Our research identified the company characteristics, mindsets and skills which contribute to successful innovation. The research provided the core body of knowledge used by the Managing Innovation training programme that has been accessed by more than 10,000 managers worldwide. The programme presents the findings of research in powerful, accessible and usable ways. It has been adopted by some of the world’s most innovative companies, including Medtronic (on Businessweek’s top 100 most innovative companies list), UNESCO, Cisco Systems, Citibank, IBM and Abbott Laboratories, to stimulate personal development and organisational change. A Managing Innovation train-the-trainer programme has been developed that has provided intensive development for certified trainers and facilitated the roll-out of this programme through Australia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Poland, Mexico, Tanzania, USA and Venezuela.
Insights underpinning the research challenged several assumptions typically adopted by managers, trainers and teachers of innovation. Specifically, the research found that there was not a single style of management that was ‘innovation friendly’; rather, managers needed to revise, review and reconfigure strategies according to which of five identified phases of innovation they were experiencing: ‘searching’, ‘exploring’, ‘committing’, ‘realising’ or ‘optimising’.
The Managing Innovation training programme was used in CENTRIM’s ProfitNet initiative and forms the basis of continuing peer-to-peer coaching and advisory support. Transferring theory into practice was further enhanced by a collaboration with a specialist training company to develop a training course which subsequently became the Managing Innovation train-the-trainer programme. CENTRIM has facilitated impact by developing 11 bespoke DVDs for trainers, training manuals, one-to-one coaching and a rigorous certification process.
The impact of enabling the adoption of a solid concept of innovation and innovation management cannot be underestimated. Not only does it give organisations a unified perspective, concept and language about the innovation process, it also helps to embed an innovation culture, leading to improvements in areas including improved efficiency, communications, service levels, cost control and decision-making.