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Drew Boyd

  • University of Cincinnati Main Campus
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My Latest Blogs
Innovation in Practice tag:typepad.com,2003:weblog-1425731 2018-10-15T11:39:13-04:00 The Corporate Perspective on Innovation Methods TypePad typepad/dboyd/innovationinpracticehttps://feedburner.google.com Running Effective Innovation Workshops tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3b8b838200b 2018-10-15T11:39:13-04:00 2018-10-15T11:39:13-04:00 I’ve mentioned in a previous post that innovation is a team sport. The strongest teams are characterized by functional, gender, and cultural diversity among its members. And, teams that are successful at innovation are committed to ongoing growth via avenues... Drew Boyd <div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><p><a class="asset-img-link" href="http://www.innovationinpractice.com/.a/6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3991b5b200d-popup" onclick="window.open( this.href, '_blank', 'width=640,height=480,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0' ); return false" style="float: right;"><img alt="Workshop-1345512_1280" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3991b5b200d img-responsive" src="http://www.innovationinpractice.com/.a/6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3991b5b200d-320wi" style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;" title="Workshop-1345512_1280"></img></a>I’ve mentioned in a <a href="http://drewboyd.com/innovation-the-ultimate-team-sport/">previous post</a> that innovation is a team sport. The strongest teams are characterized by functional, gender, and cultural diversity among its members. And, teams that are successful at innovation are committed to ongoing growth via avenues such as innovation workshops.</p> <p>When it comes to running effective innovation workshops, here are some things to keep in mind:</p> <p>First, decide where to hold the workshop. Now don’t get carried away here. Any room will do. You don’t need a so-called innovation room with bean bag chairs and frisbees. I’m not a big fan of these rooms because I don’t think they do anything to boost creativity. Just find a room with comfortable chairs and flip charts.</p> <p>When you begin your workshop, start by identifying the constraints around the problem. Constraints might include budget issues, timing, or legal and regulatory boundaries. List them all. Without constraints, the ideation will lack focus. You’re likely to generate ideas that are too wild to be viable.</p> <p>Next, make sure you and the participants define the closed world around the problem. Where you define this imaginary space around the problem will have a big impact on how you apply each technique.</p> <p>Now decide which of the <a href="http://drewboyd.com/think_inside_the_umbrella/">five techniques</a> to apply.  </p> <p>Once you select the techniques, create a list of the components and attributes by writing them down on a whiteboard, a flip chart, or a pad of paper. Make sure you number the list. That helps keep the workshop more organized as you work through the lists.</p> <p>When you apply a technique, be sure to work in smaller teams of two or three people, not as one large group. Working in pairs is also more efficient.</p> <p>As you apply a technique, assign each pair a different component from the list. That forces them to really focus, and it increases their chance of coming up with a creative idea. Be sure to set a specific time limit, say 3 minutes. This further constrains their brain to think inside the box.</p> <p>When ideas are generated, try not to identify them with a specific person. Otherwise, people may bias the idea depending on who generated it. A simple way to do this is to have people write down their ideas. When giving credit for the source of an idea, make sure it’s from the pair of colleagues, not just one person. You have to find ways to strip ideas of their identity. This will make sure ideas don’t get thrown out prematurely.</p> <p>A typical workshop can be anywhere from an hour in length to several days. Innovating is hard work, so be sure to manage the group’s energy level. Take a lot of breaks during the workshop, and mix up the activities to keep people engaged.</p> <p>Using good facilitation techniques will make sure you get the most out of your creativity workshop.</p></div><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=ckTxFPLijvU:uHs-8-oELmk:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=ckTxFPLijvU:uHs-8-oELmk:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?i=ckTxFPLijvU:uHs-8-oELmk:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=ckTxFPLijvU:uHs-8-oELmk:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?i=ckTxFPLijvU:uHs-8-oELmk:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=ckTxFPLijvU:uHs-8-oELmk:I9og5sOYxJI"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?d=I9og5sOYxJI" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice/~4/ckTxFPLijvU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> http://www.innovationinpractice.com/innovation_in_practice/2018/10/running-effective-innovation-workshops.html Training Your Team to Innovate tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3701b08200c 2018-10-03T16:59:20-04:00 2018-10-03T16:59:20-04:00 To drive innovation across your company, you must train your employees how to innovate. Innovation is a skill, not a gift, and it can be learned like any other skill. Go back to your innovation competency model. Start there to... Drew Boyd <div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><p><a class="asset-img-link" href="http://www.innovationinpractice.com/.a/6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3b5e4df200b-popup" onclick="window.open( this.href, '_blank', 'width=640,height=480,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0' ); return false" style="float: right;"><img alt="Training" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3b5e4df200b img-responsive" src="http://www.innovationinpractice.com/.a/6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3b5e4df200b-320wi" style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;" title="Training"></img></a>To drive innovation across your company, you must train your employees how to innovate. Innovation is a skill, not a gift, and it can be learned like any other skill. Go back to your innovation competency model. Start there to think about the training needed to get employees up to speed.</p> <p>For example, for generating ideas, you could apply a method called Systematic Inventive Thinking, or SIT for short. It’s based on five simple patterns that can be applied to any product, process, or service to create new-to-the-world innovations.</p> <p>To learn more about how to use this method, see my course called <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/learning/business-innovation-foundations/using-the-exercise-files">Business Innovation Foundations.</a></p> <p>Here are some suggested ways to conduct innovation training in your company:</p> <p>First are what I call Open Seminars. These are two or three day workshops that are open to all employees. The maximum class size is 24, and you want each participant to bring with them something from their job to work on during the class.</p> <p>Another approach is to have training with Intact Teams, meaning the participants are all from the same team – an R&amp;D team or a finance team for example. I recommend keeping these smaller, say 12 to 16 participants max. These sessions are more like workshops where the team applies innovation to specific challenges, and these last anywhere from half a day to three days.</p> <p>Many companies conduct executive leadership programs for high potential employees – those with potential to become senior leaders. Creativity is a critical skill for leaders, so companies devote a full day or more on innovation within these one to two week programs.</p> <p>You also want to focus training on new and potential employees. Some companies create innovation internships so they can evaluate a potential employee’s skill before hiring.</p> <p>Online training such as what you’re doing right now is another effective way to drive innovation. Online courses are flexible, efficient, and repeatable. Employees can go back and watch online course material to tune up their skills.</p> <p>And finally, a quick way to start innovation training is to partner with a college or university by either sending employees to innovation training courses or having the institution conduct private corporate training at your offices. Methods like SIT are being taught at many business, design, and engineering schools.</p> <p>Training makes innovation come alive. Conducting training sessions sends a powerful message to your employees that you’re serious about innovation.</p></div><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=Bm18-u4jD6U:5UeCYiueogM:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=Bm18-u4jD6U:5UeCYiueogM:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?i=Bm18-u4jD6U:5UeCYiueogM:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=Bm18-u4jD6U:5UeCYiueogM:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?i=Bm18-u4jD6U:5UeCYiueogM:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=Bm18-u4jD6U:5UeCYiueogM:I9og5sOYxJI"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?d=I9og5sOYxJI" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice/~4/Bm18-u4jD6U" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> http://www.innovationinpractice.com/innovation_in_practice/2018/10/training-your-team-to-innovate.html Motivating Innovative Behavior tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3938911200d 2018-09-24T00:20:00-04:00 2018-09-24T00:20:00-04:00 Innovators are at their best when they feel a sense of purpose. As a marketing leader you play a key role in that dynamic. Innovators have to feel good about the products and services they put into the marketplace. They... Drew Boyd <div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><p><a class="asset-img-link" href="http://www.innovationinpractice.com/.a/6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3b33af1200b-popup" onclick="window.open( this.href, '_blank', 'width=640,height=480,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0' ); return false" style="float: right;"><img alt="Team-3373638_1280" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3b33af1200b img-responsive" src="http://www.innovationinpractice.com/.a/6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad3b33af1200b-320wi" style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;" title="Team-3373638_1280"></img></a>Innovators are at their best when they feel a sense of purpose. As a marketing leader you play a key role in that dynamic.</p> <p>Innovators have to feel good about the products and services they put into the marketplace. They need to feel appreciated for the work they do and the risks they take. And they need to be rewarded and recognized for their accomplishments. Be sure to use a mix of both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, and do it throughout the year, not just at the annual meeting.</p> <p>A common mistake companies make when rewarding innovation is to consider only the <em>results</em> of innovation - the outputs. These include things like patents, or new product launches, or innovative cost cutting programs. That’s not enough.</p> <p>You’d miss a huge opportunity if you didn’t also reward people for their inputs - the effort and time they put into becoming more innovative. From my experience, <em>that’s</em> where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck.</p> <p>For example, make sure you recognize people for getting trained on innovation methods and processes. It may not sound like much, but trust me. People give up a lot of time to attend training. You need to reward them. It motivates others who haven’t been trained to get it done.</p> <p>I suggest you reward team leaders who take the time and the risk to conduct innovation workshops. Find those employees who are putting their training to good use, then call them out. People love to be praised and recognized especially when they took a risk.  </p> <p>Now, how you recognize and reward people’s innovation efforts depends on the type of culture you have at your company. That might include bonuses, plaques, award ceremonies and so on. That’s all good, but I don’t think it's enough. Let me share two very important and powerful ways to motivate innovation.</p> <p>I believe people get really motivated when you, as the leader, say that you’re willing to sponsor their innovation initiative. That means you’ll watch over and support them, not just with resources, but to keep the critics away from them - give them time to nurture and develop amazing ideas.</p> <p>Finally, you can motivate teams by reminding them of a very sobering reality in any company - remind them they live in a <strong>portfolio world</strong>. Companies are nothing more than a collection of projects that are expected to produce positive business results. An employee’s individual project is just one of many. And guess what? The projects that get the most support and funding are those that can portray a bright and creative future.</p> <p>In other words, the message they should hear is this: if you want to stay relevant and grow, get out there and apply innovation methods to create an amazing pipeline of future opportunities, not just the ones you have today.</p> <p>In essence, you want your employees to see innovating as a way to compete for more resources. When you reach that stage, you will be amazed at what people will do to drive innovation.</p></div><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=cCizQeFRmL0:H4HmWf0RAxw:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=cCizQeFRmL0:H4HmWf0RAxw:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?i=cCizQeFRmL0:H4HmWf0RAxw:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=cCizQeFRmL0:H4HmWf0RAxw:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?i=cCizQeFRmL0:H4HmWf0RAxw:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=cCizQeFRmL0:H4HmWf0RAxw:I9og5sOYxJI"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?d=I9og5sOYxJI" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice/~4/cCizQeFRmL0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> http://www.innovationinpractice.com/innovation_in_practice/2018/09/motivating-innovative-behavior.html Creating a Culture of Innovation tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad36bba0f200c 2018-09-17T09:51:46-04:00 2018-09-17T09:51:46-04:00 There have been times I sat down with a client and I told them, “your organization is very innovative”, but they don’t believe me. I tell them, if you don’t perceive yourself as innovative, then you’re not. Therefore, it’s critical... Drew Boyd <div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><p><a class="asset-img-link" href="http://www.innovationinpractice.com/.a/6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad36bba00200c-popup" onclick="window.open( this.href, '_blank', 'width=640,height=480,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0' ); return false" style="float: right;"><img alt="Innovation sign" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad36bba00200c img-responsive" src="http://www.innovationinpractice.com/.a/6a00e54ef4f3768834022ad36bba00200c-320wi" style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;" title="Innovation sign"></img></a>There have been times I sat down with a client and I told them, “your organization is very innovative”, but they don’t believe me. I tell them, if you don’t perceive yourself as innovative, then you’re not. Therefore, it’s critical to get both your internal and external stakeholders to see the truth.</p> <p>Here’s what they need to see and believe:</p> <p>An innovative corporate culture is one that supports the creation of new ideas and the implementation of those ideas. Leaders must help employees see innovation in practice as a regular part of how the company does business.</p> <p><strong>See innovation as a competency</strong></p> <p>Innovation is a skill, not a gift.  It can be learned by anyone and applied systematically. Innovative companies treat it as just another core skill by:</p> <ul> <li>Creating a well-defined set of innovation competencies and embedding them into every employee’s competency model along with other required behaviors such as ethics and leadership.</li> <li>Conducting regular training courses in creativity methods and innovation management.</li> <li>Staffing internal innovation experts and coaches who work with teams to help guide their innovation efforts and facilitate their success.</li> <li>Rewarding employees for innovation, both the results of as well as efforts to become more innovative.</li> </ul> <p><strong>See innovation as a competitive weapon</strong></p> <p>Innovative companies use innovation to differentiate themselves by:</p> <ul> <li>Conducting regular idea generation workshops within business units</li> <li>Deploying innovation methods within planning and strategy initiatives</li> <li>Innovating from the core competencies of the firm as the starting point</li> </ul> <p><strong>See innovation as a process</strong></p> <p>Innovative companies don’t treat innovation as special, unique activity. They see it instead as an ongoing “stream of effort” along with quality, leadership, productivity, and other imperatives.  They do this by:</p> <ul> <li>Avoiding the temptation to brand the innovation program</li> <li>Developing an idea management and tracking capability</li> <li>Linking innovation to all key processes including financial, commercial, and technical.</li> </ul> <p><strong>See innovation as both systematic and opportunistic </strong></p> <p>The most innovative companies flex between different styles of creating opportunity by:</p> <ul> <li>Sponsoring employees for taking risks and championing new ideas through to execution</li> <li>Being open to ideas from outside sources to make non-obvious connections to internal projects.</li> <li>Experimenting and piloting new ways to apply innovation methods</li> <li>Collaborating with like-minded companies in non-competing industries to source new ideas and trends.</li> </ul> <p>Most importantly, you as a marketing leader must constantly remind both your employees and external stakeholders how innovative the company is. It’s the <em>perception</em> from these two groups that drive an innovative culture.</p></div><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=0IQ-Oo15wWg:MrrCEsutCdU:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=0IQ-Oo15wWg:MrrCEsutCdU:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?i=0IQ-Oo15wWg:MrrCEsutCdU:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=0IQ-Oo15wWg:MrrCEsutCdU:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?i=0IQ-Oo15wWg:MrrCEsutCdU:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?a=0IQ-Oo15wWg:MrrCEsutCdU:I9og5sOYxJI"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice?d=I9og5sOYxJI" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/typepad/dboyd/innovationinpractice/~4/0IQ-Oo15wWg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> http://www.innovationinpractice.com/innovation_in_practice/2018/09/creating-a-culture-of-innovation.html