Kylemore: Setting the Stage for Future-Oriented Leadership

Professor Sam Miller explores the idea of Full Spectrum Thinking, as discussed in Bob Johansen’s book. Whether you are a business owner, a manager, a teacher, a parent, or retired, the idea of framing ambiguous questions and clarity on future-oriented planning is applicable to life, especially in current times.

Read the event recap, watch the video, or listen to the podcast below.


  • “During this series with the Kylemore book club, we will examine a way of thinking and envisioning the ambiguity of the future” (Lisa Caulfield, 1:25)
  • “Anticipatory innovation aims to look around the corner and see what’s over the horizon” (Sam Miller, 6:39)
  • Anticipatory innovation is about looking beyond the horizon to discover what is next (8:54)
  • The concept of active inertia does not lead to transformative innovation (14:12)
  • Becoming better at something is not necessarily innovation, but being different is innovation (19:45)
  • Companies who learn and observe make time for future innovation and take risks despite uncertainty (32:02)
  • “Discovery happens when somebody looks out at the world that everybody else can see, and sees all of the signals, but de-categorizes them, changes the way we understand and interpret them to imagine something that nobody has before imagined”  (Sam Miller, 33:38)
  • “The way in which we approach asking questions is very important and it gives us a new opportunity or avenue to rethink problems” (Lisa Caulfield, 35:37)

Event Recap

The first virtual event of the Anticipatory Innovation- Capitalizing on Change in Turbulent Times featured a discussion around future-oriented leadership and innovation. This event was moderated by Lisa Caulfield, Director of the Global Centre at Kylemore, and featured Sam Miller, Director of Undergraduate Studies – Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Associate Teaching Professor, Mendoza College of Business. The goal of this session was to explore the idea of Full Spectrum Thinking, as discussed in the introduction and first chapter of Bob Johansen’s book. Miller focused his presentation on highlighting the idea of framing ambiguous questions and clarity on future-oriented planning.

Miller began his presentation by defining what “anticipatory innovation” means for the participants. This type of innovation refers to looking around the corner or beyond the horizon to see what is next in an industry, product line, or company. Miller used Kodak as an example of how a company can fail to innovate towards the future. Kodak was once a Fortune 500 company at the top of the photography industry, while today they are a mere shell of their former self. Miller explored the reasons why Kodak fell to the bottom of an industry that they once dominated. Miller suggested that Kodak failed to innovate due to active inertia, or the tendency to follow established patterns of behavior by doing things the way they had always been done. Anticipatory innovation, on the other hand, can help companies open their eyes to bigger ideas.

Innovation is not only about doing things better, but doing things differently. Miller believed that doing things differently is true innovation. In order to reach this level of innovation, Miller discussed the importance of learning and observing as a company. For example, before iTunes was created, Apple asked consumers what they wanted in a product, then they created the product that suited those needs. Companies who utilize this learning strategy make time for the future of the company, explore the horizons of innovation, and seek out situations that make them uncomfortable. Risk and uncertainty can be a place where innovation is grown. Miller concluded his presentation with a quote from Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi that said, discovery “consists of seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.” Miller urged participants to imagine something no one else had imagined in order to discover better innovation.

This event concluded with a short breakout session for viewers to meet and further discuss Bob Johansen’s book with fellow book club participants.

View the discussion recorded on Wednesday, February 10 with Lisa Caulfield, Director of the Global Centre at Kylemore with special guest Notre Dame Professor Sam Miller.

Listen to the discussion wherever, whenever, on The ThinkND Podcast:

Other recaps:

Part 4: Kylemore: Unleashing Your Creative Genius
Part 2: Kylemore: To Act With Resilience

Register to receive information about how to join future Kylemore Book Club live events.

Art and HistoryBusinessCareer DevelopmentRecapSam MillerLisa CaulfieldKylemore Abbey Global CentreBusiness OutlookIrelandMendoza College of Business