HarperCollins Speakers Bureau
Phil McKinney profile

Phil McKinney

Globally Recognized Expert on Innovation Technology, and Executive Leadership


  • Beyond the Obvious: How Killer Questions Lead to Breakthrough Innovation
  • Practical Innovation: Taking the Mystery Out of Innovation and Creativity
  • The Future of Innovation: The Innovations that Will Impact Our Daily Life in 10, 20, or 30 years
  • Killer Innovation Workshop: A One or Two Day Workshop that Empowers Your Organization to Create Killer Innovations
  • Leadership and the Innovation Culture: The Actions Leaders Need to Take to Create an Innovation Culture Within Their Organization



Phil McKinney is the vice president and chief technology officer for Hewlett-Packard's (HP) Personal Systems Group, where he is responsible for long-range strategic planning and research and development for all of the company's PC product lines, including displays, mobile devices, notebooks, desktops, and workstations. Over the course of his career, he has been profiled or had his work on innovation written about in media outlets ranging from tech press to Vanity Fair, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. McKinney also writes a column for Forbes called "The Objective," hosts a popular "Killer Innovations" podcast that CIO Insight has called "a must listen," tweets from his @philmckinney handle, and is the author of Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions that Spark Game-Changing Innovation (Hyperion). A sought after keynote speaker, McKinney gives over 100 talks or workshops a year.

Recently, McKinney was a featured speaker at the Consumer Electronics Show, National Association of Broadcasters, McKinsey & Company, Churchill Club, Corporate Center for Innovation, Stanford University, Columbia University, American Express, Reuters, P&G, Kroger,

Televisa, Johnson Controls, Kraft, World Innovation Summit, PDS Technology Summit, Maker Faire, Cellcom Media Conference, Forrester Research, Yankee Group and many others. Attendees of his events have said McKinney was "super helpful to me in pitching my idea to a company" and that his speaking session "helped me to see myself as an innovator."

Vanity Fair named McKinney "The Innovation Guru;" MSNBC and FOX both call him "The Gadget Guy;" and Laptop Magazine named him as one of the "25 Most Influential People in Mobile Tech" in 2010. His uncanny ability to predict what's coming next caused The San Jose Mercury News to dub him "the chief seer." McKinney's podcast has been recognized as one of the "Top 10 Business Podcasts" for three years running.

In his talks based on Beyond the Obvious, McKinney explains why the success or failure of your enterprise depends upon your ability, or inability, to ask questions that lead to breakthrough innovations. Constantly generating great ideas is the foundation of staying ahead in a rapidly changing world, yet too many people assume it is a gift rather than a learned skill. McKinney puts this myth of the individual genius to rest and replaces it with the toolbox that allowed him to rise through the ranks at one of the world's preeminent technology companies. He presents FIRE (Focus, Ideation, Rank, Execution), a four part program, to change the way any company operates, innovates, and creates. He presents a set of 65 battle tested questions called "Killer Questions." Among them are:

- What is the process used by my customer to discover my product and to select it?

- What will my company look like in five years?

- What are my unshakable beliefs about what customers want?

- What is inconvenient about my product?

- How can I identify emerging trends that could impact my products?

- Who is using my product in a way I never intended -- and how?

This program and these questions - what McKinney calls his "crash course in how not to know" - will reframe the way audiences see their products, their customers, and their problems. Whether you're a company with a conference room of Aeron chairs or one with nothing more than a garage and Gmail address, McKinney provides the skills and easy-to-follow plan anyone needs to make both the revolutionary changes and nuanced adjustments required for staying ahead.

McKinney serves on the Board of Directors for The Computer History Museum and The Tech Museum, and the Innovation Board for Roche Diagnostics. McKinney, an Eagle Scout, serves on the Executive Board of the Santa Clara County Council for the Boy Scouts of America. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.