Tag Archives: facilitation

Now Available – Charting Change™ Facilitated Change and Project Kickoffs

Help Yourself to Successful Projects and Change Initiatives

Too often change management is seen as a subset of project management, causing the people side of change to be an afterthought. Stop it!

Architecting the Organization for Change

Successful organizations plan for change, and so I am extremely excited to announce that people can now get help powering their project or change initiative to a strong start with a facilitated Charting Change™ kickoff event requiring only a very small financial investment that will deliver a large return.

Charting Change™ Facilitated Change and Project Kickoffs include a package of products and services, valued at up to $460,600, for a deeply discounted introductory price:
(contact us for pricing)

  1. Change Readiness Audit (part of Day 1 of 3 on-site) – $5,000 value
  2. Change Saturation Heatmap (part of Day 1 of 3 on-site) – $5,000 value
  3. 20 autographed copies of Charting Change – $600 value
  4. Change Planning Toolkit

  5. Two-Day Guided Change Planning Session (Days 2&3 of 3) – $25,000 value
    • Day 1 – Introduction to the Change Planning Toolkit™
    • Day 1 – Set up the room
    • Day 2 – Conduct the change planning session
    • Day 2 – Change Planning Toolkit™ Q&A
    • Day 2 – Wrapup
  6. Certification of Change Planning Toolkit™ instructors (post-event certification exam)
  7. Change Planning Toolkit™ license (free for six months) – Up to a $425,000 value

TOTAL VALUE = Up to $460,600 for a deeply discounted introductory price
(contact us for pricing)

As part of the package I will fly to your location, work with you to facilitate a change planning or project planning session using the tools from the Change Planning Toolkit™ introduced in my latest book Charting Change, so that your next project or change initiative can be a roaring success and you and your team can become certified Change Planning Toolkit™ practitioners (if desired). If you’d like additional help with your project or change initiative beyond the Charting Change™ Facilitated Kickoff, we can stick with you to provide additional assistance via on-site or virtual support.

FOLLOW-UP SERVICE OFFERINGS

  1. Additional on-site support – by the week
  2. 100 virtual hour support package
    • Can choose a 1-day on-site for the equivalent of 30hrs
  3. Certification Exam

So invest a little in taking a more visual, more collaborative, and well, human, approach to planning your next successful project or change initiative and contact us.


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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Every Company Needs an Innovation Coach

Retained InnovationInnovation is not a solo activity. While the rare lone genius may be able to invent something on their own (although still always inspired by others), nobody can innovate by themselves. Innovation, by its very nature, requires collaboration.

Companies are like brains. The brain is composed of two hemispheres. The left brain is typically described as the home to math and logic skills, while the right brain is described as the domain of creativity. Of course people need to develop both hemispheres to be successful, and companies are the same. Achieving operational excellence is the goal of the left brain side of the organization and innovation excellence should be the goal of the right side of the organization. Unfortunately, most organizations over-invest in operational excellence to the point that the organization fights off innovation excellence efforts like a virus.

So, what’s the cure?

Not to get sick in the first place of course!

To achieve that, consider putting an innovation wellness program in place. And what does that look like?

An innovation wellness program has at its center, an organization that is willing to reach outside its four walls for a constant stream of new inspiration. Because it is inspiration in combination with curiosity that will give the organization a fighting chance of identifying ongoing sources of unique and differentiated insights that will allow the organization to continuously reinvent itself and stay in resonance with its customers.

A couple tangible examples of innovation wellness program components include:

  1. Embedding elements of so-called Open Innovation into the core of the organization’s innovation approach rather than existing as a periodic guest
  2. Continuous reinforcement of a curiosity culture
  3. Employment of a part-time innovation coach on an ongoing basis

Robert F BrandsWhat does an innovation coach look like?

Well, one good example was the late Robert F. Brands, who was lost to the global innovation community far too soon. He was a friend, a colleague, a mentor, a partner on work we did for the United States Navy, and he helped me get the book deal for my first five-star book – Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire.

A good innovation coach helps you avoid the ten signs of innovation sickness:

  1. Nobody can articulate your definition of innovation (or you don’t have one)
  2. Nobody can articulate your innovation vision/strategy/goals (or you don’t have them)
  3. People struggle to tell the story of one or more innovations launched to wide adoption by the organization
  4. Most of what passes as innovation inside the organization would actually be classified as improvements (not innovation) by people outside the organization
  5. The organization no longer makes external innovation perspectives available to a wide audience
  6. Nobody takes the time to participate in our innovation efforts anymore
  7. Your organization is unable to accept insights and ideas from outside the organization and develop them into concepts that can be scaled to wide adoption
  8. Innovation program leadership has difficulty getting time on the CEO’s calendar any more
  9. Your innovation team is trying to do all of the innovating instead of helping to accelerate the innovation efforts of others
  10. Your pace of innovation is slower than the organizations you compete with for market share, donations, votes, etc.

A good innovation coach can help you:

1. Perform an innovation assessment

I developed a 50 question innovation audit and made it available in support of my first book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, so that people can do a self-evaluation of their innovation maturity here on my web site. Or if you would like to dig a little deeper into the dynamics of innovation in your organization, I can work with you to do an innovation diagnostic across your organization and/or help you establish a baseline so you can track your innovation maturity progress over time.

2. Establish a Continuous Innovation Infrastructure

Many companies confuse having a New Product Development (NPD) program or a Research & Development (R&D) program with having an innovation program, or are stuck in an ‘innovation as a project’ approach to innovation. A good innovation coach can help you define what innovation can and should mean to your organization, build a common language of innovation, create an innovation vision, establish an innovation strategy that dovetails with your organization’s overall strategy, and develop innovation goals that will help focus the organization’s efforts to realize its innovation vision and strategy.

3. Teach You Some New Innovation Tools, Methods, and Frameworks

A good innovation coach is also a skilled facilitator and can help facilitate innovation off-sites, an effective trainer who can develop the custom courses you need to teach people in the organization new tools, methods, or frameworks to improve or accelerate your innovation capabilities, and is capable of delivering inspirational keynotes to large groups inside your organization to help shift mindsets and help people feel empowered to participate in the innovation efforts of the organization. The best innovation coaches are capable not just of bringing in the tools, methods and frameworks of others, but are also capable of understanding your innovation gaps and creating new innovation tools, methods and frameworks to help you.

4. Help You Identify Insights and Opportunities

Innovation begins with inspiration, and your curiosity and exploration should lead you to identify some good insights to build on and opportunities to pursue. But, because most ideas are really idea fragments, sometimes an innovation coach or other external perspectives can help you identify the gaps in your idea fragment or opportunity identification that might make them more compelling, especially if you aren’t making a conscious use of The Nine Innovation Roles as part of your innovation process to help you avoid innovation blind spots. A good innovation coach can also help you go beyond ideas and help you focus on not just one, but all three keys to innovation success:

  • Value Creation
  • Value Access
  • Value Translation

Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire will help you learn more about each, or you can check out my previous article ‘Innovation is All About Value‘.

5. Tell You Honestly When You’re Going Off Course

A good innovation coach will have the courage to be honest with you and tell you when you’ve lost your way. Over time, many innovation teams tend to come down with shiny object syndrome or its equally evil cousin, launch fever. A competent innovation coach will be able to recognize the change and help you course correct before you pass the point of no return, and put the very existence of your innovation program at risk. A good innovation coach is able to provide a consistent external perspective, a sanity check, and may be able to also help you build external connections to invite in other external perspectives as well.

Wrapping it Up

It is easy to fall in love with the innovation process and program you’ve created. It is equally simple to form attachments to your innovation projects and artifacts and think that you’ve cracked the code, and maybe you have, but wouldn’t you like to keep one toe in the pond outside your organization just to make sure?

Book Innovation Speaker Braden Kelley for Your EventCreating and maintaining a part-time relationship with an innovation coach you trust is a great way to do that. Smart organizations keep a pulse on their level of innovation maturity over time. They’re continuously evolving their innovation infrastructure, building new capabilities, and seeking out external perspectives as a sanity check on their program evolutions over time. So what are you waiting for?

Who’s going to coach your winning innovation team?

Contact me now to set up a free introductory consultation


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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Ten Reasons to Hire an Innovation Keynote Speaker

Innovation Keynote Speaker Braden Kelley

Innovation Keynote Speakers are often misunderstood, maligned, and underutilized.

We have all been to many conferences, and heard many good (and bad) keynote and session speakers with a variety of styles (all of which are perfectly acceptable), including:

1. The Motivator

Say this public speaking style and most people will envision Bill Clinton, Tony Robbins, Steve Ballmer or someone like that. Notice that not all three examples are people you think of as full of boundless energy, that can be incredibly motivating. The motivator tries to connect on an emotional level with the audience and dial up the inspiration.

2. The Academic

This speaking style is nearly, but not completely synonymous with college professors and others in the “teaching” business. My personal style straddles between The Academic and The Storyteller. The Academic focuses on bringing compelling content and connecting with the intellect of the audience, bringing them tools and concepts that done well, are easy to grasp and use.

3. The Storyteller

The Storyteller makes a strong use of similes, metaphors, and stories to get their points across. Bill Clinton straddles the line between The Motivator and The Storyteller. Storytellers try to connect on an emotional level and along with The Academic, tend to dive deeper into their points than The Motivator or The Standup comedian. Personally I love good stories and funny pictures and so my personal T-shaped speaking style embraces bits of The Storyteller and The Standup Comedian as well.

4. The Standup Comedian

The Standup Comedian aims to keep the audience laughing, using humor to underscore and to make their points. Other than comedy writers or standup comedians, few speakers will rely on this as their primary style, but many will drift into this style from time to time.

As you might expect, all of these styles are perfectly valid as long as the content is solid and valuable, but the energy of The Motivator entices a lot of people and as you can imagine, this group does the most to both help and hurt people’s perceived value of keynote speakers. Sometimes The Motivator inspires people to action, and other times they are the equivalent of cotton candy, firing people up with weak content that they can’t do anything with.

So, if with public speaking, like other communication vehicles, content is king and all speaking styles are valid, then you need to find the right content, the right speaker, and have the right reasons for employing one.

With that in mind, let’s look at the…

Top 10 Reasons to Hire an Innovation Keynote Speaker

  1. To begin an honest dialog around the role of innovation in your organization’s future
  2. To help build/reinforce your common language of innovation
  3. To bring in fresh ideas to inspire fresh insights
  4. To bring additional perspectives to existing innovation conversations
  5. To lay the groundwork for building an innovation infrastructure
  6. To help reduce the fear of innovation in your organization
  7. To reinforce your commitment to innovation publicly to your employees
  8. To increase the energy for innovation in your company
  9. To inject fresh life into an existing innovation program
  10. To combine with an innovation workshop to build new innovation capabilities

Click the image to download as a PDF:

Ten Reasons to Hire an Innovation Speaker

This is of course, not a comprehensive list of the reasons that companies around the world find value in periodically bringing in an innovation keynote speaker to dialog with their employees. Some companies choose to achieve some of these objectives via the innovation keynote, and others by sponsoring innovation training programs, or by retaining an innovation thought leader in an advisory capacity to provide the same kind of external perspectives, input, insights, and diversity of thought.

So, whether you are a new innovation leader seeking guidance on how to get off on the right foot, or an experienced Chief Innovation Officer, VP of Innovation, or Innovation Director, I encourage you to consider having myself or another innovation keynote speaker or workshop leader as a guest from time to time. I know you’ll find value in it!

Book Innovation Speaker Braden Kelley for Your Event

Innovation Speaker Sheet for Braden Kelley

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Death of the Chief Innovation Officer

Death of the Chief Innovation Officer

Among my innovation peers, we have talked about how crucial executive commitment is, and some organizations have responded by hiring Innovation Managers, Innovation Directors, VP’s of Innovation, and Chief Innovation Officers (CINO’s not CIO’s so there is no confusion with Chief Information Officers).

One of the dangers of putting people in charge of innovation though, is that unless you carefully craft the positions and communicate their place and purpose across the organization, you can leave people feeling that innovation is not their job.

But, the reality is that everyone has a role to play in innovation, and in my five-star book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire (available at many local libraries) I outlined nine innovation roles that must me filled at the appropriate times for innovation to be successful. The Nine Innovation Roles include:

  1. Revolutionary
  2. Artist
  3. Conscript
  4. Connector
  5. Troubleshooter
  6. Customer Champion
  7. Judge
  8. Magic Maker
  9. Evangelist

It is because everyone has a role to play in innovation, and because everyone is innovative in their own way, that installing a Chief Innovation Officer may not be the best idea.

Any time you put someone in charge of something at that level of the organization, you end up with someone who thinks they are in charge of the area, in control of innovation. And innovation is not something that you should seek to control, but instead to facilitate.

The idea that people are either innovative or not, and either possess the Innovator’s DNA or they don’t, is complete poppycock (feel free to insert a stronger or more colorful word if you’d like, but I’ll try and keep it PG – for now).

Is there is any type of work more in need of a servant leader than the innovation efforts of the company?

So, if you fire your Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) how are you going to make your organization more innovative?

The answer is to hire an Innovation Enablement Leader.

The implication is that this person’s job will be to lead not to manage, and to enable instead of control. The job of an Innovation Enablement Leader is to facilitate the Seven C’s of a Successful Innovation Culture (working title):

  1. Cultivating a Culture of Curiosity
  2. Collection of inspiration and insight
  3. Connections
  4. Creation
  5. Collaboration
  6. Commercialization
  7. Communications

More on the details of the Seven C’s of a Successful Innovation Culture in a future article.

Responsibility for innovation should remain with the business, under an innovation vision, strategy and goals set by the CEO and senior leadership. The job of an Innovation Enablement Leader (or Innovation Facilitator) meanwhile is to serve the rest of the organization and to work across the organization to help remove barriers to innovation and to focus on the Seven C’s of a Successful Innovation Culture. This could also providing a set of tools and methodologies for creative problem solving and other aspects of innovation work, organizing events, and other activities that support deepening capabilities across the Seven C’s of Successful Innovation Culture.

Most organizations have innovated at least once in their existence, and in many organizations people are still innovating. A true Innovation Enablement Leader is more of a coach, supporting emergent innovation, and helping people test and learn, prototype and find the right channel to scale the most promising insight-driven ideas (or work with the organization to create new channels).

So, are you seeking to control innovation with a Chief Innovation Officer or to facilitate it with an Innovation Enablement Leader?

Keep innovating!

P.S. If you’re looking to hire an Innovation Enablement Leader, drop me an email.

Image credit: E Sotera (via interaction-design.org)

This article originally appeared on Linkedin


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