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Why Get Certified?

Check out the benefits of innovation certification by the Global Innovation Management Institute

IMPROVED JOB READINESS

GIM Institute certified innovation professionals are able to successfully lead efforts in ambiguous, uncertain and fast moving environments. Apply the tools and concepts you learned to find new growth opportunities. Moreover, we continually update and improve our content to ensure that our certifications reflect the current skills, knowledge and best practices you need to succeed, and stay current as the profession changes.

GLOBAL RECOGNITION

GIM Institute credential are the only one designed specifically for innovation and to be globally recognized. Our global standards have created a clear and consistent pathway for innovation professionals around the world. Moreover, we have been working with universities, corporations, industry associations and governments to spread the adoption of the standards around the world.

LIKE-MINDED COMMUNITY

GIM Institute certifications entitle candidates access to the GIM Institute’s network of certified professionals around the world. Connect to and learn from certificate holders. Find new ways to solve innovation challenges or further your career.

UNIVERSAL INNOVATION SKILLS

Our certifications are not based on one specific industry or methodology. Our certifications are relevant worldwide, giving professionals the recognition and flexibility to use their knowledge, skills and competencies anywhere regardless of job responsibilities or career levels, and are transferable between companies, industries and geographic locations.

INCREASED MARKETABILITY

Distinguish yourself from others. Candidates certified by GIM Institute represent a unique cadre of trained innovators with the proven innovation ability to understand and manage innovation across and beyond the organization.

STEP BY STEP

Self-audit Option

  • Acquire annual license of GIMI Audit Tool for organizations (here)
  • Conduct the innovation audit for your organization
  • Within 4 weeks time, GIM Institute reviews the audit results, provides you with recommendations on how to improve your innovation strategy, capacity & discipline, and assess the right level of GIMI OMC certification for your organization
  • Acquire Organization Maturity Certification (GIMI OMC), for $2500 per level
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GIMI certified auditors

  • Contact GIM Institute to recommend you the 3rd-party GIMI auditor, based on your industry and location.
  • Receive the proposal from the 3rd-party auditor on audit price and deliverables
  • Within 4 weeks time, GIM Institute reviews the audit results, provides you with recommendations on how to improve your innovation strategy, capacity & discipline, and assess the right level of Organization
  • Maturity Certification (GIMI OMC) for your organization
    Acquire GIMI Organization Maturity Certification (GIMI OMC), for $2500 per level

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Our innovation certifications and programs are designed for anyone interested in becoming certified in innovation as a business discipline, from creative minds to innovation professionals to business leaders mastered in innovation management.

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Our innovation certifications and programs are designed for anyone interested in becoming certified in innovation as a business discipline, from creative minds to innovation professionals to business leaders mastered in innovation management.

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Does Your Company Need a Chief Innovation Officer

Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about looking after those in our charge. Simon Sinek

Does a ship need a captain? Does a sports team need a coach? Does an army need a general? One could argue that a ship can function without a captain because the crew does all the “hard work” of making the ship sail. Kids have been playing football (or soccer), baseball, basketball, and some they just make up without coaches since the beginning of human existence. Armies can fight even without a general. So, why do we need a Chief Innovation Officer when in theory everyone in the organization can just innovate as it has always been?

Looking at the questions that come from the previous paragraph, let’s discuss innovation in that context.

Does a ship need a captain? From the tiniest dingy to the largest oil tanker or passenger vessel, sailing is a complicated proposition. In fact, a captain of a large ship is a licensed mariner who has overall command and control over navigation, maneuvering, cargo handling, stowage, communications, and safe handling of the ship. On a large passenger ship this also extends to responsibility roughly equivalent to becoming the president, governor, or mayor of the ship’s population in international water. Essentially, all responsibility rests on their shoulders. In a large company, this may be the CEO, but in a very large company this rests with a VP or other chief executive. So, one could say that a Chief Innovation Officer is more like a first mate who takes command of the ship if the captain is incapacitated. The first mate is generally in charge of the cargo and/or passengers, while there are second and third mates in charge of other functions. So, even if the Chief Innovation Officer is equated to a first mate, they maintain responsibility for a very important function of the company.

Does a sports team need a coach? In the professional ranks, a team generally has a manager and a coach. In this case, we can get straight to the Chief Innovation Officer being equivalent to the coach. Since the managers role is to spearhead public relations between athletes, coaches, other personnel, and the media, they have more of an administrative function. Apropos to the Chief Innovation Officer, the coach plans, organizes, and conducts practice sessions. They are responsible for analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of individual athletes and opposing players/teams. They plan strategies and choose who will play in each competition. We will circle back to this in a few minutes.

Does an army need a general? This one is especially challenging and a good argument for a Chief Innovation Officer. A one star general typically command about 4,000 personnel (a brigade), while a two star commands a division (3-5 brigades). Three and four stars are regional, commanding multiple divisions. In this case, it is all about size, but when you look at a more granular description a general works at the strategic, operational, and political level of war. As a Chief Innovation Officer, this is a nice example of what they should also be doing on a day-to-day basis. Innovation requires the Chief Innovation Officer to develop the innovation strategy, how it will get done and in charge of monitoring the day-to-day innovation activities.

Since the Chief innovation Officer is a new position that many executives do not understand, a primer on an innovation system is helpful. In short, innovation is like pouring ideas into a funnel. Granted, the funnel analogy is a little confusing since everything that goes into a funnel must eventually fall out, but it’s the most used analogy for the discipline. Perhaps a better way to think of innovation is to imagine a pegboard test that most children play when they are very young. Think of the board as the strategy. The Chief Innovation Officer must develop a strategy (in conjunction with peer executives) to decide how many circles, ovals, triangles, squares, rectangles, rhombus, parallelograms, trapezoids, pentagons, etc. the company needs to compete effectively. This would not typically be information available to anyone below the executive suite, mostly because one wouldn’t want a competitor to find out.

Another way in which the Chief Innovation Officer becomes critical to the process is by management of the portfolio of ideas. Once the holes are created (the strategy), it is incumbent on the Chief Innovation Officer to be sure that just the right number of pegs (of the correct shape) are manufactured. In the case of innovation, the CIO makes sure that everyone isn’t working on square pegs when the strategy calls for mostly round ones. This critical job assures the company that the innovators or employees are not all working without purpose. Even at a company like Google, where creative time is granted, jet engines may not be a part of the strategy. Should there be too many people working on square pegs, the CIO must find a way to compare pegs and stop them from being made if there are too many in process. Even more important, if round pegs are being made for round holes, they must be the right size. Bottom line is that allowing everyone to innovate without direction might result in no round pegs or even a bunch of round pegs; none that are the right size.

Next, the Chief Innovation Officer works to operationalize the innovation process. This function might include clearing blockers to innovation, securing a budget, and securing cross functional teams that have the best chance of success. During the pandemic many companies rethought their Chief Innovation Officer position because many of them didn’t understand their position or did not receive proper training or coaching. For innovation consultants and GIMI-IAOIP, this was particularly difficult to witness. Chief Innovation Officers that allowed themselves to be seduced by the single billion-dollar idea, while ignoring smaller wins was problem we saw the most during this time. Add to this that innovation is almost always better when teams are in proximity to one another (this is NOT always the case), and you had a formula for Chief Innovation Officer failure and the resultant disillusionment of many CEOs to the position.

How do I rebuild the CIO position?

At GIMI-IAOIP we distinguish between innovation practitioners and innovation managers. Think about this in relation to the earlier discussion of coaches. While many players become coaches, the majority were never players. Being a player means you might have outstanding eye-hand coordination. Speed. Agility. Field sense. Being a manager means you can plan, draw up plays, spot talent, manage athletes and handle the press. Being a good player requires a different skill set than a manager, and being a manager requires a different skill set than a player. There are always exceptions and many times the Chief Innovation Officer can be promoted from a role as an innovation practitioner. People such as Bill Russell, Pep Guardiola, Kenny Dalglish, Joe Torre, Mike Ditka, Jacques Lemaire, Lenny Wilkens, Toe Blake Franz Beckenbauer and Phil Jackson are the exception rather than the rule as players that become great coaches.

So, to conclude, there are practitioners and managers in innovation. Just as the sports teams have people who can play and coach, there will always be innovators who can manage the innovation process. The problem is something that I like to point out about polymaths; sometimes they are not appreciated. Just like a great athlete, an innovation practitioner’s personality is about excitement and the need to create something new. Talents that are not necessarily welcome in the C-suite. In contrast, the Chief Innovation Officer oversees making sure the process works and the innovators are happy and productive. Most importantly though, the Chief Innovation Officer, as Simon Sinek says, is “looking after those in our charge”.

February 27, 2024

Dr. Brett Trusko
Director, Board of GIMI-IAOIP
Editor-in-Chief
International Journal of Innovation Science

Mastering Innovation: Perspectives from a Certified Innovation Professional

In the second chapter of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers: The Story of Success”, Gladwell references the 10,000 hour rule, asserting that the key to achieving true expertise in any skill is simply a matter of practicing for at least 10,000 hours. What does this mean when trying to master innovation? First, let’s examine what 10,000 hours mean, then discuss this in the context of professional innovation.

As I read the Gladwell book, a constant in my mind was the question of what 10,000 hours means. Let’s start with a scary proposition for anyone who frequently flies. In the United States, a pilot must log 1,500 hours of flight time to qualify for a commercial pilot’s license. Given a rough estimate of that cost means that the student must invest up to almost $500,000 on the high side and if you follow mastery guidelines, assuming you fly full time (highly unlikely), you would still need five years to become a master pilot. This means that you should fly for six-years almost non-stop.

Physicians require an internship and residency program to become proficient in a specialty. A surgical residency for a physician is five-years, a little shy of 10,000 hours if they ONLY work 40-hour weeks. Neurologists require three-years. A transplant residency requires two-years, and an emergency residency requires 3 to 4-years.

So, according to Gladwell, many professionals to which you trust your life are not, in fact, masters of their profession. How should one feel about this when you get on your next airplane flight? Perhaps the deeper discussion of talent and experience was beyond them scope of Gladwell’s book, but how does natural ability, situational opportunity, and training intensity affect the mastery of a topic?

I have a son who possesses a pilot’s license. He earned it by accruing the required hours but did he, in fact, need all those hours and what would substitute for those hours? Let’s look at him as an example. He eventually decided not to pursue his commercial license, mostly because it was nearly impossible to fly with an instructor during covid, but that is another story. Instead, he decided to become an electrical engineer, which in fact, suited him well. So, the question is whether an individual who possesses an inherent understanding of physics and math need as many hours to master flight as someone who does not possess those skills. For that matter, if a young person become a volunteer in a hospital and works their way to unit secretary, phlebotomist, and/or surgical scrub tech really needs a five-year residency?

As we see higher ed challenged by the traditional pedagogical models to something yet to be defined, is it possible that we need to abandon a one-size-fits-all model? As a case in point, one could argue that the rise of authoritarianism throughout the world could be rooted in frustration of government as a black and white system that applies the same lows to everyone, regardless of their individual situation. For example, in the United States one must register for social security benefits when they reach 65, regardless of your lot in life. If you do not register you have to pay a 10% surcharge on Medicare part B premiums for each year you go without coverage starting the month you are eligible for coverage. You are required to pay this penalty each time you pay your premiums if you have part B.

Ponder this for a moment. Jamie Dimon, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk must pay a premium for late filing when they reach 65. Now, figuring out who the healthiest person in the world might be is a little more difficult, but most of us know someone who reaches 65 who is a perfect weight, has excellent vital signs and is on no medications. Generally, these people have eaten well and exercised their entire life, although there are many people who just happen to have great genes and also fit the bill. Some authorities point to Charles Eugster, who at 96 years old holds world records at the 200m indoor and 400m outdoor. He holds British records in the 60m (indoor), 100m (outdoor), and 200m (outdoor) and he is still built like a 19-year-old. Should it be mandatory to sign up for Medicare even if you are wealthy, have a job with insurance and are physically fit?

Should these people be measured and required to register with Medicare in the same way as people who are wealthy and never need it, or someone who is an outstanding physical specimen. The answer today is “yes” but that could soon change.

The issue alluded to earlier about authoritarianism posits that in the “real world” Google, Meta, Twitter (X) and Amazon can predict things about us that we do not even know. However, when it comes to government services, we all fall into the same bucket. We are all equal and therefore there are no excuses for doing anything even slightly different than anyone else. For example, I live in a historic district of a historic city and the rules of remodeling are entirely inflexible. To make things easy for the city, an owner of a historic home can change nothing about the appearance of the property. But what if the owner is an archeologic historian that knows more about the historic district that the most qualified city bureaucrat? Sorry, same rules apply. Governments around the world must adopt innovation methodologies and find a way to treat citizens utilizing a mass customization model.

So, how does all this relate to the topic of this article? Does experience help or hurt innovation? How can I become a master at innovation?

First, let’s examine experience. Is experience a good or bad thing when talking about innovation? A case could be made for both experience and inexperience. Since Silicon Valley is considered by most as the innovation capital of the world, but is every having to do with innovation about technology? There have been articles lately about 23 and me falling from a six billion valuation to being almost worthless today. They were an innovation darling at one point, but today are considered a textbook failure in innovation.

It should have been clear from the beginning that the company needed to continue to innovate. Consider that taking a DNA test is not like buying a car or a house. Once you know your genetic profile, what else can they sell you? Additionally, you also run the risk that you will be told that you have a 10% chance of developing Parkinson’s disease. What now?  So, one could easily argue that the Wojcicki sisters had the required 10,000 hours of experience at STEM, but did they also have 10,000 hours of management experience or 10,000 of innovation experience?

This leads us to the question of mastering innovation. If one is a master (10,000 hours of experience) in any field, does one also need 10,000 hours of practice at being and innovator?

This is where I would argue that Maxwell should have qualified his premise with additional background. In short, does a bird need 10,000 hours of flying to master it? Does a human need 10,000 hours to learn to master walking? Does a singer need to sing for 10,000 hours? Does an artist need 10,000 to learn to paint? Does an innovator need 10,000 hours to be innovative? Does a lion need 10,000 hours before they can hunt effectively?

I would argue that none of the above requires 10,000 hours of practice as they are skills that are considered innate, inborn, or inbred. Given this, can creativity be considered innate?  Since there is general consensus that creativity is something humans are born with conformity to society is a learned skill, then it is easy to argue that mastery of creativity, and as an extension, innovation, shouldn’t be a 10,000 hour exercise.

Instead, let’s assume that conformance to anything is simply something that has been programmed into one by an industrial age system that asks people to simply do the same thing over and over. Let’s also assume that we are now in a transitionary stage whereby we are moving from an industrial age model to an innovation age model. This is where universities and governments fail their constituencies. Training people to conform to a rigid set of standards and/or behavioral model, then asking them to be creative and innovative are models at odds with each other and confusing to your students and employees. 

Ideally, what we should be doing is teaching people how to conform, when necessary, but remain creative as a matter of fact. Think of this as teaching someone manners; necessary when required of a situation, but not in every aspect of life.

Therefore, mastering innovation is like learning manners (conformance being the learning manners part). As humans, we have another innate skill; that of being able to adapt and reshape ourselves given the context of the situation. Learning innovation shouldn’t be a 10,000-hour problem since we already know how to be creative, we just haven’t always been given the chance. We all know someone who was fired from a job for changing a procedure or process, even if it proves to be a better way. 

Taken from the perspective of innovation training. We need training to know how to use the tools and techniques. We need innovation training to learn when and how to be creative and when to conform. We need innovation training to manage the process, and most importantly, we need the training to understand how to lead people who may not feel comfortable with unleashing their creative self.

In conclusion, we do not need 10,000 hours to master innovation. To master innovation, we need to learn the tools and techniques while allowing ourselves to tap into our creative self. The training that one achieves in acquiring a certification in innovation from GIMI-IAOIP is the best first step. Becoming involved in the community of innovation professionals that the association’s internal system (Tradewing) offers a feedback loop to help you synthesize your learning into mastery. As usual, myself and the entire GIMI-IAOIP community is there to help.

February 13, 2024

Dr. Brett Trusko
Director, Board of GIMI-IAOIP
Editor-in-Chief
International Journal of Innovation Science

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GIMI Foresight Program

The Certification is strongly anchored in understanding challenges as major growth steppingstones for the future and it focuses on evidence-based future foresight, with uncertainties at its core, preventing variables that influence the medium and long term futures to be kept on a leash by traditional ways of thinking.

1 Scoping

Design and Frame the Picture

  • Audience, Teams, and Experts
  • Attitudes and Work
  • Environment
  • Key Factors
  • Focal Issue
  • Time Horizon
2 Scanning

Understand and Capture the Horizon

  • Trends and Megatrends
  • Uncertainties and Pre-determined
  • Elements
  • Weak Signals and Emergent Issues
  • Wild Cards and Strategic Surprises
  • Black Swans and Black Elephants
3 Scenarios

Get a deep understanding of the innovation mindset of your people and how to successfully leverage them across the business to drive innovation initiatives.

4 Thinking and Executing

Recommendations on how to achieve better business results through building innovation capability through accelerator programs and workshops.

Strategic Innovation Insight Report

The Strategic Organizational Innovation Report is based on the Organizational Innovation Diagnostic Survey, stakeholder meetings and the individual Innovation Mindset assessment data. With these data combined we will provide insight into the organizational innovation strengths, gaps and roadblocks to help the organization reach its full innovation potential.

1 Innovation Strengths and Roadblocks

Providing detailed insights about the perception of innovation in the business, your challenges, the innovation styles, and how these link to your overall innovation strategy.

2 Leverage Innovation Profiles

Get a deep understanding of the innovation mindset of your people and how to successfully leverage them across the business to drive innovation initiatives.

3 Recommendations & Innovation Acceleration
Recommendations on how to achieve better business results through building innovation capability through accelerator programs and workshops.

Join our community of innovators to stay on top of the most relevant innovation content. We will give you a complementary Glossary to start the way!

GIMI’s Innovation Glossary provides a universal lexicon of innovation. It will serve as a compass to guide you through the vast landscape of innovation