Why it makes sense to invest in creativity and innovation

Everyone agrees that innovation and creativity are important in business.

Then why is it that so many companies are failing to achieve their innovation ambitions?

And why are so many employees convinced that they are not creative enough to solve problems?

Take a look at the shocking statistics about how most companies are failing to innovate:


of Innovations fail to make return on investment

only 41%

of employees believe they are creative

only 21%

of company leaders say they have the expertise, resources and commitment to pursue new growth (McKinsey)

#1, #2 skills

Innovation and Creativity skills are listed as 4 of the top 5 most important skills of growing demand and importance for the future (World Economic Forum)

I help companies transform their innovation capabilities, using proven innovation frameworks to deliver lasting results

Since 2005, I have worked with multinationals, governments, startups and individuals around the world, including:

Deloitte | Google | Klarna | British Petroleum | Barclays Bank | TED | The NHS | Royal Mail | Sanofi | British Olympic Association | Shell Oil | National Broadband Network | University of Utrecht | Parcelforce | Lloyds Bank | Cannes Festival of Creativity | ANZ Bank | New South Wales Government | Yoox Net-a-Porter | Zeppelin| UWCSEA | Moorhouse | HAVAS | Ketchum | University of Technology Sydney | Evergrad | Funzig

what clients say:

Have a look at these testimonials from happy clients of Nick from companies across the world.

Click the + symbol to open each new tab:

We invited Nick Skillicorn to be a keynote speaker on our PhD Day event to give a talk about the science behind creativity. We came across a few TED-talks from him about this topic, which fitted exactly into our theme “When Creativity meets Science”. Luckily for us, he was enthusiastic about our day and agreed to give a talk on our day! Originally, it was planned to be an offline event, but due to the corona pandemic we had to switch to an online format.

The talk itself was very informative and exactly what we were looking for. Among other topics, Nick touched upon different insights into how creativity is affected over a human lifetime and how creativity works in the brain. This gave us actually new insights about our own creative mindset or better said our threshold to become more creative!

Nick is a very good presenter, and his talk was very good prepared. This makes listening to him a pleasure. He is easily accessible and a quick responder to our emails about any questions we had. This made working with him a pleasant experience. So, if you are searching for an interesting, good speaker for your event, I would definitely recommend Nick Skillicorn for your event!

Stephanie van der Voorn,

Event: PhD Day 2021 from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands

The most enlightening part was learning why the brain behaves how it does. That behaviours and responses which seem counter-productive or counter-intuitive, actually have their roots in our evolution as a species. Would be great to learn more hacks and workarounds…“The Brain Whisperer”!

Mat Denney, Creative Director, Havas Worldwide

“Nick’s presentation was the perfect balance of the science behind creativity and practical ways to become more creative every day. It was informative, empowering and really resonated with our Creative Community.

Kelly Kenny, Strategic and Creative Planning Associate, Ketchum Global

“The talk with Nick gave to the audience and to ourselves an insightful view of the scientific principles of creative mind. Nick was a very engaging and enthusiastic speaker, who’ve enlightened the audience with amazing knowledge as well as practical techniques to exercise creative motions and ideas. Would love having another speaking engagement with Nick in the future!”

Yaron Saghiv, CMO of Funzing

“We have worked with Nick Skillicorn proving great results in collaboration beyond boundaries. This behavior has provided us with tools to re-shape the way we interact with third parties, adding real value to our innovation agenda”

Andres Saenz, Innovation & Productivity Enterprise Architect, PepsiCo Andean Region

First off, let me tell you I am overwhelmed at amount of valuable information and insight that was presented over the 8 days. Every video at the Summit I’ve seen completely resonated with what we are seeing in our innovation efforts at Fluor.

I loved your fantastic “highlights” wrap-up of all of the sessions.  The fact that you are letting us share that with others is the perfect “next step” in allowing the key messages to be communicated to our senior leadership team.  I will be using it to force those conversations that need to take place – but don’t just naturally happen.  

Steve Weidemann – Business Transformation and Innovation Catalyst, FLUOR

I have been to a few workshops this year and it was honestly the most helpful and informative session I have been to.  It was so relevant to the current challenges in the company and I have already started implementing some of the guidance gained through the workshop.

Justin Bain, Chief Executive Officer, Energetique  (Energy & Mobility)

Presenter was on point. Actual frameworks and real explanations. 10/10


Working with Nick was fast, trusting and uncomplicated. Nick thought about the relevant facts very well and transparently worked out the essential aspects of our innovation process. Nick discusses at eye level and advises in a highly professional manner. He does not just repeat the opinion of his client, but thoroughly and critically documents the work, resulting in a comprehensive and excellent output. He is not only a valuable sparring partner for us, but also a real support in structuring our ambitious digitization strategy.

Jan Lennart Dykstra
Head of Business Development – BPG Building Partners Group

Nick’s structured problem solving coupled with the ability to translate analysis into action through influencing multiple stakeholder groups has been a key strength. In addition his passion for innovation has been a key theme throughout his time here, both in terms of introducing new ways of working at our clients, building out key collateral and contributing to our market eminence in this space.

Dan Ogilvie
Monitor Deloitte Australia
Strategy Consulting

From my experience, what makes Nicholas truly exceptional is his ability to effectively assess, structure, navigate and solve complex problems whilst building positive relationships and providing clarity and tangible results in environments of uncertainty. Further, he is a true team player that motivates the people around him and cares deeply about his team and team members’ well-being, development, and success.

Sebastian Stenudd

Team Lead | Operating Model Design & Rollout | Klarna

During the most intense times, I was especially impressed by Nick’s calm, mindful approach and ability to focus and prioritize. In these times he seems to reach his peak performance and you can always rely on successful delivery.

The combination between my extensive experience in the Industry and Nick’s understanding of Innovation resulted in strong foundations for strategic discussions.

This is where you truly notice is international experience in high-value consulting, as well as his passion around delivering Innovation.

Thomas Zelic, COO, Zeppelin Lab

Nick was an exemplary consultant and colleague who I have very much enjoyed working with and respect. Always calm under pressure and looking for creative ways to find solutions to what seem insurmountable problems, his experience and innovative thinking were instrumental in us succeeding.

Dan Testa
General Manager │ NPD Quality Projects | nbn

Is Nick available for your event or project? Have further questions?
Contact Nick to find out more by clicking this button:

Check Nick’s availability

Next-Generation Program Delivery (Innovation, Agile & Digitalisation)

Most large-scale programs fail, exceeding budget and missing milestones. Worst of all, they might fail to deliver on the change they promise.

This is especially true of Agile, Digital and Innovation transformation projects. The major reason these projects and programs fail is that companies trying transform themselves still use the methodologies and frameworks to plan and run these projects that were developed decades ago, but are not fit for purpose when it comes to implementing the change they need to become more flexible, agile, future-proof and digitised.

The solution to this is to understand which parts of a program require the proven structures of traditional Program Management, and which aspects require more modern and cutting-edge frameworks which are better suited to the speed required of successfully delivering innovation projects, new business ventures and digital changes.

I have helped to successfully manage a variety of the world’s largest transformation projects, using everything from traditional planning and waterfall milestones to delivering Agile and Digital change at the most challenging clients, including my own exclusive methods. These include:

  • Next-generation Program Delivery and Project Management
  • Innovation Portfolio and Lifecycle management frameworks
  • Lean Start-up progress validation phases
  • Agile program Stakeholder Management
  • Innovation Audits and capability assessments
  • Leadership and Team Development for long-term Growth

If you have an ambition to deliver innovation, complex projects and long-lasting change, I will help you succeed.

Speeches: Keynotes, On Stage and Virtual

Do you want to inspire your people?

Do you want your people to finally be able to unleash their creativity?

And collaborate in new ways that make innovation less risky and more likely to succeed?

My keynote and virtual speeches are designed to transform the performance of your teams.

Based on more than a decade working in consulting with the world’s largest companies, and years studying the neuroscience of how we get our best ideas, my speeches are unlike anything you have experienced before. Exciting and yet based on solid scientific evidence, so that you can trust that your teams will finally hear the truth about what it takes for them to have their best ideas, instead of the lies they have been told for most of their life.

While other speakers only tell stories to motivate, after a session with me your teams will understand what they can change today in order to take their performance to the next level.

For an example, check out my popular TEDx talk on the Science of Creativity, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people:

Two speeches to choose from:

The Science of Creativity

My MOST POPULAR Speech, perfect for Virtual and Remote teams

Topic: Creativity, Neuroscience, Innovation, Change, Habits

Perfect for: Global Conferences, Media, Client-Facing Events, Corporate Meetings, Associations

Duration range: 45 minutes – 90 minutes (adapted to fit your needs)

Leaders agree: Creativity and Problem solving skills will be the most important skills for our people to adapt to the business and world of the future. Yet less than 41% of people think they are creative. Most children are incredibly creative. But what happens to us as we grow older that makes us appear to lose our creativity? Is it just that schools and parents train us to all think the same way, or is there something happening at the genetic level?

Using a combination of psychology, evolutionary biology and cutting edge neuroscience, your teams and people will begin to understand not only how they have been looking at their own creativity the wrong way, but more importantly, how to use these scientific insights to reclaim and improve their creativity and translate this into better ideas at work and at home, every day. Your audience will learn:

  • What creativity actually is, and where in the brain it comes from

  • Why your creativity appears to have declined since your childhood into adulthood

  • The scientific reason your adult brain tries to RESIST being creative

  • The research behind why BRAINSTORMING does not work, and what you should do instead

  • The simple things you need to do every day, week and month to turbocharge your creativity

  • How your teams can use new creative techniques to collaborate more effectively than ever before

  • How to lead creative teams so that your talent brings their best work for the company every day

Check Nick’s availability

Taking the risk out of innovation

Topic: Innovation, Leadership, Management, Collaboration, Neuroscience, Performance

Perfect for: Corporate Meetings, Training Events, Global Conferences, Media, Client-Facing Events, Associations

Duration range: 60 minutes – 180 minutes (adapted to fit your needs)

What separates the companies that consistently fail at innovation from those which succeed at delighting customers and profiting from new offerings? After all, 96% of all innovation projects fail to make a return on investment, and the majority of company executives don’t believe they have the experience, resources and commitment to drive new growth. The companies which try to emulate Silicon Valley startups almost always quickly give up after not seeing any results or improvement. However, the companies which succeed do one thing differently: they have a clear innovation framework in place so they can manage and accelerate their innovation ideas to grow and become profitable.

Using insights on the innovation management frameworks at some of the world’s most consistently successful companies, as well as a combination of psychology, management science and cutting edge neuroscience, your teams and leadership will learn how to create a culture where new ideas can grow and thrive. Not only that, you will learn the exact capabilities and methods your teams need in order to plan, create, manage and scale the innovation projects aligned with your strategy, in a way that reduces risk, reduces the budget required and increases transparency and speed to market. Your audience will learn:

  • What innovation is, and why so many companies fail to deliver it

  • How to manage innovation projects using proven frameworks, without getting in the way of your people’s creativity

  • Why copying Silicon Valley often leads to innovation failure

  • The 10 different ways to innovate

  • Setting up a culture of Psychological Safety

  • Where in a company innovation teams need to be located

  • What your leadership can do today to improve their innovation success rates

Check Nick’s availability

Virtual & Remote Events:
My studio is outfitted with high definition audio, video and green-screen technology to fit your branding and design

Is Nick available for your event?
Have further questions about your requirements?
Contact Nick to find out more by clicking this button:

Check Nick’s availability

Consulting: delivering transformation in your company

Delivering ideas successfully to the market is usually highly risky. That is why the majority of large companies struggle to deliver innovation projects:

Normal Project Failure rate: 70%
Innovation Project Failure rate: 96%

The irony is that the common myth in innovation is that in order to succeed at innovation, you need more ideas to start with.

This is why most other innovation consultants will recommend workshops and training in methods to generate more ideas, like Brainstorming or Design Thinking.

However, after years of consulting and working with both companies that succeed at innovation and those that fail, it is clear that having more ideas is not the solution.

Instead, the reason why most companies fail at innovation is that they do not have all of the other capabilities across multiple teams to deliver, manage and lead innovation.

In order to transform the likelihood of innovation success rates, I have identified the 23 capabilities which companies need across various levels, and a rigorous assessment method to analyse and rate each of the capabilities.

The result is my 3 Dimensions of Innovation framework, which will help you identify your current gaps in innovation performance, and plan how to overcome these gaps:

3 Dimensions of Innovation: 23 capabilities your company needs

Example output: Rating the 23 capabilities current performance analysis

Consulting options: Advisory or Delivery?

I have two types of standard consulting offerings:


If you are looking for opportunities to improve your innovation success rate, or turbocharge the creativity of your people.

I will come and work with your team, remotely or on site, to assess your current innovation performance using either the full list of capabilities of the 3 Dimensions of Innovation, or a subset of chosen capabilities.

Based on the outcomes of the analysis, we will then work together to identify your strengths, gaps in performance, areas for potential improvement, and a plan on how best to build the required capabilities.


If your team and leadership already have a clear goal for what aspects of innovation you want to improve, or if you have a specific innovation project in need of structured progress management.

I will work directly with your team to implement the innovation frameworks most appropriate for your unique challenge, and help your team plan, measure, validate and accelerate progress on the project.

This will get you to your target faster, with less stress and far more effectively than before.


In order to find out if I am available to assist your company, please check my availability using the button below.

Check Nick’s availability

Is Nick available for your project or consulting assessment?
Contact Nick to find out more by clicking this button:

Check Nick’s availability

Growth Sprints: Deliver innovation in just a few weeks

Sprints come from the world of Agile management, where a small team works together for a fixed period of time in order to achieve a specific goal or meet a set milestone.

A Growth Sprint is an accelerated innovation sprint, where a team sets out to generate, develop and test a new innovation idea, or identify how to build up an important specific innovation capability.

Usually these take a few weeks, where I work with one of your teams away from their normal job to solve a specific innovation challenge you might have.

You will be amazed how your company’s challenges which previously would have taken your teams months (or even a year or more) to solve using traditional methods can make significant progress in a fraction of the time and for far less budget.

Growth Sprints are also a vital method to validate progress on specific innovation initiatives, a core part of prioritising a healthy innovation portfolio.

Check nick’s availability

Workshops: Innovate in a few hours

If you only have a few hours, but still want to achieve a specific outcome for your innovation agenda, you need Nick to facilitate a workshop.

In Nick’s workshops, your team know exactly what they are hoping to produce and there is a structured approach to achieve these goals faster than ever before.

Workshops are excellent for teams that need to overcome a roadblock, generate new ideas or plan out next steps.

As a result of the structured approach, a single workshop can deliver more specific outcomes than weeks or months of teams working informally without an experienced facilitator.

Check nick’s availability

which sprint or workshop is right for my team?

Based on my experience, I have seen the following capabilities from the 3 Dimensions of Innovation work as either Sprints or Workshops:

Is Nick available for your desired sprint or workshop?
Contact Nick to find out more by clicking this button:

Check Nick’s availability