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KYle nel

award-winning thought leader, speaker and author



Leading Transformation, by Nathan furr, kyle nel and thomas ramsoy

Coming november 6 from Harvard Business review Press

Leaders know that their job is to lead transformation to keep pace with technology and an ever-changing business environment. They also know that they are bound to fail doing so. But not because they can’t solve a technology or strategy problem.  They will fail because of the intractable human problems ̶ fear, habits and routines, politics, the inability to see what doesn’t yet exist ̶ associated with change.  These challenges are as old as the hills, but what if there were finally a way to transcend them?

This book reveals a radical new method for doing just that.  Written by the manager who designed and implemented it, the neuroscientist who helped make it work, and the academic who explains why it works and how to do it, Leading Transformation introduces an innovative yet proven process for creating breakthrough change.  Broken down into three steps–envisioning the possible, breaking down resistance, and prototyping the future–this process uses cutting edge tools such as science fiction, artifact trails and neuroprototypes to overcome people’s inability to conjure up or react to what doesn’t yet exist, override powerful habits and routines that prevent people from changing, and create compelling non-linear narratives about the organization’s future and how to get there. 

Used successfully by organizations around the world – the process revealed in this book gives leaders the means to effectively transcend the human barriers that hold organizations back.

After the event, I reached out to [the audience] to gauge what they found most interesting, and the person who was mentioned more than any other was Kyle Nel. You might think, ‘Innovation Labs’ sounds interesting, but Lowe’s? How innovative can that be?’ Very, as it turns out...
— Peter High for Forbes, May 2017

ways to partner

Let us help inspire, guide and build your transformation journey:

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Keynote speaker

Kyle is a globally sought-after speaker who has inspired audiences at events including SXSW, ShopTalk, C2, Cannes Lions, TedX, AWE, Google I/O, and more. He is also available for private sessions with corporate teams and executives.

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Kyle and the team at Uncommon Partners are available to lead workshops that dive deeper into behavioral transformation concepts including strategic narrative, applied neuroscience, and organizational archetypes. 

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Kyle and the team at Uncommon Partners help organizations bring strategy to life through narrative, reverse engineer the narrative into a development road map, and use metrics of the future to identify guideposts on the transformation journey.  

Every organization on the planet is trying to innovate; the problem is many companies do not know what that means for them.
— Kyle Nel in Forbes, May 2017

About Kyle

Kyle Nel is the CEO and co-founder of Uncommon Partners, a company that helps organizations do the things they say they want to do.

His passion for changing human behavior led him to create the multi-disciplinary behavioral transformation approach, which uses tools like narrative and applied neuroscience to help organizations dream bigger, move faster, and know how to identify what's working - or not - when breaking new ground.

Kyle also founded and previously served as Executive Director for Lowe’s Innovation Labs (LIL), the disruptive innovation hub for the Fortune 40 home improvement company. He created and led a team responsible for driving the company’s innovation vision and strategy, ultimately earning Lowe's recognition on Fast Company's 2018 Most Innovative Companies list as the most innovative company using AR and VR, and on Fortune's 2018 Most Admired Companies list as the most innovative company in the Specialty Retail category. 

Under his leadership, Lowe’s Innovation Labs built a proprietary 3D content creation and asset management platform; augmented and virtual reality stores; virtual reality DIY skills clinics; the first autonomous retail service robots; soft robotic exosuits to deliver lift assistance for store employees; and 3D scanning and printing services at retail - and in space, where the first commercially-manufactured object off of the planet was a Lowe’s wrench that was modified for astronauts.  He also established a disruptive technology lab and incubator for Lowe's in Bangalore, India.

Kyle helped create Neurons, Inc., an applied neuroscience company spun out of the Copenhagen Business School, and sits on the board of Fellow Robots. He is a faculty member at Singularity University and a former member of the XPRIZE Foundation Innovation Board. He was recognized on the 2015 Advertising Age “40 under 40” list, received the 2016 “People Shaping Retail’s Future” award from the National Retail Federation, and was also a founding member of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (R)Tech Advisory Council.


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