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Diana Kander Missouri
Photo of Diana Kander

Diana Kander's family escaped from the Soviet Union when she was 8-years-old. By the time she was an American citizen, she had perfected her skills as a capitalist - selling flea market goods to grade school classmates at a markup.

Today, Diana is a successful entrepreneur, having founded and sold a number of ventures, a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Missouri and a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the largest non-profit in the world dedicated to entrepreneurship and education. A Georgetown-educated attorney who left a successful practice to launch her first company, Diana draws on her experience as a founder, investor, and academic to train companies and non-profits how to be more innovative and how to get their employees to think like entrepreneurs.

Diana is the author of All In Startup, a New York Times best-selling novel outlining lessons for launching successful products through a story of a struggling entrepreneur making his way through the World Series of Poker.

Diana lives in Columbia, Missouri with her high school sweetheart/best friend/husband, Jason, and their awesome son, True.


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  • Innovate Faster by Measuring the Impossible - Being innovative means learning faster than the speed of change. It means figuring out what works and what doesn't work faster than your competition. This keynote teaches you the 4 tools you'll need to innovate faster and maximize the value each employee can create for your organization.

    ROI & Key Outcomes:
    • Learn how to predict the future by conducting small experiments.
    • Learn how to measure value metrics (determine which indicators add to the bottom-line), rather than vanity metrics (those indicators that make us feel like we are on the right track but are steering us in the wrong direction and wasting resources).
    • Learn how to make sure they are focusing their time on solving the right problem rather than becoming efficient at solving the wrong ones.
    • Learn how to encourage their team to become Value Drivers rather than Value Spectators and help them learn faster.

  • Become a Value Driver - The biggest roadblock to innovation inside large organizations is that individual employees are too worried about losing their job to question bad ideas or share their valuable opinions. This means too many employees are working on projects they don't believe are going to work. This keynote will teach attendees why they should transition (and how to take the risk) from a Value Spectator to a Value Driver.

  • Innovative Leadership: The New Mindset Required for Leaders to Survive in Today's Economy - Are your leaders fostering a culture of innovation, or are they just managing? There's a big difference and it might mean the life and death of your company. The fast pace of change in today's economy requires that ideas for innovation (whether they are internal improvements or new sources of revenue) come from all parts of the organization. But the training of traditional managers stifles innovation and often forces innovative employees out of the company. This interactive presentation will demonstrate the mindset today's innovative leaders have to possess.

    ROI & Key Outcomes:
    • Learn the new skill-set required of the innovative leader.
    • Discover common pitfalls of innovative leadership.
    • Understand how to create an internal culture of innovation so that every employee is a resource to the effort .

  • The Innovator's Skill-Set - The innovator's skill-set is the equivalent of keyboarding skills in today's marketplace. Yes, there will be those who insist that things work the way they've always done it and refuse to make the adjustment, but those individuals will fall behind in the fast changing, constantly evolving innovation economy. There's a particular set of tools that every innovator has to master. Let's be clear, this set of skills won't be the way to get ahead in the future, it will be the only way to survive in the future.

    Key Outcomes & Takeaways:
    • Shift your perspective to think like an innovator on a daily basis.
    • Understand the difference between coming up with new ideas and ideas that actually create value for your organization.
    • Become an idea machine at work by understanding where powerful new ideas come from.

  • Increasing the Speed and Success of Innovation In Your Company - Is your innovation program taking a lot of time and resources to create ideas that aren't gaining traction? Learn how to significantly increase the speed and success of your efforts. We live in an age of increasing customer power. Supply of virtually everything significantly outnumbers demand. This means that companies have only two options to compete, they can allow their product or service to become a commodity and be forced to race to the bottom on price, or they can instead choose to race to the top (increasing their prices and customer base) by continuously providing new value to their customers. Just remember, the value race is just that, a race. As soon as you achieve a victory, dozens of companies will begin copying your innovation, trying to force you to compete on price. The only way to keep them from putting you out of business is to figure out how to put yourself out of business...over and over again.

    Key Outcomes & Takeaways:
    • Learn the tools successful companies use to increase the speed of their innovative process and create a competitive advantage.
    • Understand the important role every employee can play to contribute to a culture of innovation.
    • Discover the reasons most company innovations fail and how to avoid the common mistakes.

  • Co-Creation: Understanding Your Customers Better Than They Understand Themselves to Drive Innovation - Some companies don't just have customers, they have raving fans who love to broadcast their loyalty and admiration to anyone who will listen. How can established companies create this level of excitement and passion around their products/services? This highly interactive presentation will show you how to achieve deep customer empathy and produce products and services that not only satisfy but delight your customers.

    Key Outcomes & Takeaways:
    • Understand the psychological barriers that keep most companies from getting honest answers from customers.
    • Learn how to interview customers to understand them better than they understand themselves and reveal truths about what they really think of your company.
    • Learn how to significantly reduce the risk of new products/services by making sure they create value for your customers.
All In Startup
All In Startup: Launching a New Idea When Everything Is on the Line

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