Bob Moesta

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Master Innovator, Maker and Entrepreneur; Expert Investigator of Consumers’ Motivations and Decision-Making Processes; Co-Creator of the “Jobs-To-Be-Done” Theory; President, ReWired Group

Biography

Entrepreneurs and enterprise leaders alike recognize the importance of innovation, but few harness it effectively. Bob Moesta helps make it more predictable and successful.

Among the principal architects of the Jobs to be Done theory in the mid-90s along with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, Moesta has continued to develop, advance and apply the innovation framework to everyday business challenges. Currently president and co-founder of The ReWired Group, a Detroit, Mich., business development consultancy and innovation incubator, he is also an adjunct lecturer at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and an adjunct fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute.

A visual thinker, teacher and creator, Moesta has worked on and helped launch more than 3,500 new products, services and businesses across nearly every industry, including defense, automotive, software, health care, web services, financial services and education, for which he has a particular affinity: his forthcoming book, co-authored with education innovation expert Michael Horn, “Choosing College: How to Make Better Learning Decisions Throughout Your Life” (2019), applies the Jobs theory to transforming higher education for the needs of today’s learners. The authors help colleges answer the all-important question, “why are the students coming?”, and provide actionable solutions for helping students, parents, and institutions make progress in a more guided and purposeful fashion. The Jobs to be Done theory is just one of 25 different methods and tools he uses to speed up and cut costs of successful development projects. He is a guest lecturer at The Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Entrepreneurship and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Moesta is an entrepreneur at heart and engineer by training. He has started, built and sold several startups. Moesta started out as an intern for Dr. W. Edwards Deming, renowned statistician and father of the quality revolution. He traveled to Japan and learned first-hand many of the lean product development methods for which so many Japanese businesses, including Toyota, are known.

In recent years, Moesta has turned his Jobs to be Done and demand-side innovation research toward education with the goal of helping transform the public education system into one that is more student-centric. A lifetime learner, he holds degrees from Michigan State University and Harvard Business School. He has studied extensively at Boston University’s School of Management, MIT School of Engineering and is working toward a Master in Design from Stanford University’s “D” School.

Bob Moesta is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

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Moesta, Bob

Biography

Entrepreneurs and enterprise leaders alike recognize the importance of innovation, but few harness it effectively. Bob Moesta helps make it more predictable and successful.

Among the principal architects of the Jobs to be Done theory in the mid-90s along with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, Moesta has continued to develop, advance and apply the innovation framework to everyday business challenges. Currently president and co-founder of The ReWired Group, a Detroit, Mich., business development consultancy and innovation incubator, he is also an adjunct lecturer at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and an adjunct fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute.

A visual thinker, teacher and creator, Moesta has worked on and helped launch more than 3,500 new products, services and businesses across nearly every industry, including defense, automotive, software, health care, web services, financial services and education, for which he has a particular affinity: his forthcoming book, co-authored with education innovation expert Michael Horn, “Choosing College: How to Make Better Learning Decisions Throughout Your Life” (2019), applies the Jobs theory to transforming higher education for the needs of today’s learners. The authors help colleges answer the all-important question, “why are the students coming?”, and provide actionable solutions for helping students, parents, and institutions make progress in a more guided and purposeful fashion. The Jobs to be Done theory is just one of 25 different methods and tools he uses to speed up and cut costs of successful development projects. He is a guest lecturer at The Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Entrepreneurship and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Moesta is an entrepreneur at heart and engineer by training. He has started, built and sold several startups. Moesta started out as an intern for Dr. W. Edwards Deming, renowned statistician and father of the quality revolution. He traveled to Japan and learned first-hand many of the lean product development methods for which so many Japanese businesses, including Toyota, are known.

In recent years, Moesta has turned his Jobs to be Done and demand-side innovation research toward education with the goal of helping transform the public education system into one that is more student-centric. A lifetime learner, he holds degrees from Michigan State University and Harvard Business School. He has studied extensively at Boston University’s School of Management, MIT School of Engineering and is working toward a Master in Design from Stanford University’s “D” School.

Bob Moesta is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Make Innovation a Sure Bet by Understanding Customer Choice

Innovation – new products, new services, new markets – is the real growth engine for most companies, big and small. But despite all their resources, sophisticated processes, expansive consumer research and deep expertise, most companies end up managing innovation like it’s simply a game of luck. Don’t settle for probabilities.

This is not a process management problem. You need a different and better way to uncover what consumers really want, answering what jobs they need done, and to translate it into design requirements the rest of the organization can understand and act on.

Bob Moesta, one of the original architects of the Jobs to Be Done theory with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, discusses the basics of the theory that can transform your company’s innovation from hit and miss to predictable successes. He brings it to life with real examples and stories from diverse industries (both B2B and B2C), as well as every day life. Moesta focuses not only on unpacking the power of Jobs to Be Done, but he also offers actionable tips that enable you to immediately start thinking differently, and apply the framework to their personal lives as well as the businesses they work in.

*Moesta also offers an option to interview a customer or attendee live as part of his talk to demonstrate the theory in action.

 

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Recommendations

Advance Praise for “Choosing College”

“Choosing College with its deliberate frame of employment-centric concepts used to take a fresh look at the confusing and opaque world of life long learning and higher education choices resonates with me as a parent of three college-aged daughters, an education executive, a former college instructor and a public policy wonk. Since the Great Recession, consumers of education (primarily parents and students) have increasingly sought tangible information on the return on their education investment. Yet, nowhere has that been harder to find, than in the college admissions process. Horn and Moesta bring a new and timely framework to this vital decision-making process and families, like mine, as well as education leaders across many disciplines and sectors will find their insights applicable to the critically important life-long learning sector.”

—Jane Swift, Former Governor of Massachusetts and Former CEO of Middlebury Interactive Learning

“Choosing College is a great guide for families and students to navigate the very complicated river of life at the college selection stage. Like a seasoned set of river pilots, Horn and Moesta guide you through the twists and turns and help keep you off the sand bars of stress. This book helps you to find “your” way as there is no “the” way. It is a great personal guide to a very complex process.”

—Michael M. Crow, President of Arizona State University

“This book is not a guide to college selection. It’s a thoughtful and clear pathway for all learners to make the best decisions about who they are, what they want to do and what schools, colleges and universities should provide to help them get there.”

—Bev Perdue, Former Governor of North Carolina

“’Choosing College’ tackles one of the most complex and foundational decisions facing society today. Michael Horn and Bob Moesta go beyond dissecting the decision and formulating a return-on-investment. They frame a systemic approach to assist the reader in making a customized decision that is best for every individual. The break-through approach is the application of the popular innovation methodology (jobs-to-be-done) as a means of providing the reader with a pragmatic step-by-step model to make the most informed choices for their unique situation. As a business leader, an education advocate and a father, I found myself completely immersed in the content and in the resolution. I highly recommend this book to anyone contemplating the value and choices of pursuing continuing education.”

—Brad D. Smith, Executive Chairman, Intuit Inc.

“By focusing on the different reasons why students choose to go to college, Michael Horn and Bob Moesta offer an entirely fresh approach to coping with the admissions process. Learners contemplating further education at every stage of life will gain important insights from this book. So will educators who wish to serve their students better.”

—Richard Levin, President Emeritus, Yale University

“Does the world need yet another college guide book? It most certainly needs this fresh and insightful book from Michael Horn, who eschews the usual catalog of college profiles and instead focuses on the prospective student and the jobs they need college to do for them. Based on research, thousands of student profiles, and informed by a deep understanding of higher education, ‘Choosing College’ should be read together by students and their families and used as a way to frame the often fraught conversation about choosing the right college. Choosing the right college remains an often befuddling and irrational process. This book changes all that not because it provides better answers. It provides better questions and that’s what has long been needed. If you are considering college, this should be the first book you read. It may be the only one you’ll need.”

Paul LeBlanc, President, Southern New Hampshire University

“This is a friendly, pragmatic, accessible guide demystifying what is an often intimidating and stressful decision attended by an intimidating and stressful process. The authors focus on self-knowledge and the all-important personal “why”—why college, why now, why a particular type of institution, etc. rather than the elitist, extrinsic agenda-driven approach of too many college guides. I wish we’d had this book when our children were making their higher education decisions; I wish I’d had it when I was making mine.”

—Whitney Johnson, Thinkers50 Management Thinkers and Best-Selling Author, Build an A Team and Disrupt Yourself

“In offering 21st century advice in ‘Choosing College’ to students and parents about what to seek in a college experience, Michael Horn and Bob Moesta also lead counselors, teachers, and higher education leaders to examine what they are offering today’s applicants. Introducing “The Jobs to be Done” concept is a practical guide for sparking reflection, relevance, and renewal across the teaching and learning spectrum. I found how Horn and Moesta provide personal human stories on top of extensive data to be extremely effective driving home key points. This book provides an engaging approach to students and parents making critical decisions about college; even better, it pushes higher education leaders to make decisions that will sharpen their institution’s relevance to learners with different needs. And for policymakers confronting tough decisions about higher education, ‘Choosing College’ is a good starting point for matching how well a state’s institutions are meeting today’s student and workforce needs.”

—Bob Wise, Former Governor of West Virginia and Congressman

“The strength of American higher education is that it provides so many pathways, but this rich tapestry of options can appear to students as confusing and stressful. Students seeking clarity and a way to connect learning and further education to their current circumstances and life goals will benefit by using the “Jobs to be Done” framework of Horn and Moesta. Colleges and universities can also gain insights from exploring this framework as a new approach to understanding how learning experiences and student life circumstances can better connect.”

—Jerry Weber, President, Bellevue Community College

“Too many books focus on how to get into college without starting with the more fundamental question: Why are you going and how will you make it count? Horn and Moesta have developed a powerful framework to help students and the adults who support them, putting purpose and agency at the heart of the college decision process. And the world will be better for it!”

—Abby Falik, Founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year

“Choosing College removes the mystery around educational choices and provides a framework to help people deeply understand why they are considering more education…this book gives them the knowledge and tools to make the right life decisions. This is a critically important and timely work that should be read by all who want to advance their lives through learning.”

—Don Kilburn, CEO University of MA Online and Former President of Pearson North America

“Horn and Moesta shed novel light on what is really at work when students choose college. By helping us all focus on what we really seek from college and therefore what really matters to us, they open up rich new terrain for thinking better about one of the most important, and often expensive, choices we make. As a parent, this book helped me rise above brand chasing towards smart matching. As a leader in higher education, this feels like a needed wake up call at a crucial moment in history to setting mission and focusing priorities for institutions to move beyond trying to be all things to all people”

—Chris Gabrieli, Chairman, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education

“Choosing to attend or return to college is a critical life decision. Students “hire” a college to do many things. But many prospective students don’t fully recognize the criteria on which to make their choice. Sometimes educational “jobs-to-be-done” are well understood and sometimes they are more tacit. Michael Horn and Bob Moesta have captured and articulated the jobs students hire a college to do in a compelling and intuitive way. Better understanding these jobs can more effectively inform student choice. It can also better inform how colleges and universities can serve students and the jobs they are hired to do through their education. This book is as helpful to the prospective student as it is to the university administrator. Choosing College provides a significant contribution to the work of higher education and our collective efforts to better serve students.”

—Clark Gilbert, President, Brigham Young University Pathway Worldwide

“Michael Horn and Bob Moesta deliver insight after insight about why students choose college… and how to serve them better. “Choosing College” is a roadmap for leaders in the new world of higher education.”

—Alex Hernandez, Dean, University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies

“For almost every individual, the question of college – whether to go, where to go, what major – is one of those life-changing decisions? And while the data continues to support the attainment of post-secondary credentials as the surest path to opportunity, the college choice is decidedly a personal one. In ‘Choosing College,’ Michael and Bob expertly apply the Jobs to be Done theory to this seminal question, resulting in an incredibly relevant and useful guide for individuals, and those that support them, to evaluate their own reasons and purpose for attending college. It further highlights how and why different learners need different models and options to be successful. The research, personal stories, data and conclusions weave a compelling narrative, whether you are a first-time, returning or continuing learner.”

—Scott Pulsipher, President, Western Governors University

“College is still one of the greatest avenues to personal opportunity in the world. But the stakes now are higher, and the financial investment demands that we make good choices about where and how to pursue education. There is no better guide than the thoughtful and insightful Michael Horn to help us understand what matters in college, what we can expect from a degree, and how to make the most of the college experience. If you are looking for one book to guide your choice, start here!”

—Mary B. Marcy, President, Dominican University of California

“In ‘Choosing College,’ Michael Horn and Bob Moesta dive into the complexities of making learning decisions and emerge with clear, compassionate guidelines for both learners and educators.”

—Adele Faber, co-author, How To Talk So Kids Can Learn

“Michael Horn and Bob Moesta offer sensible and compassionate advice for students and parents alike. By reframing the college choice to focus on the actual reasons that people pursue a degree, ‘Choosing College’ cuts through the mountains of rumor, hype, and sheer misinformation that typically surround this important decision. ‘Choosing College’ is clear, concise, and well-informed.”

—William Deresiewicz, Author, Excellent Sheep

“Funny, endearing, fantastic, wicked smart, human and overall just a great success!”

– Samantha Hicks, CEB Global

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