31 Dec

The Provocative Professor.

Alf Rehn holds the Chair of Management and Organization at Åbo Akademi University in Finland, a professorship of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and is recognized as one of Europe’s top young management scholars.

In addition to this he is active as a columnist, author, and a sought-after speaker. As a thought-leader and trickster he has challenged and amused people in a plethora of fields and in a number of countries.

A well-regarded academic – but also known as an academic enfant terrible – Alf Rehn combines rigorous analysis with a creative and often surprising outlook on life, bringing in topics like popular culture and philosophical theory into his analyses of modern business and contemporary economy.

Professor Rehn’s approach to management and business is highly creative and often turns taken-for-granted notions on their head. Rather than presenting the same buzzword as everyone else he challenges our thinking by arguing for things like taking frivolity seriously, that innovation has become boring, that brands are uninteresting and that real business wisdom can be found in comic books. At times provocative and always engaging, he represents a fresh new way of thinking about business.

His research focuses on novel ways to understand management, organization and economy, and has been published in leading academic journals.

Alf Rehn’s book Dangerous Ideas: When Provocative Thinking Becomes Your Most Valuable Asset is a bestselling book on creativity for people who do not like books on creativity. Translated into eight languages (including Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Italian), it challenges the overly positive manner in which creativity is often presented and argues for a broader understanding of the phenomenon – including paying attention to shocking, childish and unseemly things.

His forthcoming book focuses on innovation, the threats it faces and what we can do about it: how it becomes devalued and lost, how innovation fatigue afflicts organizations, why more books on innovation won’t necessarily make things any better, and how we need to elevate our innovation cultures to deal with the evils of today.


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