My Bio

Beebe Nelson’s firm, Working Forums LLC, provides consulting, training, and expert coaching in innovation and new product development focused on the implementation of effective processes and practices.   Nelson’s consulting clients have included Becton-Dickinson, Bose, Boston College Center for Social Citizenship, Cerner, Colony Homes, Corning, Delphi Automotive, DHD Healthcare, Eli Lily, Fairchild Semiconductor, Globe Union, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson Controls, iRobot, Lucent, Pearson Education, PictureTel, Polaroid, Praxair, S.C. Johnson, Shakespeare & Company, Smiths Medical, Stanley Works, Tahitian Noni International, Trane/American-Standard, United Technologies (UTC), and Varian. She has trained teams to understand their customers using ethnographic methods developed by the Center for Quality of Management, where she taught executive education programs for several years in the mid ‘90’s.  She has designed and implemented concept generation sessions, helped clients to implement or improve phase/review processes, introduced portfolio planning processes, developed practices for product life-cycle management, and generated methods for building and tracking project business cases.   She has also worked with client companies to assess and improve their global R&D practices and capacities.  She is on the faculty of Sequent Learning Networks, and is a strategic consultant to Innovare-Inc.

Beebe recently retired as Director of the International Association for Product Development (IAPD), a corporate member program of the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), whose members currently include Harley-Davidson, Corning, Caterpillar, Eli Lilly, and Sikorsky.  Supported by over 40 of the world’s major corporations, the IAPD has for 20 years led industry’s most advanced program of discovery, understanding, and implementation of best practices in innovation and new product development. During her IAPD tenure, from the mid-90’s until 2011, she has helped to design workshops that address issues that are critical to member companies ability to innovate, including, most recently, The Innovation Workforce of the Future, Innovating in the New Economy, and Innovation and Sustainability.

Beebe contributes regularly as speaker, workshop leader, and facilitator at professional conferences in product development.  She was Visiting Assistant Professor in the College of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 2005 – 2007.  She was lead facilitator for the PDMA’s Frontier Dialogues, and served as Book Review Editor for the Journal of Product Innovation Management from 1999 to 2003. Her publications include “Listening for New Products: The Conversations of Product Development”, CQM Journal, 1997, “Seven Steps to Strategic New Product Development,” PDMA Handbook of New Product Development, Wiley, 1996, and  “Product and Technology Roadmapping,” co-authored with Richard E. Albright, in the PDMA Toolbook2 (2004).  Beebe holds a masters degree in counseling and a doctorate in philosophy from Harvard University.  She is certified as a New Product Development Professional (NPDP).  She is certified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), which she uses frequently in working with multi-functional teams.

Beebe’s book, New Product Development for Dummies (Wiley, 2007), co-authored with Robin Karol, presents the basics of what innovating companies have learned in the nearly two decades since she began her consulting career as a member of the New Product Delivery Support Center at Polaroid Corporation.