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Gina O’Connor
Professor at BABSON COLLEGE

Profile

Gina joined Babson in January 2019 as a Professor of Innovation Management. She conducts research and develops curricula that facilitates learning for graduate students and executives based on her findings on Breakthrough Innovation capabilities in large mature companies.

Before joining Babson Gina spent 29 years at the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she held the roles of Professor of Marketing and Innovation Management, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the MBA program, Director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship and Director of the Radical Innovation Research Program. Prior to earning her PhD in Marketing and Corporate Strategy at NYU, she worked as a contract administrator for McDonnell Douglas Corporation and as a research analyst for Monsanto’s Department of Social Responsibility in St. Louis, Missouri.

Professor O’Connor has published papers in leading journals including the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Organization Science, Journal of Marketing and Journal of Business Venturing among others. Five of her papers have received best paper of the year awards in their respective journals. Gina has co-authored three books on breakthrough innovation. The second of those: Grabbing Lightning: Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation, was named one of the top three business books of the year by Strategy + Business Magazine. In 2018 she was named a Crawford Fellow by the Product Development and Management Association, one of only six recipients of that award.

Gina’s professional objective is to help large established companies learn how to renew themselves through organic growth via step-out, gamechanging, breakthrough, strategic innovation, which introduces high levels of uncertainty into the innovation process and is typically stamped out in organizations. She is a firm believer that, to be successful, companies must develop an innovation function, complete with its own people, processes, metrics and culture that operates within the company to translate emerging science, technology and business models into whole new platforms of growth that will fuel the company’s future health in spite of itself. She is an active speaker and consultant for a number of US and European companies, and is passionate about developing the next cadre of innovation leaders.

On the personal side, Gina’s permanent home is in Albany NY, where she lives with her husband. Their three children are spread across the country doing their best to make the world a better place. They are all members of the Board of Directors of a larger family owned operating foundation, Fostering Hope, which serves the needs of foster parents.

Gina can be reached at goconnor@babson.edu.

Gina O’Connor's Network

Agenda Sessions

  • Roundtable Chats – 10 Concurrent Discussions

    11:15am