Speakers Bios & Abstracts

Platzhalter Speakers
Nancy A. Tennant

VP for Innovation Whirlpool Corporation


Nancy Tennant is the Chief Innovation Officer and Vice President for Margin Realization for Whirlpool Corporation, reporting to the Chairman and CEO.  In this capacity, she is responsible for creating and implementing enterprise strategies that facilitate innovation; leveraged learning; competitive knowledge and margin optimization. She leads Whirlpool’s innovation practice, transforming Whirlpool into an innovation powerhouse and benchmark, starting in 1999, resulting in top innovation ratings and acclaim from publications such as Fast Company and Fortune and billions in new revenue for Whirlpool.  She also started Whirlpool University, Whirlpool’s award winning corporate university.  She is one of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners (theoretic practitioner) in transforming businesses and non-profit environments to achieve innovation from everyone and everywhere. Bloomburg Businessweek named Dr. Tennant one of the 25 Innovation Champions (IN25) in the world.

As an adjunct faculty member of both the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business since 2003, she teaches innovation and organization change in the MBA programs. In 2013 she co-founded the Certification Program for Innovation Mentors (CIMp) at the University of Notre Dame, a groundbreaking program to teach a new breed of specialists in government, non-profit, universities and industry how to lead innovation. Dr. Tennant is the author of numerous articles and the co-author of two best-selling books on innovation: Unleashing Innovation: How Whirlpool Transformed an Industry (Tennant Snyder & Duarte; Jossey-Bass, Wiley, 2008), Strategic Innovation:  Embedding Innovation as a Core Competency in Your Organization (Tennant Snyder & Duarte; Jossey-Bass, 2003). She is presently working on a new book about innovation to simplify how to get started in innovation, with a publication goal of 2015. She is the co-author of the best selling Mastering Virtual Teams (Duarte & Snyder; Jossey-Bass, 2006, 3rd edition), ranked by Amazon as one of the 50 best selling team books of all time.  She is a frequent public speaker on the topic of innovation and organization change to “C” level audiences around the world including United Arab Emirates, China, Brazil, Peru, India, Italy and the UK. Dr. Tennant holds a doctorate in organizational behaviour from The George Washington University.  She is the President of the Board for the First Tee of Benton Harbor, a non-profit organization that offers character development and life skills to youth-at-risk through golf.