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Jeff DeGraff

Creator & Analyst - The Next Idea

Jeff DeGraff got his nickname, the Dean of Innovation, because of his influence on the field. DeGraff is Clinical Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Jeff’s research and writing focuses on leading innovation. He is the author of several books. His public television program Innovation You introduced his ideas about innovation to viewers across America.

Jeff’s opinions on contemporary business matters are covered by Fortune, Wired and the Wall Street Journal to name a few. Jeff writes a syndicated column on leading innovation for Inc. magazine.

Professor DeGraff is the creator of the Certified Professional Innovator Program at the University of Michigan. This certificate program develops innovation leaders through an integrated curriculum and practicum of assessments, on-line modules, project jumpstarts and coaching.

DeGraff founded a leading innovation institute, Innovatrium, with labs in Ann Arbor and Atlanta. He has consulted with hundreds of the world’s most prominent firms and has developed a broad array of widely used innovation methodologies and tools. You can follow Jeff on his LinkedIn Influencer column.

Learn more about Jeff and his work here.

Gage Skidmore / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

You may have missed it, but last summer Walmart got into some hot water with the Federal Trade Commission for its"Made in the U.S.A.” campaign. According the FTC, for a company to make that claim, all of a product’s components must be manufactured and assembled in the United States.

In a globally integrated supply chain, how do you determine if something is “made” in a country?

STEVE CARMODY / Michigan Radio

The Next Idea

With all the talk of reforming health care, what if we are missing the bigger picture?

What if all this emotional debate about whether to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was a waste of time?

fhwrdh / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Thirty years ago, University of Chicago Professor Allan Bloom published The Closing of the American Mind. The book deconstructed higher education’s failure to prepare students with the knowledge necessary to lead enlightened lives. Bloom’s emphasis on reading the Great Books was met with adulation by conservatives, who viewed it as a declaration of traditional values, and with condemnation by progressives who thought the work was a perpetuation of social class inequities.

Clinton Steeds / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

It’s said necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Innovation is often born out of crisis or conflict – a war, a pandemic or a financial crash.  Sometimes the conflict can be constructive, like the invention of a new miracle drug. And sometimes the conflict can be destructive, like, for instance, a contentious election.