Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

3 Simple Principles for thinking about Innovation Training

Posted by Maggie Slovonic Pfeifer on Sep 20, 2016 10:32:42 AM

Our friends at Innovation Leader reached out to us last year and asked if we would answer a question from one of their readers.   Below is an excerpt from Maggie Pfeifer, Director of Education, response to the question:

Q&A: How to start training on innovation?

This member question was answered by Maggie Pfeifer, Director of Education at Eureka! Ranch, which is a nearly 30-year-old firm that has developed a method for increasing innovation speed and decreasing risk. A partner of Innovation Leader, Eureka! developed a field of study known as “Innovation Engineering” with the University of Maine. Because of Eureka’s extensive experience educating executives at many of our members’ companies, we thought Maggie was uniquely positioned to answer this member question…

Question: Was fascinated by the educational / training data in your 2015 Innovation Benchmarking Report. We’re in the process of starting an educational / training initiative around innovation, and could use some guidance on where to start. Is there a typical starting point for these programs? We’re a relatively big company (15,000+ employees) and are struggling with whether we begin in marketing, product management, product development, executive management, etc. Any thoughts or best practices or the progression / trajectory of such programs???

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, leadership, innovation training

Innovation Training: Fast Food And Fast Thinking

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Aug 10, 2016 2:46:26 PM

People often ask us where to start and what about training?  We wanted to share one companies experience with the trianing we LOVE the most:

Picture the scene: ‘Eureka Ranch’ in suburban Ohio; a meeting of professional minds from such diverse backgrounds as an international supermarket giant, Hawaiian culture programme INPEACE and a Canadian fish company; a super-charged week of 12 hour days with exercises timed against the clock and assignments graded in real time; a ‘no whining’ policy in place; and American-sized food portions and a self-serve M&M bar that would keep us fueled throughout.

It was the scene of our ‘Blue-Belt’ training in Innovation Engineering last month. IE is a world class innovation system deployed by power brands like P&G and with $8 billion worth of innovations in active development. The claims are no less impressive than its calibre: increasing speed to market by up to six times and reducing risk by 30-80%, and they have data from more than 20,000 innovations and 33 years of quantitative research to back it up.

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, innovation system, innovation training, Education

Innovation Training Principle 3: Sustain With Communication

Posted by Maggie Slovonic Pfeifer on Oct 1, 2015 10:00:00 AM

In the last few weeks I've discussed in depth 3 Simple Principles for Thinking about Innovation Training.  We've covered starting with the willing and educate and enable.  Today lets dig into number 3: Sustain with Communication. 

We've found the key to sustaining innovation culture change is to create the sense that people are a part of something bigger then themselves. Belonging to a group gives strength to the new mindset. It provides reinforcement, purpose, and meaning to life and work.

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Topics: innovation, collaboration, training, innovation training

Innovation Training Principle 2: Educate & Enable

Posted by Maggie Slovonic Pfeifer on Sep 24, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Today I'm going to continue to dig deeper into the 3 Simple Principles for Thinking about Innovation Training.  

Last week we talked about how you should start with the willing. This week lets dig into Principle 2: Educate & Enable. After you identify the willing you want to educate them & give them the opportunity to implement their new skills. I recommend that you only train folks when you can give them a clear, and strategically aligned, are to innovate within. For example, " We need ideas for how to 10X the number of face-to-face conversations we have with potential customer," or "We need ideas for new streams of revenue to fund our wildlife research." If possible, before they complete your training program, they will have a specific objective to work on.

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, innovation training

Innovation training Principle 1: Start With the Willing

Posted by Maggie Slovonic Pfeifer on Sep 17, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Last week I shared part of a piece I wrote for Innovation Leader3 Simple Principles for Thinking About Innovation Training.  This week lets dig deeper into the first principle - Start with the Willing.  

For those that didn't see my post last week I'll do a quick recap.  When starting an innovation training program leaders, manager, and employees need to make the decision to adopt a new mindset.  Remember, you cannot force it. When you make it the employee's choice, rather than a mandate, the first wave of trainees will be those who are most likely to influence the culture at your organization, in other words, they will be your change agents.  From there each subsequent wave will be influenced by the first.

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, innovation training

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


So, many exciting things are going on at Eureka! Ranch and with Innovation Engineering don't miss out on anything:

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