14.0 Why It Works: Kirsten Richert on Innovation


Have you ever wished you were more creative? Do you roll your eyes at the mere mention of another corporate innovation event? Ever wonder why some ideas are met with accolades and resources while others are sent to the Island of Misfit Toys?

In today's episode of "Why It Works," Kirsten Richert, CEO of Richert Innovation Consulting reveals some of the hidden mechanisms behind why Innovation works. We explore how breaking Functional Fixedness is key, what it means that "your mind is inside your body," and the dark side of innovation.

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"What if there was a way to fire the imagination of 
your people and focus it on taking effective action?"


Kirsten Richert

Kirsten Richert is CEO of Richert Innovation Consulting, a firm that brings together strategy and innovation to help leaders spark change. Drawing upon her experience in three core disciplines—business management, ideation, and facilitation—Kirsten utilizes fail-safe methods that have been successfully used in many corporate and nonprofit environments as practical and effective approaches to creativity, innovation, and problem solving.

Formerly Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Pearson, the world’s leading educational textbook publisher, Kirsten oversaw the creation of breakthrough “digital-first” K-12 curriculum. Trained as a corporate on-call innovation coach, she helped teams plan new efforts, generate ideas, and execute on strategies.

Now an innovation catalyst, Kirsten leads change efforts for organizations, especially in the areas of education and human development. Kirsten facilitates strategic planning processes for corporations, departments, startups, and nonprofits. She conducted the Strategic Plan process for the evolution of The Community Chest, 80+ year old respected nonprofit funder, which received unanimous Board approval. Kirsten also runs Think Tanks that openly, safely, and energetically engage diverse communities in thinking about an organization’s goals and initiatives. For example, the Barat Foundation’s Think Tank produced a new marketing story for their public art programming. She assists organizations with Board development, including trainings and retreats. Kirsten recently facilitated the Board Retreat for the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking that focused on roles, responsibilities, and organizational structure.

Kirsten received her undergraduate degree in Social Science from Hampshire College, her master’s degree in Education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and her training in innovation and facilitation methods from SIT (Systematic Inventive Thinking) and ToP (Technology of Participation). She teaches Design Thinking and Communication and Innovation at Pratt Institute, Management at Montclair State University School of Business, and Leadership at Fordham University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership.

email: kirsten@richertinnovation.com

phone: 201.563.0505

website: richertinnovation.com



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For you, the listeners of WHY IT WORKS, Audible is offering a FREE audiobook with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service.

A great book to go with this episode is How the Body Knows Its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel, by Sian Beilock. Learn now the mind-body connection is more like a circuit than a one-way street and why that’s important.

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Opening features the song "Morning" by Cambo Smith, available under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial License.

Recommendation segment features the song "Delta" by Moonove, under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 International License

Closing features the song "Siesta" by Jahzzar under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.