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The Power of Surprise: Soren Kaplan at TEDxBayArea

The Power of Surprise -- The Key to Personal & Business Breakthroughs Most leaders want business breakthroughs, but many struggle with the elusive and "messy" process required for creating them. Why? Because we're taught that uncertainty -- and especially surprises -- should be avoided at all costs. Certainty and predictability are good. Uncertainty, ambiguity and surprises are bad. But there's a big disconnect. In reality, the unexpected is one of the most powerful sources of breakthroughs for people and organizations. Soren Kaplan reveals why today's leaders need to do exactly what they're taught to avoid: embrace surprise—the key to breakthrough innovation. Today's leaders must learn to seek out, recognize and respond to surprising experiences and events in order to create game-changers that leapfrog the expectations of customers, partners, employees, the market, and the competition. BIO Soren Kaplan is the author of Leapfrogging ( and a Managing Principal at InnovationPoint, where he works with organizations including Disney, Visa, Colgate-Palmolive, Kimberly-Clark, Medtronic, Cisco, Disney, Philips, PepsiCo, and other global firms in the areas of product, service and business model innovation. Soren previously led the internal strategy and innovation group at Hewlett-Packard (HP) during the roaring 1990's in Palo Alto and was a co-founder of iCohere, one of the first web collaboration platforms for online learning and communities of practice. He is an Adjunct Professor within the Imagineering Academy at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. He holds Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Organizational Psychology and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two daughters, and hypo-allergenic cat. "This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED." About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.) About TED TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani,Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED's media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at
Length: 16:45


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