Acquire Innovation Capability

Develop Leadership and Behaviors for Innovation

Situation:

A firm or organization may often face change, sometimes in terms of strategy and sometimes in terms of everyday operational activities. Even if all people in the organization are aligned about the new areas to enter and have the correct skill sets, a change will still not be successful without the following:

  • Leadership tuned for innovation
  • Culture, behaviors, and mindset that supports Innovation
  • Practice in the process of innovation, including execution while learning

A Workshop is not Enough:

Sometimes, firms will conduct a workshop to teach innovation practices or they might assess their people for innovate capabilities. While this training may seem to be a logical activity, it will not directly affect the changes and innovations that are required by the firm. Secondly, after the workshop, people tend to forget what they have learned and they will soon go back to an earlier mode of work.

An Approach to Innovation Culture that Works:

A strategic change initiative needs to not only teach innovation leadership, mindset, behaviors, and tactics, it need to also train those behaviors in the real-life context of a project that is actually needed within the firm.

A more effective program is to support a strategic change initiative needs to not only teach innovation leadership, mindset, behaviors, and tactic, it need to also train those behaviors in the real-life context of a strategic project that is actually needed within the firm.

This model requires 3 simple phases:

1) Pre-Activity Planning: Set Strategic Objective:

Plan dates for an educational Workshop and articulate strategic outcome.

2) Activity I: Innovation Leadership, Culture, and Execution:

A one-half day to two days of training, which contains the following:

  1. Lectures on about the innovation framework of a firm
  2. Discussion and self-assessment of the complementary behaviors and mindsets, (leveraging BerkeleyInnovationIndex.org).
  3. Training for innovation project execution using the Innovation Engineering Framework (See Innovation-Engineering.net)

3) Activity II: Project to Practice and Reinforce Behaviors

An innovation project to conducted and mentored by an expert so that can the innovation behaviors can be learned, practiced, and placed into a long term memory patters. A project should be selected with a small team of 4 to 6 people who all exhibit a willingness of capability for innovation behaviors.. This project effectively results in a “Beta trial” for strategic change using innovation practices within the firm. Through this process, these original 4-6 people will learn how to coach others during future other projects conducted in the firm.

Conclusion:

The key to this approach it that the mainstream group learns about innovation first with a simple and short seminar. Following the seminar, an actual innovation project will be conducted, typically over the next 90-100 days. A web based tool will be used to developed to reinforce the behaviors of innovators during that project. While working on a real-life innovative project within the firm, the team can practice the necessary behaviors, mindset, and execution model. After that project, this project team will be able to show others how to achieve similar innovation behavior, therefore this approach can become a scalable solution.