AMI is a pioneering organization comprised of committed individuals who foster and leverage creativity and innovation in organizations and society. AMI identifies leading edge innovation, shares experiences, sponsors research, and recognizes innovation and creative processes.

AMI members, through sharing and candor, encourage each other to openly explore topics of interest and support mutual learning and personal development. AMI actively promotes diversity in perspectives. In an environment of fun, high energy, and action, AMI members value and respect the contribution each member makes in achieving the organization’s goals and mission.

The goals of AMI are to:

  • Identify worldwide emerging innovation, leadership, creativity process and organizational development concepts and practices of value to organizations.
  • Educate AMI members regarding these concepts and practices.
  • Educate AMI members in concepts and practices for innovation implementation in organizations, i.e., to be effective change agents.
  • Evaluate concepts and practices for AMI recognition and suggested further research by the Center for Creative Leadership.
  • Leverage the resources and skills of the Center for Creative Leadership to meet AMI’s goals.
  • Summarize significant trends and opportunities for member organizations.
  • Publicize new knowledge and trends learned in the concept and practice of innovation of American industry and society, including education.
  • Provide mechanisms and structure for members to benefit from sharing and developing ideas, including new business development and technology transfer processes.


An outgrowth of CCL’s annual Creativity Week series (1978-1987), the Association for Managers of Innovation (AMI) was conceived in 1981 as a “by invitation” network of innovation practitioners. The initial meeting drew six members; by 1986 the group had grown to twenty and, since then, attendance at the twice yearly meetings has averaged 25-30.

See an AMI History timeline in an Adobe Acrobat pdf file.

AMI members have historically sought a forum permitting frank discussion of the mechanics of innovation — “How does one implement a parallel system designed to nurture creative ideas?” “How do you reward creativity?” “Is innovation rated on your performance appraisal form?” “Has anyone tried to reduce the levels in their organization as a means to increase the flow of ideas, both up and down?” The meetings connect people with unsure questions to those who have wrestled with tentative answers. AMI links kindred souls in this innovation experience.

A central topic for each meeting is developed at the prior AMI session. Presenters, often from within the membership, are then invited and the agenda crafted to include idea exchange and work in smaller groups. AMI meeting topics over the years have included Measurement of Successful Innovation, Routine Miracles, Critical Levers for Managing Technological Change, Reward & Recognition, Inter-Company Idea Exchanges, and Humor in the Workplace.

A stable feature of AMI meetings is the highly rated “Open Discussion” — time slots scheduled throughout the meeting for members to talk about their activities and opportunities, seek opinions and reactions, or discuss whatever is on their mind with the group.

At the end of an AMI meeting members write a short statement of their “learnings” which comprise the core of the newsletter. Named “AM I a Newsletter?” by vote of the membership in 1989, each edition serves to chronicle the preceding meeting.

In 1990 AMI members initiated steps to better define the mission and scope of the organization. Both a Mission Statement and Membership Guidelines were approved at the Spring ’91 meeting. Members work in business, industry or government and must have some responsibility for creativity and innovation in their organizations. They agree to honor requests for confidentiality at meetings. Annual dues now cover the cost of the AMI newsletter and support, while tuition fees apply to meetings. Membership is terminated by non-payment of dues.


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