Finally, A Commencement Speech About Innovation and Creativity

Think Big Anyway! That’s what Innovation Excellence contributor Robert B. Tucker advised students when he delivered the commencement address at the University of California, Davis. Given the exponential rate of change and the inability to predict where technology (and their careers) will evolve to, Tucker challenged this group of 500 PhD candidates and innovators to “Think Big, Anyway,” despite the uncertainty. Robert explored three “success ingredients,” which he called the 3’Cs, for those just starting out in their careers: the necessity to Embrace Change; the importance of Unleashing Creativity; and the need muster the Courage to “create the life you really want to live.”

Finally, A Commencement Speech About Innovation and Creativity

“IBM did a study not long ago,” Tucker reported, “where they asked CEOs “what leadership competency do you need more than any other in people today”? And the answer was creativity.  They called creativity the single most important leadership competency in a world that is more volatile, more uncertain, and more complex than ever before.” You in your journey are going to face situations where there are no guidebooks, where GPS is simply not available; where there are few precedents to rely on, where you will just need to improvise, trust your instincts; and make it up on the spot. But if you’re willing to embrace your creativity, you’re going to be just fine. In fact, you’ll be in high demand, whatever you do.

“Nothing about the future is written in stone. My generation, The Boomers, came of age during the time of Vietnam and Watergate and social unrest. We tried to stop a war and create a better world, and we are not done yet. But now your generation has your chance at bat. Your chance to make a difference. Your chance to change the world. And that’s my encouragement to you –  to think big when others are thinking small. To push back against those who say that the best days are behind us, that our problems have grown too big. And just remember this. People with the biggest ideas will always be ridiculed by people with the smallest minds. But so what! Think big anyway! And do good not only for yourself, but for others, and for the planet. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow; do good anyway. Build a life, not just a resume.”

Check out the video of Robert’s commencement speech:

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Robert TuckerRobert B. Tucker is one of the most in-demand innovation speakers and workshop leaders in the world today. A former adjunct professor at UCLA, Tucker is president of The Innovation Resource, a consulting firm specializing in helping leaders and their organizations invent higher growth futures. The author of seven books, his international bestseller Driving Growth Through Innovation: How Leading Firms are Transforming Their Futures was translated into 17 languages. As a thought leader in the growing Innovation Movement, Tucker is a frequent contributor to publications such as the Journal of Business Strategy, Harvard Management Update, Strategy & Leadership, and Innovation Excellence. He has appeared on PBS, Bloomberg, CBS News, and was a featured expert on the CNBC series The Business of Innovation, hosted by Maria Bartiromo. Details: or contact (805) 682-1012.

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