Shawn Coyne

Speech Topics

Ideas. Whether the goal is to create a billion-dollar business, fix a broken process, reduce expenses, or simply find the perfect gift for that special someone, we all need a steady stream of breakthrough ideas – and we’ve all learned from experience that traditional brainstorming doesn’t generate them.

Kevin P. Coyne and Shawn T. Coyne have spent more than a decade developing a better approach – Brainsteering – that takes brainstorming and other outdated ideation techniques and “steers” them in a more productive direction by better reflecting the way human beings actually think and work in creative problem-solving situations. By asking just the right questions, and introducing just the right amount of structure into the process, Brainsteering has helped Fortune 500 companies, small not-for-profits, and individuals alike generate ideas they previously could never have imagined.

Peppered with thought-provoking and entertaining examples drawn from the workplace and popular culture, the Coyne Brothers’ presentation on Brainsteering can help anyone develop breakthrough ideas, whether working alone on a one-time problem or turning an entire organization into an ongoing “idea factory.” And getting started is easy: simply ask the right questions, and good ideas will follow.

Having a sustainable competitive advantage is the single best predictor of success for a business – but SCA has proven to be an elusive concept. Historically, business executives and academics have struggled to create a truly robust definition of SCA, then struggled further to determine whether a given organization actually has one. This presentation lays out a new and rigorous approach to understanding SCA – a framework called Value, Scarcity & Asymmetry (VSA) – which will help you test whether your company (or a competitor) has an SCA, how strong it is, and whether it is likely to endure. The approach can be used to test both existing and proposed strategies, and can even be used to help identify new possibilities.


An expert in innovation, marketing strategy and organizational effectiveness, Shawn Coyne has 25 years of experience in strategic management consulting, brand management, and business leadership.

Shawn has served as Senior Managing Principal & CAO of Zyman Group, an international marketing consulting firm, where he supervised the hiring, training, deployment, and performance evaluation of nearly100 consultants; as co-founder and CEO of Connexxia LLC, an internet communications company that helped colleges and universities create and manage personalized two-way communications programs with prospective and incoming students and thereby improve their admissions results; as an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company, where he served major clients in the fields of telecommunications, consumer electronics, banking, information services, sports management, and mass communications; and as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble, where he helped grow such iconic brands as Tide, Ivory, and Safeguard.

Shawn holds a BA with honors from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He has authored or co-authored articles for The Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business Online,, Executive Journal, MWorld, and Chief Executive Magazine; has been featured or quoted in such publications as The Wall St. Journal, University Business magazine, and The Atlanta Business Chronicle; and has appeared on Fox Business News.

Shawn and his brother Kevin are the Managing Directors of The Coyne Partnership, a boutique consulting firm serving senior executives and boards of directors in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors in the areas of strategy, marketing, and organizational effectiveness, with a particular focus on identifying groundbreaking new ideas. They are the authors of the book, Brainsteering: A Better Approach to Breakthrough (HarperCollins, 2011).


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