Our Founder

Paul O'Connor, Founder of The Adept GroupPaul O’Connor, founder of The Adept Group, is a major force and creative voice in new product development (NPD). He developed and works with companies setting up powerful approaches to creativity, innovation, and improving NPD productivity. His clients include global companies across many industries.

O’Connor’s first work in NPD centered on creativity when he led projects for a leading innovation and strategy “Think Tank.” He often worked on new products, R&D and innovation management at major corporations, such as Exxon and Procter & Gamble. During that time, he collaborated with several pioneers in practices like Stage Gate and Intrapreneurship.

O’Connor founded The Adept Group in 1984 which expanded to include a team of world-class professionals from many disciplines. Working together, these professionals offer clients a wide range of consulting expertise and services focused on new product development productivity.

The Adept Group works with clients around the globe. Services include conducting capability maturity assessments, one-on-one coaching, and customized training. They also include helping partial and full process implementations.
Adept prides itself on expertly simplifying what O’Connor calls ‘the first derivative of new product development.” This, he explains, is the change needed to realize measurable gains from best-in-class practices and methods.

From 1990 to 1992, O’Connor served as president of the Product Development and Management Association. PDMA is the leading advocate for best practices in NPD. During this time he played a major role in shaping the first certification test for professional recognition in product development.

Paul has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and business publications. He was among the original contributors to PDMA’s first Handbook of Product Development (1996) and has continued to contribute to other editions (2008). He also provided material for PDMA’s 2004 ToolBook, and was a contributing editor to R&D Magazine. His work has also appeared in the highly respected Journal of Product Innovation Management.

O’Connor teaches a master courses and workshops and is a frequent speaker at professional organization meetings and corporate seminars. He also speaks on Product Line Strategies, Roadmapping, Portfolio Analytics and Process Optimization.

O’Connor earned a Bachelor of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Babson College. Outside the office, O’Connor spends much of his free time involved in music. He plays the guitar and undertook the leadership in setting up a nonprofit organization to engage high school seniors in mentoring middle school students in music.