Drive game-changing innovation by training your team to see, think, and work differently.
We deliver in-person and virtual innovation training and coaching sessions to help people, teams, and organizations strengthen their innovation capabilities.
WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING
AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Design Thinking is a proven and repeatable methodology for solving problems and exploring opportunities. But more than just a process, it’s a way of thinking and working that is deeply human-centered. Design Thinking is a mindset and a toolset that embraces a collection of principles to guide the discovery and the collaborative crafting of new, innovative solutions. This topic is designed to introduce a team to the tenets of Design Thinking.
CREATIVITY LOVES CONSTRAINTS
It's easy to think of constraints as barriers to getting things done. "If we only had more money, or time, or people, we could . . . ." But when it comes to solving wicked problems, we should embrace constraints because they serve both as guide rails and stimuli for designing creative solutions.
"SELLING" YOUR IDEAS
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all engage in some form of sales, especially in business. We’ve all also experienced both great and terrible sales. The process of “great” sales is essentially about communicating relevant value. All too often, ideas are discarded not because they are inherently worthless but rather because their value wasn’t properly communicated.
INNOVATION IS FOR QUITTERS
When developing new products and services, we are susceptible to a number of forces that can blind us to red flags and drive us to continue pursuing dead-end concepts. Although tenacity is a necessary trait for innovators, there’s a fine line between determination and stubbornness. This topic will help teams remove their own blinders and appreciate the value of quitting.
SPOTTING OPPORTUNITIES HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
Where we look and what we see has a big impact on whether or not we are able to identify unmet customer needs or opportunities, even those that are hidden in plain sight. In fact, one of the traits that help innovators stand apart is their ability to see the world differently from most people. The good news is that learning to see differently is a skill that can be learned.
THE BEST STORY WINS
As human beings, we are wired to tell, remember, and react to stories. Yet for some reason, when we're at work, we rely far to 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.) The most successful innovators are masters at weaving critical details into relatable stories that convey both intention and value.
TECHNIQUES FOR INCLUSIVE DESIGN
Diversity and inclusion are high on the list of desired attributes for organizations of all types. Unfortunately, far too often we build solutions that work for us, and by extension, people like us. But what about everyone else? How might we bake a mindset of diversity and inclusion into everything we do and create?
WINNING THE WAR ON ERROR
As much as organizations truly want to innovate, when push comes to shove, operational efficiency often reigns supreme. This mindset brings with it little to no tolerance for mistakes. Such an approach may win the short-term battles, but it's a losing proposition when the long game demands innovation. The good news is these positions don't have to be mutually exclusive.
TOOLS FOR CHANGE:
NUDGING DESIRED BEHAVIOR
When we're in the throes of developing a new program or improving an existing process, we often spend time thinking about how we might motivate people to change. But sometimes it's not the people who need to change, it's their environment. In other words, it's not the mice, it's the maze. In this course, participants learn how to identify the conditions that drive specific behaviors and understand how to use tools to influence behavior change.
THE ART OF VISUAL THINKING
As much as we might agree with the notion that "a picture is worth 1,000 words," most of us default to using words to convey ideas. And when there's a communication breakdown, we wonder why "they" didn't get it? In this course, participants learn simple ways that anyone can use to communicate and collaborate visually.
CRAFTING KILLER QUESTIONS
It has been said, "the better the question, the better the innovation." In his book, Beyond the Obvious, Phil McKinney attributes much of his team's success to their ability to ask "killer" questions which spark game-changing innovations. A team's ability to formulate questions that have the potential to ignite the creative genius in their people can be the difference between good enough and awesome.
THE POWER OF PROTOTYPING
It has been said that operational excellence secures a company's present, while innovation excellence secures its future. But with mounting pressures to meet financial expectations, companies and organizations of all stripes find themselves increasingly focused on delivering, not discovering. Might there be a way to lower the time, costs, and risks related to innovation?
COLLABORATING WITH CANDOR
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. The highest performing teams are masters at both soliciting and delivering meaningful feedback so as to strengthen the team overall.
Deferring judgment, reframing, and listening - really listening - are critical skills for successful innovators, as these behaviors fuel creative collaboration. Do you know who else embodies these skills - improv ensembles! In this course, participants will learn how to apply some of the principles and practices of master improvisers to strengthen their collaboration muscles.
INNOVATION LEADERSHIP BY DESIGN
According to the Design Management Institute’s Design Value Index, design-driven companies have maintained a significant stock-market advantage, outperforming the S&P 500 by an extraordinary 219 percent over the past ten years. Being design-driven requires leaders to operate differently in order to augment their existing capabilities.
DESIGNING MOMENTS THAT MATTER
Across the arc of any journey, there are certain moments that matter more than others. Whether we're talking about customers or employees, educators or students, volunteers or donors, the experiences people have at critical touchpoints can have an outsized impact on engagement, loyalty, and retention.