Spark! an Innovative Future for Your Business

How can you build innovation into the culture of your business?

TLDR – 🙂

What can you do to instill innovation as a core way of working for your business?

Spark! is a dynamic, experiential way to build skills and to infuse a culture of innovation.

Delivered as a One Day face-to-face workshop, or a 3 module online workshop, to experience an innovation sprint, based on a purpose set by the organisation. Teams come away with enhanced skills, along with practical ideas for business growth and how to improve innovative ways of working.

Looking back over the past few years, some clients have taken an experiment and learn approach to the changes thrust upon them, with some even growing and thriving through this pandemic. Some clients have evolved enough to survive but not thrive, hoping that things will return to “normal” – whatever that looks like – in the near future. And some businesses I know haven’t made it – unable to change, and caught by circumstances, they have quietly faded away.

What has made the difference? Mostly this has been a mindset… a “the world is changing around us, and we need to learn to adapt, change and innovate to get ahead of those changes” mindset. Now, don’t get me wrong… this has not been easy to do at all, and for many businesses they are not yet out of danger, but some business I know have looked out into the world around them, and explored how they could adapt their products, services and delivery processes to deal with the constraints placed upon them in these recent dire days.

One particular client looked at what was going on, and chose to reconsider everything they were doing and started a process of constant innovation and change. They began to consciously apply the Six I’s® of Innovation into the way they planned and managed their business. Despite on-again-off-again closures of their premises, and considerable constraints into how they could operate, their health and wellness business has continued to grow and thrive over what has been almost three years of hell for their industry. They made the shift from working exclusively in their business to keep it going, to working on their business to build a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

How can you “Spark!” such a change in your business? Well, we have just the program for you! Spark! is a 1-day face-to-face workshop, or if required, this program can be run as 3 x 2.0 – 2.5-hour online modules (depending on the number of participants), aimed at helping you:

  • Initiate a culture of continuous innovation and improvement in your business
  • Begin to integrate some of the basic skills of continuous innovation into your business
  • Generate a list of innovation ideas for improvement in your business which you can immediately work to bring to life after the workshop
  • Take on a People- and Purpose-Centred approach to innovation and change in your organisation
  • Enhance engagement in your organisation, with greater mutual understanding of team strengths and gaps, and a path to development for the future.

It also includes some pre-workshop preparation work, a tele-class to get the participants aligned and focussed, and optional post-workshop implementation coaching to make sure that the workshop brings the anticipated results.

It kicks off with some pre-workshop consulting where we explore, with your leaders, what your Innovation purpose is, or will be. This sets the frame for the workshop and roots the results from the workshop in the strategic intent of your business. At this time, we plan your workshop and discuss who you want to be involved.

Once you have decided your attendee list and workshop date(s), we work with you to invite the participants to the workshop, along with the pre-workshop online tele-class, and request that they complete the preparation work. One important element to decide on before the tele-class is the team lists; who will be in what team. Along with the competitive edge to the workshop, the teams will form closely bonded working groups to carry forward the ideas generated.

The pre-workshop tele-class is conducted anywhere between 5 to 10 days before the workshop, and is a 30-minute introduction to the Six ‘I’s® of Innovation model, the pre-work to be completed, and an explanation of how the workshop will be run. This tele-class can be extended to 45 minutes if there are additional elements that the organisation wishes to communicate – particularly if the Spark! program is intended as a kick-off to a longer innovation and business improvement campaign, or if you want more time for Q&A during the tele-class.

The pre-work for each participant consists of:

  1. Completing the Six ‘I’s® of Innovation assessment inputs
  2. Reading their personal Six ‘I’s® of Innovation profile report sent to them, along with reviewing the accompanying informational videos. These reports are an important part of the team-forming process during the workshop
  3. Reflecting on the focussed innovation purpose that the teams will be working with during the workshop, and collecting relevant data from the internet to help them Spark! their best ideas during the workshop. Each participant is expected to bring trend information related to the organisation’s innovation purpose, which will be an input for the process that the teams will go through during the workshop.

Now comes the workshop. I will explain the process of the face-to-face version of the workshop before going on to outline the differences with the online version.

The workshop will kick off at 9am in the morning (earlier if you prefer) with an explanation of the purpose of the day, along with introductory comments from a senior leader of the organisation. This sets the tone of the day as being a lot of fun, but with a serious purpose. The intent of the day is to be fast-paced, engaging, and productive workshop designed to trigger a step-change in the way the organisation approaches innovation and change.

At this point, we remind people of the approach we will take during the day, following the Six ‘I’s® of Innovation framework to create validated innovation ideas that each team will present to the other attendees and which can be carried forward to the benefit of the organisation afterwards. It is a guided process, and the day will culminate in those presentations, which all attendees will vote on to decide which is considered the “best’ of the day. It is important to understand that, whilst this is a hugely fun and engaging team-bonding event, the serious aspect of the workshop is to Spark! change in the organisation, which the organisation’s leaders must carry forward after the day.

After addressing any questions about the process for the remainder of the day, and the Six ‘I’s® of Innovation framework, the teams then go into exploring their innovation strengths as individuals, and as a team, based on their personal Six ‘I’s® of Innovation profile reports. They identify any innovation strengths gaps they may have as a team, and plan how to manage that as they go through the innovation process.

From here on, the teams dive into the innovation process, learning the tools and methods as they go. They start by reviewing the organisation’s innovation purpose, and identifying potential target customer personas and dilemmas towards what they would like to solve. The teams close the Identify stage of the process with completing Customer Insight Sheets to help Spark! new thoughts.

Next, the teams go on to generate a bunch of concepts and ideas using brainstorming and other creative thinking techniques in a guided process, eventually to choose their 3 ‘best’ ideas to carry forward in the form of Idea Sheets. This Ignite section helps teams recognise that idea generation is a skill that they can learn to apply with practice and finishes the morning with a ‘high’. The teams are energised and the lunch period can be brimming with excitement.

After lunch, the teams go straight into the Investigate section. Teams first discuss the factors that might be included in a set of selection criteria for their ideas. This is great for helping the teams to reflect on the strategic nature of innovation and what is truly important to the business. Once they have decided on their selection criteria, they review their 3 ‘best’ ideas from earlier to decide which one to develop further into a Value Proposition. During the Value Proposition preparation, teams are encouraged to consider how they might go on to validate their proposed value proposition, although this is not done during the workshop.

Once the teams have developed their value proposition, the competition is on! Time to create a pitch deck to present their ideas to the audience for the Invest stage. Each team is provided with a basic template and works creatively to prepare their presentation. They must have their Pitch Deck completed and submitted to the Spark! workshop facilitator before they go to the afternoon break. During the break, the order of the team presentations is decided randomly and put up on screen for the 2nd half.

The start of the presentation. Each team will be given 5 mins to present their idea to the rest of the workshop, including:

  1. Customer Persona & Insight (including images or acting out)
  2. Top 3 ideas (short version)
  3. Final value proposition (including image or acting out) and why chosen (decision criteria)
  4. How it will benefit the organisation (Potential ROI)
  5. The Ask from the organisation (What would be needed in terms of resources to implement)
  6. Summary of how team would prepare to implement

The timing is brutal, and they are warned of this earlier in the workshop. After a 1-minute warning and a 20-second countdown, they will be stopped right on 5 minutes. The audience voting begins immediately, with 2 minutes to provide their scoring using an online polling tool and the following criteria: Clarity, Brevity, Creativity, Fun, and Alignment with Innovation Purpose.

The Implement stage of the model is covered with the team’s presentation on their suggestions to implement their ideas based on the resources Ask.

While the next team sets up, the scoring is collated in an Olympics style ranking approach, and the presentations continue until all teams have completed. We don’t know which team will win, until the very last presentation, and the results ceremony is a lot of fun.

Having peaked with the presentations, it is time for the attendees to return to their teams and reflect on what they have learned, and how this can be applied in the organisation moving forward in the Improve stage. Teams consider and debrief the question: “How can we improve Innovation in our organisation?”, amongst others.

The day then finishes up with action planning and closing comments, and the tired but excited participants leave with some actions to work on that are likely to contribute to business growth, plus a set of methods and mindsets towards a People- and Purpose-Centred approach to innovation.

The organisation is then left to carry on with the follow up actions, with a review together with your Spark! program facilitator. If your organisation has opted for implementation coaching, then this will begin the week after the workshop is conducted.

In the case that the organisation chooses to conduct the program online, the process will be different, in that the workshop will be carried out over 3 x 2-hour modules delivered on different days, no more than one week apart. The tele-class is the same, but the workshop elements are as follows:

Module 1: Team formation, and completing Identify (Draft Insights)

Between modules homework: Finalise Customer Insights Sheets

Module 2: Generating ideas, selecting criteria and completing Investigate (Draft Value Proposition)

Between modules homework: Prepare team Pitch Decks

Module 3: Pitch presentations, voting and completing Improve (Action planning)

Aside from some of the work being done by the teams between the workshop modules, the approach for the online program mirrors that of the face-to-face program.

As noted earlier, the success of this program comes not just from making a splash for the day, but in the organisation using this as an opportunity to create a watershed in the way it works – to instil a culture and drive for continuous innovation and improvement in the organisation.

Let Profound Knowledge Partners Asia help you to Spark! innovation in your organisation? Contact us on:

And if yours is a global organisation, we can help you to send this program around the world. Together with the global Six ‘I’s® of Innovation practitioner network, we can support you to deliver Spark! across Asia, Europe and America. Just ask to learn more.


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