Like us, you probably read and hear a lot about the topic of "innovation."
Just about every CEO in every annual report to shareholders or presentation on strategy to the market claims it's important -- even essential -- for success. Academics study it and dissect both well-known and obscure examples. Consultants advise on it. Academics and consultants will charge a lot of money to teach you how to do it. Everyone knows the current generation of headline stories: Apple, Google, Starbucks, Tesla, GE. And there are similar case studies from every period of economic and social history built from a long list of successful discoveries, inventions and innovations -- and from the fallout of some spectacular failures.
John Parkinson was once in charge of "innovation" for a large global business in a conservative, slow changing industry that was nevertheless faced with both consolidation and a rapidly evolving regulatory environment. They had just sold what had been believed to be the largest growth engine of the business over the previous decade. The global leadership team believed that for the remainder of the firm to stay competitive, attract and retain talent and continue to grow profitably, they needed to "innovate." The issue was sufficiently important that there was a real budget allocated and some dedicated resources -- albeit a small team -- were made available.
John lead the team and figure out how to make things work. He did a lot of reading and thinking before they got started and even attended some of the many available courses and workshops that claimed at the time to teach innovation. For the most part, he didn't find them very useful -- and every one was delivered by a theorist, not by a practitioner. Eventually, he found a set of consultants who were practitioners as well as theorists who were helpful in getting the team started. Over a period of about 18 months, the team John led both built the foundations for a culture of innovation and "invested" around $20m in a series of "innovations" that saved roughly $400/year in operating costs and generated $1b/year in new revenue. John has incorporated his experiences, successes, missteps and perils of corporate innovation in the decade since then into our series of courses.
If your role is to manage an innovation program in a corporate setting, take our courses.
We have developed a series of short self-guided courses for corporate innovation managers that incorporates our extensive experience with the successes, missteps and perils of corporate innovation. The learning in our courses is based on:
If you are finding it hard to be a successful innovator inside a modern corporation, these courses can help you achieve goals.