Elisa O’Donnell

Elisa O’Donnell has more than 20 years of management consulting and practical experience in the field of innovation and change. She believes in the creative potential of individuals and teams. She works in collaboration with her clients, acting as coach and facilitator, to engage them in creative yet pragmatic processes for innovating and putting new ideas into practice. 
O’Donnell has worked extensively in the Healthcare and Financial Services sector. Some of her clients have included Fidelity Investments, TIAA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Mayo Clinic. Her work typically focuses on improving the customer experience, driving meaningful change, and facilitating a more human centric approach to innovation. 
Her passion for innovation extends to teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in their own innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors at Babson, MIT, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and the University of Maine.


  • M.A., Communications Policy, City University, London, England (1985)
  • B.S., Business Administration, Boston University (1987)

Teaching Areas/Past Courses

Managerial Marketing

Research Interests

  • Large corporate innovation and ecosystems
  • Transformative innovation


E. O’Donnell. Mind the Gap – Inspiring the right human dynamics. HR Professional September. 2013. 

E. O’Donnell. Innovation Spaces: the Next Frontier in the Practice of Innovation. Imaginatik. 2012.

E. O’Donnell. Think You Want to Innovate, Think Again. Continuum. 2011. 

E. O’Donnell. Kill the Office of Innovation. CRM magazine. 2011. 

E. O’Donnell Contributing author. 5 Habits of Successful Innovators. Continuum. 2011.

E. O’Donnell Co-author. Leveraging the Bump Rate for Systemic Innovation. Boston History & Innovation Collaborative. 2007.

E. O’Donnell Co-author. Inventing New Business Processes Using a Process Repository. Organizing Business Knowledge: The MIT Process Handbook. 2003.

E. O’Donnell Co-author. Toward a Handbook of Organizational Processes. Management Science. March 1999.