Thornton May is a futurist, educator, and author. His extensive experience researching and consulting on the role and behaviors of “C” level executives in creating value with information technology has won him an unquestioned place on the short list of serious thinkers on this topic. Thornton combines a scholar’s patience for empirical research, a stand-up comic’s capacity for pattern recognition and a second-to-none gift for storytelling to address the information technology management problems facing executives. The editors at eWeek honored Thornton, including him on their list of Top 100 Most Influential People in IT. The editors at Fast Company labeled him ‘one of the top 50 brains in the business.’
Thornton has established a reputation for innovation in time-compressed, collaborative problem-solving. Thornton designs the curriculum that enables the mental models that allow organizations to outperform competitors, delight customers and extract maximum value from tools and suppliers. He specializes in creating action-based learning spaces for high-performance organizations. He ran the multi-client research program at the Nolan Norton Institute, led the Management Lab at Cambridge Technology Partners, co-founded the Olin Innovation Lab, founded the CIO Institutes at UCLA and UC-Berkeley and co-manages the CIO Solutions Gallery at THE Ohio State University.
Thornton’s research has been acknowledged in such seminal business books as Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing; Michael Schrage’s Serious Play: How the World’s Best Companies Simulate to Innovate; Moshe Rubenstein’s The Minding Organization; Bill Jensen’s Simplicity; and Jeff Williams’ Renewable Advantage: Crafting Strategy Through Economic Time.
Thornton’s book, The New Know: Innovation Powered by Analytics, analyzes what organizations know, how they come to know and how they act upon what they know/don’t know.
Thornton obtained his bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College; his master’s degree in Industrial Administration from Carnegie-Mellon University; and developed his Japanese language competence at the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan and Keio University in Japan.