An outgrowth of the Center for Creative Leadership’s annual Creativity Week series, AMI™ was conceived in 1981 as a “by invitation” network of innovation practitioners. The initial meeting drew six members; by 1986 the group had grown to twenty and, in the two decades that followed, attendance at the bi-annual meetings averaged 25-30. Meeting now draw 50 attendees with more than 70 attending the 30th anniversary meeting. AMI members have historically sought a forum permitting frank discussion of the mechanics of innovation: “How does one implement a parallel system designed to nurture creative ideas?” “How do you reward creativity?” “How is innovation rated on your performance appraisal form?” “Has anyone tried to reduce the levels in their organization as a means to increase the flow of ideas, both up and down?” The meetings connect people with unsure questions to those who have wrestled with tentative answers. 

To insure relevancy and timeliness, a central topic for each meeting is often developed at the prior AMI session. Presenters, external as well as from within the membership, are then invited and the agenda crafted to include idea exchange and work in smaller groups. AMI meeting topics over the years have included Measurement of Successful Innovation, Routine Miracles, Critical Levers for Managing Technological Change, Reward & Recognition, Inter-Company Idea Exchanges, Humor in the Workplace, Storytelling, Innovation in the Family Enterprise, and Innovation and the Aging Population. A stable feature of AMI is the highly rated “Open Discussion”, time slots scheduled throughout the meeting for members to talk about their activities and opportunities, seek opinions and reactions, or discuss whatever is on their mind about the future of innovation management. At the end of an AMI meeting members write a short statement of their “learnings” which are made available to the entire membership. 

In 1990, AMI members initiated steps to better define the mission and scope of the organization. Both a Mission Statement and Membership Guidelines were approved at the spring ‘91 meeting. In the fall of 2000, members gathered to address the membership culture using a rather newly applied technology called group decision support software AMI had first experienced at an IBM visit but now in a room dedicated to its efficient use hosted by member SAIC (electronic “blue slips” and electronic sorting). As a result, it was decided to open our doors to consultants (and not just grandfather members who had become consultants) but to purposefully find innovation management consultants who were willing to share their ideas and experiences as well as ask questions of the members. In other words, innovation consultants were sought who would abide by the process rules of the meeting and in this way practice the value of reciprocity and confidentiality in idea exchange. We recruited several organizations outside the AMI membership network that have enriched our knowledge base with regard to cutting edge thinking. We did implement a rule that limits the consultant population to 18% of the membership. At the turn of the century, technology introduced itself starting with the growing number of laptop note takers, a switch to PowerPoint/LCD projectors, a website, and eventually virtual meeting space called Second Life which we experimented with and learned. Towards the end of our third decade a decision was taken to remove our selves from the nest provided by the Center for Creative Leadership. AMI further established its independence by applying for and receiving an independent not-for-profit status (2010) and has brought on a board committed to making sure this learning community will be around for the future generations of managers of innovation.

The AMI community seeks renewal once again by actively recruiting next generation leaders. To facilitate this we have commissioned a board level scholarship committee to help with the needs of this generation who have ideas to contribute and lessons to learn but not currently the resources needed to attend. One out-come from working with this next generation is the renewed awareness of the importance of contributing to the larger community in which we operate. In this unique way we have had the generations collide and in so doing, remind us of the commitments we once made to serve others. 

The current salient emerging theme is a desire “to leave the communities in which we meet more innovative because we have been there.” AMI has been moving towards this over the last five years by becoming a source for new ideas and perspective to local non-profits. This trend expanded to include in Orlando an evening of community service that related to the community problem we were asked to address. It is believed that incorporating this new activity into the AMI meeting structure when possible will help the community both recruit new members and contribute to our own professional and personal growth. 


AMI Member Bill Mallon wins ASEA Innovation Grant. With 63 applications for its new Innovation Grant Program (IGP), the ASAE Foundation chose four winning projects. Each will receive up to $10,000, and the winners will be recognized during ASAE’s 2013 Great Ideas Conference, March 10-12, at the Broodmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. SunTrust Inc. is a major supporter of this initiative. ASAE Foundation received a broad range of applications from organizations with a wide range of types, sizes, locations, and industries. “The winning organizations did a great job in explaining how their projects directly benefit their organizations as well as how they would share these lessons and concepts with the association community.”


AMI member Dave Altman is taking a new role as Vice President and Managing Director, Europe, Middle East, Africa for the Center for Creative Leadership effective January 1, 2013. CCL is seeking an extraordinary individual to fill this critical leadership position overseeing the development and execution of CCL learning, product development, innovation and knowledge dissemination agendas. See here for details. 

AMI member David Csintyan, interim CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, was honored by El Paso County commissioners on Thursday [May3]. With approximately two dozen supporters and staff members from the chamber in attendance at Centennial Hall, commissioner Amy Lathen read a resolution to celebreate Csintyan and proclaimed May 11 as "Dave Csintyan Day" in El Paso County. The resolution passed unanimously.... Read more: Dave Csintyan Day - Colorado Springs - The Gazette

AMI Member, Dave Krepcho, President and CEO of the Second Harvest Food, was on Rock Center with Brian Williams, April 25 at 9 pm on NBC. The episode is online at http://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com. Chelsea Clinton reported on the Darden Restaurants' donation program that included Second Harvest's trucks, drivers, and agencies.


Stetson University School of Business Administration where AMI member, Greg McCann, is Professor of Family Enterprise, is searching for a dean. The position announcement and relevant information are at Stetson University School of Business Administration Dean Search.  

Greg is a member of the Search Committee, which is co-chaired by Provost Beth Paul, who attended the Fall 2011 AMI meeting hosted by Stetson University. Stetson is seeking a visionary and innovative leader to lead the business school to a new level. 

Congratulations to AMI Member Sodexo as the award winner for Excellence in Inclusion Recruiting! Onrec announced the 2011 recruiting award winners during the November RECRUITING CONFERENCE (sponsored by Glassdoor.com) held at the InterContinental Chicago-O’Hare – more information can be found at www.TheRecruitingConference.com. Onrec.com is the world’s leading information resource for Human Resource and Recruiting professionals and is the accompanying website to Online Recruitment Magazine. Review the complete list and read about the event at 2011 onrec Awards Presented at The Recruiting Conference 

Related to the AMI Fall 2011 Meeting topic, "triple bottom line," and the environment's role in that, the Summer 2011 issue of Corporate Knights magazine, a recent addition to Stan Gryskiewicz' Credible Fringe Business Periodicals, published its Global 100 list of the most sustainable large corporations in the world. This list was released in Davos during the Spring 2011 World Economic Forum. The number two company on the list is AMI member Johnson & Johnson. Well done Steve Wiet and Barbara Elbertson! You can find the eleven key performance metrics and the complete list of the Global 100 in the Summer 2011 issue of Corporate Knights.

The University of Malta is pleased to announce the International M.Sc. in Strategic Innovation and Future Creation will re-commence in October 2012. This is an innovative international Masters Level Programme aimed mainly (but not solely) at mid-career professionals who wish to improve their capacity for Strategic Innovation and Future Creation.  

This M.Sc programme is being offered by the University of Malta in collaboration with the University of Potsdam (Germany), University of Teeside (UK) and Turku School of Economics (Finland). The programme will be delivered by academic experts from the four European Universities, covering four main subject areas: Creativity and Idea generation, Innovation management, Foresight/ Futures studies and Entrepreneurship. Students will be expected to obtain 120 ECTS over four semesters (two academic years).  

This exciting and innovative M.Sc has been specifically designed for individuals who are unable to leave their place of residence/ work for lengthy periods of time due to other commitments they may have.  The programme will be delivered mainly by asynchronous e-learning (students may work at their own time).  This offers students a great degree of autonomy and flexibility. The online component will be complemented by four intensive residential seminars of one week each, spread over the two years (one  week at each partner University). A more detailed course description can be found on M.Sc. in Strategic Innovation & Future Creation. 

On World Water Day, Good chose to report on the HydroPack from HTI that uses the cellulose triacetate from Eastman Chemical.  Gaylon White, the Director of Design Programs at Eastman, was interviewed for the article.  He took the opportunity to describe some of the developments of the HydroPack from his trip to Kenya. Check out the article yourself here. [Reference: HydroPack Is Like a Capri Sun Pouch for Disaster Relief


AMI Member Nick Nissley accepts a new position to start by the end of this year as Dean of Business with Cincinnati State, the region's community college. Nick says, "I was drawn to the community college mission - and the opportunity to ultimately contribute to the development of Cincinnati's human resourcefulness capacity." After living in the Banff National Park for almost five years, Nick and his family will move back to where his spouse, Elise, was born and raised and where their two children can share life with grandparents! Now that's a plan! Congratulations, Nick!

AMI Member Nick Nissley, EdD, Executive Director for The Banff Centre’s Leadership Development programs, recently joined the International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practices (IJCAIP) Advisory Board. 

AMI Member Dennis Quaintance, CEO-President-Owner, Weaver-Quaintance Restaurants and Hotels, was featured in The News & Observer, June 6, 2010 edition, "'Green' hotel proves saving energy makes money".  "The widely held notion that building and operating hotels with a commitment to sustainable practices is too expensive is a myth," Quaintance said. "We wanted to get to the point where we're not wasting energy and the guest is still very comfortable - and that's where we ended up." Read the article from this link.

The Center for Creative Leadership's Leading Effectively e-Newsletter May 2010 edition featured the AMI 30th Anniversary Spring 2010 Meeting. The "Sustaining Innovation" article includes Stan Gryskiewicz comments on the AMI membership, "The diverse perspectives, open dialogue and commitment to confidentiality and trust push the group in new directions and keep members coming back year after year."  Read more from this link.

Fast Company featured a reflective piece on "the world's largest organization for girls" in an article, "A Fresh Identity for the Girl Scouts of America". Congratulations to AMI Member Diane Oettinger, Chief Learning Office for the Girl Scouts of the USA, for contributing to their success! Read the article from this link.

Congratulations to AMI Members Arie Ball and Jerry Paulison! Sodexo was named Recruiting Department of the Year by ERE, the online professional network exclusively for recruiters and HR professionals, at ERE's Recruiting Excellence Awards ceremony in mid-March. Ball said that by developing and adopting innovative approaches to find and attract top talent to the company, such as using social media tools to maintain contact with candidates, Sodexo has reduced its recruitment advertising costs by $300,000 annually. The result is that Sodexo's cost-per-hire is less than half of the average figure reported by the Corporate Executive Board. 

Congratulations to AMI Member Robert Brodnick, learned during the AMI 30th Anniversary Spring 2010 meeting, he is now Associate Vice President at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. Rob formerly held the position of Assistant Provost. 

The Humanity 3.0 YouTube link and message from Nick Nissley. "Recently I was asked to give a TED Talk for a TEDx event in Calgary. I spoke about narrative leadership - how leaders are engaging with story to be more effective leaders. I also shared a bit of "my story". You can view the talk on YouTube at the following link. Regards, Nick" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4Be1zcfrN4&feature=PlayList&p=199120E0A8 F4B947&playnext_from=PL&index=3 

News from AMI Member Nick Nissley, Executive Director of Leadership Development at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada: "Surely, you know about TED. However, are you familiar with TEDx? Simply, TEDx is a new program that enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events. On  April 29th, TEDxCalgary hosted: "Humanity 3.0: Leadership the World Needs Now". Nick will share his stories and his own creative talents.


"Kaplan University Professor Spot" apologizing to his student audience for letting them down - Link to Video

Jerry Paulison's colleague and AMI members, Arie Ball, interview on "Twitterville Notebook: Sodexo's Arie Ball" Link to Interview 

AMI Member, Arie Ball, Vice President, Talent Acquisition at Sodexo, quoted in Forbes.com, July 31, 2009, Daniel Adler article, "Twenty-One Top Twitter Tips" under subtitle, Employee Recruitment.  (Colleague and AMI Member, Jerry Paulison, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition at Sodexo, introduced Twitter to the group at AMI Spring 2009 Colorado Springs Meeting)

Barry Bayus, Roy O. Rodwell Distinguished Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship, at UNC-CH, Kenan-Flagler Business School,  presented "Crowdsourcing" at the AMI Spring 2009 Colorado Springs Meeting as a method for market research for "co-creation with the consumer."  You can Google Crowdsourcing or go to this link to find out more: http://www.google.com/search?q=crowdsourcing&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLJ 

The falling woman video (from AMI Spring 2009 Colorado Springs Meeting). 

Pattie Maes demos the sixth sense at TED (from AMI Spring 2009 Colorado Springs Meeting). 

Doug Gundlach's class on Managing Smart People (referenced in Banff at the AMI Fall 2008 Meeting) taught by Susan Val Vleet Consultants of Colorado, http://www.svanvleetconsult.com/ 

Rae-Dupree, J. (2008, November 1). It’s No Time to Forget About Innovation. New York Times, online athttp://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/business/02unbox.html. A version of this article appeared in print on November 2, 2008, on page BU4 of the New York edition. 

Haque, U. (2008, November 5). Obama's Seven Lessons for Radical Innovators. Harvard Business Publishing, posted online by Umair Haque. 

To listen to Michael Jones selections at Pianoscapes website, click here: http://www.pianoscapes.com/listen.html 

The Center for Creative Leadership's work in serving underserved (developing nations, youth, NGO) populations has blossomed: click here to learn more:  http://leadbeyond.org/. The Center has been working with Acumen Fund and discussing collaboration with Ashoka.