Executive Director, Center for Innovation Excellence
Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Entrepreneurship
J. Coles College of Business Kennesaw State University
Dr. Olson teaches innovation, leadership, ethics and environmental sustainability to executives and managers. He previously taught at Georgia State University Robinson College of Business and Law School (2007-2015), where he was named “Best Professor” nine times. He also Directed the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility. He has taught at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School (1992-99), School of Medicine (1994-99), and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1994-99).
He founded and Directed the Business and Professional Ethics Program for Emory’s Center for Ethics in Public Policy and the Professions. In between his two tours in higher education, Steve co-founded Generative Consulting, a leadership training and coaching consultancy and led its partnership with the Great Place to Work Institute (1999-2004) and the Fortune magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For” project. He has taught and led innovation and leadership workshops, projects and programs across the U.S., Latin America, and Europe.
An active volunteer, Steve he served as VP for Operations on the Board of Nicholas House Family Shelters and two-terms as Board Chair of Moving in the Spirit (MITS), which teaches leadership and life skills to at risk youth using the art and discipline of modern dance.
Currently, spurred by the experience of serving as Special Advisor to the US Marine Corps and of working on the behalf of a suicidal student-veteran to get help and healing, Steve has devoted his volunteering and giving to the cause of helping our veterans come home from war, heal the visible and invisible wounds of war, and transition back into their families and communities so that they can take up their rightful place at the center of our communities, organizations, and society.
He served as an adviser to Veteran’s Heart Georgia (VHG) and attended VHG’s monthly “Just Listening” circles for several years. Steve believes that we are better as a society when veterans take up their rightful place in the center of our society and that it is our duty as citizens to honor them, take up responsibility with them for our nation’s wars and “afterwar” work, so that we can all work to live in peace. Steve has served as a Special Advisor the U.S. Marine Corps, first at the Parris Island Recruit Depot and then at The Basic School. His work with the Marine Corps was featured in USA Today, and Newsweek.
Steve earned a Masters from Yale University (1988) his Ph.D. from Emory University (2007). He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Germaine, and their two children, Kai (10) and Greta (7).