Training & Public Speaking
As much as we enjoy helping organizations "do," we are equally delighted to help them "learn how to do," as that's another way of fulfilling our mission.
We interrupt this message to point out that even though this page is titled "Training & Public Speaking," we're not in the "training" business. We're in the "helping people learn" business, and there's a difference. We are well aware that knowledge doesn't change behavior, so we seek to inspire our audiences to commit to acting on what they learn in order to instill new habits and behaviors.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
We firmly believe that what we do isn't rocket surgery. In fact, most aspects of our approach to innovation are actually common sense, just not common practice. Through our training programs and speaking engagements, we aim to change that. Our dream of opening for the Foo Fighters will probably go unfulfilled, but we're happy to take the stage anytime and anywhere we can add value.
Below are brief descriptions of some of the courses and presentations in our repertoire. We tailor all of our
programs to meet your needs, including content, duration, and location.
"Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow."
- William Pollard
Design Thinking for Organizations
As organizations seek to strengthen their innovation capabilities, many are equipping internal teams with the tools and techniques of Design Thinking. We offer customized, multi-day training programs that provide participants with opportunities to "learn by doing" by applying their learning to a relevant "problem worth solving."
Whether it's a broad overview of Design Thinking, or a deep dive into specific aspects, such as conducting ethnographic research to identify unmet customer needs, we tailor the content, delivery, and duration to meet the learning objectives of the participants and the business goals of the organization.
Building a Culture of Innovation
Although it's doubtful that organizational leaders would intentionally erect barriers to innovation, such obstacles litter the landscape. These seemingly innocuous impediments can have a devastating impact on productivity, morale, and long-term profitability. But it doesn't have to be that way.
In this course we highlight common organizational barriers to innovation, such as fear of failure, and discuss actions and behaviors that can overcome them.
Spotting Opportunities Hiding in Plain Sight
In this course we delve into how our "frames" (the way we see the world, ourselves, and our challenges & opportunities) all factor into if and how we innovate. We look at how companies like Alcoa, SPANX, and Grameen Bank discovered unmet needs and successfully developed new products, business models, and strategies to address them. We also share what we can do differently to overcome the invisible constraints that often limit how we see, think, and work.
Designing "Wow!" Experiences
Creating products and services that provide a delightful experience for customers is a goal for most organizations, as great experiences often translate into customer loyalty. But the same focus and tools can be applied to employees, which can lead to numerous benefits.
In this course, we cover the principles of experience design along with specific tools, such as stakeholder analysis, journey mapping, and "Jobs to Be Done" theory, that organizations can use to design and deliver extraordinary experiences.
Creative Problem Solving
It's been said that insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So if we want different results, we need different approaches to problem-solving.
In this course, we share some of the principles and tools of Creative Problem Solving (CPS), which is both mindset and toolset. CPS, which can be applied to nearly any type of problem, can help you get "unstuck" and move from creative thinking to creative doing.
Critical Thinking for Effective Decision Making
In a world where we are constantly pushing to get more done in less time, our reliance on routine ways of thinking and doing can leave us ill-equipped to solve new, complex problems.
In this course, we share tools and techniques to improve critical thinking and decision-making. We also explore ways to cultivate "out of the box" ideas and stress the importance of separating the generation of ideas from the evaluation stage.
Building Creative, Collaborative Teams
The myth of the lone genius is just that, a myth. To solve truly wicked problems it's critical to call upon the talents and perspectives of a diverse team. However, like any other team sport, creative collaboration inevitably leads to conflict, which can be constructive or catastrophic.
In this course, we compare the attributes of dysfunctional teams with high performing teams. We also cover the impact of emotional intelligence on team dynamics and the role of empathy in giving (and receiving) critical feedback.
Strategic Planning by Design
For many organizations, the strategic planning process is too internally focused. (What are OUR goals? What should WE offer? What technology do WE need?) So what can we do differently?
In this course, we discuss how the tools of Human-Centered Design can improve strategic planning and enable leaders to make more informed decisions about what actions to take, and just as importantly, what actions NOT to take.
Stories That Stick: Designing Effective Presentations
As human beings, we are wired to tell, remembers, and react to stories. Yet for some reason, when we're at work, we rely far too often on facts and figures to inform people in hopes that it will influence their decisions and behaviors. (And then we grumble when it doesn't work.) Could there be a better way?
In this course, we explore the use of storytelling as a design tool to influence others. We'll also dig into specific techniques to make our messages more memorable and impactful, including slide design and presentation delivery.