Diana Kander


About Diana Kander - Entrepreneur, Author, and Speaker on Innovation: 

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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What Diana Kander Talks About: 

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. 

Key Outcomes & Takeaways:

  • 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

Innovation Expert, Diana Kander, created Leap Ventures to help organizations think more entrepreneurially, understand their customers on a deeper level and create a culture of innovation. 

Through customizable courses and workshops distilled from Diana’s extensive experience working with organizations of all sizes, the Leap Ventures team works closely to plan and implement a personalized innovation-culture building program based on the key principles of customer understanding, innovative thinking, and Diana’s innovation building blocks. This proven approach leads to an action-oriented culture that will empower you to develop an unfair competitive advantage.

Innovation Coaching
Innovation Expert, Diana Kander, offers individual or team coaching for those interested in becoming more innovative in their everyday life or those working on launching new products or services.

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 Recent Publications

  • diana kander innovation book - Diana Kander

Diana's talk was amazing. It was one of the most talked about presentations at our two day event - both over social media and in person at the event itself. She was funny, engaging, thought provoking and truly able to connect with the audience - and it definitely showed. The gushing praise we received from our attendees was overwhelming.

Co-Founder, Big Omaha

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