processes. Next, we’ll do an idea generation task to illustrate divergent thinking. We’ll then move on to the organizational barriers and individual biases that inhibit innovation and provide suggestions for how to address them. We’ll end with a demonstration of leading change, and provide some practical suggestions for gaining support for innovation.

Intended Audience:

This session is intended for a general audience at a post-graduate level. I-O Psychologists, HR practitioners, managers, or anyone interested in improving their ability to lead change, develop new ideas, and think creatively will benefit from this session.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and explain the factors that allow us to be successful in leading change
  • Describe and discuss strategies for addressing organizational setbacks and failures in innovative pursuits in the workplace
  • Create a work environment that encourages innovation and creative products.
  • Demonstrate innovation through interactive simulations and case studies.

Presenter Biographies:

Dr. Sam Hunter is an Associate Professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Penn State University. His research interests are categorized into two broad, yet overlapping, domains: leadership and innovation management.  Within the area of leadership, current interests revolve around understanding differing pathways and styles of leading as well as shared leadership with a particular focus on dual leadership. Within the area of innovation, his interests focus on the enhancement and development of innovation in the workplace. Across both areas, he takes a multilevel perspective to understanding and investigating relevant constructs. Secondary interests include: teams, leading unique workforce populations, organizational climate, alternative research methods, and destructive leadership. His work has been published in outlets such as the American Psychologist, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Research Methods, Leadership QuarterlyJournal of Creative Behavior, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior. Dr. Hunter has collaborated with a number of industry partners, including Google, Del Monte, Lockheed Martin, Epic Games, NATO, DDI and Johnson & Johnson. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research and the UK Home Office. His work has been featured on a number of news outlets, including CNN, USA Today, Yahoo News, Fortune Magazine, Inc.com, Fastcompany, and MSN. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Oklahoma in 2007.

Dr. Lily Cushenbery is an Assistant Professor of Management at Stony Brook University and the director of the Leadership & Creativity Research Lab. Her work in leadership, innovation, and conflict applies science-based approaches to practical organizational problems. Her research focuses on 1) the process by which leaders overcome failures and 2) the dynamics of innovative teams. Her primary research examines the consequences of leader mistakes and mistake recovery on leader-follower relationships. Her innovation research includes constructs such as team member influence, team climate, and malevolence. Dr. Cushenbery’s consulting clients include the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Del Monte Foods, Big Heart Pet Brands, PNC Bank, and Gold Coast Bank. Prior to joining Stony Brook, Dr. Cushenbery was a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Terrorism, where she studied the process of terrorist deradicalization for a grant from the Office of Naval Research. She received a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Penn State University.

Coordinator: Bart Weathington, WECO Solutions


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