Paul O’Connor founded The Adept Group with a single focus: to improve innovation in mid-size and large companies. Today, his clients include a long list of global companies across nearly every industry.
O’Connor began his career working at a leading innovation and strategy “Think Tank.” The firm created the original open innovation approach. Paul led and simplified innovation initiatives at major companies including Exxon and Procter & Gamble. During this time, he worked with pioneers in project screening, staged development, portfolio management, and intrapreneurship.
From 1990 to 1992, O’Connor served as president of the Product Development and Management Association. PDMA is a leading proponent of best practices in innovation and product management. Paul played a key role in shaping PDMA’s first certification test for professional recognition. And he helped set up foundational research on best practices and measuring new product success.
Paul has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, business publications, and blogs. He was among the first contributors to PDMA’s Handbook of Product Development in 1996 and 2008. Paul wrote for PDMA’s 2004 ToolBook and was a contributing editor to R&D Magazine. His research on best practice implementation appeared in the respected Journal of Product Innovation Management.
O’Connor teaches Masterclasses in creating and carrying out smart product line strategies and responsive roadmapping. These classes are often customized for clients and delivered under NDA’s. He’s also a frequent speaker at professional meetings and corporate seminars.
O’Connor earned a Bachelor of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He then earned an MBA from Babson College near Boston, and took advantage of joint programs with MIT.