Tamara Carleton, Ph.D.
Tamara Carleton, Ph.D., is CEO and founder of Innovation Leadership Board LLC, a global leader in the design of tools and processes that enable radical innovation. Clients have included Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, Samsung, SAP, Tekes, and Volvo Construction Equipment. She oversees the Sugar Network, a global innovation network of academic institutions collaborating with companies to solve challenging, real-world problems.
Carleton has served as an Innovation Fellow with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, as a Fellow with the Foundation for Enterprise Development, and also as a Fellow for the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium.
In addition, Carleton teaches organizational innovation and foresight strategy in Stanford University’s School of Engineering executive education program. Drawing on her business experience, Carleton’s research agenda focuses on industry innovation, particularly issues related to technical visionary leadership, innovation culture, regional innovation, and foresight strategy. This work builds on her pioneering study of the innovation practices of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
A former management consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP, Carleton specialized in emerging solutions in enterprise applications, customer experience, and marketing strategy. At Deloitte, she developed two proprietary methodologies, the Customer Experience Audit and Persona Design, which were incorporated into client service offerings.
A multidisciplinary scholar, Carleton holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, a masters of science in public relations from Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in communication from The George Washington University. She has been published in a variety of technical journals, as well as the general business press. She is frequently invited to discuss her work and research in the United States and abroad.
Books and journals
- Carleton, T., Cockayne, W., & Sawatani, Y. (Eds.) (2015). Research-Technology Management (special issue: Driving Cultural Transformation). Arlington, VA: Industrial Research Institute.
- Carleton, T., Cockayne, W., and Tahvanainen, A. (2013). Playbook for Strategic Foresight and Innovation. Sponsored by Tekes (the Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation) and Lappeenranta University of Technology.
- MacGregor, S. P., and Carleton, T. (Eds.). (2012). Sustaining Innovation: Collaboration Models for a Complex World. Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management Series. Springer.
Peer-reviewed and invited papers
- Carleton, T. (2015). Changing culture through visionary thinking: Applying the DARPA Hard Test for innovation. In Carleton, T., Cockayne, W., & Sawatani, Y. (Eds.) Research-Technology Management.
- MacGregor, S. P. and Carleton, T. (2013). Designing inspiring futures: Six lessons of sustainable innovation. The European Business Review.
- Carleton, T., and Leifer, L. (2009). Stanford’s ME310 course as an evolution of engineering design. Proceedings of CIRP Design Conference 2009. Cranfield, UK.
- Carleton, T. and Cockayne, W. (2009). The power of prototypes in foresight engineering. Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED’09). Stanford, Calif.
Essays and reports
- Carleton, T. (2014). The future of American success. Business Horizon Quarterly magazine, issue #10. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
- Carleton, T. (2014). Reinventing cities: Taking an abundance mindset to expand regional vision and impact. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation report.
- Carleton, T. (2014). Embracing the abundance mindset. Business Horizon Quarterly magazine, issue #7. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
- Carleton, T., Cockayne, W., & Larsson, A. (2013). Big thinking in innovation. International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) online magazine, issue 3/2013.
- Carleton, T. (2013). A measure of abundance. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation report.
- Carleton, T. (2012). “A future for American abundance.” Business Horizon Quarterly magazine, fall issue. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
- Carleton, T. (2012). “Three lessons of ownership.” Employee Ownership Report, 32(6): 1, 8.
- Carleton, T., Larsson, A., & Bill, S. (2011). MOVE Workshop Facilitation Handbook. Sponsored by the Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology (IMIT) and the Product Innovation Engineering Program (PIEp), Sweden.
- Carleton, T. (2009). "The Bay Area's Role in Global Innovation Networks" research report. Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium.
- Carleton, T. (2011). Using Ownership Incentives in China (case study and teaching note). Innovation Leadership Board LLC.
- Carleton, T. (2009). Product innovation strategy at Scout Electromedia (case study). Stanford University, School of Engineering.
- Grier, David Alan, & Carleton, T. (2015). How We Manage Stuff podcast series.
Select speaking engagements
- R&D 100 Awards & Technology Conference; session: "Building a Culture of Innovative Leadership", November 2015; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Back End of Innovation Conference; session: "Continuing Foresight Thinking Past the Front-End", October 2015; San Jose, California, USA
- First International Corporate Learning Conference on Innovation; keynote: "An Innovation Mindset", June 2015; Berlin, Germany
- InsighTech Conference; session: "Finding Your Future Consumer"; May 2015; San Francisco, California, USA
- International European Academy of Design Conference; keynote: "Transforming Strategy With Design Research", April 2015; Paris, France
- Industrial Research Institute Member Summit; keynote: "Changing Culture Through Big Visions", October 2014; Denver, Colorado, USA
- CLEEN Annual Seminar; keynote: "DARPA's Role in the U.S. Innovation System", June 2013; Helsinki, Finland
- America's Small Business Summit; panel moderator; April 2013; Washington, D.C., USA
- The Strategic Execution Conference; speaker: "Feeding Ideation and Strategy", April 2013; Silicon Valley, California, USA
- U.S Chamber of Commerce Business Horizon; panelist; March 2013; Orlando, Florida, USA
- Innovation in Mind conference; speaker; November 2010; Lund, Sweden
Select media coverage
- Kurokawa, Toshiaki. (2015). Service Design and Delivery: How Design Thinking Can Innovate Business and Add Value to Society. Business Expert Press.
- Chang, Jun. (2015, April 21). "How do you spur innovation? Maybe a bit of SUGAR will help." China Daily newspaper.
- IEDP Developing Leaders. (2015, April 17). "Applying Innovation Learning." London, UK.
- millenaire3.com. (2015, January 26). "Le design thinking dans l'écosystème de l'innovation." Lyon, France.
- Chandler McDonald, Kim. (2013). !nnovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World. Kogan Page UK.
- Institute of Public Planning. (2011, June 18). "Interview with Tamara Carleton." Innovation Trends (newsletter). Moscow, Russia.