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Leading and Implementing Customer-Focused Open Innovation - Leveraging collaborative R&D for market-shattering solutions through a business-efficient Open Innovation (OI) model

Innovation is relevant to all businesses seeking competitive advantages. Yet innovation is often misunderstood or not effectively achieved within many companies. Increasingly, developing Breakthrough Products requires applying best practices for innovation both within an organization and externally through strong partnerships, to ensure that you have the best resources focused on delivering great solutions that address the needs of your customers.   A key to success in today’s markets is differentiation, and true differentiation flows from innovation. Very few companies have the luxury of having all of the best resources within their organization, to generate and commercialize the best breakthrough ideas. Even those companies with significant internal R&D depth, frequently find that rapidly changing markets require quick economical methods for adding new skills to their team.   If you want to succeed at innovation, you need the best strategies and the best resources. The first step is to keep yourself up-to-date by learning about the most innovative methods for differentiating your business, so you can exceed your customers’ expectations profitably.   This course covers customer-focused approaches to delivering innovation through both internal and external (OI) resources. It will enable you to expand your knowledge about how to successfully structure and lead innovative development programs. Combining the best innovation strategies with methods for leveraging customer inputs will allow you to more effectively develop breakthrough ideas that lead to successful business results.

Turning 'Theory' into 'Practice'?

This program will comprise a series of key concepts, ideas, and tools that will allow you to have a practical approach for how to best create customer-driven, innovative solutions. Case studies, dynamic exercises and up-to-date knowledge will be converted into a very active 2-day course, providing attendees with knowledge that will help them succeed in their roles as innovation leaders and will help their businesses develop breakthrough products that deliver profitable results.

Who should attend?

VPs, CEOs, Chief Innovation Officers, Directors, Assistant Directors, Managers, Strategists,in:   Product Innovation, Corporate Strategy, Customer Solutions, Research & Development, Business Development, Product Development, Business Strategy, Creativity, Customer Relationship Management, Client Innovation, Customer Development, Product Enhancement, Continuous Improvement, Strategic Management, Strategic Marketing   Industries Including: -Consumer Products/Goods - Food & Beverage -Aerospace -Banking / Financial Service -Medical Device -Healthcare -Pharmaceutical -Oil, Gas, & Energy -Chemical -Restaurant (large chain organizations)

Key areas to be covered in the programme and documentation

Key areas to be covered in the program  

 What is Innovation?   Innovation is a vital and popular business topic, but it is also frequently misunderstood or misapplied. This course will clarify what true innovation is, and build a strong link between innovation and bottom-line results. As a business leader it is critical that you have a clear vision for what you expect from your innovation program, and that you have the tools required to make you a successful leader of breakthrough initiatives.

How can Open Innovation best be applied to my business?   It is important to look at how leading companies are applying Open Innovation to solve some of their most difficult innovation challenges. However, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to how to best apply Open Innovation (OI) practices in all businesses. Rather, it is important to understand how to best customize an Open Innovation program to match the specific needs of your business, your customers, and your strategic challenges.  

Customer-driven innovation   Just because a product is new and cool, does not mean it will be innovative or successful. Customer-driven innovation has to do with ensuring that the breakthrough ideas are breakthroughs in the market and not just in the research lab. Is your innovation process truly customer oriented, or is it geared more towards generating internally-focused cool-sounding ideas that may not translate well to real-world business results?  

Understanding where customers can lead you astray   Successful innovation must be focused on the customer, but the wrong type of customer involvement can lead a company down a path of incremental improvement and away from true breakthroughs. Know when it is critical to listen to your customers and when you need other sources of information and inspiration.  

Iteration: challenging your product   Just coming up with a good solution does not mean the job has been done. It needs to be rethought, redone and challenged to make sure it will have the desired impact. Do you test your solutions before you launch them? Are your tests designed to confirm what you already know, or are you truly learning from them?  

Leveraging partners in the innovation process You may be missing opportunities if you work on your own. Partnering in innovation can lead to finding better ideas faster. No company has the best resources in the world for all facets of a major development program. You are competing with world-class companies. Ensure that you have assembled a world-class team, regardless of whether all of the necessary skills are immediately available within your organization. Joint efforts can result in a more powerful creativity process, better execution, and higher quality results.

Broadening the innovation focus beyond the product   Much of the research and case studies on innovation are focused on developing breakthrough products. However, the principles of innovation and OI are just as relevant to finding breakthroughs in new marketing programs, supply chains, business models, and strategies. Learn how these innovation tools and principles can be applied to your entire business.  

Learning from relevant case studies   Case studies from companies such as: Apple, Procter & Gamble, Xerox, IBM, Patagonia and Google will be selected to ensure they are relevant to the needs of the course attendees. 

Information about the Trainer: Eric Bartsch is both an innovator and a leader of innovation teams, with a long track record of developing successful new products within multiple industries. Eric started his career at Procter & Gamble focused on new concepts for both products and packaging. During his time at P&G, Eric was involved with dozens of new product launches in categories including: Cleaning, Food & Beverage, Cosmetics, Car Care, Aromatherapy, and Personal Care. He also built the design for manufacturing center of excellence, as well as the R&D team responsible for a portfolio of new electro-mechanical products, which enabled P&G to expand into multiple new markets.   After his experience at Procter & Gamble, Eric spent ten years in executive-level roles leading innovation programs at Newell Rubbermaid and Horizon Hobby. During this time, he built the product development team at the Calphalon division of Newell Rubbermaid, delivering a series of award-winning products to the gourmet kitchenwares market. At Horizon Hobby, he held roles encompassing both Product Development and General Management, leading his division through a period of significant sales growth during a global economic recession, by delivering a strong pipeline of innovative products.   During his career, Eric has been granted nineteen US patents, with many more awarded to the teams he has led. He has managed divisions of more than one hundred employees, with locations across the US, Asia, and Europe.   Currently, Eric is the President and Founder of Chanute Consulting Group LLC (CCG). CCG works with its clients to refine their Innovation Strategies, form Open Innovation Programs, and facilitate their Corporate Strategic Planning sessions. CCG clients include businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies, within the US and Asia.

Benefits to you

This unique, intensive two-day course for innovators, business developers, customer insight professionals, thinkers, strategists, directors and managers will help you and your organization:  

- Understand the benefits and advantages of an OI process

- Develop the tools to produce solutions that can cause impact on the market

- Review the stages of a design thinking process

- Ensure their solutions are produced with the customer in mind

- Re-evaluate the stages of their own innovation process

- Have a better picture of their customers’ explicit and underlying needs

- Study a series of tools and techniques to perform a more efficient customer research

- Assess their customer data collection methods

- Develop the tools to achieve optimal solutions

- Make better use of advantageous partnerships in the R&D process

- Understand the benefits and importance of collaborative R&D

- Implement a more efficient open innovation model in their solution generation process

Companies already benefiting include:

Duration of Course

2 days Day Course

Course details

March 7 - 8, 2013, Chicago, IL

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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


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

Managing Director, Tarmac