professional development courses

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Innovation: Upgrading Capabilities and Mindsets

Innovation is the key driver of competitive advantage, growth, and profitability. Those organisations that fail to embrace change and take intelligent risks will be the casualties of the new economy. Many companies are now resetting their core strategies for a longer product lifecycle thus gaining a healthier profit margin. Innovation provides an organisation with a temporary monopoly and ability to sustain high profit margins in a mature industry. The path to successful new products and services depends on an organisation’s approach to innovation. Businesses with the best product-development track records do three things better than their less-successful competitors; they create a clear sense of project goals early on, they nurture a strong project culture in their workplace, and they maintain close contact with customers throughout a project’s duration.

Turning 'Theory' into 'Practice'?

This highly interactive Innovation Workshop will contain group instruction, cases, examples, exercises, open discussions. Concepts and methodologies will be explained using real-world examples and distinct scenarios, practical illustrations using case studies and engaging group exercises. Our course is designed to coach staff towards a higher fulfillment of their innovative and creative potential. The accent is on helping them discover for themselves, under guidance from the instructor, and by interacting with each other, the ways and means of innovating, and the various “thinking aids” available. The Workshop will also serve to help raise each delegate’s personal expectations for heightened innovation performance, as well as helping to build up a more “can-do” self-confidence.

Who should attend?

Senior executives responsible for product innovation, development, management, and product owners, within their individual departments, or for the enterprise as a whole.

Key areas to be covered in the programme and documentation

Everybody innovates, more or less - so let’s make it “more”. . .
• The psychology of innovation
• To what extent do highly innovative people tend to be: (some self-calibration?)
• Paradox of stagnation following an innovation
• What are the strongest motivations: rewards, recognition and “feel-goods”
Exercise: Can we learn “how to innovate”? Will “practice” make us more skilled? e.g. become “serial inventors” like Dyson, Apple, Samsung ?
Experience sharing and group discussion

About “R&D”, “NPD”, “Management of the Technology”, “Business Development”
• Technological Innovation: When is it best to develop the enabling
technology / new design concepts off the critical path of the NPD?
• Design Innovation
• Biz Innovation: Why many companies change their business models, and
change /evolve their missions: Forced or opportunistic? (e.g. IBM, Dell; DSM, 3M, etc.)
• HR Innovation
Exercise: Discovering how breaking down fallacies, reconsidering
beliefs, or thinking counter-intuitively, helps innovation
Video Study & Critique: “The Deep Dive”. This classical case study
illustrates the innovative culture and process of IDEO in California

Where do ideas / solutions come from?
• “Serendipity” searches, analogues, technology transfers / adaptations,
triggers, cascades (one idea leads to another…), “irritations
& disappointments”, “never be satisfied by the obvious..”) etc.
• Example of lasers invention, based from the musical organ pipe,
and leading to wide range of different products, services and businesses…
• Example of nano-technologies
• “Skunk works” (unofficial R&D) e.g. HP inject printer, 3M Post-its.
• Established aids to innovation
Group discussion: How to?...
– How to exploit the easily seen new/looming technologies?
– How to search for a solution to a given product requirement?
– “What are other means of implementing this product?” Why do we
need to know that…?
Exercise: How do ROI and Market Share conceptually depend on price?

A puzzle to try to solve overnight:
The Red Hats and Blue Hats puzzle – which most people say is impossible to
solve; - so a lateral thinking exercise…. Allow yourself just 30 minutes

Individual or Team exercise: Technology / product road mapping,
and long term product plans: pros and cons
• Prepare an outline road map showing the development of domestic
vacuum cleaners over the last say 20 years.
• What are the learning points about helping or obstructing innovation?
(Another product or service can be chosen to suit the delegates if appropriate)

Individual or Team exercise: Innovation of business models
• Give 3 examples of business model innovations. Can be existing, or new ideas if possible.
• One example is Dell’s Biz Model of selling laptops with no middle men:
i.e. direct internet sales, customised product, built to order, fast delivery to your premises.
• Explain the “why?” and “how?” of the biz models: e.g. the “value propositions”

Individual or Team exercise:
• Imagine that your company, like 3M, gives you 15% of your time and some
budget for “free -thinking exploratory development”.
• Explain how you would decide what to do
Discussion: Barriers to innovation
Case study: “Why didn’t I think of that – it’s obvious….?” Wheels on luggage, Tripadvisor, Skype, Uber, Apps, etc.
Video study “Catching the Wave: Disruptive Innovations”
This classical video from the Harvard Business School, explains the “Catch 22”
problems of the opportunities and threats posed by disruptive innovations
• What are the learning points? : positive and negative ?
• Critique?
• What are the recent and on-going disruptions and discontinuities ‘
• What do they mean to you personally, and to your company ?

Patents /right to use / protecting designs
• Need and value of patenting
• Strong or weak protection? Publish? Hide? Shelve?
• Do not patent unless you are willing to sue
Case Study: Dyson – Hoover case

Risk Management for R&D, NPD, and Biz development
• Maximising the chances of technical and commercial, continual success
• Ensuring product safety
Take-Aways and action plans

Benefits to you

• Driving customer value with new product innovation
• Applying innovation to the new product development
• Discovering the key elements of a successful product vision and strategy
• Developing an organisation structure that supports your innovation process
• Building advanced skills to lead innovation effort and ability to effectively influence management
• Ascertaining the best techniques to lead innovation teams to get into action
• Creating real value for customers by developing a customer insight engine
• Enhancing your job performance and improving your job satisfaction

Companies already benefiting include:

Calderys (Imerys Group), Lesaffre Poland SA, Allianz Global Investors, Telenor Banka, Sartorius-Stedim, PPG Industries

Duration of Course

2 Day Course

Course details

This course is currently only available as an in-house option. For more information, and a quote, contact our team on +44 (0)20 3002 3057, or by email at

Looking to train larger teams in this subject?

dzingim@marcusevansuk.comTailored in-house/in-company training courses and bespoke strategy workshops designed and delivered on-site throughout Europe according to your specific requirements.

All management, personal development and project management public courses featured in our Course Directory are also delivered on an In-Company basis.

Click Here for information on how this course can be delivered for you as an In-Company Training Solution


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Further information

UK Enquiries: +44 (0) 203 002 3057

Non-UK Enquiries: +420 (0)2 5570 7246

North American Enquiries: +1 312 540 3000 X6714 or - Marketing Manager EMEA - Professional Training

UK Enquiries: +44 (0)20 7647 2383 :
European Enquiries: +420 (0)2 5570 7246 :


"This course will allow my company to develop its existing strategies to a much greater and hopefully profitable level."

Managing Director, Tarmac