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Recordings and Materials from the 2013 User Interface 18 Conference

Headshot photo of Scott Berkun

Innovating on a Deadline

Scott Berkun

Exceptional designers aren’t just creative thinkers; they also work to understand the business and people around them. Learn to showcase your ambitions in powerful new ways.

Start by dispelling the myths about innovation and avoiding common mistakes people make when doing creative work. You’ll gain a ton of confidence about how to discover ideas.


Invent and develop persuasive ideas

  • Why creative thinking is hard and what your brain does when you try to do imaginative work
  • The history of invention, including stories of famous inventions people don’t know about
  • Common ways that ideas get killed and how to protect yourself from them

Lead fluid projects and manage egos

  • Techniques to innovate on a deadline, and how others build experimentation into their timelines
  • Common situations creative project leaders encounter and how to overcome them
  • Ways to manage talented people — even those with strong egos — on aggressive schedules


Evaluate business risks creatively

  • How to pitch a big project by convincing stakeholders that it’s worth the risk
  • The importance of proactively finding alternatives with similar payoffs but less risk
  • Common charts used to describe innovation, including their strengths and flaws

Chart realistic paths that fit your organization

  • Which kinds of roles you can play on innovative projects (based on your comfort level)
  • The difference between being good and being ambitious
  • Where to find risk-taking partners who think about business, creative, and engineering

You’ll have a team of innovators in no time

Persuade the people who enable innovations

Have a great idea but no time to build it? Persuading others to approve new ideas and work them into the schedule takes savvy business techniques, which you’re about to get.

Get unstuck

Knowing the fallacies about how innovation happens is one way to avoid spinning your wheels. Get the foundation you need to ideate, then protect young concepts so they can truly grow.

Become an awesome leader

Great team leads and managers know how to balance competing interests, respect talented people for their strengths, and make businesses grow through creativity. You can be this.

You'll learn how to:

  • Ask for what your team needs in order to do innovative work
  • Develop a toolkit for both design work and creative work
  • Invent ideas and develop them
  • Keep your own ego in check
  • Overcome change resistance (the Innovator’s Dilemma)
  • Get comfortable making business and engineering decisions

4 Practical Takeaways from Scott’s Workshop

More successful research and development projects

Fuse creativity and invention with a common goal: validate ideas early, then ignite them.

Empowered people

Expertly manage the diverse personalities and business practicalities of creative projects.

No excuses

Things can be the way you imagine. Weigh the risks of innovation to help persuade others.

A more creative culture

Foster a thriving environment where talented, passionate, risk-aware people can truly innovate.

This workshop includes several hands-on exercises.

You’ll work individually and in groups on a creative thinking exercise to define a new company, then generate different ideas of features you could build to support that company.

Scott Berkun, Pitch Perfectionist

@berkun on Twitter

As you’ll soon see for yourself, when Scott Berkun speaks, people listen. That’s one reason why he’s become such a change agent for companies who need change agents in their ranks — after all, innovation is essential to success.

So Scott has become the go-to coach for helping teams be more innovative. His approach includes practical techniques that span business, creative, engineering, and marketing — which you’re about to learn first-hand.

Fair warning: make sure your socks are on extra tight.

We’ve been reading what Scott’s been writing since 2003 — more than 1,400 blog posts and four books, including the recent “Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds.” He’s worked at Microsoft (on IE 1.0) and Automattic (on WordPress), but now he’s back to writing and speaking full-time.

Great news for us — and you.