This program is based on the Key Findings of the Largest and Most Comprehensive Research Study Ever on Innovation.
THE MOST VEXING QUESTIONS ABOUT INNOVATION… have little to do with the IDEA.
This workshop is not about creativity, brainstorming, searching for ideas, or selecting the best. It is about execution. It is about moving from idea to impact. It is about achieving an idea's full potential without getting eaten or run-over by the very organization that is trying to bring it to life.
Workshop participants discover a straight-forward approach to executing an innovation initiative, involving, in particular, a special kind of team and a special kind of plan.
There are a few terms that need to be defined in order to make sense of the workshop.
The Innovation Initiative:
An innovation initiative is a project that is new to a company and has an uncertain outcome. The purpose of the project could be to introduce a new process, a new product, a new service, or a new business. It is not, however, a small process improvement that a one or a few people could handle in their spare time, nor is it an effort to launch a new product or service that is very similar to existing products or services.
The Performance Engine:
The Performance Engine, the bulk of any established business organization, focuses on ongoing operations. The Performance Engine's driving interests are efficiency, productivity, and profitability. It strives to make every task and every activity as repeatable and predictable as possible.
The Fundamental Incompatibilities:
There are deep incompatibilities between innovation and ongoing operations. The Performance Engine may be the master of repeatable and predictable, but an innovation initiative is just the opposite. It is non-routine and uncertain.
The Core Prescription:
Because of the fundamental incompatibilities, each innovation initiative requires a team with a custom organizational model, the Dedicated Team, and a plan that is revised only through a rigorous learning process.
The Innovation Team:
The innovation team is always a partnership between a
Dedicated Team and the Performance Engine - specifically, a subset of Performance Engine employees called the Shared Staff. The Dedicated Team must be built from scratch, with its own organizational model and performance metrics.
You own the plan for the initiative more than any other person. You are the single point of accountability and the leader whose responsibilities span not just one aspect of the initiative, but the overall project. As such, you are responsible for building the team and making it effective - despite the fact that in most cases you will not have complete control.
Members of the Team:
The best-prepared team members fully understand the challenges their leaders face and what will be expected of them. In addition, they must consider: What legacies of my experience working within this organization (or other organizations) might I need to leave behind to be successful on this project? Performance metrics I've always relied upon? Expectations I have of peers?
Mid Level Managers and Executives:
These are managers and leaders in the organization who must understand the foundations of innovation in order to support the process from their position.
The innovation leader reports to the supervising executive, someone with critical and demanding responsibilities in successful execution of innovation initiatives.
CEOs and Chief Innovation Officers:
To reach their highest aspirations, CEOs and chief innovation officers must scale up from single innovation projects to routine innovation success. They must institutionalize innovation. This is a high aspiration, but the journey is much shorter once the core principles for managing single innovation projects have been mastered.
Performance Engine Leaders who Support an Innovation Initiative:
These leaders must understand the conflicts between innovation and ongoing operations and how best to support innovation initiatives while sustaining excellence in ongoing operations.
Innovation Coaches and Facilitators:
These leaders facilitate learning the foundations of innovation and provide practical support throughout the execution of the innovation initiative.
Doing Innovation Right
- Get Solutions to Make Innovation Happen Inside Your Organization
Classroom and activities
Note: The Parable
"This is a required pre-read before attending the workshop- "Animal Farm - [Revisited] - a business parable." This book takes the key principles from the research and embeds them in an easy to read and captivating storyline.
The use of the parable is an essential part of the workshop. It simplifies a difficult subject and casts it in a memorable format. It is a pre-read that people really will read, and that makes time in the classroom much more productive. Finally, by immersing people in a fictional narrative, it serves to reduce the tension and anxiety that can accompany a workshop on innovation and the change that it requires.
The parable invites the reader to rejoin the animals on present-day Animal Farm. Things have changed dramatically since Farmer Jones was thrown out and Napoleon rose to power. Napoleon was eventually succeeded by a more enlightened leader who led Animal Farm to realize many of its initial hopes and dreams. Modern advances in farming technology and transportation, however, have once again challenged the viability of Animal Farm. Something must be done if Animal Farm is to once again deliver the promise of prosperity to the animals.