Tom Edwards pursues organizational innovation from the three perspectives of research, practical application, and teaching. Edwards began his career as an engineer working on rocket motor and spacecraft projects. His many years of practical experience include driving innovation from the top management team of a NYSE-listed company and as an independent consultant. This practical experience is augmented by doctoral research into what makes organizations innovative. Edwards has served as an executive with profit and loss responsibility for a strategic business unit of a NYSE listed manufacturing firm focused on water and air pollution control products. Edwards then accepted the challenge of building a culture of innovation at the company, an effort that resulted in significant new products that made significant contributions to the performance of the businesses. Edwards’s current challenge is building a graduate program in leadership for the college of engineering at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Edwards began to apply management principles to the leadership of neurodivergent employees in 2015. The complete lack of research into this question led Edwards to develop a workshop for industry practitioners that began to build a body of practical knowledge. Edwards has spoken on this topic at numerous organizations including SAP Inc., the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP), the National Agricultural Library, and the 2021 Villanova University TEDx conference. Additionally, Edwards has made sure that the graduates of the Engineering Management program at Temple University are equipped to step up this challenge in the workplace. Several of these graduates have become involved in the autism-at-work programs at their organizations.
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