Innovation Leadership Institute
It is all about thinking differently. Seeing what everyone else sees, but thinking something different about it. Then, taking this new and profound insight and creating practical, usable value from it, value that meets an untapped market need. This defines what innovation is all about, and it all starts with the ability to think differently, an ability that can be learned.

The Innovation Leadership Institute encompasses three two-day workshops for people interested in accelerating the design and development of new products and new services. More than 500 engineers, researchers, product developers and technical managers have completed this Institute, and over $18 million in New Venture dollars has been invested in ideas generated by participants in this program. The workshops are intended to be done over a three-month period. An alternative way to deliver this program is to conduct a five-day session followed by an eight-week action team project followed by a two-day Capstone event.

Participants in this program will learn leadership skills that stimulate innovation while they generate new product and new business ideas. The program is intended to be integrated into the existing business structure for driving innovation and is intended to drive innovation activity within that business. Action learning is at the core of the workshop design, so real-world business realities in real-time are at the center of the learning experience. The output of this workshop is a range of new product and new business model opportunities that could be implemented by the client company.

The Innovation Leadership Institute is customized to meet the specific needs of each client and to integrate the client's business goals, industry environment and innovation challenges into the learning methodology.

The three two-day workshops are as follows:
Leading for Innovation
The purpose of this session is to establish the foundation for leading innovative groups and teams. The skill-building focus of this session is on Creating Identity. Participants will learn how to increase motivation and commitment as teams begin the process of creating new product ideas. Participants also learn methods to spur idea generation and methods to build consensus towards ideas with the most potential. Action learning teams are formed around high-potential ideas for growth and profit, and teams are challenged to begin building a business case for their selected idea.


Day One
A. Vision, Mission and Goals
B. Innovation, Strategy and Growth
C. Leading for Innovation Model
D. Learning and Innovation
E. Creating Identity
F. New Product Idea Generation

Day Two
A. Leading the Group Decision Making Process
B. New Product Idea Review and Selection
C. Action Learning Team Assignments
D. Paradigms and Innovation
E. Action Planning - Next Session Assignment
Managing the Business
The purpose of this session is to increase business acumen and the skills needed to accelerate innovation and drive business results. A business simulation that requires collaboration and team decision-making is at the center of this workshop. The goal is to connect the concept of invention with the concept of innovation, i.e., an invention with a business model that drives value and growth. Participants engage in a simulation where they run and manage a company, enabling them to see and understand the business realities of introducing new products and services. This helps the action learning teams as they build business cases for their new product/service ideas.


Day One
A. Action Learning Team Review and Discussion
B. Team Building Activity
C. Business Management Simulation
D. Real-World Discussion
E. Evening Assignment

Day Two
A. Business Management Simulation
B. Simulation Debrief and Discussion
C. Action Learning Team Workshop
D. Next Session Assignment
Building the Business Case
The purpose of this session is to better understand the Voice of the Customer and to integrate this information into a Customer-Centered action plan for driving innovation and results. The Innovation Leadership Institute is customized to meet the specific needs of each client and to integrate the client's business goals, industry environment and innovation challenges.


Day One
A. Action Learning Team Presentations and Discussion
B. Innovation Case Study
C. Customers, Markets and Innovation
D. Teamwork and Innovation
E. Action Learning Team Workshop

Day Two
A. Action Learning Team Presentations
B. Tools for Accelerating Innovation
C. Defining the Voice of the Customer
D. Action Learning Teams: Charter Development
E. Closure

In addition to learning valuable skills, tools and techniques for driving new business ideas, models and products, participants learn how to provide team leadership in establishing a culture of Innovation.