ELITE 2019 Disrupter Daniel Seewald of Deliberate Innovation

Daniel Seewald


Deliberate Innovation

The Innovation Whisperer

Innovation is the ultimate buzzword. Every company wants to be innovative. Every person wants to be responsible for innovation. But how do you actually achieve innovation? You turn to Daniel Seewald. As someone who preaches the idea of purpose-drive innovation, Dan is like an innovation whisperer.

“Innovation often fails when it is not purpose driven,” Dan explains. “If people don’t have that motivation, don’t have peak coaching that really drives them, then innovation falls flat. They need both intrinsic motivations to push them as well as a very clear, deliberate approach that gets them from a problem to insights to accelerating experiments. I try to bring those two worlds together.”

Dan did that very well in his time as the Head of World Wide Innovation at Pfizer, where he ran the largest innovation program inside of any corporation. It started six years ago when he designed a corporate innovation program that ultimately became a brand and a cultural movement, called “Dare to Try.” Through Dare to Try, Dan and his extended network of innovators, ran thousands of sessions that focused on solving the most complex, strategic challenges the organization faced. Essentially, they were both change management experts and internal consultants. Over time, the DNA of the 100,000-person organization began to shift.

And perhaps most important is that the program also delivered results. With one concept generating more than $50 million dollars in savings over a three-year period and another intrapreneurial venture leading to a spin-out of a startup company (SpringWorks Therapeutics), the Dare to Try methods were having a real and lasting impact. As Dan saw this success, he knew he was also ready to dare to try something different.

Recently, Dan left Pfizer to form Deliberate Innovation, a consultancy that will allow Dan to achieve what he did at Pfizer at other organizations. 

“I really want to inspire everyday innovators to think what no one else has thought before,” Dan explains. “There’s still such a need for innovation and creativity and I feel I can help reinvent the way large organizations practice innovation to change the game.”


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