“Don’t be afraid to fall in love with something and pursue it with intensity.”
—Dr. E. Paul Torrance
Russell A. Wheeler, MS, is a workplace learning and performance professional with over 20 years of operations, sales and leadership experience who has training delivery, design, measurement and performance consulting expertise. Russell is one of approximately 350 people worldwide with the credentials and expertise in facilitating and training individuals in innovative and critical thinking skills. Currently, Russell is a Learning Business Partner for Synovus Financial Corporation. He is responsible for providing consultative services to design, implement and evaluate learning solutions supporting three customer operations centers covering 28 divisions throughout Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina.
As a facilitator and trainer of innovation and change leadership, Russell is passionate about accelerating innovation to achieve results that improve profitability, employee performance and overall operational effectiveness. He is an expert practitioner of the Creative Problem Solving process, a flexible yet structured framework that is utilized to:
- Identify and clarify problems and situations,
- Generate and refine ideas efficiently, and
- Develop and implement innovative solutions.
Russell published a validated research study titled Improving the Understanding of the Impact of Creative Problem Solving Training through an Examination of Individual Differences. Conducted under the advisement of Dr. Gerard Puccio, author of the FourSight™, Russell utilized Kirkpatrick’s Level One evaluation methodology that examined the participant’s FourSight™ profile (i.e., an assessment tool that identifies preferences for the personal innovation process) and how they responded to a course in Creative Problem Solving. He also studied how these same participants foresaw applying innovative and critical thinking skills, personally and professionally.
Russell co-authored and published an article on the above referenced research titled Reactions to Creative Problem Solving Training: Does Cognitive Style Make a Difference? This article appeared in the Fall 2004 edition of the Journal of Creative Behavior, a peer-reviewed scholarly periodical. This research led to the commercialization of the FourSight™, and is highlighted in the FourSight™ Technical Manual under the heading “CPS Training as Viewed through FourSight Preferences.”
Russell is a member of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals. He served on the ASTD Chapter Recognition Committee from 2010-2011, where he reviewed best practices submitted by chapter leaders and assisted with the selection the Chapter of the Month award winners for ASTD. Additionally, Russell served as the Volunteer Communications Coordinator for the ASTD 2007 International Conference & Exposition. He implemented and maintained the website utilized for volunteer registration and coordination.
Russell is also a member of the Greater Atlanta Chapter of ASTD (ASTD Atlanta). He served three consecutive terms as Vice President for Communications from 2004-2006 and three consecutive terms as Vice President of Technology from 2007-2009 for the chapter. He is also a graduate of the ASTD Atlanta Leadership Academy – Inaugural Class of 2004. Russell has received the following honors from ASTD Atlanta:
- 2003 “Outstanding Contribution” Award
- 2004 “Out-of-the-Box & President’s Choice” Award
- 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 Leadership Appreciation Award
- Master of Science degree in Innovation and Change Leadership from the International Center for Studies in Creativity.
- Bachelor of Science degree in Business (Minors in Creativity & Innovation and Management Economics).
Russell has attained the Foursight™ Certified Advanced Facilitator designation, an assessment tool utilized to reveal how people solve problems and approach challenges — and how they can do it better.
In 2008, Russell was honored by the Clayton State University School of Business for his role in the MBA Executive Speaker Series. He has delivered FourSight workshops to every class since the program’s inception in 2006. Russell is the inaugural recipient of the Buffalo State College – Mildred Campbell Leadership Award, given to a student who exemplifies individual, campus and community leadership. He’s also the 2000 recipient of the Creative Studies Alumni Achievement Award for recognition of his contributions to the research and application of applied creativity, innovation and change leadership.
A native of Niagara Falls, New York, Russell currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
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