If you want to be truly successful invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor. When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom.
- Sidney Madwed
If you are taking the time to read this you probably understand learning and education are a life-long pursuit.
Arguably the most powerful tenet of Innovation Engineering is our belief that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things. This kind of optimism and hope comes from a conviction that when people supply the motivation and confidence, the skills enabling meaningfully unique innovation can be taught.
Many options exist for studying innovation. Executive programs, conferences, seminars and webinars can be found every week where we can hear about the latest study or the newest product launch. I enjoy going to these, too.
But you can’t learn to lead or “do” innovation by simply listening to others explain what they did anymore than you learn to ride a bike by listening to others describe their ride.
Expert practitioners have identified 48 skills and about a hundred sub-skills critical to successful innovation. This set of skills and sub-skills can be taught, strengthened, improved and enhanced if we have the right motivation. With practice, feedback, role models, and coaching. ordinary people can be enabled to be more innovative in their daily work, in fact, innovation becomes “the work”. Innovation Engineering is built on these 48 skills.
Those who seek mastery, the Black Belts, invest 93% of their certification effort working on real-world projects for their organizations. With expert coaching, advanced technology support and a global support community, these Black Belts gain confidence and recognition as leaders in their organization.
To paraphrase J. Sterling Livingston in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article, Pygmalion in Management, what Black Belts believe about themselves subtly influences what they believe about their team, what they expect of them, and how they treat them. What’s more, the Black Belts’ record of success and confidence in their own ability give their high expectations credibility. As a consequence, their teams accept these expectations as realistic and try hard to achieve them.
Training your innovation leaders can be a self fulfilling prophesy. Their confidence will influence those they work with. As confidence increases so will the expectations of success. As expectations of success increases…well, you know where I am going with that.
Maybe it is time to turn a couple Black Belts loose in your organization…give me a call to talk through the process.