Individual Innovation Audit Tool

Learning > Online Tools

Our Individual Innovation Audit tool focuses on four broad areas:

  • Innovation Intent
  • Building Robust Business Concepts
  • Getting Resources
  • How to Make It Real

 

Want to access your organization’s innovation state? Use our Innovation Organization Audit tool.

 

Leave a comment

738 comments

  • karim.dabbous18 March 29, 2017  

    • Concept-to-Customer Innovation Process.

    A quick recap about my firm. I have a boutique financial consultancy service firm. That provides auditing and tax services as well as other financial consulting services. And we I am part of a global network called Russell Bedford International that provides the same services. My clients “customers” are mid-tier as well as high-end wealthy individual families. As well as public listed companies and Not for Profit organizations (UNDP).
    Innovation has always been to me in enhancing my services related to better understanding of IFRS as well business models for business I audit. This article was an eye opener for that technology and AI can do to our business and how it will reflect on it. The profession will be re-invented in the next 10 years. And skills will need to be up graded to meet the new technology introduced.
    https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/audit/us-audit-audit-innovation-drives-private-company-performance.pdf

    https://blog.johnrchildress.com/2011/10/02/strategic-intent-and-strategic-imperative/

    Strategic Imperative, is a one critical activity that, if focused on, will insure the attainment of the strategic intent. Having that said my strategic intent was building on large cliental increasing profits. I do not focus much on the future of the profession or the business as well as wellbeing of my staff. Since we have high turnover in staff. I never consider that as a risk. Yet after reading this I will start to explore what makes employees leave the job.
    Infact I had a call with my office manager this morning to start a process of surveying the reasons for leaving by our staff. Although recruiting new team is not a problem in Egypt yet training and show up at client with new team each 2 season is a bad signal. That will lead us to sustain our portfolio and in-line with our strategy which is growing our portfolio. Since by keeping the staff. They will be more acquainted with the current portfolio of clients require them less time to do work as well as expanding to further more clients easily

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2014/04/07/5-ways-leaders-enable-innovation-in-their-teams/#4790864c8c4c
    Leadership commitment.
    Part of leadership role I should embed in our firm is the importance of innovation. I know as its part of the culture my managers always ask staff new entery levels to follow the rules. Audit programs given to them as well as procedures. We do things in structure way. The innovation about tackling issues is left to partners and directors within certain limits.
    After doing this exercise I will strat planning the program with the team, so I get feedback from everyone. How to the job better. Getting feedback, leading by example will make all my team feeling safe space about expressing there opinions about how we tackle problems as well as enhancing our process.
    Adding also to what learned during the class ( motorla) case about the way the phone is done and how quality controls preferred to stick to the rules rather than being open to new idea about developing the product.
    Innovation should not be contained to management and should be part of the culture of organization leaving door open for everyone

  • jasjeet.ajimal March 29, 2017  

    Mapping the Innovation Landscape

    Improvements: My understanding of innovation and the tools that can be utilized to facilitate it all stem from politics. I am familiar with various tools that were utilized by government, which is not very innovative. In government, process is adapted very slowly compared to the private sector. Government’s issues with adaptation has been a hurdle for innovating programs as demographics change. Therefore, the knowledge I have of the innovation process is bringing efficient private sector mythologies into the public sphere so appropriate adaption and transformation can take place in a timely manner.

    Another habit that has developed during my time as an Issues Manager is solving crisis situations on the media cycle. For example, an issue arises in the morning, finding a proper solution, reasons the issue took place, taking points, steps to ensure the issues does not occur again, all have to be done by the end of the print cycle the same evening. This would ensure the media was well aware of our plan by the end of the day. However, in structured innovation projects mapping ideas, finding root causes and appropriate plans take longer. Ideas are structured and restructured. Finally, the appropriate dots are connected and a plan is formulated.

    As I move away from the public sphere and enter the private sector my knowledge of tools utilized for innovation are limited. It is my goal to learn more about tools and ways to chart ideas and formulate a structure plan to drive innovation. This will be done through understanding industry trends, competitors, customers need, and many other variables.

    Research: https://hbr.org/2006/05/mapping-your-innovation-strategy. This article discusses questions companies must answer when they are trying to innovate. This includes looking at which areas to “play,” how to leverage the current customer base, finding barriers in the market, and find the niche area that is not being serviced. The article also provides a very set checklist of questions that allow you to conduct analysis on new products.

    Steps for improving:
    As Business Insights for Action mention, collecting dots from a wide range of sources is critical. The article outlines looking inside an organizations various departments along with past, current and predicted future trends. This allows you to collect various dots on each departments offerings and how they are adding to the value proposition. Secondly, you must have dots from various parties outside the organization, including customers, suppliers, etc. Connecting the dots and creating a structured approach for the 5 structure (Market, Channel, Offering, Production, Business Model) process, allows innovation to take shape.

    I believe that once I start utilizing different ways of thinking at different stages, I can categorize the ideas and utilize newly learnt resources when formulating the process.

    I will structure problem solving for an issue utilizing a vertical slice structure that applies the 5 step structure and asking the key questions the article outlines. By structuring my problem solving, coupled with thinking differently, I will be able to cover the past, current, and possible trending resolutions. Another active step that I will take is creating “learning histories,” as keeping the past (structure, processes, failures, missed opportunities) in mind when connecting the dots will be vital to my overall progress in finding unique ways to resolve issues.

  • jasjeet.ajimal March 28, 2017  

    Experimentation, Piloting and Pivoting

    Improvement: I have piloted projects in the past, but I am unfamiliar with how to use these types of processes to improve on a large scale. My goal is to become well versed in cost effective methods of piloting with the ability to quickly adapt processes in order to change courses as results vary.

    My experience with piloting was in the Setup stage. As I mentioned earlier, the political nature of trying to be risk obverse, assess caution, and quietly test before proceeding, was a methodology that I successfully utilized. This process was generally utilized in campaigns. The same process allowed ministries to adapt industry standards and innovative processes. However, the same process that provided me success in the public sector will not serve me well in the private space. My learnt behaviour to test then proceed without the indepth research, setup or processes in place will result in failure. It is my goal to learn how to experiment properly at the right stage and change course without sustaining losses

    Research: https://www.bcg.com/documents/file57197.pdf This article discuses using experimentation effectiveness to create competitive advantage. New forms of testing products before they are scaled have provided many companies a competitive advantage to innovation. The article states that companies have utilized new technology, such as simulations, to test layouts and packaging methods. The access to technology provides even more opportunities to experiment in a cost effective manner.

    Experimentation effectiveness occurs when a companies behaviours and cultures are aligned to consistently experiment. Proctor and Gamble is an example of a company that continued to stay innovative through consistent experiments. A culture of continuous improvement was fostered where employees were encouraged to test. P&G streamlined their testing process which allows thousands of small experiments to take place at once. The article outlined 8 key questions that would allow effective experimenting to take place.

    Steps to Improve: Testing ideas can only take place if I become more versed with methods to test. As the article suggests, I will start by asking the eight key questions to streamline experimenting which makes the business cases more appealing.

    Secondly, the Connectivity Book clearly outlined various business platforms that would be excellent for testing. For instance, if I was launching a product that required initial cost effective market test in a short period of time, I could go to New Product Test Market in Brooklyn. Further, if I wanted to test out market appeal for a new software applet, open source testing might be the best avenue.

    My blinders and focused scope on the political cycle has hindered my exploration and not allowed me to fully explore testing methods that the current market offers. As Connectivate Book mentions, I must connect the micro and macro, conduct small tests with big ideas and utilize accessible platforms to refine models.

  • lmacdonald March 28, 2017  

    Strategy and Implementation of New Ideas
    While working for our seafood business in the R&D department, our biggest issue was finding the balance between the lab test stage and real world launch stage. It was always difficult to know when you had perfected your invention enough to put it on a vessel. The risk was that if it was not far enough along it would waste everyone’s time and taint the crew’s view on the device. Whereas, if you perfected in the lab for too long you ended up following your assumptions down the wrong path and made something completely impractical for the vessel. This would also taint the crew’s view.

    https://hbr.org/1985/11/implementing-new-technology

    Two key functions of our process that was missing is understanding how this technology will disrupt the work environment and getting buy-in from the start. We were often focused on the issue and finding a solution that physically fit within the process. We did not take the time to think about how it would affect routines of each stakeholder. Furthermore, we identified the solution without consulting the operations team. In retrospect, we should have immediately engaged them to brain storm on the idea and find out how we could make their lives easier. This would create buy-in and ensure we were accounting for their routine. Instead, our devices were perceived as disruptions to their regular work.

  • lmacdonald March 28, 2017  

    Drive a Team Culture of Innovation
    Our equipment rental business is doing very well, but has become complacent with its success. The top management is aware of this issue and has been pushing the team to continue evolving their thinking and business. Many of the middle management are struggling with this concept. They are focused on the day-to-day and feel that changing anything will threaten the business. We need to help our top management create a culture that embracing the value of change and rewards people for trying something new.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephenwunker/2015/07/29/5-strategic-big-businesses-use-to-build-a-culture-of-innovation/

    The first step will be to ensure our middle management understands how to contribute to the change. If they feel they are part of it, this will get greater buy-in and reduce fear. We may even need to create a few “champions” who carry the torch at first. This will allow the culture to disseminate through the business without constant focus from top management. Next, we will need to ensure our incentives and actions to not prohibit change. We want our team to be rewarded for trying something new, even if it fails the first time. This needs to be reflected in the actions of our top managers as they reveal times they have failed, but show how they learned from those experiences.

  • lmacdonald March 28, 2017  

    Prioritize Concepts
    We are in the process of purchasing a new business focused on the automated machinery space. The company has an immensity of innovation opportunities. I will be leading the strategy sessions that will draw out these various opportunities from the management team. I am still struggling to figure out which ones are the “low hanging fruit” and which ones are long term strategic goals. The management has been struggling with this same concept as well, so it is up to my team to drill into the issue and provide clarity.

    https://hbr.org/2014/09/how-to-prioritize-your-innovation-budget

    Using the spending chart as a rough guide, we can drive the concept of time budgeting to our management team. We need to ask them how they are spending their time and resources in relation to the four groups: daily operations, incremental improvement, sustaining innovation, and disruptive innovation. This will provide a starting point for discussion on how we are currently and should be prioritizing innovation projects.

  • jasjeet.ajimal March 28, 2017  

    Improvement: My ability to adapt styles stems from my previous experiences. Throughout my experience, I wore various “hats” per say. I was a Special Advisor who managed issues with public programs, a Director of Operations where I managed large infrastructure projects and policy, and a Political Operative who managed campaigns and started movements. Each required me take on a different styles, work with different teams, and think differently. However, the goal of each of the roles, was two fold; firstly, to ensure it was making government more effective in program delivery and secondly, to ensure whichever project was undertaken had good pubic approval ratings and would enable political growth.

    This continued mindset of political gain has made it difficult to think in different ways and adapt to new styles when thinking about innovation in the private sector. When I made the shift into the private sector in a consulting capacity, the innovation was siloed and required significant work.

    Research: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/six-secrets-to-true-originality. This article provides an outline on biases and areas of hesitation that should be moved past to ensure you are beginning to break out of habits. It speaks about collecting a greater number of ideas, understanding what works for you, and taking your time. Further, the article provides insight on mental barriers we place on ourselves that prevent greater idea creation from taking place. As this article states, I need to move outside of my typical network and connect with others to gain new perspectives.

    I also need diverge before I converge when thinking about unique ways to solve problems. Coming back to usual solutions of problem solving has put me into a cycle.

    Steps to Improve: To start thinking differently I must change my habits. First, I will start jotting down more and more ideas and continuously think about possible solutions. I will not conceive for the first or second resolutions that come to mind. Secondly, talking to people outside of my usual network is critical so I can gain new insights constantly. Lastly, to kick start the innovation process I need to take my time. Whenever a problem or task present itself, I will start taking time to think through the possible solutions clearly before responding. As the article suggests, these three simple habit changes can make a big difference. Changing habits also go hand-in-hand with being aware of my biases when I approach a problem.

  • sayenden March 28, 2017  

    3. Tactics for Innovation Projects
    My score – 3
    Desired Level – 5

    a) I managed to somehow go from inception to acquisition with a business before. However, it had felt like we were consistently figuring out things on the go. We didn’t necessarily follow a blue-print or a strategy that was agreed upon. Being a bootstrapped start-up we had full-reign in the beginning on how we did things. Although this was great, I do think it would be critical to have a methodology to the madness. We encountered several things that we did not plan for, which threw a wrinkle in our operations.

    b) Reference – https://www.extension.harvard.edu/professional-development/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies

    c) The concept of the S-curve is something I didn’t know when we operated our first company. Instead, we experienced it first hand. For about 9 months we were the only company doing what we were doing, and didn’t have a strategy as to what was next as soon as everyone else caught up and copied what we were doing. We eventually had to pivot to increase our portfolio of services, but not before it was perhaps too late.

  • sayenden March 28, 2017  

    2. More and Better Dots
    My score – 4
    Desired Level – 5

    a) One of the big stumbling blocks to innovating for me is the lack of diversity I have in terms of knowing a variety of people. I feel I could be much better connected to various different positions, races, and religions. This would give me a much more diverse view of the world, to create better and creative solutions.

    b) Reference https://hbr.org/2005/12/how-to-build-your-network

    c) This article is quite valuable in revealing how to both assess my current network, and fill-in weak areas. For starters, doing a rough draft, I quickly realize a lot of my network is composed of individuals similar to myself. I need to without a doubt expand this to include much more diversified backgrounds. It seems I have been a victim of the ‘proximity principle’.

  • sayenden March 28, 2017  

    1. Prioritize Concepts:
    My score – 3
    Desired Level – 5

    a) For me, coming up with ideas and inspiration is generally not the problem. In fact, I think I am fairly good at this. My first major issue is knowing which tasks to focus on, and which can take a back-burner. In theory, I strongly believe in creating MVPs when proceeding, but in practice, I get caught up with the practice over proof of concept.

    b) Reference – http://www.inc.com/karl-and-bill/how-to-prioritize-your-big-ideas.html

    c) This article is quite straight to the point. It talks about how I should address 5 key points for each idea or concept that may be brewing. This way, I can understand which is the bigger of the opportunities.

    Key areas include:
    – Customers
    – Market
    – Competitors
    – Strengths
    – Opportunity

    A simple exercise like this will definitely help me vet ideas up top rather than building on it too extensively without support.

  • sada.haque18 March 28, 2017  

    Area of Improvement #3: Drive concept to launch
    Often, I have seen that in our innovation projects / start-up ventures, we work hard on developing a concept which looks great and unique, and within our limited sense of what the end user wants, we struggle be sure if the offering would actually work and start planning on hope. Most concepts on which a significant time was invested don’t see a path forward based on gut feels.

    http://www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/5-keys-to-getting-your-startup-idea-from-concept-to-launch/

    The above article is a good source to try out a start-up idea and being open minded about it. Focus on the business idea rather than the business plan, collaborate and take (manage) risks.

  • sada.haque18 March 28, 2017  

    Area of Improvement #2: More and better dots and connecting them
    Divergence is an issue when we are trying to find information. I have been trying to work on my entrepreneurial venture to offer a unique value proposition to the market which I believe is innovative. I have devised an offering which seemed innovative based on the limited dots I had explored. Getting along further into the process made me realize that I probably should have diverged further, found more and better dots and then see how I could connect them and converge to offer a more innovative and unique value proposition.

    http://www.thegeniusworks.com/2016/02/what-is-innovation-connecting-the-dots-the-ones-other-people-miss/

    The above along with the Fringe Mapping concept will really help me diverge more than before.

  • sada.haque18 March 28, 2017  

    Area of Improvement #1: Aligning Stakeholders
    In my current role at SKF, the organization realizes that we need to do things differently and innovation is the buzz word. This has led to creation of multiple cross-functional multi-disciplinary sprint teams in order to innovate. For one of the innovation project that I led, the biggest issue was the alignment of stakeholders. The project objective, project sponsor, the team and myself were not on the same page. I was foreseen as a threat to an existing process that worked and just wanted to change it. I was not able to sell the idea for the need of innovation to the team.

    http://www.jotmi.org/index.php/GT/article/view/art261/701

    Following a structured methodology to integrate stakeholder engagement with innovation will greatly aid into aligning the stakeholders.
    This along with strategic project management concepts will help in managing such projects much more effectively.

    http://managementperformance.com/strategic-project-management/

  • john.jpt.thomas March 28, 2017  

    Area of Improvement #3: Building Growth Platforms

    a) I have never been tasked to create a growth platform. However, I am very intrigued on how to create platforms. Working in the government, I think understanding how to successfully create a growth platform will help me understand my end customer which is essentially a tax payer, but more specifically a SME looking for assistance from our area.
    b) https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/de/pdf/Themen/2016/KPMG-Creating-Growth-Platforms-2016.pdf
    “Growth platforms, by their very nature, are based on opportunities that cross market or segment lines and require cross-functional input. Thus, a growth platform mindset connects related opportunities, and in doing so, drives internal collaboration and efficiencies while working to transform a company’s organic growth into business units or divisions of the future which respond to sector convergence. “ This paragraph here opened my eyes that growth platforms were about connecting opportunities based on if they related to each other.
    c) Aha moment – I don’t think in my Ministry that we think about the right opportunities to grow our economy. We focus on what has been done before and give it a few tweaks. By identifying clusters of related opportunities, we can identify needs of SMEs and help them grow in the future. Also, growth platforms take a long time. We need to think long term and spend a few months or years developing a well thought out growth platform. I think in order to improve myself in this area I need to research more about growth platforms before I can present this to my Ministry.

  • john.jpt.thomas March 28, 2017  

    Area for Improvement #2: Generating Robust Concepts

    a) In my current/previous roles I have not had to create robust concepts. I discovered in class that one of the main reasons is that the rules that I follow were set by people who have long left the company or are about to retire. No one really questions our practices except for the fact that this is how we always have done it. I have not been put in situations to come up with robust concepts.
    b) http://www.innovationlearning.org/a-systematic-innovation-process-to-create-ideas-into-concepts/ A Systematic Innovation Process to Create Ideas into Concepts. The one thing that stood out to me about this article is time. I see that this kind of thinking and framework requires a lot of time and collaboration, something that we don’t prioritize in my area. The thinking is we do not have time to spend on a problem so let’s do what we have always done.
    c) Aha Moment – The article referenced Google’s framework which I thought it was interesting.
    1. Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?
    2. Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?
    3. Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?
    4. Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?
    5. Health: How can we help individuals le ad longer, healthier lives?
    6 Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?
    7. Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?

    What I found interesting about this is it touched on something we learned in class. The 7 questions above all touched on the needs we spoke of in class. Most problems in my organization are not that large and complex that they affect large scale needs, but then again it made me think…are we asking the right questions? Although a problem may be minor, we never take the time to answer these larger picture questions to see if the problem could impact one of these needs. So it made me think that the problems I get in the future, I am going to take the time to ask these questions and probe and see if the problem we are tackling actually touches on one of these needs.

  • john.jpt.thomas March 28, 2017  

    Area for Improvement #1: Mapping the Innovation Landscape

    a) Working for the government, I do not do too much innovation. Usually with government, they follow the current trends and try and see how they can support companies. In my experience I have not seen government do much innovation. So my current and previous roles have not required much innovation. It is like how we spoke in class that we were trained to think inside a box and we never try and think outside that box.
    b) https://hbr.org/2015/06/you-need-an-innovation-strategy
    I was reading the article from the Harvard Business Review “You Need an Innovation Strategy”. Within the article there was a really good point “Without an innovation strategy, innovation improvement efforts can easily become a grab bag of much-touted best practices: dividing R&D into decentralized autonomous teams, spawning internal entrepreneurial ventures, setting up corporate venture-capital arms, pursuing external alliances, embracing open innovation and crowdsourcing, collaborating with customers, and implementing rapid prototyping, to name just a few. There is nothing wrong with any of those practices per se. The problem is that an organization’s capacity for innovation stems from an innovation system: a coherent set of interdependent processes and structures that dictates how the company searches for novel problems and solutions, synthesizes ideas into a business concept and product designs, and selects which projects get funded.” As well this particular like stood out to me “Finally, without an innovation strategy, different parts of an organization can easily wind up pursuing conflicting priorities—even if there’s a clear business strategy.”
    When I think of my current organization, we speak a lot about innovation and we throw the term around a lot, however I do not think we have an innovation strategy.
    c) Aha Moment – The article taught me that apart from your business strategy, you need an innovation strategy. Without an innovation strategy, there can be conflicting priorities. This makes me think about a recent reorganization we had to be more “innovative”. However there a few units within our division who have similar functions. This is highly inefficient and at times slows down the process as we spend much time trying to figure out which area should take on the project as it is in many of our mandates to take on the project. I will be the one in my organization to push for an innovation strategy so it is clear what we are aiming for in terms of innovation and what everyone’s role is.

  • Juan.Lopez18 March 28, 2017  

    – Building and selling action plan.

    For the past 8 years, I served as CEO of a media company experiencing massive growth. The original plan was built well and sold well on the market. My focus has shifted towards operations, finance, marketing and sales. I’ve never had experience outside of this and have not pushed myself to integrate new business models that would require building and selling and action plan. Internally my team brings forth ideas for efficiency and innovation based on our structure for growth. I’ve started reading some content to guide me through this process of building it but selling it internally is a very different skillset. A simple guide that encompasses some of the main ideas offers 6 steps to creating the action plan (SMART goals, work backwards to set milestones, determine what needs to happen to reach goals, determine actions required to reach goals, schedule, follow through) .
    One of the main reasons I took the MBA program was to learn and build confidence in building and selling action plan in my organization. A major lesson from the program thus far was to realize to build a space of inclusion and allowing members that were not being heard to stand out. Soon I will be collecting the information that my group is sharing and organizing a plan based on their own expectations but with a very clearly defined objective/deliverable to grow the business.

  • Juan.Lopez18 March 28, 2017  

    – Testing and Prioritizing Concepts
    Our production process is intricate and labour intensive. We spend a lot of our upfront time designing a unique production pipeline for each client’s needs. This consumes a lot of time and unfortunately some of the new ideas we want to evolve get pushed back. We have not had much experience spending time researching and developing ideas that are not immediately required for the production process.
    I am a media company and I just described some common issues of our operations. At the same time media companies are particularly tied to tech/disruption and need to innovate and stay ahead of the curve. An interesting article specific to our needs makes a good case why we should spend time on R&D besides just tapping into cool new ideas. R&D is a responsibility to ourselves, our clients and our employees.
    I realize I need to build ‘bench time’ into my budgeting from now which will give me the space to do anything. Anything needs to have certain criteria within our objectives and I will also need to make sure that this bench time is used responsibly.

  • Juan.Lopez18 March 28, 2017  

    – Mapping the innovation landscape
    The number one reason I decided to do an MBA program as a business owner is because I realized my industry is under massive disruption and I had an opportunity to meet with the top media/broadcaster/distribution executive to pick their brains and realize they do not have a clear plan to innovate and take the industry to the next level. This means I have an amazing opportunity to do this myself! I have a lot of data, network, resources but am failing to map it out, organize and act. I am in desperate need of structure and tools to make the right move. IMBOK was a major eye opener and my first glance at a formal structure for innovation.
    The book built to last was another interesting read and gave me a catchy tool to attract my team with something that caught their attention ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’. 1
    I work with creative folks and this type of approach stands out. The main idea of this concept is to establish and aggressive proposal, something that will excite my team. This motivates use towards organized thinking and focus on achieving our goals.
    1. http://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/articles/building-companies.html#articletop

  • rajoakville March 28, 2017  

    Setting Targets and Objectives
    There are no two ways about it: I am not a numbers guy. Sometimes I wish I was, because numbers are powerful for a business case. The right metrics make a business case believable. Again, I have to leverage the help from people who are experts at extracting KPI’s. There is nothing wrong with continuing to leverage their help. But I do want to get better at it.

    Linking KPI’s with employee goals is extremely important. When your KPI’s are aligned with stakeholders, then your business case is that much stronger. The tough part is defining them. That is what I look forward to improving on after taking the first step: reading this article: Performance Management and KPI’s (https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_87.htm)

  • nirav.gandhi18 March 28, 2017  

    3. Building Growth Platforms:
    Building a platform for growth is probably the hardest task for my business. I currently feel that I have to be active and a leading member for innovation for the company to institute growth. I have begun delegating tedious tasks, but how do I create a platform where continuous innovation takes place without my intervention? I am stuck on the belief that I have to help out with coming up with ideas or else nothing gets done and new ideas are formed. I align growth with new ideas, it I difficult to come up with a platform that provides growth opportunities on its own. Because of this issue, I am stuck with the day to day tasks rather then only focusing on the overall growth of the company. I have a lot of ideas that I want to implement but the only way I will be able to do this is if I can create a proper growth platform for my current business.

    b. Reference an article* (include link to the article) that gives you guidance and recommendation on how to improve your position in that specific area
    Article 3: Building Growth Platforms
    https://hbr.org/2006/05/creating-new-growth-platforms
    Article 3: Building Growth Platforms
    I believe the issue that I have is that I am too close to my day to day activities which I drastically need to change. Some of the activities are very tedious and can be transferred through a process and platform. Personally, I would like to focus on growth of the business and move onto creating other businesses. It is my understanding that growth is aligned with new ideas and if I can structure the flow of new ideas and implementation on the current business that my attention will be less required. The article was a great read and really changed my perspective on my option to acquire other companies to sustain my growth, “65% of acquisitions have destroyed more value than they create.” The article also suggests that “companies grew by creating what we call new growth platforms (NGPs) on which they could build families of products, services, and businesses and extend their capabilities into multiple new domains.” Here are few steps that I have learned from the article that I should implement to create a platform as a business model:
    1) Put credible chief growth officers in charge
    2) Believe that the team is more important than the idea.
    3) Have NGP units that are independent and embedded.
    4) Guarantee financial independence.
    5) Systematize the NGP creation process.

  • nirav.gandhi18 March 28, 2017  

    2. Accessing Resources and Partners: My company is independent and we have had no outside help or intervention. There are so many incentives for start up like mine, resources available from accelerator programs like the Mars Center, Government grants or even the university. Since inception, we have not taken any outside assistance which I think we may need if we need to continue growing. I am also unfamiliar about what other resources maybe available to me. In terms of partners, we have had many offers for investment from Canada and China. We have also have had companies in Canada assisting in making us go public, however we have not pursued this. The big question that I have to ask my self is what resources are available? What are the platforms I can use to help me learn about them? What partners do I require to help my business?
    Article 2: Accessing Resources and Partners
    https://www.marsdd.com/mars-library/research-development-ontario/
    From the beginning, we have used no outside resource or looked for partners that can help us grow. We know that this is an issue and as we may not have strengths in each aspects of our business. Ideally, we would like to those who have specific expertise and connect with them to help us grow. The Article “Research and development (R&D) in Ontario overview” outlines many government programs that I can use and implement in my business strategy.
    Here are few that I found interesting:
    CANARIE: CANARIE provides a digital infrastructure for Canadian entrepreneurial, research and education communities to network, develop and test new digital products while maintaining low development costs. As I am looking to further get into digital products such as market places, apps and platforms, I belive that this resource can help me connect the dots I might have seen before.
    The Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence Initiative – supports collaboration between researchers and organizations based in Canada and India, facilitating knowledge transfer, training and business opportunities. As I am trying to open up a chapter in India, I am looking for resources that can help me expand. I will share this with my team to see if it can potentially help me get started in India.

    Ontario Innovation: This Facebook page aggregates news and links related to innovation, technology, research and entrepreneurship within Ontario. By joining this facebook page, I can stay ahead of treads that and news regarding innovation which I can implement in my business.

  • nirav.gandhi18 March 28, 2017  

    1. Generating Insights and Ideas: The right insights and ideas to provide continuous exponential growth is hard to come by, I feel like I do not have the right resources to look at when coming up with insights and ideas. Asides from the resource that I have, the question that often comes to me is where do I get the next hot selling product? What is trending? How do I create a trend? Product life cycle in my industry changes every 1-2 months. A product hat was hot a month ago may not be a good sell this month, how do I know when the product will not worth advertising? There are also a lot of insights available on the data I have collected from the 4 million customers I have served so far.
    • Current information: I would love to use the data that I have obtained to generate more sales and revenue. It would be great to analyze purchasing pattern from repeat customers and using that to see what they might want to purchase next from my current inventory or even come up with the next potential product that everyone wants.
    • Competitor Analysis: Analyzing competitors would be a great way to get insights and ideas. First need to find the right competitors in my field and then continuously monitor with tools to see what they are doing next and what products they are selling.
    • Trend Analysis: Asides from news, there are a lot of shows on TV/Internet/Youtube that I can follow to learn. However I am sure there is many analytical tools that I am not using to come up with the next big thing. This is the biggest headache for me, if I can figure this out then scaling would become easier.

    Article 1: Generating Insights and Ideas
    http://idealog.co.nz/venture/2011/07/generating-insights-and-ideas
    This is extremely key for my business to be sustainable. I have to continuously look for new products to stay ahead of the trend and competition. I feel like I do not have the right resources to do this and I do not have the right process. From my current method, we just test random products and the ones that work we scale. This makes us loose thousands of dollars everyday in marketing to see which product will work and which one doesn’t. After reading the article, it provided me with a 4 step guide on what I can potentially do to create a more sustainable way to find products. I can teach these steps to my employees as well and ask them to follow this. The process is called The Water Hole’ developed by Bill Wilmot which identifies the following steps:
    • Need. Identify the marketplace need for your product or service.
    • Approach. Define the ‘golden nugget’ or the unique advantage of your approach.
    • Benefits. Outline the benefits to the customer, your partners in the market ecosystem.
    • Competition. Pinpoint the competition and systematically compare your approach with competitive products or services.

  • nirav.gandhi18 March 28, 2017  

    Based on my results, I feel as I need to improve on every aspect of the survey. This survey helped me analyze my readiness, current skills, and innovative thinking to be an effective contributor to my organization’s innovation initiatives. I am a strong believer of continuous innovation and have encompassed this mentality through every aspect of my business. The business landscape is changing so quickly, I am in the belief that if I do not continue to innovate then my current business will perish. The survey was great, it helped me analyze my current situation and allowed me to compare that to where I want to be. As for the future, I proactively selected #5 on all my options as I feel there is a need improve towards perfection on all aspects of the survey. In terms of the top 3 areas that I need to improve on I feel that the following meet that requirement:
    1. Generating Insights and Ideas: 3.2 -> 5
    2. Accessing Resources and Partners: 2.9 -> 5
    3. Building Growth Platforms: 3.2 -> 5
    I feel like these three topics would be a great start for improvement. My current business requires this on a day to day basis if I want to sustain continuous growth.

  • rajoakville March 28, 2017  

    Building and Validating Business Cases
    The next area of improvement is selling my ideas. This requires a full business case with a plan, the benefits and key performance metrics. The difference between a strategy and a business case still confuses me. It took me nearly a month to put together a business case for a new training tool I introduced. I had to almost manage a project to put together a business case. I held meetings with business analysts to help me put together metrics and with my manager to help me anticipate questions from upper management. Why can’t I just do this myself? I can.

    I have selected the following article: The Right Way to Present Your Business Case

    Interestingly, the article focuses on identifying the need. It is important to focus on the need of the stakeholder. Both articles I have selected speak of an emotional need. Something that will grab the attention of my stakeholders. This is key for a strong business case.

  • rajoakville March 28, 2017  

    Mapping the Innovation Landscape

    My strength is in my creativity and the creative ways with which I come up with new ideas for my role. My job is to manage training for internal stakeholders and ensure our CRM tools are being used and maximum user adoption is achieved. This requires innovate ways to provide training. Face-to-face training and webinars are not as popular as they used to be. Many users know that they will forget most of what they are about to learn before they walk into a training session.

    Ideas do come out of me. I have recommended new training tools and a super user program where select users would advocate and train their fellow team members on our tools. This would be managed by me. Great ideas, but they all need strategy. At times I get stuck and that is because I am unsure about what the correct flow should be for the strategy.

    I am looking forward to reading the following article: You Need an Innovation Strategy .

    The article specifically talks about a challenge a I have and that is to come up with a bold strategy and learn how to sell it. It mentions how Bristol-Myers Squibb completely changed its business strategy and the steps they took to develop an innovation strategy as they evolved as a company. Understanding innovation strategy at such a large scale will help me tackle major changes I make to my training strategy.

  • michael.hammond18 March 28, 2017  

    3. Think and Act Differently (current state 2, future state 4)
    As I mentioned in my second area of focus, I tend to have a very linear way of thinking about things and tend not to be very creative. I also sometimes have the tendency to not wish to deviate from the status quo. This is likely the result of my accounting training and the principle of wanting to maintain comparability. While I can come up with new ideas that streamline and eliminate redundant steps (I have been involved in implementing some Lean process reviews), I am a bit unsure of my abilities to lead a team responsible for implementing innovation and experimentation within a public service context that is not comfortable with failure. https://hbr.org/2002/08/the-failure-tolerant-leader outlines some key factors that I intend to take to hear as I take on my new role of leading innovation and experimentation at my agency. In particular, I want to focus on setting the tone across the agency that failure is OK. I have been assured by the President of the organization that he understands that failure will happen when experimentation is undertaken, so I believe that my role will be to foster this view amongst those involved in the projects that I will be leading. In addition, there will be a need to create a collaborative environment that is open to ideas, which I also believe is something that I can do by approaching any innovation area with knowledge of my own biases.

  • michael.hammond18 March 28, 2017  

    Connect dots (current state 2, future state 4)
    As a trained accountant, I tend to connect dots in a relatively linear way and until recently focused pretty much exclusively within the Finance area of the organizations where I worked and my network of contacts were very similar. I have numerous contacts with other government organizations, but these contacts are also primarily within the finance world. Over the course of this program, I have begun to connect with others outside of this network, which has helped me to be exposed to different ideas. However, I still have a ways to go to fully integrate this into my day-to-day work and explore connecting dots in a more abstract manner.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookmanville/2015/10/10/network-leaders-connect-the-dots-to-innovate/#5d48d770653c is an article published by Forbes, which describes the importance of creating a network of individuals from different specialties in order to gather information from different perspectives to be able to see things in a different way. I have already started to do this, but this is where I will be focusing my efforts in future. I now sit as part of the senior executive team for my organization and I am participating as a leader in setting the overall strategic direction. In this role, I will be exposed to more issues outside of my realm of expertise and will be expected to provide input and views regarding the recommended approach. Creating a larger network through interdepartmental government meetings as well as networking opportunities through my MBA will give me the opportunity to leverage ideas from other disciplines/organizations and make me a more effective leader in my organization.

  • michael.hammond18 March 28, 2017  

    1. Reason to innovate (current state 2, future state 4)
    I have been with the Government of Canada for the past 15 years, but have recently moved to my current position of Chief Financial Officer at the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario at the beginning of February 2017. As part of this role, I have been asked to take on the role of Champion for Innovation and Experimentation, but have not been provided with any specific goals to achieve as part of this role. The Government of Canada is seeking to innovate and my agency is going through a period where there are fewer resources to deliver the same level of programs; therefore, it is necessary to innovate with the goal of reducing the costs to deliver programs. This is where I believe my focus needs to be, although I know that there are other potential areas for improvement at my Agency. I found the following article:
    https://www.jimcarroll.com/2011/01/pinpoint-analysis-how-can-you-identify-areasopportunities-for-innovation/ which provides a useful starting point to help identify opportunities for innovation. As my agency is relatively young (only about 7 years old), it has adopted a number of business practices from its parent department, which may have been appropriate in a large organization, but have never been looked at in the context of a smaller agency of 250 people. I believe that coming to the senior executive table with some recommended key areas to focus on over the next few months, including some quick wins will be received with interest and will garner the necessary support to move forward. I intend to use the focus areas in this article to help formulate my recommendation list to prepare for an executive retreat at the beginning of May where this will be discussed.

  • mark March 28, 2017  

    Personal Innovation Assessment
    Mark Robinson
    3/29/2017

    My career started after 2 years working and traveling around the world as a ski instructor. After university, this experience was invaluable as it gave me a new perspective on how to be resourceful when finances proved challenging. When I returned to Bermuda I began working for an extremely ridged and traditional company. Immediately my ability to be free-spirited was stunted, I had to conform quickly or risk derailing my career before it had even begun. As fate would have it, this company was acquired by a competitor in a hostile takeover. They fired everyone in my department, apart from me. To this day, I’m not sure why, but perhaps they saw something in me and liked that people had to say about me in the market. My new role was immediately much faster paced, I had to learn things quickly and on the fly to prove I could keep up. I loved that environment, the challenge, the adaptation, the entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well. I rose quickly as opportunities were abound in this fast-moving new environment. Fast forward 9 years and that company has changed; we are now a large global operation facing, regulation, compliance and bureaucracy issues – despite out continual outperformance.
    Readiness Assessment
    My Readiness assessment revealed that I have some areas in order to become more creative. Specifically, the areas that demonstrated particular weakness were:
    • Experimentation and Plotting
    • Building and adapting a Business Case
    • Generating Insights and Idea
    Within each category I believe there is significant room for improvement. In order to gain influence with my company I will need to enhance my skills in these categories. There are many challenges and disruptive forces facing the re/insurance sector – this is the reason I am sitting in this class room today. I have seen the rate of change accelerate rapidly in the past five years and it’s only a matter of time before there is a fundamental shift in the insurance business model.

    Experimentation and Plotting
    I consider myself a pragmatist, I always look for the logics and reason for events. The more data to substantiate a claim the better. My roles as an underwriter is to use as much information possible to assess the risk/reward profile and the potential arbitrage possible from other buyers and sellers in the market. Whether it be the anticipating 30-year loss history triangulation, the stochastic modeling uncertainties of global peril hazards maps, where the market is buying and selling. The analysis sitting behind a trade is what I hang my hat on. Therefore, the fact based justification is hard-wired into my psyche, as I need to justify every decision I made, whether it be a slight tweak to a contract or a $200m trade. That is the long way of saying the word “experimenting” from a business sense is hard to adjust to. However, I am not apathetic to what’s taking place in the global marketplace. There are plenty of disruptors out there “experimenting”. It comes down top big company culture. “The Discipline of Business Experimentation” by Stefan Thomke and Jim Manzi I found this comment Before conducting any test, stakeholders must agree how they’ll proceed once the results are in. They should promise to weigh all the findings instead of cherry-picking data that supports a particular point of view. Perhaps most important, they must be willing to walk away from a project if it’s not supported by the data.”
    Running random test seems to be easy, find the patterns and the dependent variables that cause the greatest issue seem often the hardest to isolate, as most businesses are so interwoven that it is hard to isolate the root of issues or how things can be improved. When it comes down to how strong businesses and ideas propagate, it seems random trials allow for data to be gathered and hypothesize to be confirmed, whether right or wrong. Trails are also important in removing bias as trials versus sample can confirm the legitimacy of the proof of concept. “Randomization plays an important role: It helps prevent systemic bias, introduced consciously or unconsciously, from affecting an experiment, and it evenly spreads any remaining (and possibly unknown) potential causes of the outcome between the test and control groups. But randomized field tests are not without challenges. For the results to be valid, the field trials must be conducted in a statistically rigorous fashion.” Going forward I will ensure that I run at least 1 trial per week in order to test new ideas as well as proof of concept.
    Building Alignment and Support
    My current role is on of business production and account preservation, in what is a highly competitive landscape. In addition to day to day responsibilities, my only business case/plan experience as it relates to innovation is limited. From time to time I have produced business cases for new lines of business or to explore new markets were we do not currently participate. When I am lobbying to explore a new market, they are typically within the parameters of what we know well. This past year was the only time I can recall where I was approached by a key client to represented a business case for an innovative product; block chain. In the case it was to join a block chain consortium for our sector established by some of our heaviest hitting competitors and existing clients. In my view there were many compelling arguments to join the consortium: less reduction, influence on the technology development, advantage over market competitors, private deals and finally we were joining many of our business partners which I believed provided the greatest opportunity. One of the stumbling block was the buy in price, which in my opinion was very reasonable. I pitched the idea to the CAO with the head of another division. During the pitch the director he was very negative about the cost, and value for money. He felt it was better to wait and see what came out of the first year. Kicking the can down the road, he didn’t have the vision nor, in my opinion, was he fully appreciative of all the potential applications, functions and the degree of disruption block chain will inflict on our traditional operating model. I did my best to present in the best possible light and sought other higher ranking individuals to support my idea however it proved challenging. I think this scenario was one in which I needed to be able to better adapt by business case. I found an example: HOW TO BUILD ORGANISATIONAL ALIGNMENT AND IMPROVE EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE by TORBEN RICK to help me better strategize my ideas and get more buy in. “organizational alignment is built on your strategy so you must begin here. Your business strategy must clearly define your primary value proposition, your future results destination, and the values and behaviors that will guide your actions on the journey to business results achievement.” After reading Toben’s ten step model I realize that I did not articulate or define my value proposition clearly enough. I simply gave ideas around my value proposition. One of challenges I found when presenting my case was that I had to explain not just the value propostion, but also the story of the technology and what other sectors were using it and for what roles. The other issue was that many felt, it was “too early for a player of our size” given the requisite financial commitments. My case may have provided too much context but not enough substance in terms of value propostion. Toben’s point five also speaks to my situation: “Cascade your strategy”. Toben explains It is important to cascade strategy vertically and horizontally across your company and define the local actions and contributions each area of your organization must make to achieve business success. I was probably overly focuses on pushing the strategy up the chain without explaining the value proposition to peers and colleagues.
    While this content is important, it is also critical to describe the actions, in the form of strategic objectives, your company must focus on to get from the present to the future destination.
    Thinking and Acting Differently
    Arguably probably one of the hardest core tenants to innovation that most people struggle with, myself included. In my case and within my current position this is not exactly an option. Homogeneousness is also expected. For example, many of those I work look are pretty similar to me. We are encouraged to stay fit and not grow beards, there are no rules explicitly stating this, however it is known. I work for a German who has high expectation and no time for distractions. I am a strong believer of diversity to bring new idea and concepts to the core. Since Grayson established Capstone I have tried to be more aware of my actions and how I might want to think and act differently. However, this is easy to do when time is not factor, if it is, I find myself falling back into existing traps. For me, it is much easier to try to think differently about things. In fact, I have been exploring new information, such as the current book I am reading “The Pirate Economy”. This books intent is to demonstrate how there is much evolution and innovations to be learned from “dark” economies such as Somali pirating, arms trade and others.
    The article “How To Think Differently (And Why!)” by Haydn Shaughnessy made some really interesting comments which resonated with me. For example: “Seems to me thinking differently has a much wider role than innovation and the skill is more than just popping a new idea, after a lot of hard work. Y Combinator recently announced they would take on businesses that didn’t even have an idea – a sign that we are now looking for a type of person not just the result of a process, which is why thinking differently becomes so important.” Whether this fact is true or not, indicated that now more than ever there is a necessity for people that think different. That is a weakness of mine, I am adapted to a homogenous environment, that does not necessarily stifle innovation but makes it challenging without the requisite experience in that area or seniority. That said, it is incumbent on me to try to source new information, take the micro indicators and make them macro and start noticing trends and connecting information. I have always thought this way, but never sought enough diverse information, which is probably my problem. In order to address this weakness, I am going to take the steps to require diversity in my information-steam thereby meeting one new person and have a conversation that makes me slightly uncomfortable. As it turns out, when it comes to thinking differently, discomfort means you are doing it right!

  • Alex.Frota18 March 28, 2017  

    Area for Improvement #1: Think and Act Differently
    Current level: I am open to ideas but very exposure to people that have a mindset different than myself or to get involved in activities that I am not used to.
    Future level: I want to expose myself to groups with diverse ideas I want to incorporate those perspectives to broader my own perspective.
    Why I am at that level: I feel comfortable with people that are somehow similar to me and do not make really the effort to get together with people that might provide me different perspectives or approaches to the same problem. The result is that I have only one single perspective that results in less effective results towards innovation.
    Article/Book:
    • Thinking in New Boxes – A New Paradigm for Business Creativity, Luc De Brabandere and Alan Iny – Random House, 2013
    • Mastering Creativity – Break Through Mental Blocks, Uncover Your Creative Genius, and Make Brilliance a Habit, James Clear, 2014
    • Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher
    These books provide us an overall idea how take to update your thinking with “new boxes” and how establish a lifestyle that will boost creativity.
    Next steps: Join more artistic activities that are not common and really outside the box so I will be able to fell more comfortable in different environments.

    Area for Improvement #2: Drive concept to launch
    Current level: I have never launch any innovation project but only implemented innovative operational solutions. As a result, I have no experience in how to build a business case and fully implement it from scratch.
    Future level: I want to be able to have the concepts and understand how to put it in practice to effectively launch a new concept or product. I also want to build able to develop and “sell” innovative products and solutions inside my own company.
    Why I am at that level: The role concept and theory behind of innovation is completely new to me so I need to gather more theoretical information about and to have a real experience in building a business case. I believe that in order to build an innovative mindset I need to have a new experience in developing and implementing a new concept.
    Article/Book: How to Write a Business Plan, Brian Finch
    This book/article seems interesting because it provides information about how to 1. How to prepare a business plan and 2. How to use your business plan to enhance your com­pany.
    Next steps: 1. Get more theoretical information about building business cases and 2. Getting involved in a green field business opportunity

    Area for Improvement #3: Tactics for innovation projects
    Current level: I have no theoretical or practical approach to develop sustainable innovation approaches. Until the moment, the innovation process as mostly carried out by my own initiatives and not from my team.
    Future level: I want to be able to not only change my team direction but mostly to build an autonomous structure that enable the team to innovate by themselves.
    Why I am at that level: While at working in changing management, my main focus was on leadership and operational efficiency. I was to focus on the first stages of the changing process and no real practice in maintaining a sustainable innovative team.
    Article/Book: Creative Strategy – Reconnecting Business and Innovation, Chris Bilton and Stephen Cummings – Wiley-Blackwell, 2009
    This book provide us the theoretical operational framework to foster creativity among teams and overall company.

  • luke.leon March 28, 2017  

    1003728647
    3. Building Growth Platforms
    In 2012, we acquired a company that doubled our revenues. The acquisition enabled LFL Group to become one of the largest Furniture Retailers in North America providing some security against larger Big Box retailers that were moving in at the time (Target). Since we are a public company (as was the company being acquired), there were very few people aware of the move. Many of our senior leaders found out at the same time as the market.
    The size of the acquisition cause an enormous of stress for many in the organization as for many (including myself), the irrational exuberance was replaced by a realization of the size and scope of the task and the limited people resources available at the time. From system and financial to HR alignment there were several areas where maximum capabilities were present. The article below highlighted this for me (http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/preparing-your-organization-for-growth).
    We had several positions where long term associates were nearing retirement and they elected to expedite the process as opposed to moving ahead with several of the initiatives (ie. IT integration of 6 databases to 1)

    The article lists 3 ways to prepare your organization for growth. The AHA moment in the article was the “unprepared” people. The acquisition took many by surprise in both companies. The idea of having ambidextrous capable associates was never considered when projects were assigned. This resulted in several errors that could have been avoided and integrating teams taking longer than what was possible. Additional lessons learned from the article were that we did not change our organizational structure (significantly) with the acquisition.

    Moving forward we will certainly ensure that we have ambidextrous capable associates. This will become part of our story.

  • luke.leon March 28, 2017  

    1003728647
    2. Accessing Resources and Partners
    Over the past 18 months, we have structurally changed our Executive branch. We brought in a new CEO who is a firm believer in building for the future (and in innovation). Part of this process meant bringing in several marketing consultants to help with a re-branding campaign. Results from the campaign were successful even though there were mixed feeling from our senior leaders on going outside (especially from our marketing team) our internal resources. Using a new agency (outside) brought in several ideas, one of which was to introduce SMART furniture to the marketplace. This project essentially aligned with our new branding Leon’s: Part of the Family. The project essentially quantified the amount of family time you are spending with your family using beacon/GPS technology and smart phones. Our President asked me correspond with a few startups to help us build the necessary technology that we could have our manufacturers insert into the furniture. We elected to begin speaking with 3 based on recommendations from lawyers who work in the startup space.
    In speaking with each one of the startups throughout the pitch to the bidding process it was difficult to keep them from offering alternative ideas and or next steps. One of the companies bid 8x the next lowest bid which raised a few eyebrows. Looking at the situation, one major problem was that we were not communicating exactly what we wanted, the necessary timelines and most importantly, other partners (manufacturing) that would be involved.

    The article below offered several AHA moments.
    http://www.rocketspace.com/corporate-innovation/a-strategic-approach-to-finding-the-right-startup-partners
    The article refers the difficulties that Startups have in trusting larger organizations. This was an AHA moment for me as it was clearly an issue from the start. None of them could understand how or why we did not have an R&D department doing this for us (the reason being because we do not have a R&D department was the truth but was believed)
    The article clearly layouts the importance of having a forward-thinking leader being open to startup suggestions. Unfortunately, I did not accept too many variations outside of the original scope of the mandate. The last big takeaway I took from the article is to “make it easy to work with your company”. We certainly missed the boat on this one.
    Although the ad campaigns have been launched and we can provide the solution, we are in the process of refining the original solution to best align with our manufactures.

    In future projects with startups, I will begin with a story that includes why we do not have a R&D department. The story will include the difficulty in large companies trusting startups and vice versa with the whole purpose being to open the lines of communication and lower any barriers. Part of the story will of course include the importance of having new eyes offering fresh opinions.

  • luke.leon March 28, 2017  

    Luke Leon
    1003728647

    The 3 Areas of Improvement needed for improvement are:
    1.Rapid Adoption and Scaling (Current score 0; Future score 5)
    2. Accessing Resources and Partners (Current score 3; Future score 5)
    3. Building growth platforms (current Score 3; Future score 5)

    1. Rapid Adoption and Scaling
    I have worked with the same company for 21 years. The company operates 11 divisions and has 9,000+ associates. We have several processes that work very well for our industry. Due to past successes, we are often reluctant to change processes that are working. One example is a DOS based email function that is used throughout the company. This email function is no longer supported by our provider (JDA formerly GERS which stand for the GE Retail System). As a value add, we created a new solution that was an intranet email for all associates including options for attachments, spell check, task management, regional marketing etc. The system provided the executive with the necessary reassurance of data security (Intranet and Static IP specific) and many of our associates with the communication style they wanted.
    Unfortunately, adoption has been slow as many senior leaders prefer to use the old system and do not check the new system. Associates who report to these individuals and or need information (ie. From the buying group) must check and reply in the old DOS based system, mitigating the usage of the new system.
    Article: Unlocking speed and scale: Unlocking digital value the customer journey (http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/speed-and-scale-unlocking-digital-value-in-customer-journeys)There are several AHA moments via the guidance provided.
    The first one is something we have heard about several times which is “Story telling”. We (my team and I) did not do this. This was an AHA moment because in retrospect, it was a clear miss from the start.

    The second major miss was digitizing journeys separately. Not only did we leave the previous intranet solution as an option, but our senior leaders were some of the biggest offenders at adopting the change.
    Third, the article details the importance of hiring digitally oriented talent. The new solution was adopted far better by the younger demographic, something we did anticipate happening, but it could have been a superior product to what it is if we had additional talents (someone else to see more dots).

    The last takeaway from the article and AHA moment was developing a game plan and most importantly, alternatives. We did not do this. Our game plan was to turn on the service and hope that it works, we did not build a contingency for lack of adoption which in hindsight was a clear obstacle.

    Moving forward, we will start with a story! Part of that story will include how we have hired digitally oriented talent and we will ensure we have a game plan than includes contingencies!

  • jeangeorge17 March 28, 2017  

    Area of Improvement #3 – Rapid Adoption and Scaling
    Typically when I work with big companies or agencies there are many layers and approvals needed that slows the process of innovation. Or there is no budget to support the resources and time needed to promote innovation in a company. Typically I feel defeated by the system before I can actually implement an innovative idea. The structure of the company does not support the implementation of new ideas or experimentation.
    B) Reference Article: https://hbr.org/2017/03/how-to-get-ecosystem-buy-in?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social
    The article provided a great framework on how to create an ecosystem of innovation to help support rapid adoption. There was a large emphasis on getting executive buy in and consensus. As an individual I need to work with the executive team to help foster innovation to help implement it. Every employee needs to be on board with the process.
    C) AHA! Next Steps
    Here are the steps I can take in gaining rapid adoption and scaling. This framework can be shared with any company in any industry.
    1. Identify Key Stakeholders and Their Most Pressing Needs
    2. Outline Stakeholder Consumption Chains
    3. Categorize Features of the Current Offer and Build Offer Profiles
    4. Use the Offer Profiles to Design Growth Opportunity Profiles
    5. Map Stakeholder Tensions
    6. Choose Your Best Opportunity

  • jeangeorge17 March 28, 2017  

    A) Area of Improvement #2 – Experimentation Piloting & Pivoting
    When working with clients and creative agencies my role is creating a strategic framework for digital communications and campaigns. When I complete the strategy I typically move on to the next project and lose touch with the execution of the idea. There is no time dedicated to planning an experiment with the proposed strategy. When creating strategies I typically look at data of the communications performance from the past and present since this is what the client wants to see. They want to know the key learnings from the past when creating a strategy for the present / future. When you are only looking at past data this will continually produce similar results in the future since there is no innovative thinking going into the creative process. When I have done ‘experiments’ it has been A/B tests on FB ads or Google ads to see which creative would perform better. Which is a good start but more can be done.
    B) Area of Improvement #2 – Experimentation Piloting & Pivoting
    When working with clients and creative agencies my role is creating a strategic framework for digital communications and campaigns. When I complete the strategy I typically move on to the next project and lose touch with the execution of the idea. There is no time dedicated to planning an experiment with the proposed strategy. When creating strategies I typically look at data of the communications performance from the past and present since this is what the client wants to see. They want to know the key learnings from the past when creating a strategy for the present / future. When you are only looking at past data this will continually produce similar results in the future since there is no innovative thinking going into the creative process. When I have done ‘experiments’ it has been A/B tests on FB ads or Google ads to see which creative would perform better. Which is a good start but more can be done.
    B) Article: https://hbr.org/2014/12/the-discipline-of-business-experimentation
    When I read this article it made me think of the science community and the amount of experiments they would take before releasing a concept or medication. Typically some of the projects I work on have very big budgets yet there is no time or resources put towards doing any experiments. We are blindly executing a campaign when we can be a bit more informed of our approach to create better results if we performed experiments. The other area of concern this article raised was the use of the work causation vs correlation. When working in digital marketing there are a lot of data points which can be used when presenting results it is important to present them in the right way.
    C) AHA! Next Steps
    Moving forward I can present to my clients and teams about performing experiments. I can set this up by creating a clear hypothesis. It is really important to get buy in from the executive team before the team proceeds and that there is a commitment to take the data and implement it. I can justify the additional time and resources needed since we will produce better results which will help the long term success of the team and in turn create happier clients.

  • jeangeorge17 March 28, 2017  

    A) Area of Improvement #1 – Sourcing Ideas from the Outside
    Currently I am an independent consultant working on digital marketing projects. When I take on projects from clients, the turnaround time of the strategies needed are typically very tight. When I create the quote and timeline I include time to interview the clients and audit their past and current performance. However, I have never accounted for any time to research ideas externally. I typically will do any audit on the direct competitors but I have learned through this course and other courses that I can be inspired or derive a great insight from industries outside of the company I am working with.
    B) Reference Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michellegreenwald/2014/03/19/tasks-of-a-chief-innovation-officer-external-idea-sourcing/#1eef10a564e2
    Reviewing this article there were many suggestions they recommended that can allow me to be influenced by the larger ecosystem. I currently consult for creative agencies. Reading this article made me realize how important it is for designers and copywriters to be inspired by outside sources to ensure they can come up with creative ideas. Creative ideation is not an easy process and providing outside stimulus and examples can really help drive innovation in their thinking. As a strategist I need to assist in the inspiration process for the creative teams so reading this article was very impactful in realizing I can help set up experiences to help drive innovation in creative ideation. I loved reading of the example of the toy companies would sending their inventors on inventor sweeps to review outside inventor ideas several times a year. There were other suggestions in the article which I also found the following points very interesting:
    – Having a team dedicated to sourcing key innovations from competitors, industries and countries (create internal newsletter)
    – When employees travel abroad have them explore the industry in that country and return to the team and share the observations or learnings they had
    – Have outsiders work in the office to provide fresh perspective and new conversations
    C) AHA! Next Steps:
    After reading this article and reflecting on it I have learned that when I create my quote with a client I can set up time to research areas of innovations of companies and industries external to the company I am analyzing. For example, I just started on a contract with a global mining company. As I work with them on their communications planning I have already reviewed their their performance and their direct competitors. However, I can bring in key learnings from key CPG clients I have worked with in the past. When it comes to digital marketing there are a lot of innovative ideas taking place in these industries which a B2B company can benefit from.
    Additionally, when I make recommendations on how their team can create internal communications dedicated to sharing key learnings across the company and outside, so that all employees can be championed as innovators.

  • megan.kempe18 March 28, 2017  

    Area for Improvement #3: More and Better Dots
    Current: I have regional single disciplinary and single industry perspectives.
    Future: I have global, multi-disciplinary, and multi-industry perspectives.

    Why I am lacking in this area: Although my company has over 7,000 employees, located all around the world, I tend to gravitate toward those people that are in similar roles. For example, I may reach out to a property facultative underwriter based in Hartford, or a treaty underwriter based in France. I allow myself to believe that I am expanding my perspective by speaking to these underwriters from various countries although, I am actually misleading myself. These Underwriters, despite the various locations, are writing business that is very similar to mine, in a way that is very similar to the way I conduct business. I have failed to see the value in speaking to people that are seemingly unrelated to my business. Furthermore, I am reluctant to reach out to people for fear of wasting their time with something that appears to be irrelevant for them.

    Reference Article: https://www.fastcompany.com/3012598/how-talent-clusters-will-help-you-win-a-sustainable-future

    Specific examples of how I will use the recommendations listed in the article to improve myself and become a better innovator: This article describes Talent Clusters as cross functional groups created, on an as-needed basis, in order to address a specific challenge. When initially reading this article, these clusters sounded like the traditional “working groups” my company uses when we have a project impacting multiple business units within the reinsurance segment. The key difference this article points about the distinguishing characteristics of talent clusters and working groups, is that clusters are driven from the bottom up, are self-motivating as well as self-managed, and dissipate once the need has been served.

    It seems so obvious, but the “aha” in this article is that these clusters need not be formal teams that last for an unknown length of time. Talent clusters should exist as and when there is a need for them to exist. It was important for me to realize, as the article states, that there are varying types of clusters and the same cluster may not exist for the full life cycle of the idea. Different clusters can exist at the visioning stage, the commercialization stage, and the implementation stage.

    I will use these concepts to create talent clusters whenever I can. In order to facilitate my ability to establish effective clusters, I will organize my network, both internally and externally as well as professional and personal, in such a way as I will be able to retrieve individual’s areas of expertise and experience more efficiently. This will allow me to identify those outside my immediate network that may be able to offer invaluable insights.

  • megan.kempe18 March 28, 2017  

    Area for Improvement #2: Think and Act Differently
    Current: I know my style but do not know what styles an innovation team needs for success
    Future: I know my style and change that style to adapt and make any team more effective

    Why I am lacking in this area: My team has been relatively constant since I started with my company in 2004. Exact roles have changed, but for the most part, the people have remained the same. We are very lucky in that the team worked extremely well together. Our company recently acquired another company, almost doubling the size of our team. Needless to say, the dynamics of the original team have been lost and the new team has not yet adapted. I understood my role within the previous team however, have not yet been able to identify how my skills can best address the needs of the new team.

    Reference Article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffboss/2016/06/07/the-most-effective-teams-adapt-to-change/#2e10b3c679b7

    Specific examples of how I will use the recommendations listed in the article to improve myself and become a better innovator:

    Within our new team, we haven’t yet explicitly discussed the roles each one of us will take on. Each of us still carries our understanding of our role within previous teams. The article suggests that teams are ineffective due to a “lack of clarity around the team’s mission, membership, and metrics.” As a team, we have assumed that each member is clear of these three important areas although based on our dynamics, it is clear that we are not. I will to speak to my boss and suggest that we clearly define our team’s mission, membership, and metrics. In doing this, as a team we will be able to identify those areas that are not being fulfilled as best as they can. From there, we can decide how to fill those gaps in a way which is most beneficial for the group.

  • megan.kempe18 March 28, 2017  

    Area for Improvement #1: Innovation Focus Areas
    Current: I have heard my colleagues talk about where we must focus our innovation effort
    Future: I have been told by senior leaders where we must focus our innovation effort

    Why I am lacking in this area: When I first read this section, specifically the description of my desired future level, I questioned whether that was the correct way to look at innovation. Should we be told where to focus innovation? Shouldn’t we just let innovation happen? After further thought, I realized that innovation has to be organized; otherwise all we will end up with is a collection of unrelated ideas all leading to various results. This is where I need to improve. I need to have a real understanding of what senior leaders want for our business. Only then, will I be able to connect my dots in a way that will move my company in the direction senior leaders want it to go.

    Reference Article:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2016/02/28/if-you-want-to-innovate-learn-these-9-rules/#7207813e5cff

    Specific examples of how I will use the recommendations listed in the article to improve myself and become a better innovator: This article emphasizes the need for focus. Innovation is a combination of a series of events that steam from asking the right questions. Without knowing your focus, you cannot form the right question and you therefore won’t know which insights are relevant. I am in a fortunate position to have access to our most senior leaders. By utilizing the 70/20/10 rule, as described in the article, I will be able to focus my discussions with senior leaders to ensure I am aware of the adjacent and new markets we should be focusing on. I will then apply 20% and 10% of my innovation resources, respectively, on these areas. Given my role within the company, firmly embedded in the core business, I know exactly where to focus the remaining 70% of my innovation resources.

  • karim.dabbous18 March 27, 2017  

    I recognize that accounting and bookkeeping will eventually vanish as time moves on. The audit business will still be their till A.I finds something to replace human sense of judgement

  • bruce.guo18 March 22, 2017  

    Area of Improvement 3: Connect Dots.
    Current: 2, Future: 5.

    Texas Securities was founded in early 2013, in which I served as co-founder and managed the operations. The company targeted to co-develop the security products with the ODM vendors in China, then sell them to the United States. The quantities of related dots are overwhelming. The team faced technology evolutions from analogue camera & recorder to be digital, with higher lines/pixels, weather proof, with motion detecting and many others. Also, the business models could vary, i.e., shall we use CM, or have own factory. Marketing and sales strategy need align with the business model, shall we only sell the parts online? What are the Core driving forces and core competence? When there were many competitors, which niche market we should be focusing on?

    The team could argue a strategy and action from a different perspective. For example, when one of us advocated high-resolution cameras and online video storage/access, the other one may insist that privacy protection was the key concern when people save the video online. More brainstorming we had, more confusion emerged.

    Reference: 3, https://gotz.web.unc.edu/files/2013/10/shrinivasan_vast_2009.pdf

    “We encounter a lot of information during daily activities. We process that information to learn new things, perform tasks or make decisions and store that processed information in our memory. However, our memory is limited in its ability to store and recall relevant information from the past.” (Reference 3)

    Similar to the course content we are learning in the Innovations, using visual tool to develop and analyze comprehensive connections between the dots is my key takeaway from this article. This will be used for my next project and/or business ideas.

    What I’ve learnt: Using Visual Tools to connect dots.

  • bruce.guo18 March 22, 2017  

    Area of Improvement 2: Build Team and Networks
    Current: 2, Future: 5.

    In 2010, an innovative battery company headquartered in Boston, MA, planned to establish a new manufacturing plant in Chongqing, China. As the operations director, I lived 4 years in Chongqing in 1990s, and returned in 2010 for this mission. The team build included the internal organization, as well as the network with the local government, vendors, customers (electrical car manufacturers). I’d been focusing on procedures and discipline – assumed that people would follow what has been written down – but not enough networking activities. The team building is more than a contract or framework investment agreement. Lack of collaborative network was one of the reasons that the project finally failed – the government incentives had not been delivered and business partnership broke up – and the project ended up starting over in another city of China. Although we made it a success in the 2nd attempt, this is the area I ought to improve.

    Reference: 2. http://druckersociety.at/repository/scientific/Shuman.pdf

    “A collaborative network is the collection of businesses, individuals and other organizational entities that possess the capabilities and resources needed to achieve a specific outcome.”(Reference 2)

    When the product is new to the market. The stakeholders outside of the organization are as nervous as internal executives, if not more concerned. Efforts were put in convincing top management team and investors, but not greatly on business partners, customers, government, vendors and other organizations. Those stakeholders were not convinced by the Mission, Strategy and Action plans.

    “A tireless communicator – A common language with shared meaning is essential for Collaborative success.” (Reference 2)

    The new Li-ion battery has higher energy density, shorter charging time and longer lifecycle. It can be used into electrical vehicles (EV), hydro/solar power storage, and portable devices. The social cause and why we do it were compelling. The concerns were mainly on “When”. The infrastructures (charging stations) were not ready and the cost of the EV were not attractive for householders, as other stakeholders often mentioned to us. We’ve been focusing on a rapid growth, positive NPV and great ROIs to the investors, ignored many opinions. In the meantime, other parties don’t have deep knowledge on this new battery, were reluctant to take the risk and deliver their original commitments.

    To build a collaborative network in the future, we will have a tireless communicator, unify purpose, align value proposition, and form a mechanism to optimize/balance the outcome for all stakeholders.

    What I’ve learnt: A collaborative network is needed, driven by a tireless communicator.

  • bruce.guo18 March 22, 2017  

    Area of Improvement 1: Drive Concept to launch

    Current: 2, Future: 5.
    A few years ago, one of my friends in the United States and I had an idea of developing and sending an electrical tooth brush to the market. The principle of this design is that the brushing movement is always from the gum to the teeth, thus to protect the gum. We built a prototype together with one of the manufacturers located in Shenzhen, China. It works well in our view, although some improvements were needed, including lowering the rotation speed, having a smaller brush head, using FDA approved material…and so on. Since both my partner and I had gained our experience in engineering and operation fields, we were stuck by not sure what next steps would be, i.e., process flows of improving the design, getting fund, obtaining FDA approval and eventually commercializing this new product.

    Reference: 1, https://www.slideshare.net/SUCCEEDStaples/8-steps-to-turn-your-small-business-idea-into-a-reality

    “Build it and Set It Free Build a minimum viable product for your business and set it out into the world with a soft launch. While you may want to wait for your product or service to be absolutely perfect, it’s essential to realize that perfection comes over time. Continue to refine your concept based on feedback that the market inevitably supplies.”1

    We had reasonable understanding on ‘WHY”. The article outlines the importance of understanding the target market, core competence and the path to launch – from “Prototype development” to a real business. It is more about HOW to frame a portfolio. The article has summarized step-by-step process of launching a business.

    The systematic approach provides a guidance on how to convert ideas to real business with a close-loop process. Each of such process might have sub close loops. For instance, the product development may be adjusted based on customer’s feedback. The target market may change along with the change of the product/service.

    What I’ve learnt: Process of driving concept to launch, and close-loop improvement.

  • diana.sollner17 March 16, 2016  

    Improvement Area #1 – More and Better Dots
    a. Why is this a deficiency? I have a bias towards reading rather than speaking with people, which is an inefficient way of collecting data. I also read in a relatively narrow range – politics in select countries and more generally at the regional level, environment, economics, opinion columns of select commentators, gender issues, a little bit of fiction. Because I collect information mostly by reading, my knowledge is more shallow than if I spoke to people who are “expert” in the field.
    b. reference: https://blog.bufferapp.com/connections-in-the-brain-understanding-creativity-and-intelligenceconnections
    c. development approach: this article reinforced that it’s all about mix and matching existing bits. While the article recommends reading more, for me I think meeting more people would be more effective. After having clinical depression, I find my memory is significantly altered as a result and it can be difficult to retain sufficient detail from one section of a book to another. Talking about something sets things in my brain better. This also ties into Grayson’s suggestion of seeking “strangeness” that he got us started on in Module 1. Taking a notebook with me everywhere to write down those things that strike me is something I will start doing.
    Another thing the article discussed is the quality of connections between different parts of your brain is just as important as making connections between different bits of information when trying to get an AHA! moment. I predominately use the logical side of my brain. Exercising the creative part of my brain will probably help me view things differently. To get started, I’m planning on taking an art class.

    Improvement Area #2 – Think and Act Differently
    a. Why is this a deficiency? I am trained to be very process oriented, to follow a logical, well defended approach and I rely on this approach heavily. It works for problem solving. However, it is a constrained way of thinking. For innovation, I need to be more open minded and make a conscious effort to look at things through different lenses. I also tend to keep things to myself rather than share and collaborate with others. When I have collaborated, most members of the group come from a similar experience and mindset. While working with others was productive in generating more idea fragments, having members who aren’t engineers would have been better.
    b. reference: http://insights.ccl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/innovationDifference.pdf
    c. development approach: Having a process to guide me through the process of innovation will make me act differently from the past. The main change for me will be to work in a team more often. For “doing” innovation for my own company I will put together an innovation team that I trust that works on concepts for our group. In developing this group I will consciously design my innovation teams to have a broader range of experiences and thinking styles.

    Improvement Area #3 – Get Resources
    a. Why is this a deficiency? I struggle to get clients to commit resources to activities they need to do now for benefits that are in the medium to long term or for things that they do not view as their core area but affects their core business. This is partly because I don’t articulate the reason for it well enough and I’m not that politically savvy (or there are dynamics occurring in the background that I’m not aware of until much later).

  • simon.shaw17 March 16, 2016  

    Part 3: Making it real: Align Stakeholders

    The doing requires the buy in from all the parties at the table, leaders need to inspire and bring the team with them on the journey, The flexibility to adjust and realign and focus on the implementation.

    “But with lots of good ideas, implementation is the key, and so we need to keep our eye on the ball as we go forward and make sure that people honor their pledges in terms of financial commitments, and that we actually use this money so that it makes a real difference. ” Mitchell Reiss

    https://hbr.org/2013/09/implementing-innovation-segment-your-non-customers

    In this article we get down to specifics of segmenting your non customers as an implementation strategy. This strategy allows a very defined parameters to bring your stakeholders into alignment around a specific target.

  • simon.shaw17 March 16, 2016  

    Part 2: Making it Real: Drive to Launch

    If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes. John Wooden

    http://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/implementation-theres-more-to-innovation-than-great-ideas/

    Overcoming fear of failure is the first step, then the courage to launch and fail and learn from failure and then launch again and again, doing is everything.

  • simon.shaw17 March 16, 2016  

    Making it Real: Part 1: Tactics

    “Any idiot can have an idea, it takes discipline and willpower to make it happen” – Jean Claude Christo.

    https://www.giminstitute.org/business-model-innovation/

    I am focussing all my learning and efforts in making a project happen. I have spent an entire career generating ideas, concepts and building teams around real estate failures and architectural fantasies. Drawers are filled with drawings and innovative cities and buildings. I am here to implement and go to market, step one, get a right business model as a tactic.

  • adam March 15, 2016  

    Adam Kuprevicius
    Tactics for innovation projects
    Current: 2
    Future: 5
    Area of improvement #1:
    Culture of trying. Success can only be found through actively trying to succeed; however trying often results in failure. Embracing the idea that new ideas should be actively encouraged to be ‘tried’ will result in more success. Although new things are tried continuously at my organization, we should be more actively encouraging the behaviour. Tom Peters suggests “the more stuff going-on, the more stuff happenin” (http://tompeters.com/blogs/freestuff/uploads/Innov_tactics121_Appends011309.pdf). I believe this is mantra can help support further innovation and growth within my group, and lead to greater overall success in perhaps more non-traditional way.

    Area of improvement #2:
    Transparency. I often do not communicate my failures to my colleagues, and this could be stifling lateral learning opportunities, which could ultimately be effecting overall organizational productivity. Peters argues that transparency surrounding these ‘tries’ is critical for people to add to, attract adherents, and most of all inspire everyone within the organization. If someone’s failure can inspire another to try again but with more information and insight, it is possible that old problems are perhaps more likely to be reattempted and solved.

  • alexvanasse March 15, 2016  

    Area for improvement : Drive Concepts to Launch.
    Current score : 2;
    Improvement : 5;
    At the present moment, out company has identified at least three new technologies that are ready to launch. For a startup, launching products is a risky process: any mistake in investment will lead to massive losses that could prove fatal. I have no knowledge of the proper way to do this, and have never done this before. Since we are a start-up and we have innovative products and services, I believe that the proper way of determining the ideal process for launch would be to find innovative, untraditional ways of launching products. In order to imagine such an approach, I will need to consult diverse sources, including some that will be unrelated to my field.
    I need to learn what other ways other companies have used to commercialize similar technologies, or ways to find the proper partners in order to help me in this critical task.
    Aspects like distribution, marketing, sales, will all have to be done differently with these new products, and their launch will both be a critical moment and a difficult challenge to organize across all the stakeholders. I cannot expect the product to sell itself after its creation, or hope a distribution chain wants to distribute, as it will not happen.
    Instead, for the software, for instance, I will have to train potential partners to use it, and find clever ways so they adopt it as their internal tool.
    Another product answers a very specific need for very specific clients, so I will identify them and find ways to get in contact with them, along with generic marketing online. For the third breakthrough product, we will have to come up with something really unique, as it will be impossible both to store, have a distributor or any middle person distribute, and marketing will most likely be useless at first.
    This source (https://leanstack.com/the-10x-product-launch/) has an interesting process of creating tractions, by using incremental lean techniques of adding new customers, one after another, by increment of 10x. I think it would be a proper low cost process of slowly adding people that will create growth with our innovations.

  • alexvanasse March 15, 2016  

    Area for improvement: Connect the dots;
    Current score : 3
    Objective : 5;
    It can be discussed that connecting the dots is the hardest part of being innovative and creative. All the information regarding the potential success of my startup may very well be right in front of my, and I may fail to see them. We have been very good, as a team to move from a bad market position to a better market position, but there is something wrong still: we are not making enough profits.
    One problem is that I do not take sufficient time to accomplish this and that I keep my mindset too often in the “easy” “standard” mindset of manufacturing components (“if the price is right, and it is easy to use, people will buy it). I need to go beyond boring day to day thoughts and into powerful scenario making and connect available information to find hidden treasures (aka. new, solid ideas).
    Even if I do see a lot of trends and idea fragments from manufacturing and component designs, organization between parties, payment methods, software, etc., I still cannot make a clear idea of what the future is about. As I become bombarded with information, choose the relevant ones to create a scenario becomes exponentially more complex. Also, with all the available information, it is easy to make the huge mistake of selecting information that confirm my way of thinking, basically choosing information that prove me right.
    An article gives clear specific tools that one can use to connect the dots, such as reserving time in a day to do so, and arrange your brain to connect the dots when it has a lot of energy, depending of which personality you are, such as in the morning.
    It also serves ideas such as a feeding your brain properly, and maintain a healthy way of life, even under stress. It also talks about something interesting: to disconnect from the day-to-day platitudes, the things that disrupt creativity. It talks about allowing time for innovation, and not have emails and phone calls all around when doing so.
    What I will do is set clear time frame in my weeks to think about the stuff I have learned in the previous week (in relation with job or not), integrate life learning, take time when I am at my best, disconnect from annoyances and create new ideas.
    http://learnstreaming.com/connecting-the-dots/

  • alexvanasse March 15, 2016  

    Area for improvement : More, better dots.
    Current score : 3;
    Improvement : 4 (can’t be perfect just yet!);
    Our industry (solar) is still quite new and evolves extremely fast. Prices fall and structures are constantly changing. Players are disappearing, and business models evolve extremely fast (there is a massive change in the industry each yaer). It is such an actively boiling industry that some people called solar the “Far West all over again”.
    The number of different trends is gigantic and our company has to identify the proper trends to evolve and innovate in the right direction. I am not taking enough time, with my team, to collect ideas and drive the evolution of this company. I need to organize processes with my team in order for capturing more ideas, see trends, and brainstorm in order to see the future better, and eventually connect the dots (following topic).
    (http://businessworld.in/article/What-Are-These-Dots-How-Does-One-Collect-Them-/23-02-2016-91340/) is a very interesting blog about taking the time to see existing trends and collect information. In this article, he circles exactly my problem: taking the time to “waste time”, do things that are unrelated to your job, in order to gather information. My main problem is that I get so caught up in managing projects and answering client’s needs that I do not take the required time to establish processes to capture available information, review it and analyze it, even if I do not get immediate revenues from this, it will be the only way for us to remain relevant.
    I must accumulated experience, in and out of my direct domain, meet new people, ask about their views on topics that matter to my business, or that are totally unrelated. I must not refuse ideas that seem weird to me, at least not immediately. I must be open minded and look for ideas everywhere. Only with all this knowledge of the world may I be able to see into the future and craft a proper business model for my company.

  • adam March 15, 2016  

    Adam Kuprevicius
    More and better dots
    Current: 4
    Future: 5
    Area of improvement #1:
    Embracing non-linear organizational structures to promote productive information flow. My organization is a traditional top down structure, and there is great potential to allow for lateral information flow to be encouraged. “The age of decentralized distributed knowledge” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/jacobs-staff/201510/the-age-decentralized-distributed-knowledge) makes the case that knowledge can be sourced outside of the formal employee network, and can include contract workers. This could be useful in the context of mining to harness the global workforce, and tap into more and better dots in my network.

    Area of improvement #2:
    Defining teams based on the information they need, not simply the function they perform. The article advocates this approach to provide the best resources which can be found outside the traditional organization structure. Connecting these seemingly disparate dots expands the network currently being utilized and can improve overall network efficiency.

  • adam March 15, 2016  

    Adam Kuprevicius
    Connecting the dots
    Current: 3
    Future: 5
    Area of improvement #1:
    In my current role I manage teams to conduct remote exploration programs. In the context of reduced mining investment, I have taken a much more hands on approach to project management. This often puts me at risk of not allowing talented managers to embrace opportunity. The article “Connecting the dots for innovation” (http://www.uk-cpi.com/blog/connecting-dots-for-innovation) advocates for ‘empowering mavericks’, whereby strong candidates are given freedom to take risks and grow, even if they rub you the wrong way. This is something I could particularly apply to challenging managerial projects I face in this current market, and an example of how I can improve on connecting the dots within my network.

    Area of improvement #2:
    In the mining space it is often expected to select teams with very homogenous skill sets and backgrounds. Sometimes this leads to a singular vision on how to proceed with a project. “Connecting the dots for innovation” (http://www.uk-cpi.com/blog/connecting-dots-for-innovation) suggests the utilization of interdisciplinary teams to tackle problems with diverse mindsets. This could be particularly useful for my teams, as people with backgrounds outside the traditional natural sciences may help foster more efficient problem solving through the use of outside information and insight.

  • markanthony.vita17 March 15, 2016  

    Area for Improvement 1: Build Teams and Networks
    Scores: 2 (current), 5 (future)
    Situational Context: I’m a strategy consultant at Accenture. In addition to my day-to-day engagement manager responsibilities, I run a community of practice (approx. 170 resources) called Digital Operations, focused on driving the “art-of-the-possible”/innovation throughout supply chain and procurement functions. While the community is often sought as one of the most successful think-tanks at Accenture, has numerous patents that have been filed, and serves as a blueprint for many other areas within the firm, I will admit that I have struggled greatly to build a team of active contributors vs. active users of content. My though leadership team and “connectors” is truly limited to about 10 employees out of the 170.
    Article: “Think Like a Child: How Can we Encourage Employees to Think More Innovatively?” (https://www.giminstitute.org/think-like-a-child/)
    Learnings: Based on the article –
    a) Encourage employees to take 5-10% of their time and dedicate it to innovation.  In practice, I can start off with blocking-out 30 minutes (recurring) once a week for my consulting teams to simply think creatively + start generating idea fragments. It should be mandatory across all of my projects. Having it in the books is step 1. Over time, I should look to increase this to 1-1.5 hours.
    b) Coming-up with a way to make innovation acceptable in long-standing businesses  In practice, I can stage a quarterly “Innovation Challenge” with rewards (say allocate $20K in discretionary spend to incent). At Accenture, we have lots of idea fragments sitting in PoV papers, few of them have materialized to
    c) Be more tolerant towards failures and risks  In practice, I can institute a safe-space zone. No idea fragment is a bad idea fragment, team members should be encouraged to speak their minds

    Area for Improvement 2: Connect the Dots
    Scores: 2 (current), 5 (future)
    Situational Context: As part of my Digital Operations team tends to generate lots of idea fragments (“Diverge”). They are often turned-down however or lost because we deem them to be “not provocative enough”. Perhaps, what we need to do is not be so quick to discount some of the idea fragments and rather think about means to further build out the business model by connecting the dots with different nodes of things that are being done in other industries. Sometimes innovation isn’t about building completely new things but rather about building a new bundle of things that provides a completely different perspective.
    Article: “Business Model Innovation Demystified” (https://www.giminstitute.org/business-model-innovation-demystified/)
    Learnings: Based on the article –
    a) Changing the Industry isn’t only White Space  In practice, we tend to think that innovation stems solely from white space innovation. On the flip side there are tons of opportunities to think horizontally or in terms of redefining the value chain. One of the things I can do is map-out the end-end Source-to-Pay value chain, while trying to see if there are nodes that I completely tear apart. Do we really need buyers + can we replace these with virtual agents? Are purchase orders even needed or have these just become a norm for no good reason?
    b) What Should we Make, Collaborate or Outsource  At Accenture, there are countless examples in which we default automatically to outsourcing post strategy assessment. Could we instead act as a facilitator/conduit to third party digital providers or instead act as used case writers for cognitive computing/virtual intelligence. It’s the right thing to do for our clients as well as in our best interest to ensure that we remain relevant in the future.
    c) How will you Make Money  Building on the last thought, how do we make money off of this. I’ll need to spend some time further thinking about this. Perhaps one-time use case write-up fees are not the best approach. Maybe we can sell subscriptions with periodic updates (similar to what a cloud software provider would do)

    Area for Improvement 3: Drive Concept to Launch
    Scores: 2 (current), 5 (future)
    Situational Context: A classic challenge. Lots of idea fragments created, few have made it through to launch. On a more personal note, we had a great project to build-out a predictive analytics capability that had the potential to completely disrupt the industry. The concept and ideas are relevant but it’s been put on the back-shelf due as we simply haven’t had enough resources/engagement to drive things through to launch. We need to make this a real priority if we continue to claim that “innovation” is where the future is…otherwise we’ll get left behind.
    Article: “The 6 Most Common Innovation Mistakes Companies Make” (https://www.giminstitute.org/the-6-most-common-innovation-mistakes-companies-make/)
    Learnings: Based on the article –
    a) Demanding Disruptive Ideas, without Ring-Fencing Resources for Them  In practice, we spend a lot time ideating. Perhaps having the small group of 10 people isn’t a bad thing. I should be looking to get more participation from the 160 out of 170 to focus-in on the converge and emerge portions of the innovation lifecycle.
    b) Expecting Experiments Without Providing Access to a Well-Stocked Library  Again, I think this is more relevant to the 160 employees. Not everyone is motivated to develop idea fragments out of nowhere. Maybe what these resources need are more guardrails on how to execute on ideas…an idea execution playbook or project management samples.
    c) Pleading for Breakthrough Impact without Allocating A-team Resources  I’m actually in the process of getting Senior Global Leadership approval to have 10% of the time of our top 10 resources (incl. funding) get allocated to idea development, rather than chargeable work. I have gotten loads of pushback from local leadership indicating that we should be innovating at the client-site and that these should be one in the same. I have pushed-back indicating that this is fine if we want to get into operational excellence rather than being ahead of the game and driving towards the next frontier. My German leadership (sr. global) have been more receptive to this. Things are looking good so far…I will continue to keep my fingers crossed.

  • syed.iqbal17 March 15, 2016  

    3. Tactics for Innovation Project
    I choose a low rating on this as I have not formally been involved or formally used tactics for projects that created value. I had a lot of chaos when we put in the S&OP process as I did not take help of some formal tactics that could have helped me bring more order to the process.

    The article I got for this area is below:

    https://hbr.org/2012/10/10-rules-for-managing-global-innovation

    The above article by two INSEAD professors gives a very nice framework for working in or leading innovation projects. While all rules will be very useful, the first one of start small is a really good idea. This idea could have helped me a lot during the S&OP implementation as I tried to do it across 3 sites in China, India and Japan. Each country had different capabilities and perspectives which created a lot of chaos. I could have started in one site, implemented it there and then move to another one.

  • syed.iqbal17 March 15, 2016  

    2. Drive Concept to Launch
    I rated myself low on this as I have never had an experience of taking a product or an idea from concept to launch. I did implement Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) for our Asian Tools division but the concept already existed outside Asia. My team took it, made a few changes and put it in play in Asia.

    The article I got for this area is below:

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227390

    I choose this article as it gives an easy 5 step process to follow the concept to launch roadmap. While it does specifically talk about a product but it can easily be applied to concept to launch of processes too. With my upcoming new role, I can use this article combined with my innovation coursework to get into the new product development that is happening at my company and contribute to it with much better insight.

  • syed.iqbal17 March 15, 2016  

    1. Connect the Dots
    While collecting the dots (though better can take time) is not an issue for me but trying to connect them or make sense out of them is sometimes an problem. For example my division is currently struggling to forecast for our hand tools product line. We have a lot of data but we are unable to analyze them to make a forecast. Basically we are not able to connect the dots.

    The article I got for this area is below:

    https://hbr.org/2010/01/eight-steps-to-connecting-the

    While I will be using the above article to improve my skills to connect the dots, one of my biggest takeaways is the point number four. This is where the author describes how every observation should be recorded and the person doing it should collaborate in entering the data. If we are able to record every bit of info that the our salesman collects when he visits the customer, we probably be able to find a lot of info that would help us in forecasting better for the problem stated above

  • karina.cheplinger17 March 15, 2016  

    Area to Improve #3: Drive Concept to Launch
    Current Level: 2
    Desired Level: 5
    I was not fully aware that this is a part of the process that I am not skilled in as I have never been exposed to the proper process to successfully arrive at a concept launch. As I do not create business cases as part of my daily job, I do not have the knowledge to put a concept into motion. Despite this, I do have base my contracts and negotiation strategy on some aspects of the business case. Therefore, this skill is critical for me to develop.
    https://www.atkearney.com/communications-media-technology/ideas-insights/article/-/asset_publisher/LCcgOeS4t85g/content/the-pivotal-role-of-launch-management/10192

    This article states that while R&D is very important, a launch is critical as it can make or break a product or service. It details that clarity is key but execution varies from initiative to initiative. It is also very important to clearly define success, empower on a global scale, build a diverse team, clarify the process, establish accountability and accelerate time to market.
    Hence, it is important to wear a blue, black and white hat at this stage of the process. Ensuring clarity and organization is critical to a successful launch. As part of the sourcing world, I will take these elements and apply them to my initiatives’ business cases to ensure a complete understanding on how to position the sourcing strategy when it comes time to negotiate the contract.

  • karina.cheplinger17 March 15, 2016  

    Area to Improve #2: Connect the dots
    Current Level: 2
    Desired Level: 5
    Connecting the dots can be a challenge for me as I may not be aware of what is most critical and important and what I should be disregarding. I unfortunately become overwhelmed by the amount of floating ideas and don’t see a means to an end or a solution. The “fear of the unknown” or not being able to understand the end result before I get to it, is very difficult for me.
    http://pointofintersection.org/six-key-facts-about-connecting-the-dots-for-true-innovation/

    This article resonates with me because it begins with “Can’t Plan It – Have Faith.” This is one of the hardest things for me to do when converging to an idea. Instead of focusing on how to get there, I focus too much on the end result. The article goes on to state that “it’s about collecting different perspectives in life. That’s only how you get to connect the dots that are seemingly unrelated.”
    Furthermore, the article suggests to connect the dots by looking backwards not to the future, as you don’t know what you don’t know. Leverage your connections and knowledge to successfully converge the ideas. Time, curiosity and creativity are helpful tools to help me connect the dots while I will need the courage to finally execute the ideas I will work with.
    I will use these steps to practice and to exercise my brain while requesting feedback by presenting my findings to my director and my team. The key is to practice and develop this skill in order to overcome the fear of failure.

  • karina.cheplinger17 March 15, 2016  

    Area to Improve #1: More and Better Dots
    Current: 2
    Desired: 5
    I have been in banking in the domain of Strategic Sourcing for just over 5 years. While the goal of the institution has shifted towards improvement and efficiency, my day to day job is fairly structured as my number one goal is to ensure I follow a rigorous process and eliminate risk. This does not provide much room for innovation therefore I seldom think of gathering ideas and improving the process or the strategy.
    I recently interviewed a fair amount of individuals from external organizations (job interviews) and realized there is much room for improvement. But the question now is how to understand what the improvements are. How do I gather my dots in order to have something better and that brings more value?
    I found the following article very useful:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/siimonreynolds/2013/11/07/a-brilliant-method-to-generate-ideas-for-your-business/#1968034f486e

    I believe the greatest barrier is understanding that just because a process works, it does not mean it is the best or most efficient one. The fear of the unknown and fear of making mistakes or looking silly is what keeps me from gathering new ideas.
    The article’s author, Siimon Reynolds, uses ten questions in order to create a model that addresses this concern. The suggestion is to ask yourself these ten questions, not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and be comfortable with taking existing ideas and building on them. Reynolds introduces a quick approach of self-reflection by asking you to do something extreme, make it extraordinary, cheap, remove obsolete processes, borrow from competition, push the envelope and put yourself in a great leader’s shoes. I will conduct an experiment by following his exercise but also ask my team to do the same, after which we can share ideas. The key is to always keep asking questions.

  • antoniofaiolaita March 15, 2016  

    Improvement #3: Build Teams and Networks
    My current level is 3 and my desired level is 5.

    As I looked at the definition under each of the ratings, the one under rating “3” applied the best to my current situation. The definition states “I know the competences and do know how to get the right individuals for the team. The environment that I operate in is such that I do not have the luxury of selecting the team that I work with: my entire executive and leadership team is elected into their role on the WestJet Employee Association. Therefore, I need to work with the competences and experiences that these individuals bring with them. These competences and experiences can vary from limited to relatively experienced in the labour relations and airline business environment. As a result, I feel that innovation is something that I need to own, drive and deliver on. While some of this might be true, the “ownership” of innovation should be shared among all team members. I also tend to leverage external expertise, such as labour consultants, which can be expensive over time and doesn’t develop the internal capacity to innovate.

    The article that I have chosen is called “Building Informal Employee Innovation Networks: A Qualcomm Case Study” by Anthony Ferrier – the link is below:

    http://www.culturevate.com/informal-employee-innovation-networks/

    The single biggest take-away from this case study article is that innovation discussions do not require the formality that I always assumed. Using the informal setting of a lunch discussion among a wide variety of individuals in the organization is an effective way to innovate. The purpose of these lunch-time sessions was clear and relevant to those involved. We include individuals as part of a project team or to work on an initiative to solve a problem however that particular problem that we’re trying to solve may not be relevant to the individual solving it.

    In order to achieve my desired level of rating of 5, I will start hosting ad hoc informal session with member of my team, and some of my support staff. I will use these sessions to present a problem/issue that needs to be resolved, and ask the participants to solve for the problem. Over time, I would introduce new players to these discussions, expending to other individuals in my organization. Eventually, there will be a greater capacity for my team to innovate and a greater network can be created. This will also lead to a greater ownership of the innovation process and problem-solving.

  • antoniofaiolaita March 15, 2016  

    Improvement #2: Think and act differently
    My current level is 3 and my desired level is 5.

    As I looked at the definition under each of the ratings, I selected rating “3” because it applied the best to where I am with respect to that area of getting resources in innovation. The definition states “I know my style and do know what styles an innovation team needs but sometimes have difficulty adapting to other styles and different team dynamics”. I am a good collaborator when it comes to leading teams and/or projects, and thus I nurture an environment that allows for different styles and team dynamics. I’ve been successful at turning around dysfunctional teams to highly functional teams. I rated myself a 3 for two reasons. First of all, when it comes to the context of business innovation, I surround myself with individuals with known attributes and proven capabilities: in other words, I tend to play it safe when it comes to selecting individuals to be a part of a project team. Secondly, although the employee association that I lead prides itself in being non-unionized and different when it comes to the labour relations environment, the work that we do is very much similar to what unions do. We tend to look at unions for best practices, and in an industry that is highly unionized such as the airline business, it doesn’t contribute to an environment of innovation in terms of labour relations.

    The article that I have chosen is from a blog called “Power of Thinking Differently – Invent, Imagine, Create, Disrupt… Change the World: Companies Must Think Different or Fail…”. The link is below:

    http://bizshifts-trends.com/2014/04/06/power-thinking-differently-businesses-must-think-differently-fail-dont-just-think-different-different/

    In this article, there are two concepts that stuck with me. The first one, is the three views of the image in the blog of the glass with water. I always thought that seeing the glass half-full in the business context was enough to allow myself and my team to move forward in a positive manner. In my view, I think it’s important to have a positive approach when it comes to innovation. The view in the blog that saw the glass half-filled with water and the other half with air allowed me to see that you can have an even more positive view, one that can generate additional opportunities. The second concept is the notion that one can think “inside the box”, do things better and that is innovation as well.

    To achieve my desired rating level of 5 which is defined as “I know my style and do know what styles an innovation team needs but sometimes have difficulty adapting to other styles and different team dynamics” I will need to bring in individuals from different experiences. For one, I can select individuals to upcoming project teams who are not my usual go-to individuals. Another way to think and act differently is to look elsewhere for best practices in terms of how human capital is utilized rather than restrict myself to the labour relations environment.

  • antoniofaiolaita March 15, 2016  

    Improvement #1: More and better dots
    My current level is 3 and my desired level is 5.

    As I looked at the definition under each of the ratings, the one under rating “3” applied the best to my current situation. The definition states “I have regional, multi-disciplinary, and single industry perspectives”. This is reflective of my 14 years of experience at WestJet Airlines. I believe that I lack in the area of “more and better dots” because my knowledge of the airline industry is focused around the Canadian and North American environment, and specific to what is required in my role as the Chair of the WestJet Employee Association (WEA). In my other role, as a member of the company’s Board of Directors, I am presented with significant amount of strategic and competitive information about the industry. The information does have a narrow focus to our company’s business, and the information is provided to me. In order words, the dots are connected for me.

    The article that I have chosen is called “Network Leaders Connect the Dots to Innovate” by Brook Manville – the link is below:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/brookmanville/2015/10/10/network-leaders-connect-the-dots-to-innovate/#27e7d9d710b7

    One of the personal development objectives I have set for myself is to become a more innovative leader. This is an area that I wanted to focus on well before enrolling in the Omnium EMBA program. I enjoyed this article because it reminded me why connecting the dots is important as a leader, and that it is in fact a responsibility of mine to be better at connecting the dots. The author of the article states that connecting the dots sets the stage for new possibilities and creates networks that supports the process of innovation. I hope to do that and my desired level of rating is 5, which is defined as “I have global, multi-disciplinary, and multi-industry perspective”.

    The first step I can take is to diversify my current network: much of what I do is related to WestJet, the WEA and my volunteer work within the speed skating community. I had an executive recruiter once tell me to diversify my network, and while that advice has remained in the back of my mind, I never acted on it. Reading the article brought that advice to the forefront and instead of bringing the network to me, I should seek out new networks and dots. A concrete action will be to become involved with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and offer my services to connect to individuals outside of the airline industry. I can leverage the company’s reputation to create those network. I will also submit my name to the board directory that Rotman School of Management has available. This directory is used by for-profit and non-profit organizations who are seeking individuals to sit on their board.

  • Hyder.Rajab17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of Improvement – Align Stakeholders
    Current Level 1.5
    Desired Level 5
    During my career, I managed many construction/design projects with many stakeholders/clients and I always find that some of the team members from different professional backgrounds or departments are not aligned well on the goal and vision of the project for example “finish the project on time”. I usually explain and communicate the goal/vision statement many times to ensure and confirm that everyone on the same page, after few meetings I can recognize that some of them didn’t buy the vision that we need to finish on time, their prospective is that extending the time is not critical as much as functional output (i.e. don’t mind to extend the time of the project to get better outputs), I looking for how to get them engage, buy and understand the value of the vision itself.
    http://theindependentsconsultant.com/blog/why-stakeholder-alignment-so-important-and-how-achieve-it/
    Whenever I will have team members are not aligned, I will plan a monthly stakeholder engagement meetings to listen to their concerns and make sure that they being heard and what I can do or change so that I can get their alignment even if we proposed changes to the way we manage the project. Key take away message is that the if all stakeholder get engaged and buy in this will transfer to a wider engagement within their own organization and stakeholders’ organization which will result in better team environment and good possibility for the project to be success.

    Area of Improvement – Get Resources
    Current Level 1.5
    Desired Level 5
    I’ve lost few key resources on projects during planning phase and none of them were planned, losing a team member or partner in my project/initiative, will slow down the momentum of the project and may set up the project for failure, particularly if the member is one of the critical key member in your team. Most probably the team will be dysfunctional and get disturb.
    http://www.cio.com/article/2418538/staff-management/project-management–5-steps-for-onboarding-new-resources.html

    The best way to tackle such a case is to go through structural processes to allocate another resources and put contingency plan during the initiation and planning phase. The good processes I got from the above article to bring new staff to speed are:

    • Brief the customer and stakeholders. It is important for the customer/ client to be up front with the customer and to let him know that we have lost one of the critical member
    • Get your new resources up to speed: Brief both the customer and new resources as much information as possible.
    • Introduce resources to the customer: introduce the new staff members, customer needs to connect with them at this point
    • Give the resources do their jobs: Let the new resources talk directly to the customer to build relationships
    • Evaluate and flow up progress with the customer: follow up regularly on one-to-one basis with the client and resources to make sure the new resources performing well and matching the expectations of the customer and if there are opportunity for improvement

    Area of Improvement – tactics for innovation projects
    Current Level 1.3
    Desired Level 5
    As manager or leader, I may know how to manage meetings and creating teams, getting results and managing performances, but do I really allow my team to innovate and create new values? Or I determine the value and they should listen and do it? In my experience, usually I set up the rules and targets as a manager and the team will do their best to reach to these targets.
    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/try-these-management-tactics-to-encourage-innovation/

    What I need to do as a manger or leader is to create a safe work environment to innovate and develop leadership skills within my team, here some of the tactics I can use to create such an environment:

    • Change my management style to self-managed style to through the ball in the team court.
    • Give more freedom to high performance team member to do the work on his way and helping him/her to create new values for the team
    • No need to put pressure on the team member if they are not having fun or engaged to do this type of work, find another way to make it more fun
    • Create a safe work environment and culture to let the team member break the rules or defy management and work on innovative projects that they love and have passion about it, it will work great.

  • foad.davani17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of improvement : 3. Align Stakeholders
    Current Score: 2
    Future Score: 5

    Being innovative and running an innovation project, requires to build business cases and also align the stakeholders as part of getting their acceptance for initiate the innovation project. This is a tough job as most of the time stakeholders are disconnected or there are disagreements. Also, usually there is a level resistance to the accepting the innovation project.

    https://hbr.org/2010/11/how-to-get-their-approval.html

    Based on article there are points that I can focus to prepare and present the business case. However, I would like to focus on the innovation part of it. Aligning stakeholders to get an innovation project approval is an important key, especially for the high profile people in the organization. I think for aligning the stakeholders and getting approval or even expedite the process of getting approval, I need to focus on proper communication with these executives. Early communication will build on trust and respect in leadership relationship. Another important aspect of receiving acceptance is making the business case simple for stakeholders. This will allows stakeholders to understand the case better and eliminate some confusions and risks. Simplicity need to be targeted by positioning it for my audience. I need to focus on HOW questions to see where I can connect and align my stakeholders on the project. Where they can see benefit for themselves and their team.How the business case will make changes in their corporate life? What kind of financial benefit they will receive. With creating the right and positive mindset and sharing the corporate values I think I will be able to align the stakeholders which will lead to approval and level of acceptance which they will support the project.

  • foad.davani17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of improvement : 2. Tactics for Innovation Projects
    Current Score: 2
    Future Score: 5

    I’m comfortable to drive the team in a way that strategically planed and aligned with company goals, but still lots of room for improvements. Again I work on fast paced projects that sometimes kill innovation or that I need to learn on how in a short time get the best out of team and myself which brings new idea not just for the present project but also able each and every one of us to generate and share new ideas.
    https://www.mikogo.com/2015/07/15/building-collaborative-team/

    One of the key point from the article is to build trust that requires to build work environment based on trust. Trusting team members and team member’s believing the organization trusting them as part of one unit will promote to creativity and innovation. There is no ways to force the team members to participate or share their ideas unless they feel trusted, respected and also seeing them self-precious to organization. They need to feel if they have an idea and they make mistake they won’t be judged or misjudged .These mistakes are also valuable to the team. Making mistake is one of the way that generate new ideas.

  • foad.davani17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of improvement : 1. Thinking and Acting Differently
    Current Score: 2
    Future Score: 5
    I know how to think and act differently as part of an innovation team?
    As a leader in fast pace project based environment, sometimes I need to get decision pretty fast and quickly. Which making mistakes in getting a wrong decision is possible. Therefore to eliminate the risks sometimes I act and think in the same way that I have done the previous project as I had great outcome to be safe. This is not a result I’m looking for but as the government organization is under pressure, this would be a safe game for the team. However, I’m aware this kills the creativity of me and the team I’m leading. Having said that, the outcome is great but I’m reducing my productivity and my brain functions in a linear way which at the end I’m not satisfied as personal outcome.
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247615

    • Challenge my staff:
    Challenging my staff will make room to improve the social aspect of the environment. This will provide more space for personal and also team development. These challenges can be a team challenge or personal challenge. Either or will develop a spaceship that drives divergence way of thinking. Also, these challenges can bring mastery to the creativity level of staff and the team as one unit. In addition, this will shows the team I’m spending time on their improvement and I have more confidence in their skillset.
    • Encourage creativity.
    As a leader I need to let my team know that I’m open to their ideas and empower them to take their ideas to the next by giving positive feedback and constructive advice as warranted.

  • m.mamedova17 March 15, 2016  

    Area #3: Prioritize Concepts

    Current Level: 3

    Desired Level: 5

    I have always believed that one of the few things that makes a great lawyer is the ability to prioritize concepts and not waste too much time on something that is not important or less important in the process of negotiating a commercial contract (as an example), as opposed to something that will eventually become a key – crucial point of the final acquisition and/or any other legal service to be delivered. However, the reality is that no one is independent in this world, and thus, my potentially innovative ideas are highly dependent on many circumstances around me in my day-to-day life.

    http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2014/07/23/innovate-with-purpose-idea-prioritization/

    The article referenced above provides a very good example on strategies and tactics of idea prioritization. In particular, it lists the criteria for ranking the ideas that include, among others:

    1. Market attractiveness
    2. Strategic fit
    3. Sales growth
    4. Product advantage
    5. Reward vs. Risk Cost; and
    6. Time to implement

    This list of strategies is not the only helpful tool that the article offers. There is also a video posted that provides a short explanation of why prioritization is the key for successful innovation. It is because “intelligently facilitated ideation sessions that involve fresh perspectives from multiple departments lead to sustainable innovation and successful ROI.” Thus, the most important take-away for me for the purposes of learning how to prioritize concepts is to find out the best practices with respect to the strategizing such prioritization, and making sure that these strategies are aligned with the specific requirements of the legal profession. Going through these steps will eventually make it possible to create my own system of prioritization that could be possibly implemented at a firm or at any other work-place where I find myself working in the future.

  • m.mamedova17 March 15, 2016  

    Area #2: Connect Dots

    Current Level: 3

    Desired Level: 5

    The way I see my problem with the “connecting dots” is the fact that I usually take some time to reflect on the problem or a task that I am facing before I launch into dealing with the problem, i.e., finding a solution for it. This means that “connecting dots” might take me some time, for I will necessarily take a few minutes, hours, weeks, months or even years (depending on the complexity, importance and/or time lines available) to reflect and/or dwell on a problem/task prior to approaching a solution (if applicable).

    http://www.fastcompany.com/3001441/do-steve-jobs-did-dont-follow-your-passion

    Fast Company’s article above brings a simple example of the world-famous business man – Steve Jobs – which shows how in reality the dots are being connected. In fact, most of the times, there is no need for complex thinking or dwelling or taking time. Moreover, most of the “dot-connecting experience” happens in an “AHA”-moment type of a situation. As the author of the article conveniently puts it, the Apple Computer was decidedly not born out of passion, but instead was the result of a lucky break—a “small-time” scheme that unexpectedly took off.” In other words, “connecting dots” might very much be an exercise that has no underlying logic behind it, and thus, does not require as much thinking and rationale behind it as I usually put in such a process. Going forward, it will be my utmost important goal to disconnect my logical brain from the reality and to “stop overthinking” the problem and simply letting the dots connect themselves.

  • m.mamedova17 March 15, 2016  

    Area #1: Types of Innovation Projects

    Current Level: 3

    Desired Level: 5

    I am a lawyer. This profession by definition has always been considered to be conservative, leaving very little room for innovation. Given that the Canadian legal market is essentially modeled after the British system of barristers and solicitors that are regulated by a self-governing body, i.e., Law Society of England and Wales, it [i.e., the Canadian legal market] is remains one of the most regulated professions in Canada, which tends to stay in alliance with its British counterpart and resists anything “new” with a great level of defence.

    Understanding this professional background provides a basis for understanding the types of innovation that are not only possible, but also highly desired in the legal profession. Having this “Big Picture” allows me to see why any of the senior lawyers and partners that I used to work with and continue to work with are highly resistant to the new ideas, provided that I stick to the definition of innovation as “the creation AND capture of new value in new ways.”

    https://malcolmmercer.ca/2015/09/10/innovate-or-be-innovated/

    I have chosen the article referenced above (“Innovate or be innovated”) predominantly because I have been lucky to work personally with Mr. Mercer for almost a year at a top-tier Canadian law firm, its Toronto office on Bay Street, while he was the general counsel acting as the main advisor to the firm and its lawyers (e.g., defending the firm and its lawyers against claims/suits). Mr. Mercer has been very open in sharing his knowledge and insight into the intricacies and problems that the Canadian legal profession faces, especially. His recent article outlines three major areas of liberalization (innovation) that the Chief Justice McLachlin (Supreme Court of Canada) addressed at the Canadian Bar Association annual plenary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In her remarks entitled “The Legal Profession in the 21st Century,” the Chief Justice suggested that the legal profession must ask itself three questions:

    1. Where does the profession stand as it enters the second quarter of the 21st century?
    2. What are the forces that have led to the challenges the profession is facing?
    3. Against this background, how can the profession move towards the newer world it seeks?

    Even though the questions above sound very abstract, it is not that difficult to see where the areas of improvement lay. For instance, the legal services are very expensive in Canada. What would be the type of innovation that I would suggest for my firm in such a situation? I would suggest to provide its clients and potential clients with a “price-list” of certain legal services that can be “packaged” in a relatively rigid way, and thus – create an easy-to-sell product, which will attract certain clientele. Even though my immediate senior counsel might not necessarily approve this idea right away, I do believe that by preparing a business case for such a simple project like this, would allow me to succeed with at least getting the message across, i.e., once we make the legal services available to bigger clientele, we would be able to increase our value in a way that is still very different from what the conventional ways of running legal business are in Canada at this time.

  • michel.savoie17 March 15, 2016  

    Area # 3: Build teams and networks – Current score: 3 – Future Score: 4

    Gap Analysis: While my internal networks are strong, I don’t often leverage external relationships in my day to day work, and believe that I could achieve significant benefits from doing so.

    Resource: http://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2014/03/27/how-to-network-outside-your-company/#5cd72ea5ef4b

    Resource Application: Networking should be part of daily life; create a process for networking; focus on multiple industries; cold call/send introductions;

  • michel.savoie17 March 15, 2016  

    Area # 2: Types of Innovation Projects – Current score: 2 – Future Score: 5

    Gap Analysis: Newcomers in fintech are quickly taking market and mindshare from banks. There is no clear line of sight on what types of projects get support, other than what appears to be fast-follower, or copy-cat projects.

    Resource: http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/the-digital-battle-that-banks-must-win

    Resource Application: Banks have many different options: Fast Follow, Catalyst, Leader; Behavioural segmentation to drive digital channels is critical; Common infrastructure is required

  • michel.savoie17 March 15, 2016  

    Area # 1: Reason to Innovate – Current score: 2 – Future Score: 3

    Gap Analysis: This gap speaks to the innovation challenges that are faced by the financial industry in Canada, and differences on definition of innovation. While I firmly believe that the industry is ripe for disruption, internal innovation initiatives are merely outdated catch-up, but promoted as ground-breaking innovation.

    Resource: http://www.innovation-point.com/Strategic%20Innovation%20White%20Paper.pdf

    Resource Application: Organizations need a structured process for innovation; culture must support innovation, change in culture may be required; internal structure and policy must facilitate innovation

  • brian.crane17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of Improvement: Drive Concept to Launch
    Current Score: 3
    Future Score: 5

    Drive Concept to Launch is important to me as I am currently working with a client to determine both their long-term vision and future growth strategies. Innovation is key to their survival, and deciding where and how to innovate are key elements of that. Finding an opportunity to innovate is part of the concept, developing value through commercialization (strategic innovation) is the other, possibly larger part. What business model should they choose? How can they conduct low cost experiments to launch their MVP? When should they launch? These are just a few of the questions that I would like to be able to develop answers for.

    Eric Ries, in his book The Lean Startup (http://theleanstartup.com/), describes a methodology for applying iterative development to startup models. In this method, small, iterative tests are implemented to provide real feedback on the viability of product direction. The idea is to fail fast, and fail often. At the moment of writing this assignment, I am approximately halfway through the book. As part of my development strategy, I plan to visually map out Ries’ process and understand how I can leverage those concepts to develop a potential strategy for my client.

  • brian.crane17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of Improvement: Innovation Focus Area
    Current Score: 3
    Future Score: 5

    Innovation Focus Area holds particular value to me as I am currently working with a client to determine both their long-term vision and future growth strategies. Innovation is key to their survival, and deciding where and how to innovate are key elements of that. Should they focus on a specialized software product, or full-suite offering? Should they partner with another firm to leverage their contacts and processes, or develop their own procedures? Perhaps there is a better solution to any of these options. Being able to understand what areas of their business can effectively leverage their strengths and build innovation around that would be of huge value to myself and my firm.

    The information presented by James Green in his book and course (free on Coursera – http://opportunityanalysiscanvas.com/) are extremely valuable in this regard. Not only does the opportunity canvas tool help to identify opportunities with respect to product and industry, but it also assists in evaluating the current mindset and structure of the organization, and develop a more unbiased understanding of whether its current format is conducive to facilitating innovative development. My own personal goal will be to audit the Coursera course within the next two months to learn how to use this tool more effectively, and then attempt to apply it to real world scenarios.

  • brian.crane17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of Improvement: Connect the Dots
    Current Score: 3
    Future Score: 5

    Connect the Dots is an important concept for both my work and my personal life. I believe that I’m a fairly creative person and enjoy developing unconventional ideas. Any further improvement I can make in my ability to connect disparate ideas / sources of knowledge into coherent ideas would be immensely valuable in respect to the value I provide my clients through my consulting firm, as well as my own personal, artistic development.

    One way in which disparate information is connected is through the development of scenarios. Philip van Notten’s article Scenario Development: A Typology of Approaches (http://www.oecd.org/site/schoolingfortomorrowknowledgebase/futuresthinking/scenarios/37246431.pdf), does an effective job in describing how to develop efficient scenarios. Understanding how to take large volumes of information and develop plausible future scenarios is an excellent way of developing critical, lateral thinking skills. My personal goal, is to take the information presented in the article develop several scenarios relating to both my own business and several clients’ industries. This would include developing a Micro, Meso, and Macro level analysis of the current landscape for intuitive-based scenario planning, as well as investigating interrelationships in data elements through a backbone approach.

  • cherry.lee17 March 15, 2016  

    Tactics for innovative process

    Current score 3
    Future score 5

    At retail level we don’t develop products or create enterprise wide strategy and as s result my knowledge of innovative process should be less than 3. By reading this article, it increased my exposure on how innovative ideas progress from one stage to the next.
    1. Finding the next S – Curve. Companies need to know its position in the market and look for the inflection point. In my line of work, I will have little influence on this from a macro point of view.
    2. Lean on customers – comprehensive understanding of clients’ problem. Client empathy map – an effective tool to help facilitate team meetings to deepen our insight on our client’s problem and allow organizations to provide customized solutions. If done right, that can enhance and create a differentiated experience for clients. This exercise can easily have been implemented
    3. Think like a designer – retail managers are trained to choose from choices provided however when developing new ideas we are creating choices.
    4. Lead the way – make it a priority and it needs to come from the CEO or else the organization will not take risk to innovate.

    http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies

  • ettore.ettonti March 15, 2016  

    Area of Improvement BUILD TEAMS AND NETWORKS

    Current Level 2 know the competences but don’t know how to get the right individuals for the team
    Desired Level 5 I know the competences and do know how to get the right individuals for the team, networks and partners and manage them effectively

    My experience in building teams is very limited and would not know the criteria that is necessary to build a good team. I also have rarely participated in a team as a member. I have always worked for my company and worked with my hand-picked team for ten years until I decided to close my business operations as a steel service center. When I opened my operations, I remember that the measure I used to build my team was experience and quality of individual performance. I had little training in the steel processing business and thought that expertise was the primary factor necessary for initiating a team. With an M.A. in psychology, my thoughts were that I could easily work and manage any team. With the power of hindsight, I recognize that arrogance became an important issue that eventually hindered the strength of my team. Whereas I was able to build good rapport between the team members and myself I failed to reconcile differences within the team. Being very limited with team building, I decided to focus on characteristics that are salient for creating a high-performance team. Securing intangible behaviors is one of the issues discussed in the article.

    Article: 6 tips to help managers build great teams
    http://www.cio.com/article/2999236/leadership-management/6-tips-to-help-managers-build-great-teams.html

    The article focuses on the importance of team building. The author suggests that team building is one of the most important tools a manager has to produce a winning team. The article proposes six characteristics necessary for an elite team.

    1)Encouraging conflicts of various points of view
    2)Include in the team people that are better than you
    3)Complementary competencies
    4)Do not allow team member to work in silos
    5) Understand that your company is not as strong as you might consider.
    6) Embrace a ‘no jerks’ method

    From the characteristics put forth in the article, I could clearly recognize that I have used only one of the six strengths suggested to build my team: Complementary competencies. Completely lacked the other five criteria. Certainly, I did not encourage conflict, but did the opposite and tried to avoid personal conflict if not relevant to business operations. I also allowed individuals to work in “silos.” I think the most important aspect that I learned from reading this article is the importance of conflict in a team and how intangible behaviors can ultimately motivate to success. Currently, I work without a team but presume that I will create one at the termination of the MBA program. I plan to expand my business operations in steel and initiate other entrepreneurial adventures and will build teams taking in considerations the recipe presented in this article. I will also begin a process to analyse the criteria in respect to my MBA team.

    Key learning insight: Connect intangible behaviors

  • ettore.ettonti March 15, 2016  

    Area of Improvement THINK AND ACT DIFFERENTLY

    Current Level 2 I know my style but do not know what styles an innovation team needs for success
    Desired Level 5 I know my style and can change that style to adapt and make any team more effective

    I am pretty aware of my style of thought and conclusion making process and also place a lot of effort in understanding the emotional importance of the action of making business decisions. I have worked in the same field for 14 years, the steel industry, and have had little experience with the management of corporate teams. My exposure to innovation is limited. Innovation is a new word for me, and only my recent enrollment in an MBA has started to define innovation thoroughly. Presently, I do not operate or manage any team. My current job is individually oriented, and I mainly interact with individuals external to my company. I started approaching the research of this article as the previous area of improvement and googled “think and act differently innovation”. I read some articles but for some reason I was not satisfied with the content, so I decided to jump to various pages ahead on the google research page index at the bottom. I was particularly surprised by the following blog and its suggestion to thinking outside the box. The blog is from the website of a company called Metris Leadership that provides consultancy for enhancing leadership and teams. I was impressed by their approach to using their experience from elite performance team such as the Special Air Service (UK special forces) and other high performing sport, and business team and share their knowledge to provide services to the corporate world.

    http://metrisleadership.com/blog/archive/ways-to-think-act-outside-the-box/

    The blog discusses the idea that there are a lot of companies that think outside the box, but very few can act effectively outside the box. The blog continues to make three suggestions on how to tackle the problem of not acting outside the box:
    1) Brainstorming differently
    2) Good ideas are born out of conflict
    3) Everything you know is wrong, so you need to experiment.

    The blog made me think that I should start to challenge the assumptions of my operations. First by defining what is my box and then to initiate a process of experimentation. I think the first step is to understand where I fit in the steel world. Defining and understanding the boundaries of my box I think are crucial to understanding how, where, and with whom to begin to connect as mentioned in the article for the connecting the dots area of improvement. The article also made me curious on how high performing elite teams operate differently that a regular corporate team. The first step would be thoroughly analyzing my process. What types of clients do I have? What types of suppliers? Consultants? Maybe to produce a visual network map of all the information gathered to begin a definition of the box. Still to be understood is to define the boundaries of the box.

    Key learning insight: Define my own activity box

  • ettore.ettonti March 15, 2016  

    Area of Improvement CONNECT DOTS
    Current Level 2 I make non-linear connections to create an interesting concept
    Desired Level 5 I make non-linear and lateral connections to create compelling, unique and actionable concepts
    Connecting the dots to create interesting concepts is something that I have long lost. I work in the steel trading business and operate my steel trading office in Milan, Italy. The introduction of new concepts in my field operations appears to have stopped. The recipe is always the same. I buy steel from the same suppliers (steel mills), process it with the same suppliers of services (steel service centers) and sell to the same client portfolio. No new information enters or exits the business model. I adore my job due to its demand for precision thinking and rapidity of operations, but I feel I work in a stagnant environment where nothing new happens. A continuous race to buy, produce and deliver to the client on the requested schedule. I often think on how to invest in new opportunities but tend to remain in the idea area instead of transforming insights into real business processes.
    Article: Network Leaders Connect The Dots To Innovate. http://www.forbes.com/sites/brookmanville/2015/10/10/network-leaders-connect-the-dots-to-innovate/#1bf0a91f10b7
    (link not functional copy and paste link in http://)
    The article focuses on the importance of connecting new networks and gives an example of four very successful networks connections that were combined to create something new in our society. Discusses Uber that combined unhappy taxi customer with an underutilized supply of drivers. Sage Bionetworks that connected conventional disciplinary boundaries of the medical research area. Tony Franklin that innovated in offensive football with crowdsourcing. Lastly, General McCrystal that has combined networks of the armed forces to innovate in the field of special operations. The article then suggests the reasons why connecting the dots creates change and innovation. Connecting the dots innovates because :
    1) Provides the stage for new possibilities
    2) The creation of new networks enlarges the undertaking of innovation
    3) the “ripple effect”

    After reading the article, in my mind, two ideas developed to initiate a process of innovation within my company. First, to connect and possibly visit steel mills outside of Italy to begin a process of understanding how the steel trading business operates globally. How is it innovating? What are new ideas in the field? Secondly to explore delivery systems in random areas to verify the possibility of applying such techniques or approaches to the steel classical delivery system process. Quick response to the client’s order is a critical competitive advantage in my operations. Clients are continuously requesting just in time delivery of steel. A tough goal due to the complexity of producing the client’s desired steel product from crude steel and high demand for capital for maintaining an assorted stock of steel products.
    Key learning insight: Connect with businesses that have no apparent relation to your own

  • cherry.lee17 March 15, 2016  

    Connecting the dots

    Current score 3
    Future score 5

    The ability to connect the dots is certainly an important attribute to business leaders nowadays. There are over 4000 transactions per week that take place in my branch. If I can enhance my ability in connecting the dots I will be able to identify/forecast consumer’s trend, preference and develop effective strategy to capitalize on the opportunity. For instance: Out of 4000 banking transactions on a weekly basis 5% on average are draft/money order related. If that number jumps up to 10% per week while there is no significant increase of mortgage application created. The statistics indicate the clients are making drafts for house deposits but their mortgage is done somewhere else. That implies a significant outflow of funds and it will hurt the branch volume. This example clearly demonstrates the importance of how connecting the dots can help you stay ahead of the game.

    Article: http://www.levo.com/articles/career-advice/3-tips-on-connecting-the-dots

    This article speaks about how connecting the dots will enhance both your personal and professional life. This ability allows me to zoom in and zoom out from one situation and connect ideas from another situation. Understanding commonality of how business or products becomes successful allows you to effectively allocate resources. Also you will be able to take the underlying successful factors in one business model and implement part or all of it into a comparable industry. That will significantly minimize risk and increase potential return.

  • Katya.vanguilder17 March 15, 2016  

    Opportunity #3: Tactics for Innovation
    Do I know how the tactics for doing innovation projects?
    • Current Score: 2
    • Desired Score: 5

    I have experienced working on concepts but rarely operate past the concept phase, usually allowing other teams/individuals to work on tactical execution. This lack of experience is one driving factor in why I’m able to identify some of the key uncertainties and do preliminary testing, but have a difficult time moving beyond that point.
    The second reason I struggle is because innovation has always seemed like a ‘larger than life’ idea where only ideas and concepts are valued. However, as we worked through class on day one I began to realize that innovation is far more than simply a brilliant idea or concept but that the most important part is being able to actualize and do something with those ideas. In other words, turn them into something valuable for your company and set up a business model that helps the idea be successful.
    One article I found particularly helpful in giving insight into different ways of developing tactics for doing innovation projects is below:

    http://www.business2community.com/business-innovation/sustaining-innovation-tactics-work-industry-01163855#zphVqQGTQZGBQSkJ.97

    The first insight I gained from this article was starting with a problem rather than a solution. It is easy to assume you already know the problem and quickly jump to creating solutions without taking the time to ask if the project is being lead with the customer’s problem. In order to apply the recommendations of the article I will work with my VP to create a ‘red team’ in order to evaluate innovation project proposals and ensure we are not beginning project work on something that doesn’t start with a customer’s problem.

    Second, leveraging analytics and gathering data before diving into a project are vitally important but not something I’m especially talented at. In order to overcome this lack of skills, I will be leveraging my internal network across the organization in finance, analytics, and market research in order to do the collecting and analytics.

  • Katya.vanguilder17 March 15, 2016  

    Opportunity #2: Prioritize Concepts
    Do I know how to prioritize concepts?
    • Current Score: 2
    • Desired Score: 5

    Although I have done work in building concepts (i.e. connecting dots in new and different ways), I have struggled with prioritizing them. This is for two reason. First, I enjoy creating concepts but seldom enjoy funneling them through the lens of what is most important/valuable to the company. Rather, I prefer someone with an analytical lens scrub through the data and market research to determine which direction the project will run. I simply don’t enjoy this part of the job but will have to get better at putting on my ‘analytical hat’ for a brief moment in order to bring full value to the team/company.

    More importantly, however, the reason I am struggle in this area is not having a ranking system or systematic way of prioritizing the concepts which is why the below article was particularly helpful. It describes creating a total organization shared scorecard with various ranking criteria (determined by teams/company) along with a numerical value system. While idea generation is critical to moving forward, having too many ideas and options can be paralyzing. By using a ranking system (and especially important here is that it is a common shared criteria across teams), you can apply a system through which the infinite number of ideas can be filtered and ultimately come out as something useful and valuable.

    http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2014/07/23/innovate-with-purpose-idea-prioritization/

  • Katya.vanguilder17 March 15, 2016  

    Opportunity #1: Innovation Focus Areas
    Do I know where my company wants to innovate?
    • Current Level: 2
    • Desired Level: 5

    Although my company has emphasized a high priority for innovation, it has been a general mandate rather than a specified focus in which areas, specifically, need innovation. It seems that each person has their own idea of what they believe to be the most important focus area so in this struggle, there is an internal mis-alignment.

    http://innovateonpurpose.blogspot.in/2015/05/where-to-focus-your-innovation-effort.html

    In order to help the leadership teams get to a more refined lens, my job will be to ask questions to lead them there. In this sense, the article poses several questions that I believe would be effective in getting a clearer understanding of where my company wants to innovate. The questions are, “does it reduce workload, does it reduce complexity, does it reduce uncertainty?” In order to re-frame the questions in a way that gives illumination to where innovation focus areas should be, we could ask where do we have un-needed workload, where do we complexity, and where do we have uncertainty? In other words, what are the key factors we need to improve? By asking these questions I will be able to force clarity from leadership teams and focus efforts in one space rather than diverting resources and time into places where we don’t have opportunities.

  • cherry.lee17 March 15, 2016  

    Think and Act Differently

    Current score 2
    Future score 5

    A) Why am I lacking in this area: Being innovative is not one of the key success drivers in my current role. Our mandate is to execute excellence with minimal cost. Internally, product development, cost management and corporate strategy are developed by regional/nation office. Externally, financial institutions are highly regulated by government’s policies. In essence, that leaves little room for employees in retail channel to innovate new ideas. As a result, that explains why thinking or acting differently does not come naturally for me. For instance: I never need to think about barriers to entry in day to day job since the financial industry is protected by the Canadian government. However, I feel the need to improve and grow to become an innovative thinker as I progress in my career.

    B) Article:https://flowchainsensei.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/act-different/

    The section that talks about “Incrementalism” resonated well with me. Just because I want to think and act differently doesn’t mean I will be the most innovative person the next day. In the article, the author emphasizes on driving incremental change with a sense of urgency. I want to ensure that I am starting my high impact activities that will stimulate my creativity and it doesn’t need to revolutionize the whole banking industry. However, I can start reviewing the existing operational process or sales model for innovation ideas.

    C) Daily application at work: This article urges me to think and act differently at the same time. I often believe that I need to wait for a brilliant idea or product before I can be innovative. Indeed, innovation can come in all size and forms. Just keep on thinking without action doesn’t help me to improve and vice versa. When I am back to work, I would want to review all the cost intensive and revenue generating activities and analyze its validity. Will there be a different sales referral model that can be introduced? For instance: When the bank teller spot an opportunity can they just directly refer to the business partners instead of referring to the sales team? With this new referral system is it doable based on the 4000 transactions/week? Does it create value vs the existing system? In theory, it should lessen wait time for client and increase potential client facing time for both business partners and sales team. `

  • annette.lui17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of improvement: More and Better dots

    I came from a Marketing, Brand Management background and is trained in my area of expertise. Oftentimes, the functional groups that I work with, work in silos and it is often difficult to integrate each other on a regular basis when we all have competing time priorities. Therefore, in my new role, I would like to break out of this routine and make more connections as well as more relevant connections in order to achieve goals.

    The article that I reviewed and applied for this area of improvement is: http://www.thegeniusworks.com/2016/02/what-is-innovation-connecting-the-dots-the-ones-other-people-miss/

    This was an excellent article in providing examples of leaders such as Richard Branson and Leonardo da Vinci who have connected the dots effectively in order to reach a great innovation. In addition, the part of the article that provided the ‘aha’ was where the author listed dots that people should connect. Those are the better dots to consider in my network. By making these new connections, solutions will be more “interesting, unusual, distinctive and better.” I like that!

  • annette.lui17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of improvement: Align Stakeholders

    Although I am aware and understand how each stakeholder affects the functions of my role, I am challenged on further motivating and influencing them to reach the goals at hand when the relationship is cross functional versus my reports. The reason for this is that each stakeholder has differing agendas or other priorities, therefore it is difficult in creating urgency to my specific project at hand.

    The article that I reviewed and applied for this area of improvement is: http://www.alliance1.org/visionary-leadership/blog/aligning-your-stakeholders-achieve-your-strategic-vision

    This article applies strategic stakeholder alignment to a non-profit culture which I think has many aspects to draw from to apply to my environment. The stakeholders in this environment have their own agendas as well as personal priorities to attain. In addition to the ‘3 C’s’ that he mentions that a leader should have (courage, confidence and competence), the leader of the project or vision must have a compelling goal in order to achieve success. The silo mentality is no longer acceptable. I believe the leader should have high awareness of both the self and all of its stakeholders while building those interpersonal relationships in order to purposefully aligning the stakeholders.

  • annette.lui17 March 15, 2016  

    Area of improvement: Innovation Area Focus

    Moving to a new role, new project and a less structured environment, I am still navigating the best levers that will move the project forward with the team for innovation. The project itself is in an environment that is still changing with new regulations and benchmarks that the government is still ironing out themselves. Therefore, a focus area or areas are more ambiguous than in the environment that I came from.

    The article that I reviewed and applied for this area of improvement is: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/a-strategically-focused-innovation-process/

    The author of this article, Langdon Morris, describes ‘strategically-focus’ innovation process in order to achieve better results in developing and managing new ideas. I thought this article was excellent in creating a methodical approach to what we call innovation. In his view, he states that creating ideas is not the start of the innovation process, in fact, there is a better approach than the traditional ‘spray and paint’ approach. For example, step 1 should not be about ideation but should be about strategic thinking.

    In fact, he says “during this stage, you need to think specifically about how innovation is going to add value to your strategic intents, and you must target the areas where innovation has the greatest potential to provide strategic advantage.” This was interesting to me in that, it made me realize that I should start thinking about a focus area that has the greatest potential in adding value and move forward with a solution for that. Thinking of ideas before the issue or problem at hand does not solve a problem.

  • Manuel March 15, 2016  

    Do I know how to align stakeholders across the value chain?
    Current Score: 2
    Target Score: 5
    For moving ahead with an idea, it is important to gather the involved parties behind it. Whereas I do see success in aligning people in my department (my manager and further up the hierarchy) behind an idea, I have difficulties to ‘sell’ this idea outside my function. I am struggling to show people that have a different mindset, and potentially also other priorities, the value of an idea. I am not able to gather them behind my idea and to persuade them to support the idea and to move ahead
    Article: http://businessanalystlearnings.com/blog/2014/3/5/7-practical-ways-to-persuade-stakeholders
    The article gives some interesting ideas on how you can get this needed support from stakeholders. Among the most important ones I found
    • Show clear benefits for them
    • Include them early and take their opinion and input into consideration
    • Show facts and have a plan for the next steps of the innovation
    • Leverage your network and try to use their ‘power’ to persuade the other stakeholders
    Going through the list, I see that I have space for improvements especially in two areas: I should include the important stakeholders early on in the innovation. This will allow that they can provide their input and also feel more committed to the idea. This makes it to not just ‘mine’ idea but to ‘ours’. Second, I should better leverage my network. I will need to bring other people that support the innovation behind it and let them persuade the other stakeholders for me.

  • Manuel March 15, 2016  

    Do I know how to prioritize concepts?
    Current Score: 1
    Target Score: 5
    After having created an idea/innovation (or hopefully multiple to choose from) I find it difficult to make a rational decision on which idea I want to move ahead with. Often I rather move ahead based on my gut feelings and without an appropriate analysis. In addition to that, I feel that I focus too much on my own ideas, rather than collecting ideas from other people of the organization. This risks that I reduce my options and potentially am not choosing the best idea
    Article: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/effective-idea-selection-is-critical-to-systematic-innovation/
    It was actually the article that open my eyes on having a wider approach for collecting ideas. The numbers of ideas used in the article made it clear to me on how many ideas are needed to create one successful idea. It also sets the focus on the concept that not just one person should make the selection of an idea, but that it should rather be a group of people that are deciding on ideas collectively. Also it is important to have an open mindset and accept things that at first potentially sound illogical.
    The article sets the framework about the questions to be asked to collect data. Based on this collection of data then the decision can be made with which ideas to go forward.

  • Manuel March 15, 2016  

    Do I know how to think and act differently to innovate?
    Current Score: 2
    Target Score: 5
    I am well aware about the style of thinker I am. Also I see that I have a certain overlap with other styles that makes it easier for me to use them. However, several other styles seem very far away from my normal way of thinking and I am not able to adopt them. I think my lack is mainly caused by my focus on numbers and on approaching things always on the rational and not on the emotional side. This makes it difficult for me to diverge and connect.
    Article: https://hbr.org/2011/09/begin-to-think-differently
    The article focuses on the aspect that all of us are able to think differently and states the importance of trying and exercising. It helped me realize that one of the reasons I am in the current situation is that I just don’t try enough. When reflecting on my behavior it feels like: ‘I would like to think differently and see things from a different angle, but unfortunately, I can’t, as I’m not good with it.’ The article, focuses on the importance of allotting time to the process of thinking differently and also gives some specific examples on how it can be improved.
    Whereas I feel that list of examples could be longer, the article does motivate me to look deeper to find more about it and also to allot fixed times to practice it. And especially do start this practice right away.

  • paul.barretto17 March 14, 2016  

    Area of Improvement – Tactics for Innovation Projects
    – Current Level: 2
    – Desired Level: 5

    Lacking: innovation if often confused with tactical efficiencies within our organization and is often recognized as such. At a higher level, this is sending the wrong message to the employees that “mediocrity” is rewarded even when better ideas are available. At this early stage, I am not able to make decisions on big innovation initiatives but I do have the ear of senior executives and my task is to sell these ideas hard.

    Tactics for Innovation Article: http://www.100open.com/2010/08/7-tactics-incentives-for-open-innovation/

    1. Share both risks and rewards – i exercise the sharing reward part but sharing the risks actually makes a lot of sense!
    2. Tap into intrinsic incentives – i realized that emphasizing on intrinsic incentives removes the dependency to sr. mgt approval
    3. Don’t expect something for nothing – there has to be something in it for all parties. right now, I don’t find it mandatory
    4. Ask engaging questions – engaging stakeholders, consumers will provide clarity in percolating ideas fragments.
    5. Build business Empathy – engaging employees of an entity as a real person and not just a widget of bureaucracy. our team tend to brush aside the opinion (and feelings) of the “weak’ members of the organization
    6. Target quantity before quality – i realized that I am limiting innovation by dropping idea fragments that don’t fit what I think to be what the company needs.
    7. Find your top 1% – we are sort of doing this in the organization but since the idea fragments are limited to begin with, the top 1% identified is also “tampered”

  • paul.barretto17 March 14, 2016  

    Area of Improvement – Connect the dots
    – Current Level: 3
    – Current Level: 5

    Lacking:
    My current role involves sustainment and efficiencies of reporting solutions. Opportunities present themselves all the time each of which represent a certain degree of “social dilemma/cause” that users/teams advocate to make their operations run better/faster. My hopper currently driven by management. Scarcity of resources is just one of them but a key driver as well is the ongoing reorganization that presents as an opportunity to impress decision makers, which may or may not be a good thing.

    Connect the Dots Article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/brookmanville/2015/10/10/network-leaders-connect-the-dots-to-innovate

    While I go through mountains of failed experiments and scenarios, these are mostly targeted towards tactical efficiency. The purpose behind this work effort is noble: to better the quality of life of finance professionals bogged-down by monthly, quarterly and annual closing processes. Connecting the dots of innovation will help me deliver on the promise in a more meaningful way.

    The article above does not provide a step-by-step guide on how to go about it but it provides examples of successful “dot-connectors” that I can model after. One thing I picked up quickly was the benefit of connecting the inventory of disgruntled taxi riders and inventory of underused vehicles/drivers – Aha moment. i.e. no one group can provide the answer but in combination with other groups lie various combinations that will ultimately address the need.

  • paul.barretto17 March 14, 2016  

    Area of Improvement – Align Stakeholders
    – Current Level 2
    – Desired Level 5

    Lacking:
    While I am knowledgeable about the stakeholders that I affect with my operational efficiency ideas, but I do not have a formal process of identifying and engaging with them. While my approach is somewhat effective, it has lots of potential for improvement and maximum impact, leaving none of the stakeholders behind.

    Stakeholder Alignment Article: https://www.hr.cornell.edu/life/career/stakeholder_alignment.html

    For this exercise, I am repurposing the stakeholder alignment model of Cornell University. Specifically, the value of periodic surveys (or checkpoints) to align stakeholders to resources and priorities. Every year and even every quarter, priorities change. Being constantly in touch with “C-E-O” help increase the probability of “maximum bang for your innovation (efficiency) buck”.

  • kdjordjevic March 14, 2016  

    Area of Improvement – Align Stakeholders

    Current Level 2
    Desired Level 5

    Traditionally, I have worked on projects where I was given autonomy to develop and implement a specific strategy with occasional update meetings with my leaders. Heading into my new innovation role, I need to be cognizant that closer relationships with my leadership team will be very important.

    Stakeholder Alignment & Strategic Project Management
    http://managementperformance.com/strategic-project-management/

    Working on new projects, I will be required to work closely with the department leadership team. The article is correct that focusing on scope, schedule and budget is not enough to ensure the success of a project. Often times though, it is the only focus because many of our projects are process driven with key financial and other performance deliverables. Working on new innovation projects may come with some challenges, since this key strategy is new for many members of the leadership team. If he/ she doesn’t understand some points, questions may arise which can slow down the project. As I build out strategies and projects, I will be working closely with my project sponsor and leadership team to ensure that alignment is maintained all throughout the project. Questions may arise but I will have the ability to answer them in a timely manner, build any relevant action plans, and be in a better position to maintain the project along documented timelines and milestones.

  • kdjordjevic March 14, 2016  

    Area of Improvement – Think and Act Differently

    Current Level 2
    Desired Level 5

    Since I have not worked specifically on innovation projects, I’m not aware of the frameworks or processes that help enable innovation within a team setting, at least not specifically for projects where innovation is the purpose of the project. As the audit suggests, I do know the style that I use to research new ideas and continue to build them into use cases for pilot – but as mentioned, going through an innovation within a team setting will be new for me in a team role and any new information for me to put into practice will be very helpful.

    Ten Tips for Successful Innovation Teams
    http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/04/12/10-tips-for-successful-innovation-teams/

    I found this article to be very useful because it provided some great tips to consider while building a team who will be working together on an innovation-driven project:
    • Start by building a bigger box rather than trying to think outside it
    • Select your team for who they know as well as what they know
    • Pick one leader and provide him or her the autonomy they need to be successful
    • Build a team that can both identify gaps in the market and markets in the gap
    • Find team members who tell great stories
    • Understand the difference between good and bad conflict
    • Supplement the innovation core team with an external provocateur
    • Remember to set goals and measure progress
    • Think like a startup entrepreneur
    • Ensure team members have “both feet in”
    All of the tips are useful for anyone building a team – a couple of points were my a-ha moments:
    1) building a bigger box – there is an advantage to picking the right people to join the team. All to often, it’s easy to pick like-minded people or those you personally know or from specific functional areas. Doing so may not provide the mix of individuals who not only provides the creative ideas but also can bring the idea to life through execution. I will be building a process to do this with my teams go forward.
    2) Understand the difference between good and bad conflict – I was once told that a little bit of “professional tension” is a good thing. I think the key here is that sometimes good conflict can quickly turn into bad conflict. When I work with my teams I want to be able to harness good conflict as part of the creative process – ideas can get built upon to creative better ideas for experimentation. I will need to be mindful that this good conflict doesn’t spill over into interpersonal conflict which can make the team dynamics much more challenging.

  • kdjordjevic March 14, 2016  

    Area of Improvement – Connect the Dots in New & Different Ways

    Current level 2
    Desired level 5

    Innovation is a relatively new concept within the department that I work. A lot of our work tends to be reactive – reactive to government reforms on drug pricing and services, and whenever expertise is specifically required. New programs tend to be linear and cover only one category. There is an opportunity to be increasingly innovative within the space and this will become part of my responsibility in the near future. As a company, we have a vast array of assets, but each asset represents its own silo. We now have the opportunity to create product and service bundles, and these finished products will not only be new for the consumer but also for the company – a white space of sorts. Innovation is also new for myself within my portfolio of responsibilities and so this is an area for improvement specifically.

    Connecting the Dots for Innovation
    http://www.uk-cpi.com/blog/connecting-dots-for-innovation

    The article spoke to now to identify new dots and how to make connections. The concepts were useful in that I can put them into action fairly easily and quickly. The main idea that was my “AHA” was the A-B-C-D acronym – Always Be Connecting the Dots. This can be accomplished through: applying old knowledge in new ways (through scenarios and converging multidisciplinary teams brainstorm ideas); and building a diverse network around my ideas and myself. It’s recognized that it is very difficult to be innovative by oneself – that it is important to build a culture of collaboration. My biggest takeways from the article which I plan to put into practice to improve my ability to connect the dots are: 1. looking for information in new places (information doesn’t need to be found in the pharmacy retail space only, but almost any industry using technology – so research will start there e.g. financial and insurance industries – and how they were able to create value and commercialization of their products); 2. creating a culture of collaboration within a multidisciplinary team setting (diverse backgrounds and experiences can help create connections one didn’t think was there – create a stakeholder map of networking opportunities and meet these people to gauge their areas of expertise); and 3. evaluating our current suite of products to identify how initial bundling can occur (or the reverse – identify the ideal bundle and work backwards to identify current assets as well as gaps) and build an action plan from there.

  • celia.ding17 March 13, 2016  

    Current: 2
    Future: 4

    Two years ago, a friend of mine and I started a setup a small business without testing and validating the delivery of the business offering. The obstacle was literally the physical delivery of products to customers.
    The article “Idea-to-Launch Model: An Overview” below provided a process model and scorecard to test ideas and commercialize them.
    http://www.stage-gate.net/downloads/wp/wp_10.pdf
    I will be more diligent in test and validation in the pre-launch process and practice scorecard in decision-making. For example, I will practice the presentation of value presentation to all stakeholders, evaluate business feasibility with market research and fully understand the risk of sensitivity of uncertain variables.

  • celia.ding17 March 13, 2016  

    Current: 3
    Future: 5

    A good friend of mine started a virtual reality business a year ago. When he explained the application in promoting tourism industry of certain regions, I was able to connect the possible use in my industry. For example, we could build a furnished and renovated virtual reality space in assisting leasing a bare and raw space. However, our recent discussion reveal so many other offerings that the product could delivery to solve some other “pain points”. For instance, some company has to shut down production line to provide proper training. With virtual reality combined with Kinect, training can be done virtually not affecting productivity. Having said that, Google Atlas robots may put a threat to human labour in general. How to connect all those dot?
    http://visual.ly/how-connect-dots

    The article suggested exam the “pain points” by customer emersion, leverage wide experience, incubate and retrieve ideas to achieve an “aha”. I will be more observant of customers’ needs, emerging trends in the market and practice structured business opportunity mapping. For instance, I am already immersing myself with the local students to understand Indian youth. I am confident that there are some dots can be connected to a business opportunity map to catering the needs of the large India youth population.

  • celia.ding17 March 13, 2016  

    Dot matters (more & better dots)
    Current: 2 – I have regional single disciplinary, and single industry perspectives
    Future: 5 – I have global, multi-disciplinary, and multi-industry perspectives
    I have been working in commercial real estate industry for over 15 years. My information consumption almost always auto-pilot to mainstream and industry related matters whether it is from newspapers, magazines, books and academic papers. In addition, old school define real estate as “location, location, location”. Therefore, I am also prone to seek data which are related to the regions interesting to me.
    For example, after arriving India, my first information collection was “Delhi’s office rent is even cheaper than Mumbia. Vacancy level of 30% is too much”.
    Chapter – Information Hunting and Gathering from Art of Long View by Peter
    http://www.ethicaladvisor.com/pdf/books/the_art_of_the_long_view.pdf
    The book suggested target to what to look for to include music, perception shaping events and fringes. The tactics on where to look include iconoclasts, sources of surprise, filter and immersion in challenging environments and utilizing global network. For example, India may no long be the cheap compound producer for the generic drug manufactures if you watch the environment concerns raise by the rapper below.
    http://www.mtv.com/news/2230254/indian-rapper-anaconda-parody-unilever-kodaikanal/

  • Zahi March 12, 2016  

    I will be honest, in reality, innovation is something I have not had exposure to and this is an area I definitely need to explore more. I have always been influenced by Steve Jobs and his achievements. Especially the area of connecting dots (his Stanford Speech) that is something I lack because I am very comfortable in my career and I am an IT guy, I don’t take risks. My job is to reduce risks to the company. A bit boring, yes, I know.
    The first time I heard Steve Jobs give his speech and spoke about connecting the dots, it made me realise that I am very much in my comfort zone and don’t really experience new things that often. So I need to make a conscious effort to go out of my way to do and see things that totally out of my comfort areas. I feel I need see and observe what is right in front of me, learn how to identify the dots and then how to connect them.
    I need to be able to enhance my perception and improve my ability to see things in a new light. And ultimately connect the dots.
    By going to different places I don’t normally go to, speaking to more people, doing different things will help me to improve my observation skills and give new insights and ideas.

    After connecting the dots and seeing the bigger picture how do I know where to start? There is so much information about innovation, what it is about, how important it is and so on. But how do / what can we innovate? And what should we focus on first? What values couldn’t a customer live without? What can I add that will create value?
    I have several ideas and a lot of energy to do things. But I to succeed I need to be able to think out of the box and see what people really need / lack in their lives which would create value and improvement.
    How do I achieve that? Reading the connectivate book and analyzing how these starts up / companies innovated and created a market for themselves was really inspiring, I could say. I need to experiment more and be more confident to take risks and try something. That would be the first step.
    I come from a technical background and I tend to see things as black and white and delivering the technical aspect of a problem is easy for me. Innovation on the other hand is difficult.
    Managing various IT projects from POC, Pilot to Implementation, I do have some experiences in Project concept, development and delivery. And also how to manage teams of people. Also, I know how to get/allocate resources for the project and manage Stakeholders. However, while my experiences and skills will come in handy, I need to focus on observing and identify what can be changed or identity a need first. I need to get out and see more, observe more and learn more.

  • Zahi March 12, 2016  

    It was a good assessment and gave me a clear idea of my Innovation capabilities. In reality, innovation is something I have not had exposure to and my results show that this is an area I definitely need to improve in. One thing, I was really influenced by Steve Jobs and his life. Especially the area of connecting dots, that is something I lack because I am very comfortable in my career. And I really never took a risk.
    The first time I heard Steve Jobs give his speech and spoke about connecting the dots. I didn’t really understand it. It took me some time to understand what he was trying to say. I feel I need to understand this more and see what is right in front of me, learn how to identify the dots and then how to connect them.
    It made me realize that I am very much in my comfort zone and don’t really experience new things that often. So I need to make a conscious effort to go out of my way to do and see things that totally out of my comfort areas.
    I need to be able to enhance my perception and improve my ability to see things in a new light. And ultimately connect the dots.
    By reading different material and going places I never thought of, speaking to more people, doing different things will help me to improve my observation skills and give new insights and ideas.
    After connecting the dots and seeing the bigger picture how do I know which innovation area to focus on and give all my energy to it? We read so much about innovation, what it is about, how important it is and so on. But how do we innovate? And what should we focus on first? What values are important and what values couldn’t a customer live without? What can I add that will create value?
    I have several ideas and a lot of energy to do things. But I to succeed I need to be able to think out of the box and see what people really need / lack in their lives which would create value and improvement.
    How do I achieve that? Reading the connectivate book and analyzing how these starts up / companies innovated and created a market for themselves was really inspiring, I could say. Being a technical IT guy, I see things in black and white. I need to experiment more and be more confident to take risks and try something. That would be the first step.
    I come from a technical background and I tend to see things as black and white and delivering the technical aspect of a problem is easy for me. Innovation on the other hand is difficult. Mastering it is the key to success.
    So from connecting the dots and developing the innovation (idea/value/ product) now it is time to develop and launch it.
    Building a successful relationship and forming strong alliances are important for this to succeed. I realize you can’t do everything on your own and you need people, their insights and ideas (and own innovations), to work together to create a successful product or value. Sharing the risks and the rewards, being open, honest and transparent, planning and allocating resources and being realistic are all areas I need to be able to do well so that build myself up and meet the challenge.
    Like Steve Jobs and other successful innovators, we need to be able to sell the idea and keep everyone on board from the beginning to the end no matter what the weather forecasts.

  • rachel.huckle17 March 4, 2016  

    Area of Improvement: Think and Act Differently

    As an operator, I am very focused on execution, routine, and status quo. Much of my work is measured by key performance metrics, and my success relative to them. This fosters a pattern of day to day activity that becomes quite repetitive in many respects. As a result, I don’t do things or act in a way that differentiates my thinking, as I am very focused on executing and delivering the results.

    This is where my biggest opportunity exists.

    Taking an active approach and interest in to “Acting differently, so that I can think differently” will be the first steps to becoming a better innovator. Doing this will open my mind and my business up to more creative ways to deliver the results. By exploring different process opportunities, revenue generating opportunities, and engagement drivers I will be able to explore various ways to achieve exceptional outcomes.

    The article that I reviewed is called: Are you an Innovative Entrepreneur?
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/innovatorsdna/2012/06/04/are-you-an-innovative-entrepreneur/#558fee0a60f3

    This article, like many that I reviewed during my search centered on principles that were captured in the Innovators DNA book.

    The key principles discussed are:

    1) Associational Thinking: Leveraging diverse knowledge and input from multiple sources to make connections and identify links and/or new concepts.

    2) Questions: Challenging assumptions to peel back the layers and get deeper in to exploring ideas and concepts. Asking provocative questions that are thought provoking, and cause people to pause and reflect and challenge their perspectives and/or biases.

    3) Networking: Utilizing the benefits of networking to gain different insights and perspectives to help form new and different ideas.

    4) Observing: being present and the act of watching and observing how the world interacts, how people interphase and connecting the ideas of where there is a real need to be solved.

    5) Experimenting: Doing this often, failing often, failing better each time. Learning from these experiments will open doors and windows to other ideas and opportunities.

    Next Steps…”Aha”

    This framework is something that is going to take a lot of intentional practice on my part. I will focus on all, but the two areas that I would like to tackle first are Observing, and Questioning.

    The act of asking better questions, leveraging inquiry to gain better insight I think will help me in making better decisions altogether. Coming prepared to meetings is a strength, however, actively listening and being present isn’t a strong suit of mine, so it will take intention and practice to do this well, or at least better.

    Observation, interestingly enough, I always considered myself to be a good observer, with an eye for detail. As I read this article, and began to reflect on what exactly am I focusing on when I am observing, I couldn’t confidently answer this with anything other then the status quo.

  • rachel.huckle17 March 4, 2016  

    Area to Improve: Connecting Dots

    My area of responsibility in my organization revolves around Field Operations, and is highly slanted towards execution. My team and I are often looking for new and more efficient ways to do things; however, with time being of the essence, the sense of urgency and need to be efficient does not allow for much time to consider innovation in any meaningful ways.

    With the insight that we have collectively as a Field resource team, and in combination with the store level knowledge that exists, there is an opportunity to harness this collective knowledge (Dots). Where I see the greatest opportunity is capturing this information, and combining it with the collective knowledge that exists within the corporate head office. As a company, and as unique departments with specific mandates, we often operate in silos’. The result is a lot of great information, never being shared or capitalized on.

    The article that I read was titled: Connecting the Dots: Why innovation is about finding relationships between old ideas.

    http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/blogs/blogpost/2094/Connecting_the_Dots_Why_Innovation_is_about_Finding_Relationships_between_Old_Ideas

    This article focuses on four main ways that that you can develop and or get better at connecting dots…

    1) Build Knowledge Base: A culture of continuous learning, whether it is through formal academics, reading different publications, on the job learning from experience, networking or seeking insights through means other then the mainstream. There is always an opportunity to broaden your perspective, and base of knowledge.

    2) Encourage Application: Often times, organizations invest in workshops and ongoing development opportunities. Where I see the biggest gap is how we as an organization follow-up or debrief with the participants to tap in to the knowledge that was gained at these sessions, and furthermore, the application of it. This article speaks to the opportunity within organizations, to connect the new learnings with the old ideas that exist. How do these new connections change or alter the ideas to build new ones as a result.

    3) Catch and Store Knowledge: Relevant information doesn’t mean its always timely. New connections happen often, and not always in conventional ways. Different interactions, stimuli, environments may open up our creative juices and inspire us to identify new dots at the most unusual times. These discoveries, if not captured and catalogued, can be lost over time. This article emphasizes the importance of making the connections and discovering new dots, and equally important to this, is capturing it and storing it for future and/or collective access and reference.

    4) Grow your network: Most employee’s tend to network within the organization; there is value in cross departmental networking, however their is no substitution for networking beyond the organizations boundaries. Exploring opportunities to network with other organizations, vendors, professionals outside of the core business set that we are in, and looking for ways to network outside of your comfort zone will present opportunities to acquire knowledge that one may not have otherwise been exposed to.

    All four of the key points for me are meaningful, as I often find myself having moments where I think of something that I would like to try, or I think is a great idea, or would be a great idea…but I never take stock of it. As a result, when and if I need this information, it is not readily available, and somehow, when I am really trying to think of something innovative for the future, I don’t instinctually look back at previous dots, and I end up drawing a blank.

    Next Steps…

    Where I would love to explore this further, as a start, is to bring stakeholders in from every department in the building, invite store level stakeholders to join us, and establish a working group where we can exchange knowledge and share ideas. Perhaps starting with a problem that we can focus on, and leverage the groups insights and dialogue to come up with some ideas to support this topic. A current topic that I have been tasked with at my company is to look for more revenue generating ideas. We have been given a very open agenda, with no guardrails; this presents a great opportunity to leverage and apply this framework!

  • rachel.huckle17 March 4, 2016  

    Area to Improve: Align Stakeholders

    Alignment was one area identified by the Individual Innovation Audit that stood out as an opportunity for me. As I reflect on why this may be the case, a specific example comes to mind. As a part of my role, one of my responsibilities is to establish the strategic priorities for the region, one that is aligned with the corporations, but that is unique and specific to the needs of my Business Unit.

    There is a great deal of communication with the VP’s of each business unit that is shared well in advance with us to cascade the corporations priorities. From this I establish the regions specific goals and priorities, which are then cascaded to the stores via my district managers and the field resource team.

    This represents an opportunity, as much of the communication cascade on these priorities to the stores is via a Webex or conference call to the stores. The stores, their management teams, and the District Managers and field resource team members have historically had zero input in to these priorities, and are simply asked to execute upon them. The lack of input, the missed opportunity to gather further insights to create meaningful priorities that leverages the collective knowledge and insights is a missed opportunity.

    The article that I selected is The Work of Leaders: Why Building Alignment is One of the Most Important Things You can Do.

    http://watercoolernewsletter.com/the-work-of-leaders-why-building-alignment-is-one-of-the-most-important-things-you-can-do/#.VtXYrJOLSHo

    There are three main pillars around creating alignment that were presented in this article that resonated with me.

    1) Clarity – the ability to provide an explanation or a compelling reason of why the strategic priorities are necessary, giving the stakeholders the information on how these priorities were established and came to be; communicating the background information so that those that are expected to execute upon them, are also able to cascade this information to their respective teams and explain the why behind it.

    2) Dialogue – Engaging in two-way dialogue provides an advantage on multiple fronts when trying to build alignment, gaining input from those that are closer to the stores, and the customer will provide invaluable insights, and provide for much more robust solutions. In addition, gaining the buy-in and engagement by the field and store leaders will make them feel a part of the solution, which has the added benefit of creating ambassadors and champions in the field to help support the initiative, in this case – the regional priorities.

    3) Inspiration – I think this is one area that I excel in, as I am very passionate about the work that I do, and the people that I work with. I celebrate successes often, and leverage the opportunity to provide constructive feedback through a positive lens, but with purpose. Those that I work with have expressed that they appreciate this approach, as they leave our meetings and conversations feeling inspired.

    Next Steps… “Aha”

    Where I see an opportunity to leverage this and put it in to practice is: my 2016 regional priorities have already been communicated to the field and store teams, I will leverage this process to circle back after the first quarter to engage the stakeholders in a brainstorming session to identify the tactics that they feel will help us to achieve the 2016 strategic priorities. I will invite a diverse group of participants so that we have a good representation of diverse skills, tenure, and perspective.

    Providing some clarity around where we are sitting at the end of the first quarter as a business unit, where we are succeeding, and where we have opportunity will provide insights to the team on where we need to focus, and why for the balance of the year.

    I will leverage the IDEO (Shopping cart brain storming and innovation session format) to gather input, ideas, and proposed solutions to help us close the gap for the balance of the year. To do this, and what I gathered from the IDEO video, I will need to create a “safe” environment, where titles and leaders do not influence how others engage in dialogue. I will be mindful of what I say; as I reflect upon the past, historically when I say something or have an opinion, everyone else just tends to agree and fall inline. I think this is stifling the creativity in the room. Being mindful of my influence and impact is going to be very important to the success of this process and ability to gather the most value from the participants. I will leverage questioning to gather more input, rather then weighing in and having an opinion during the session.

    In terms of inspiring those that participate, I think the act of engaging them in this process to begin with, and them recognizing that I value their input, and truly want them to be a part of the solution will result in high levels of engagement and motivation. This will have a ripple effect in to the field, as those that participate will be ambassadors to the tactics established as a team and will champion them in the field.

  • akohlee March 4, 2016  

    Area to Improve:
    Tactics for Innovation Projects (Make it real)

    Tactics for Innovation Projects comes with raw experience. This does not mean the person has to be trained by a disciplined and seasoned innovation veteran, but has more to do with learning from the mistakes made and understanding what successful tactics are required for innovation projects. Tactics, for the most part, are learned either through concept and theory or practical application. This practical application is where you can apply what you have learned, make adjustments on the fly if something is not working and also learn from other tactics. The anecdotal evidence is required to better understand tactics for innovation of projects.

    http://www.business2community.com/business-innovation/sustaining-innovation-tactics-work-industry-01163855#aTJOoxXoqsA8KtZw.97

    The article discussion practical, back to the fundamentals, points which green and even veteran innovation practitioners may skip from time to time. Brian O’ Connor discusses three points which I can use to navigate the tactical landscape on innovation projects.
    1) Start with the Problem, not the solution – peel the layers to the details of the problem. Talking to key stakeholders internal and external such as your customers, can reveal facts which might be useful.
    2) Gather information on this specific Project – understand the difference between capabilities and requirements, with the former being the benefits of the project and how it will help you.
    3) Safeguard against optimism with a credible estimate – be optimistic but use a combination of people, processes, skills, knowledge data and tools to create dependable estimates.

  • akohlee March 4, 2016  

    Area to Improve:
    Think and Act Differently (Resources)

    Although I do not use innovation framework regularly at my current firm, I have an innovation style I have utilized in the past with success. I believe I am lacking in this area because I have not sufficiently seen innovation projects from inception to implementation. This short exposure limits my innovative capabilities to think and act differently

    http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2010/08/25/10-questions-to-determine-your-innovation-style/

    Luis Solis walks the reader through 10 themes with specific questions one can answer so that they know what their innovation style is. Although the questions are positioned in the context of organizational innovation, they also directly apply to team innovation and most certainly individual innovation. There are four themes which stood out to me. breadth, depth, collaboration, and sponsorship and management ethos which I group together. Project sponsors for innovative projects, I believe, should use the bottom up driven by empowerment approach. Factual data, which drives raw innovation, is mostly experienced in the trenches at the bottom to middle of the organization. To successfully innovation, the organization must know the current state before it heads down the visionary path.

  • akohlee March 4, 2016  

    Area to Improve:
    Reasons to Innovate (Intent)

    Personally speaking, I have not spend sufficient time thinking about my innovation goals and targets for my organization. This is specifically why I am lacking in this area. For instance, my firm does not have an explicit innovation mandate or, for that matter, not an implied innovation directive. This is probably because it is difficult to balance the organizational needs which keep the revenue engine firing with the vision of the future. For this reason, and probably for only this reason, I am lacking in this area.

    http://insigniam.com/enterprise-transformation-results/four-pillars-innovation-part-todays-needs-vs-tomorrows-vision/

    I strongly believe in the benefits of innovative thinking has on a firm. To address the balancing issue, we can create the conditions to meet organizational objectives and implement innovative projects. I can work with management to better understand the firm’s appetite to innovate while competing with day to day operations. The key executive stakeholder’s perspective on innovation can put me on the path to understanding the firm’s definition of innovation and how we will know the initiative is successful.

  • sonia.arcieri17 February 29, 2016  

    Second Area of Improvement: Build teams and networks

    Current Level: 2
    Desired Level: 5

    This area of improvement centers around the question “Do I know how to build teams and networks?” and get resources. Although we are a smaller organization, our teams are still fairly siloed. Recently, there was a new product launch that progressed almost to the end at the exclusion of a key team of people. The team that was left out until the end identified that software needed to be created to host the new product, and because they were looped into the process too late, they had to come up with many time consuming workarounds until resources (again, people in technology) can be allocated to build the necessary software.

    In this article:
    http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/04/12/10-tips-for-successful-innovation-teams/

    Carl Fudge and Joaquín Roca list 10 key considerations for putting together an innovation team and its network. Another area which could be improved include our recommendations to clients. When clients are looking to put together an innovation team, we have a number of roles we suggest they look to include. Often I think clients are so concerned with ensuring they have a diverse team that will provide unique ideas and perspectives, that they forget that the folks on the team will then need to socialize their solution within the organization. The “AHA” moment for me in this article was selecting people not only for what they know, but who they know. This is something I will add to our roadmap for clients.

  • sonia.arcieri17 February 29, 2016  

    First Area of Improvement: Types of innovation projects

    Current Level: 1
    Desired Level: 5

    This area of improvement centers around the question “Do I know what types of innovation projects will get resource allocation?” and general innovation intention. In our organization, innovative projects are left to the product development folks to create new and improve existing product lines. Outside of these teams, I am not confident that I know what other types of innovation projects would get resource allocation.

    An example of this is when I have brought potential product ideas to our owners that have been requested or suggested by our current clients and the response I receive is, “We just don’t have resource to develop that right now.” More specifically, they mean people in technology that can be assigned to a team. I feel that we are not exploring potential new revenue streams with this attitude and feel stuck about how to approach this challenge in future.

    In the article listed here:
    http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2010/10/23/commitment-and-resource-allocation/

    Caspar van Rijnbach suggests that organizations need to change their mental models regarding resource allocation and that management must be more involved for projects to be successful. He also suggests that funding be set aside and that career paths should be established with an innovation focus.

    As a next step, I will request a meeting with our Managing Director to understand more about how resource allocation happens for new products or innovative ideas. This is something that I would like to lead within our organization so wonder if it can become part of my job description and if there may be a way to measure it going forward.

  • adam.nash February 28, 2016  

    3. Do I know how to get intelligence about my Business Opportunity Landscape (Get More and Better Dots?)
    a. I have regional, multi-disciplinary, and single industry perspectives
    Although it can be easy to identify potential business opportunities it can be very difficult to get intelligence around the opportunity. Often the dots I identify that I believe will be able to supply me information have not acquired what I am looking for. For example while doing analysis to determine the return on investment for our merchandising program; I reached out to the Apple team and our internal U.S merchandising team. I was hoping to get insight from analysis they had run on their programs but was disappointed when I discovered they either had no information or the information provided was not reliable. I tried to obtain better “Dots” by reaching out to other companies but their programs differed from ours so results had to be taken with a grain of salt.
    https://hbr.org/2013/12/get-a-better-return-on-your-business-intelligence/
    Although the article above does not directly tell me how to get more dots, it does help me to ensure I am getting better dots. By understand how business intelligence should be gathered and how to get a better return on your business intelligence I can gather better dots. Being able to analyze the dots I have in front of me will help me sort through information and develop confidence in it. Being able to tell right from wrong can have a major impact on the path you choose to take. Reading this article added to my frame work for analyzing how I am quantifying my work and running my pilots. It also allowed me to reflect on how others go about theirs and has helped me ask better questions. Going forward I will not only be critical in checking in to ensure my pilots are being run properly with the ability to quantify results and ensure I’m on course. I will also dig deeper into information given to me so I can determine if it is likely to be correct or not.

  • adam.nash February 28, 2016  

    2. Prioritizing Concepts
    a. I select concept based on market attractiveness and action ability informed by quantitative data

    I often prioritize concepts based on self-identified attractiveness and ease in which I believe I can perform the tasks required. I see this in my day to day job as there is an unlimited amount of analysis I can do on our business, but I often prioritize what is attractive to me personally and is not always what may be best for the company. If I do not stay organized and keep a to-do list I have a tendency to occasionally let objectives fall to the wayside and never get completed. There is an opportunity for me prioritize work to be done based on qualitative data that could be provided through the analysis process.

    Instead of reading an article on this topic I watched a Ted Talk: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7wF2AdVy2Q&feature=youtu.be)

    I found this talk very interesting as it describes how we naturally pick the easiest thing on a list to do. It also talks about how the things we find “stupid” or disruptive are often the most productive and unlock our creativity. This set a light bulb off for me to ensure I never dismiss something because I think it is stupid, pointless, or a waste of time. You never know what potential could be unlocked. I was able to relate to this talk because I grew up playing the piano and historically have discarded exercises that I believed to be pointless. I am going to use the advice of this article to ensure I am trying everything and not always taking the easiest route. I will apply this in deciding which objectives to tackle first, as well in which quantitative data to use as support. I live by the numbers and use them to support all my decisions, but I have a history of doing the analysis that comes easiest to me. This is not always the right method and thus I need to start attempting to use various lenses; even if I think they are stupid.

  • adam.nash February 28, 2016  

    1. Do I know what types of innovation projects will get resource allocations
    a. I know what projects have been funded in the past

    I’m lacking in understanding which projects in my company will get allocation resources because I have had multiple projects over the past few years that have not been granted funding. I am able to see what projects have received funding in the past because my company does a good job in celebrating its successes and communicating what projects are being worked on. The United States leads the way in innovation for our company and Canada is often the next country to follow (24 countries in our network). Last year I was attempting to mimic a project that had recently been launched in the U.S with support of my boss (V.P of Canada/Mexico/Brazil). After creating the frame work for the project and preparing a pilot the funding was pulled by the CFO. Although I have seen the type of projects that have been funded in the past I often fail to gain funding when duplicating the project. I have had success on the smaller scale of implementing projects, running a pilot, presenting results, and eventually receiving approval. But these have been small in comparison to the projects I have not received funding for. I need more knowledge in this area so I can have greater success in implanting innovations and not spending too much time developing concepts that will not receive support.

    https://hbr.org/2015/01/get-the-boss-to-buy-in

    The above article articulates a number of various tactics that can be used to help gain support on a project. I will combine a few of these tactics such as getting the timing right, involving others, and adhering to norms. Presenting my pitch early in the year gives better opportunity to gain available resources. I have found in most companies as you get later into the year budgets tighten up and it is harder to obtain resources. By involving our U.S team and gaining their support I should be able help move projects forward. Determining the best way to present the issues to my boss will be the biggest challenge for me as he is a tough individual to read, but this article has helped me understand some tactics I can use to be successful.

  • Pooja Ajmera November 23, 2015  

    Third Area of Improvement : How to Align Stakeholders?
    I need to consider how to align stakeholders in order to improve the growth of the company. The stakeholders need to make unanimous decisions and make sure they satisfy all company benefits. Stakeholders should always be happy so that they do not withdraw their investments made. I need to ensure that all the stakeholders feel value for their money invested and to do that all business propositions must be thoroughly scrutinized before being presented to them. I need to learn to understand the perspectives of all the stakeholders.

    http://www.corpedgroup.com/resources/pm/WhatMustKnowStakeholder.asp

  • Pooja Ajmera November 23, 2015  

    Second Area of Improvement : How to Prioritize Concepts?
    I usually do have a brief idea of the things we need to do as a team and how to implement them. However the challenge i often face is when which problem should be solved and in what order it must be done. For this to be done in a systematic and orderly manner we as a team need to prioritize our plans and concepts in order of importance and customer needs.

    http://www.innosight.com/innovation-resources/two-routes-to-resilience-article.cfm

    This article tells us the importance of how to get things done at the right time.
    Prioritizing needs to be done again and again in order to reach the level of expertise required.
    This is something I need to consider and work hard in this field.

  • Pooja Ajmera November 23, 2015  

    First Area of Improvement : Although I do realize the need for innovation, I can learn more about how to innovate certain products or services or how to get my team to do the same: an important way of doing this could be brainstorming with employees or how to change the core of the business in order to be a valuable asset in my team.
    If innovation is not possible in a specific product or service, another way to do that is to introduce a new product.

    http://www.innosight.com/innovation-resources/two-routes-to-resilience-article.cfm

  • Pradeep October 21, 2015  

    I will tap into intrinsic incentives to ensure maximal potential harvesting in order to gain more profits in the long run.

  • Pradeep October 21, 2015  

    Pradeep Mathiannal 1254737 (Charlestown)

    I need to ensure that aligning stakeholders is also taken into consideration as an area of my improvement since I should be able to get the stakeholders to agree in unison to whatever business propositions that we make and we should be able to get the combined efforts/cooperation from all sides. This can be done in a win-win basis to get maximum cooperation from everyone.

    https://www.hr.cornell.edu/life/career/stakeholder_alignment.html

    • Pradeep October 21, 2015  

      We need to try to foster initiative, integrity, and excellence, in an environment of collegiality, civility, and responsible stewardship. This is because there needs to be an initiative to start the problem solving process while having integrity to prevent straying from the goals/objective while adhering to ethics and regulations and excellence which is quality & economy of scale/scope.

  • Pradeep October 21, 2015  

    Pradeep Mathiannal 1254737 (Charlestown)

    Also, I need to improve on driving concept to launch since it is very essential for me to keep working on the product till I am able to reach the required level of expertise to match the expectations of the customer. I also need to ensure the total efforts made to create the required product is met with perfect results in development and implementation because the launch of the product has to be done in synchronization with all the various functions of the company.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/motoring/57284/mercedes-benzs-f015-concept-the-first-self-driving-car.html

    • Pradeep October 21, 2015  

      Anyone who focuses solely on the technology has not yet grasped how autonomous driving will change our society. The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space. this is very much true considering the fact that people need to be able to get a grasp of the technology and its usefulness for their present lifestyle. A technology that is unfriendly cannot be a suitable alternative to an inferior technology that maybe more user friendly. Hence user friendliness must be taken into consideration while deciding the usefulness of the product.

  • Pradeep October 21, 2015  

    Pradeep Mathiannal 1254737 (Charlestown)

    My individual innovation assessment result cites that I need to improve in my tactics for innovation projects. I need to be more prepared to handle problems on a real time basis and I need to have a perfect understanding of my work environment. I should be identify the opportunities, threats in the environment and suit my tactics to solve the problems to achieve optimal results.

      • Pradeep October 21, 2015  

        I will share risks and rewards with the concerned persons in order to maximize my profit and ease of business.

        • Pradeep October 21, 2015  

          Don’t Expect Something for Nothing is something to followed to ensure prevention of wastage of resources.

          • Pradeep October 21, 2015  

            Ask Engaging Questions

            The best way to spark collaboration is to ask interesting and open questions that are specific enough to be solvable, but broad enough to allow a multiplicity of solutions. Too many attempts at collaboration begin with a problem that is either too broad or too specific. The ideal scenario is to find the sweet spot in between and to set a challenge so interesting and relevant that people just can’t help themselves but be drawn in by them. Two great examples are the X-Foundation who ran a challenge to ‘design a space-craft that can fly to space twice in a fortnight’ and Nesta who challenged communities to ‘lower their carbon emissions by 60% over 12 months’. In both cases the challenge questions themselves are powerful motivators in their own right.

            Build Business Empathy

            An open attitude seeks partnerships as a default position and it is very hard to do this without a good understanding of what your partners want and why. People ultimately only collaborate with people they like and trust, so it’s important or organizations allow their employees to behave like real people, and not simply not part of a bureaucracy. Tools such as social media allow a more honest and fundamentally more human approach to building networks and partnerships.

            Target Quantity before Quality

            Too many open innovation processes shut down opportunities too quickly based on qualitative criteria. This can have a profound cultural impact that it sends out the wrong signal, namely that contributions aren’t welcome unless they are brilliant, which discourages participation which is very much understandable since quantity has to be satisfied to achieve target volume in sales and break even.

            Find Your Top 1%

            For every 100 readers of any info product(example:wikipedia), there are approximately 10 synthesizers who will add value to it, and just 1% who create or produce new articles. This ratio of 100:10:1 pattern has been bourne out in many different settings (D. Watts, 2009) and Eric Von

  • lpriya2016 October 21, 2015  

    Lakshmi priya (Somerville)

    As per my individual innovation assessment result, I need to concentrate more in building teams and networks. I worked with the sales team where I never interacted with the team outside my work and never spoke anything beyond work. The team was very out going and always hosted parties,lunch,dinners and I always skipped. There was always a gap between me and my team members. I need to interact more with teams both personally and professionally so that it helps me in understanding my teams personally and professionally well. This can help me know the strengths and weakness of the team members and work accordingly in achieving the targets more effectively. One can build good teams only when we interact more with the teams at work like talking to team members during coffee breaks or lunch breaks about the issues they are facing at work.This can help us understand each other more and work efficiently for the organisation.(http://www.inc.com/ups?WT.mc_id=OGI_PLASTICS_US_048037)

    Second identified area is that I lack in innovating new techniques at work. Working in sales team is always challenging. Customers come to us for opening accounts and we help them based on their requirements. As there were too many customers each day i could not keep my focus on my work and could not think and act differently with every client. I need to improve this by keeping focused on my work and customers needs so that I can overcome this issue. Daily team devotions before we start work and setting targets for the day will keep me active and focused throught out the day.

    Tactics for innovation projects which is the third area where I need to improve. Banking field was new to me and I never faced similar issues in my earlier job. I always failed to propose my innoovative ideas to my seniors due to my lack of experience in banking field. I need to leave my apprehensions and talk to my seniors and share my ideas with them.

  • polson.kevin October 19, 2015  

    Kevin Polson
    MIM – Somerville

    Top 3 Areas of Improvement:
    Area1. Do I know how to get intelligence about my Business Opportunity Landscape? (More and Better Dots):
    Why I am lacking: Currently, I have regional single disciplinary, and single industry perspectives. By that I mean, my limited working experience in the field of graphic design, has often just been logo creation and creation of simple infographics, when in reality, the scope and usefulness of this skill can be put to use in wider arenas.
    Goal: To have global, multi-disciplinary, and multi-industry perspectives.
    How I am going to achieve this: This can only be achieved by polishing up the skills that I already possess while staying on top of things, learning new software to prevent myself from going obsolete and more importantly to be able to add more value than what I currently offering.

    Article Referenced: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/10/be-a-better-designer-by-eating-an-elephant
    How I Am Going to Apply that improvement: The article talks about how the steps learning a new skill can be compared to eating an elephant. It is can only be achieved by consistent effort and constant progress review to keep motivated, and not in one sitting. I plan to utilize this advice in my skill development. I also intend to improve my opportunity landscape by signing up to leading design websites and newsletter to locate new horizons to utilize my skills.

    Area 2. Do I know how to think and act differently to innovate?
    Why I am lacking: Currently, I know my style but do not know what styles an innovation team needs for success. By this I know my working style and what I can bring to the table, but not necessarily how to utilize those skills when working with a team.
    My Goal would be to know my style and can change that style to adapt and make any team more effective. This would make me an invaluable asset to any team that I am positioned in.

    Article Referenced: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2012/8712/how-marketers-and-designers-can-work-together-more-efficiently
    How I Am Going to Apply that improvement: In the article, Saracino states “show me a designer who lacks a deeper understanding of marketing and a drive to attain viewers’ eyes, and I’ll show you a designer who’s soon to be fired.” In his regard, I believe I’m already on the right track to gaining a deeper insight of marketing by studying the marketing program at Hult. Therefore, in doing so, I should pay closer attention to what marketers are looking for, to be able to effectively produce a design that meets the requirement.

    Area 3. Do I know how to drive concept to launch/commercialization?
    Why I am lacking : Currently, I know how to develop the key elements of a Business Case, but putting the theory into practice is a lot harder and I lack the experiential knowledge required.
    My goal in this case would be to know how to successfully launch a concept. (whatever the concept might be.)

    Article referenced: http://www.marketingprofs.com/6/dwyer2.asp
    How I Am Going to Apply that improvement: The article emphasizes on finding a great team, right from marketing director to the executive decision maker, who are ready for the challenge of launching a new concept. I found this useful, as it affirmed to me to focus on my role, and to avoid wearing too many hats. This will ensure that I will not be overwhelmed with excess work outside my expertise, while allowing me to give my best in the duties assigned to me.

    References:

    Articles used in this assessment are as follows:
    1. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/10/be-a-better-designer-by-eating-an-elephant By Alexander Charchar

    2. http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2012/8712/how-marketers-and-designers-can-work-together-more-efficiently By Adria Saracino

    3. http://www.marketingprofs.com/6/dwyer2.asp By Gweneth Dryer

    • polson.kevin October 19, 2015  

      Area 2. Do I know how to think and act differently to innovate?
      Why I am lacking: Currently, I know my style but do not know what styles an innovation team needs for success. By this I know my working style and what I can bring to the table, but not necessarily how to utilize those skills when working with a team.
      My Goal would be to know my style and can change that style to adapt and make any team more effective. This would make me an invaluable asset to any team that I am positioned in.

      Article Referenced: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2012/8712/how-marketers-and-designers-can-work-together-more-efficiently
      How I Am Going to Apply that improvement: In the article, Saracino states “show me a designer who lacks a deeper understanding of marketing and a drive to attain viewers’ eyes, and I’ll show you a designer who’s soon to be fired.” In his regard, I believe I’m already on the right track to gaining a deeper insight of marketing by studying the marketing program at Hult. Therefore, in doing so, I should pay closer attention to what marketers are looking for, to be able to effectively produce a design that meets the requirement.

    • polson.kevin October 19, 2015  

      Area 3. Do I know how to drive concept to launch/commercialization?
      Why I am lacking : Currently, I know how to develop the key elements of a Business Case, but putting the theory into practice is a lot harder and I lack the experiential knowledge required.
      My goal in this case would be to know how to successfully launch a concept. (whatever the concept might be.)

      Article referenced: http://www.marketingprofs.com/6/dwyer2.asp
      How I Am Going to Apply that improvement: The article emphasizes on finding a great team, right from marketing director to the executive decision maker, who are ready for the challenge of launching a new concept. I found this useful, as it affirmed to me to focus on my role, and to avoid wearing too many hats. This will ensure that I will not be overwhelmed with excess work outside my expertise, while allowing me to give my best in the duties assigned to me.

      References:

      Articles used in this assessment are as follows:
      1. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/10/be-a-better-designer-by-eating-an-elephant By Alexander Charchar

      2. http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2012/8712/how-marketers-and-designers-can-work-together-more-efficiently By Adria Saracino

      3. http://www.marketingprofs.com/6/dwyer2.asp By Gweneth Dryer

  • naleksandrova2016 October 19, 2015  

    One more area to improve is building teams and networks. I have been working for 4 years in two big international companies and achieved good results in that time. I had good relationships with all my colleagues, but sometimes it seemed to me that everyone was working only for himself not for the result of the whole team. Usually we participated in competitions between departments and didn’t become the winners. During the work all team members pursued their own personal goals and did not adjust to the teamwork. As all of us had different responsibilities and tasks, not everyone was ready to sacrifice his extra time for participation in competitions and events, so it was difficult to call us the effective and cohesive team. That is why sometimes I feel lack of building good and effective teams experience and need to improve this feature.
    I found useful and interesting article about team building in marketing (http://jayecarden.com/how-to-build-a-network-marketing-team/). There are main steps and advices how to build a team and network. Firstly, it should be easy and clear process and system for all members to follow and understand. I also have to create a dialogue in social network always to be in touch with the team. This way of communication will help to maintain friendly relationships inside the team. What is more, if everybody knows and realizes the process of working in a team and its goals it will be a successful team.

  • naleksandrova2016 October 19, 2015  

    The second area that needs improvement is prioritization of concepts. One of the difficulties at my previous job was prioritization of tasks during workday as I had a lot of them to do. It was necessary to finish a number of duties, in addition to service a large number of customers. Moreover my everyday plan consisted of opening a certain amount of accounts and credit cards. Also time spending with the customer was limited, despite that I needed time to talk with each client individually to find out his purposes and needs. So the problem was that I couldn’t organize my workday to complete all the necessary tasks, sometimes doing not the most urgent work.
    I found one helpful article that can help to solve this problem (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-manage-time-by-prioritizing-daily-tasks.html). It helps to understand how to start prioritization of tasks on daily basis. I should write down all the tasks for a day and categorize them into 5 groups, which differ in the urgency of their implementation. The most important tasks are those, which I can’t delegate to other people, so these tasks require more attention. I will do it everyday and I hope it will also help me to realize how to prioritize concepts in implementing new innovative ideas.

  • naleksandrova2016 October 19, 2015  

    Natalia Aleksandrova (Somerville)

    My individual innovation assessment showed that I have 3 most clearly identified areas to improve.

    First one is to think and act differently to innovate. This is one of the most important areas of doing innovation. People usually get used to their everyday actions and thoughts. More often they think and act in the same way in similar situations. At my previous job in the bank I had a set of daily duties, for example helping client with operating accounts, making transfers and ordering credit or debit cards. Everyday I met more than 30 clients and got used to solve their problems in the same way advising them the same products and services. Despite the fact that there was a wide range of credit cards and accounts and every client has his own needs and preferences. So the problem was that I had too many people each day and I forgot to think and act differently with every client. I had to find out better clients needs and wishes to sell more bank products and increase my effectiveness as an employee.

    Analyzing this problem I stumbled upon one interesting article covering this topic ( https://hbr.org/2011/09/begin-to-think-differently). I realized that I have to spend more time thinking different. The point is that people don’t pay enough attention to it and find it difficult and exhausting. So I need to take more effort to think and act differently. Innovators usually spend a lot of time on practicing this feature that is why they can easily excel at connecting unconnected and engage in associational thinking. To improve this area I found one more very useful advice like Idea Generator app, which helps to generate new ideas by shacking words up randomly. All in all, I should brainstorm, think differently more often and do it day after day. After that it will help also to act differently.

  • Bertrand October 19, 2015  

    Bertrand Plique (Charlestown)

    According to the results of the Individual Innovation Audit, my areas of improvement are the following, concluding with:

    3) Align stakeholders
    Current level – 2
    Desired level – 5

    Although I can come up with an idea for a project, so far I don’t have the skills to align stakeholders around it. I know how to convince people I know well as well as people in my network, but I am finding hard to convince external people, persuade stakeholders to invest in my idea by showcasing too much of an idea’s benefits and I guess not enough of the possible returns on their investment.

    For instance, I have worked in this event-related start up in China that needed more funds to perform its current services, most especially to launch its new online platform designed to gather all the company’s clients in one place.
    Despite my willingness to help, the 2 issues I met was that I did not have any background on how to connect with investors, to establish a good two-way relationship and convince them. The second issue was the barriers of time and money.

    I found many articles that give a fair amount of basic rules to get and align stakeholders for your project and decided to share this one “10 Way to Find Investors For Your Startup” written by Murray Newlands.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/mnewlands/2015/07/06/10-way-to-find-investors-for-your-startup/

    Murray Newlands, contributor at Forbes, writes 10 simple points to help you build a relationship with investors and get them on your boat. The 5 following points are the most helpful and insightful takeaways I learned from the article:

    • I will not stop in front of a money barrier anymore, and will contact as many investors as possible until finding the right one to launch my business.
    • I would use these many existing platforms to help you launch your start-up, as it is a great way to find the most accurate investor to your needs.
    • Another recent valuable option I would definitely consider and recommend to improve communication skills with investors is crowdfunding sites such as Kick-starter, or Rocket hub that basically allow me to seduce an audience that will believe, and invest money in my project.
    • I also learned about incubators and accelerators that will help me grow my business and provide more help than just money, such as an office, willingness to connect me with other investors that could be interested in financing my company and providing advice as well as mentorships.
    • Last but not least, I will reconsider my networks in the extent where everyone could get involved, such as my friends and family but also use Linkedin more efficiently too.

  • Bertrand October 19, 2015  

    Bertrand Plique (Charlestown)

    According to the results of the Individual Innovation Audit, my areas of improvement are the following, continuing with:

    2) Tactics for innovation projects
    Current level – 2
    Desired level – 5

    Working in a communications agency, I met a lot of difficulties to fully develop and launch the ideas I had for pitches with clients as I was collaborating with seniors in the company.

    The main reason is that it was quite of a short experience in this industry and I did not know how to conduct my ideas properly rapidly enough.

    I had never met any issues, producing concepts and ideas at school or during my previous experience until I had this new experience where I could not put any of my ideas or messages across.
    Although theses ideas and concepts seemed really clear to me and innovative in terms of consumer benefits and value, they seemed to be not complete or not enough convincing to other people in the agency.
    Could it have been due to a lack of implementation tactics from myself? A wrong mindset? Or simply a job I did not enjoy doing?

    Written for Inc.com by Jessica Stillman, this article describes the morning routine of one the best entrepreneur this world knows, Sir Richard Branson.

    http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/steal-richard-branson-s-morning-routine.html

    After reading the article, I realized that I can take action on my daily routine to empower my mindset, my organizational skills and improve my reflection.

    During the interview, Sir Richard Branson explains that it takes passion to stay focused and therefore to make choices and decisions during long work hours.
    Here is a key element of why I kept on failing to propose my concepts and ideas to my seniors. All along my experience, I felt like nothing was driving me and keeping me focused as much as my previous experiences for instance.

    I now have an idea on how to transform my lack of tactics for innovation by changing the way I work, but also perhaps by adapting quicker to my environment, or to the way my managers work.

  • Bertrand October 19, 2015  

    Bertrand Plique (Charlestown)

    According to the results of the Individual Innovation Audit, my areas of improvement are the following, starting with:

    1) Get resources
    Current level – 2
    Desired level – 5

    An example that describes this area of improvement was a school team project working on an integrated campaign for a brand we had to create. The challenge there was to pick up 5 team members among several students across different disciplinary.
    What kind of skills should each member have to succeed better as a team? What will be the resources needed (people, equipment, time)?

    The problem I met during this project was to surround myself with people I thought should be more effective than they should be friendly; it then became hard to brainstorm with them on how to allocate resources across the project, and I gradually started working by myself.

    The article “To Get People to Back Your Ideas, First Find the Right People » highlights very well the problem I encountered, it helped me clarify my difficulty to find the right people and resources in any environment.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249421

    Poornima Vijayashanker, contributor at Entrepreneur, highlights different points in her article that I will now use to support my improvement to get resources for future projects:

    She expressly says: « Backers are important. But you want them to be smart, not stupid, and to have a vested interest in your success.

    • My first take away from this article will be to look for friends who are willing to help you even if they don’t have the same background or activity than you. But also looking for investors who will believe in you and who will provide help all along the process of launching any projects that you need to get resources for until you succeed at it.

    • The second point I will improve on is when she mentions “nothing great is ever done alone”, that there is always a need to get some people surrounding you by offering connections, emotional support, finance, and feedback.

    • She highlights how she kept on fighting, how she sent 100 emails for sponsors and how she ended up with only 7 companies to support her. Because of what happened during my project, I found her example really insightful; although you won’t always make everyone happy and enthusiastic about your project, is it not a reason to quit.

  • esarumaha2016 October 19, 2015  

    Elsophia Sarumaha – MIM Somerville
    Area Need Improvement : Align Stakeholder (12)
    When I was a fertilizer researcher, we researched and created a new concept of compound fertilizer. The new concept was to produce compound fertilizer with customized formula based on customer requirement. This project had full support from Board of Director (BOD). This product had been successful in test markets. At the commercialization stage, BOD had changed and the new BOD required generic formula for compound fertilizer. Finally, this project discontinued after spending a considerable cost. At that time I realized that we didn’t manage to convince the new BOD. This issue remains a challenge for me to be able to convince the stakeholders, so that they will be in the same boat with me.
    Article How to Sell An Idea to Your Boss describe sometimes the innovation problem is not how to became innovate people, but also how to convince the decision-makers to approve your idea. Roberto Verganti suggests starting the interaction with the executive earlier in the innovation process.
    For the next if I want to propose the new idea to our executive, I will try to apply the stage that Roberto suggest. Such as get endorsement from the executive to investigate business challenge, to involve executive in innovation design process, to report all of innovation update activity regularly and to involve the executive in to create the solution. I will try to use this approach when we work on a team project at New Product Development class.

    Link Website.
    https://hbr.org/2010/08/how-to-sell-an-idea-to-your-bo

    Article Get the Boss to Buy In, describe the practical techniques to convince the boss. I am interested what Susan and James suggest about create the tactical campaign. This part we missed when we attempted to convince the new BOD. We just explained the project overall. We didn’t create our campaign related with new BOD point of view. We didn’t choose the right battle. For the future, I will try to apply those tactics and I will practice while the team project running.

    Link Website :
    https://hbr.org/2015/01/get-the-boss-to-buy-in

  • esarumaha2016 October 19, 2015  

    Elsophia Sarumana – MIM Somerville
    Area Need Improvement : Drive concept to launch (11)
    My current score was 3 and the future score should be 5.
    Another reason why I tended cautious in the retail market case, because at that moment I was not confident about our marketing concept for retail market would work when we brought it in the market. I didn’t have any tools to help me to measure how suitable the concept to the market.
    Jim Price in ’12 Essential Questions You Need To Ask Before Launching A Big New Ideas’ describe about question that I can use a tool to measure my marketing concept before we launch into market. The question list in the article is cover entire preparation process to launch idea to the market. By answering the question list, I can be sure that the marketing plan will cover all of market need.

    Link website:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/essential-startup-questions-2013-1

  • esarumaha2016 October 19, 2015  

    Elsophia Sarumaha – MIM Somerville
    Area Need imporvement : Think and Act Differently (7)
    The current score of mine in this area is 3 and the future score should be 5.
    In 2014 our Board of Director decided that we started to enter retail market for agricultural input products. As Marketing Manager, I had responsibility to decide what kind of product would be launched and marketing strategy that we would use. Our Company and I didn’t have experience about this market. At that moment, I found myself tend to be overly cautious in order to select and decide the products that would be launched. Moreover, I also tended to apply our current system and marketing strategy in the new business line. I struggled to think out of our current business, because I had been in the same business models for years.
    Two point that Paul Hudson describe in “11 Ways Innovative People Think Differently Than Everyone Else” that make me interest are:
    a. Unlike most, they manage to thrive in the midst of uncertainty.
    The reason I tended to be over careful was I didn’t have experience about retail market. My achievement in 2014 mostly would be measured by our success in retail market. Both of those reason made me nervous and raised fear of failure. Paul Hudson say if it is really an innovation whether or not it will take is a complete mystery. So, I should have the courage to take risks, whether it would be fail or success.
    b. They get creative
    Innovation isn’t always scary. Innovation only requires me to try understanding customer needs; listening teammate idea and eventually I will find creative ideas. These ideas sometimes seem silly, but it has potential to succeed.

    Link Website:
    (http://elitedaily.com/money/entrepreneurship/innovative-people-think-differently/1075828/)

  • Eliez Marie October 19, 2015  

    Eliez Bayot
    MIM-Charlestown

    Area of improvement:

    1. Tactics for Innovation Project – I got myself one and my future score is five. I scored myself one because I’ve never tried doing Innovation project before. My undergraduate and my previous work experiences are way different from what career path I am taking now. But I do have great ideas that I can share to others, but I don’t actually know how can I make this Innovation successful. I still need to more about Innovation and what are the proper ways to do Innovation. This is the basic reason why I give myself one. The article that I found is http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies. I feel that this article would greatly help me in reaching my future score to five in tactics for innovation. The fourth step or the fourth strategy says, lead the way. I think this part that struct me most. Business is about risk takings, it made me realize that there would be no perfect timing in doing your Innovation Project. Even the biggest companies in the world undergoes the dilemma in Innovation Project. This article just boost my confidence that even I myself could lead the way in making innovation in my future company.

    2. Types of innovation Project – My current score is two and my future score is five. Innovation is not as simple as I thought. I didn’t thought that there are several types of Innovation Project. I give my self a low score because I’m not familiar with this types of Innovation. Got this article online and this is the only time that I’ve learned about the different types of Innovation Project. http://www.theinnovativemanager.com/the-four-types-of-innovation-and-the-strategic-choices-each-one-represents/. This article would help me not just to understand innovation but also to know more about the different types of Innovation.

    3. Get Resources – I got two as my current score and five as my future score. Innovation is a huge thing in every company. It can make or break the company’s life. That’s why getting resources for innovation is hard. I think it would be so hard to convince people in investing money in to a new and fresh product. Like for example, when I was still in college, I asked my mom if she could give me capital for my business. Getting my mom’s yes is not easy. I even need to show her all my plans, strategies and total cost that I need in putting up my business. It seems like I’m building a big company. It takes us several discussion about why she should support me in this business. In getting my mom’s yes takes me months to get her yes how much more those executives in my company. Getting resources is hard for me, I usually doubt my capabilities in persuading and convincing other people. I don’t have that huge number of connections. I saw this one article that helped me gain more confidence in getting resources for innovation. http://theinnovationandstrategyblog.com/2013/04/sell-innovation-senior-management-12/. The article gave me ideas who is my real competitors in getting resources and how to get a yes with resources. Getting resources for innovation is not easy, but if I would be able to show all the supporting documents for my innovation, I would definitely get that yes and resources.

  • Jorge October 19, 2015  

    Jorge Gómez-Mantellini
    MIM – Somerville

    Area of Improvement #3: Align Stakeholders

    (Current Level: 2 – Desired Level: 5)

    And finally, how to get the project approved? The first time I pitched the new presentation for Oreo for the Traditional Trade in front of the Staff members, everyone loved it but the CFO. The problem was, I dedicated too much time and effort on the design and the efficiency that it would bring to the Production Department, that I did not dig into the cost of the project and the potential cost-saving that it would bring in the future.
    I had failed. I did not take everyone in that room into account when pitching the project. In the end, it got approved, but I put the project at risk because of those reasons.

    This article is actually about how to pitch an idea to your boss, but it is pretty applicable to this kind of situations.
    https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-pitch-a-big-idea-to-your-boss-and-get-a-yes

    From this article I am really taking the “Prepare to Defend Your Idea”. Even if I forgot to show the financial numbers, I could have defended the idea after the CFO asked me. You should be prepared to any question or obstacle they could bring you, so you have to prepare yourself and really think about any objections your project could get. Plus, you have to put yourself in their shoes. After all, you would not approve a project if the one who is pitching it to you is not capable to defend itself from a couple of questions. What would happen when they come to a real obstacle in its execution? Companies do not like (and for a reason) to take that kind of unnecessary risks.

  • Jorge October 19, 2015  

    Jorge Gómez-Mantellini
    MIM – Somerville

    Area of Improvement #2: Drive Concept to Launch

    (Current Level: 2 – Desired Level: 5)

    After getting the project started, another problem (big problem) comes to mind. How to launch this product? Where and how should we launch it?
    Even with an extensive amount of data and knowledge, it became pretty difficult to me when deciding where to launch the new flavor. The other project was a no-brainer because it was going to be launched everywhere (it was more of an effectiveness project), but the new flavor had, of course, other characteristics. We could have stayed with what it had been done before, but that would have been lazy from us. It would have been a no-risk option, but we probably would not have had the best obtainable results. So, where do you launch it first? Why?

    The following article relies too much on social media for the market I was launching into (Venezuela is still behind on the “brands in social media” race), but it has a couple of ideas that could be applied in this situation:
    http://www.fastcompany.com/1829483/8-ways-ensure-your-new-product-launch-succeeds

    The article suggests that you should focus on getting as many quality customers as possible for your launch. Besides the fact that more customers usually mean more sales, the article indicates that one of the most valuable ways to get people to know your product is by word of mouth. Therefore, more customers buying your product means more customers talking about your product.
    And another thing that really caught my attention was a line that states that “your launch never ends”. The moment you start treating your product as if the launch was over, you stop innovating. You stop trying. And without innovation and effort, your product will most probably start to fall behind. And you do not want that to happen.

  • Jorge October 19, 2015  

    Jorge Gómez-Mantellini
    MIM – Somerville

    Area of Improvement #1: Tactics for Innovation Projects

    (Current Level: 2 – Desired Level: 5)

    I guess it is no surprise that my three lowest scores came from the same competency, the “Make it Real” one. I was in a couple of projects when I worked at Mondelēz International for the last year, and I always had trouble with that aspect in particular. Good thing I had a great team, or else my projects would have never seen the day of light. We developed a new Oreo flavor in Venezuela and designed a new presentation for the Traditional Trade. They were both excellent projects, but I had no idea what to do beyond developing the idea. How to make it into something real? What were the first steps to take? How should we test it? How can we pitch the idea so that everyone loves it as much as we do? Again, good thing I had a great team behind me, because I had no idea how to answer this questions.

    A couple of weeks ago, my former boss and Oreo Brand Manager sent me this article:
    http://www.corneliusassoc.com/articles/Seven%20Tactics.pdf

    Little did I knew that it would come of use for a further assignment. The article is called “Seven Tactics to Increase Project Success” and basically lists and explains tactics to develop a project successfully within a company. Of course, one should apply these tactics taking into account the size of the project, the kind of project and the people you are are working with, but the basic ideas of it are applicable to any scenario. From the seven tactics that it states, I would really like to take two of them, “Get Ownership of the Project Plans” and “Insist on Specific Project Objectives“. When you feel that a project is yours, you go beyond to make it happen. So you have to ensure that everyone on the team, and of course yourself, feel that ownership of the project. For that to happen, you have to make everyone actually do something that benefits the project, not just “support” other areas, or else the subject will lose interest in the project and will probably fall behind schedule or do things mediocrely. The other tactic says that every aspect of the project should have specific objectives, measurable goals. If you do not know where you are going or how to get there, it is pretty difficult to actually get it done. So you have to draw a timeline, set goals for every step, all of this with a logic behind it. This are my two takeaways from the article and the learnings I hope to be able to use in the future.

  • Adeleke October 19, 2015  

    ADELEKE DADA (SOMERVILLE)
    MIM
    3. MORE AND BETTER DOTS
    CURRENT LEVEL 1 TO DESIRED LEVEL 4
    Beyond an innovate mind which has to be tasked to constantly contemplate and observe in order to connect with different ideas which can be ground breaking innovations. Probing questions must be asked regularly with a mindset of transparency and openness. An example is that I have lots of enquires but I hardly ask questions which could bring insight that add value and create better client understanding and thought process.
    It is important to always connect various ideas to gain for insight and see correlations that never were visible, constant forms of survey, online interactive sessions and a host of feedback channels are also key. Other ways are making innovation a daily deliverable, purposeful thinking, trying new ideas.
    With a new mindset that innovation is not a destination but rather a continuous journey where learning is always ongoing, research, critical thinking, exploring and intersecting ideas the dots would clear more and better dotted.
    http://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/the-seven-habits-of-successful-innovators.html

  • Adeleke October 19, 2015  

    ADELEKE DADA (SOMERVILLE)
    2.INNOVATION FOCUS AREAS
    CURRENT LEVEL 1 TO REACH DESIRED LEVEL 4

    Environment and culture has a great role to play in the journey of innovation, I want to have an innovative mindset which would cut across all the globes geographical cover. As an individual with a difference orientation and shallow understanding of global mindset of the divested culture and definition of value in different geographic location because of my limited exposure only to my continent Africa my focus areas understanding is low and it affect my level of understanding creativity on the global scene. An example is a multinational which those not understand how to roll out an advert that would get its target market attention and drive sales.

    Information drives a better understanding of trends, tendencies and patterns of each distinct business segment in the global focus area, the training and education in an environment like Hult International Business School which is one of the top business schools with the level of diversity aids practical understanding of mindset of people in different environment, how best to communicate, what incentives can trigger market attention to mention a few.

    The present education am acquiring is clearly a solution to understanding the different global geographical business segments with the diversity in my Masters class. I am privileged to interact with almost 24 people in one class everyday which is enlightening with a practical daily team work, class interactive session and general questions and answers. The network physically achieved would aid projects like consumer behavior in a different geographical location.

    http://wakeupandsmelltheinnovation.com/blog/changing-organizational-culture-six-focus-areas/#.ViR2xmhZS2c

  • Adeleke October 19, 2015  

    ADELEKE DADA (SOMERVILLE)
    1. REASON TO INNOVATE
    CURRENT LEVEL 1 TO REACH DESIRED LEVEL 5
    As an individual I have handled various levels of responsibility in my previous job in my country Nigeria, I should have taken on the spot decisions and also well thought through decisions at some point. At various points rather than exploring innovative ideas which could have reduced variable cost and in some situations opened avenues for new business opportunities, I rather found myself holding unto existing processes or past actions which have because norms in some cases. Looking back with some regrets for not providing innovate services/programs for clients which I remember a particular competing organization kept doing with good results in there financials.
    As an individual the same way it applies to organizations who are not innovate you would not stand out and potentials of losing ground to your peers who are more creative and clearly innovate is a key differentiation between an exceptional employee and other employees. A creative mind is always aware of trends and competition, which drives him to make the best of his available opportunity and is constantly thinking of new opportunities that would increase profit level and also cut down on cost. In the present day where perfect competition is the reality in the financial sector developing a unique selling point which clients general would pay once they get value. A typical example when my former employers customized clients ATM cards based on request with their favorite sport outfit logo a lot of new customers opened bank account based on that innovation.
    Noting the implication of not having an innovative mind and risk inherent of it to the individual, it is necessitated with points stated below for me to practices it;
    -I should update and engage myself with trends that grow my knowledge base for example reading relevant document that exhibit best practices in the sector, constant training and seminars to mention a few.
    -Optimize resources available to help discover potential opportunities that would exist.-Identify strong areas of skill and develop to the highest level which is creating a niche for myself.

    https://www.business.qld.gov.au/business/business-improvement/becoming-innovative-business/why-business-innovation-important

  • achowdary2016 October 19, 2015  

    Anusha Chowdary Tripuraneni
    MIM
    Charlestown
    New Product Development
    Individual Innovation Assessment.

    Thirdly, I would like to improve myself in prioritizing concept. Current level is 3(I select concept based on market attractiveness and actionability informed by qualitative data and quantitative data) and desired level is 4 (I want to select a concept based on passion and market attractiveness ).

    Rationale: This has been an issue to me since my bachelors because I was staying in hostel which gave me more freedom as I was away from home I became a slacker started to put things to the last minute. Each and every day I think I will prioritize my work but I always postpone it. There are some days where I prioritized my work but I didn’t implement it.

    Why Prioritize is required?
    1. Make best use of constrained resources
    2. Improve speed and agility of decision-making process
    3. Brings order to chaos
    4. Reduces organizational stress
    5. Legitimate way to say “no”
    6. Heart of Strategic Management

    http://svpma.org/eventarchives/SVPMA-04-2009-Prioritize_Your_Products-Michael_Menard.pdf

    This article explains in detail how to prioritize the products within and across strategic business units

    http://www.projectconnections.com/knowhow/burning-questions/how-to-organize-and-prioritize-business-rules.html

    This article explains how to prioritize business concepts/rules. I realised the importance of prioritizing in business along with the life. When we value more the business goal, the more valuable the corresponding business rule becomes. Organizing the rules by concept will remind us the state of rules with their associated concepts. For example, we can group all of the business rules about customers, orders, etc.

    After doing a lot of research on prioritizing apart from the business concepts I have gone through the articles which focused on the emphasis of prioritizing time and work. I have gained confidence hence, from now on I start and continue further to organize my time and work.

  • achowdary2016 October 19, 2015  

    Anusha Chowdary Tripuraneni
    MIM
    Charlestown
    New Product Development
    Individual Innovation Assessment.

    Second area of improvement is on drive concept to launch/commercialization. Current level is 2(I know how to develop a key element in a business case) and desired level is 4(I want to learn how to do pilots and develop the fastest, lowest cost and low risk implementation plan).

    Rationale: Till now I did not get a chance to launch a concept or commercial into the market. Hence I have very limited knowledge in this field but further I would definitely put all my efforts to enhance my knowledge.

    http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/what-are-the-most-effective-approaches-to-drive-an-innovation-pipeline/
    The above article give the views of various people on the best processes and tools to put in place to drive innovation across the enterprise from concept to customer. One of the best methods of idea management is to create an online, web-based system for the input of ideas and concepts across the entire organization.

    Overall idea of the article is that it says be clear about where you want to innovate, recognizing that one stage and gate process is not sufficient for innovation, and IT tools are great enablers for connecting to other processes and to people but these systems and tools need to be supported by a strategic vision, resources, organizations and a culture that runs with the ideas.

    In future while working on commercial I would keep in mind the above stated ideas and implement it cautiously.

  • achowdary2016 October 19, 2015  

    Anusha Chowdary Tripuraneni
    MIM
    Charlestown
    New Product Development
    Individual Innovation Assessment.

    Firstly, I need improvement in developing tactics for innovation projects. Current level is 2 (I know how to identify the key certainties of the concept and do some preliminary testing) and I want to improve to level 4 (I want to know which key uncertainties I should work on first and able to do low cost fast experiments to get a better understanding of the value proposition).

    Rationale: Lack of experience and no exposure working on the real projects.

    I started my career as business analyst for Managed Market Services team at IMS HEALTH. I just worked for eight months and the time I joined the company it was peak period for that quarter. Therefore initially for a month I was busy in understanding the process of what actually our team does and how to handle the software tools. Later on I understood that our team helps pharmaceutical manufacturers to develop contracts and pricing strategies, manage contracts and adjudicate contract discounts and rebates and deliver advanced analytics that drive actionable insights across all managed markets. I use to deal with managing the contracts, adjudicate contract discounts and rebates.

    When I am serving my notice period a new rule has been implemented i.e. our team has decided to spend an hour every week discussing the ideas employees have and the best idea(helps in increasing the productivity of the team/company) will be executed offering the employee a hike of 5% as a token of appreciation.

    As I am from a pharmacy background I have a vague idea on business strategies, tactics. Since now I am here at “HULT” I will learn the fundamentals of business from scratch. I understood that tactics play a vital role for the growth of the company from this article http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies and innovation is a continuous process with new options. For me to involve in developing tactics for an organisation I need to be a part of the company for a long time (minimum a year) as it takes time for a person to understand the process and develop tactics and implement it at a right time. Hope I get a chance in future to work on low cost fast experiments and prove my expertise.

  • bsaha2016 October 19, 2015  

    Area of Improvement 3 (Drive Concepts to Launch):

    My current level is ‘2’, but I need to reach the desired level ‘5’ in this area.
    The reason I scored my current level ‘2’ in this area is because last month when I participated in the Binnovative Business Plan Competition for Santouka Hokkaido Ramen on how they can expand their business in Boston, I suggested them to do the pilot with Food truck on different important places of Boston before opening a new store. But I missed to highlight the Japanese culture in my presentation and hence they rejected the proposal for the reason.

    Reference link for improvements:
    http://articles.bplans.com/one-thing-write-business-plan/

    To pitch a perfect business plan and before implementation you need to put yourself on other shoes. Understand what your client/customer wants and implement it accordingly. Before taking the final decision I will proactively do the Q&A, so that I can figure out the problem from the queries and figure out the solutions.

  • bsaha2016 October 19, 2015  

    Area of Improvement 2 (More and Better Dots):

    My current level is ‘2’, but my desired level is to reach ‘5’ in this area.
    The reason I scored my current level ‘2’ in this area is because in my previous company I used to work on different brand tracking projects of FMCG goods in Bangladesh. But to lead the company I need to know the world, need to know the industries and need to know all the disciplines and hence I need to improve in this area.

    Reference link for improvements:
    http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/blogs/blogpost/2094/Connecting_the_Dots_Why_Innovation_is_about_Finding_Relationships_between_Old_Ideas

    According to the above link I need to work on different teams to expand my knowledge. To maximize performance I need to focus on-
    1. Need to go on rotation to understand different teams and their projects.
    2. Need to search for new solutions with the team members to make it more impactful.
    3. Always need to query to gain better insights.
    4. Need to connect with people from different industry to know about them.

  • bsaha2016 October 19, 2015  

    Area of Improvement 1 (Reason to Innovate):

    My current level is ‘3’, but my desired level is to reach ‘5’ in this area.
    The reason I scored my current level ‘3’ in this area is because previously I used to work for a market research agency in Bangladesh where we had an orthodox culture. Over there sometimes we used to receive some regionally but small and limited budget projects, and the company wants the fixed margin from every project. Last year I received a similar project like this and was not sure what to do.

    Reference link for improvements:
    (https://hbr.org/2015/04/the-5-requirements-of-a-truly-innovative-company)

    By taking the helps from the article I came up with the following suggestions to get rid of the situation-
    1. Need to discuss with my top management on their expectation to set my goals for this type of project.
    2. Can discuss with the data collection team if they are open to do the training on webinar, rather than arranging central briefing to leverage embedded competencies and assets.
    3. I would like to suggest them that not to follow the orthodox culture rather cultivating intrapreneurship in the company so that we all can develop.

  • Jiajun October 19, 2015  

    Jiajun Cheng
    MIM Somerville

    1. Types of Innovation Projects (current 3 – expected 4)

    At first, I did not understand what exactly the types of innovation projects means. I did not work for any company in a long period of time. But just some short internships. When I was doing the internship in China Merchants Bank. I realized when people processing some different types of innovation projects, other people who in basic positions can not participate in it. Base on this situation, I did not have much experience of working innovation projects.

    (https://innoverendondernemen.be/english/innovationproject)
    The article mentions that three different forms of innovation projects which are In-company project, Team project and Start-up project.

    After clicking all the degrees of its description, I found it is more like a plan and it is better for us to set all the works in advance. We can consider and collect information from all types of direction and organization. Recently I’ve witnessed a innovation tournament which holds in Harvard. It is a really good experience for those people who like myself. I would love to join in such a great tournament or game like that hereafter.

    2. Connect Dots (current 2 – expected 4)

    I’m good at brainstorming. Especially when discussing in a good atmosphere, I can spark tons of ideas with my group mates. But once after getting home or being alone, I can not draw those thoughts into a good picture. Seems like losing some inspiration or even ability.

    (http://www.harvardbusiness.org/blog/connecting-dots)
    The article talks about the kids’ game called “connect the dots”. Business and life itself is made up of a series of dots that appear so discrete and disparate.  Very often, instances, cues, actions, suggestions, choices, decisions and others appear so unconnected

    I think the solution from the article is very vivid. The dots we brainstorming about gave us a roughly framework. But like sculpture, it could be a variety of type. Then we are gonna image and carve into the delicate one which like our final edited project.

    3. Get Resources (current 3 – expected 5)

    I consider myself into having good sense of getting resource people. In my daily life, I can handle my life well such as looking for a nice rental house or buying an used car in good condition. I just want to transfer that strong sense into my business work. Because I don’t have a long business career experience. Those networking or other types of business resources need to take some time to build it up. But some other people are getting more efficient to create a great one and I’m looking forward to catch up with those guys.

    (http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/getting-started)
    The article shows that some recent main types of social medias.

    The word ‘digital’ means more until today from the past. It is a trend and also mainstream value in marketing. More and more people are using digital products in their daily life. I’m sure that most of young guy access some digital products every easy. But how to make the same effort as young people among old folks is a good way to expand our digital market share.

  • moussa October 19, 2015  

    Moussa Darwish (MIM somerville)
    1. Area of improvement # 3: connecting dots
    2. examples of why i am lacking in that area:
    through my work, i can manage to make a decent non-linear and lateral connection in order to come up with a solution or a new idea,however i am still lacking on that area and cannot make the most of the signs available in front of me. one example would be (as stated in area of improvement #2)to actually order a huge quantity of a certain product without efficiently forecasting that demand would drop due to regular trends and habits of the market.
    3. how i can improve:
    being arrogant about this only made me blind to the clear situation that was available in from of me.
    creating a reliable database is the best way to actually be more aware of the small signs around you is by following a set of steps that would create a strong data base which will be a reference point for collecting the information needed then the time of action comes.
    being clear on what i am looking for, being aware of the patterns of the customers, and taking into consideration the demands of the those customers (if one was not satisfied with a certain product, take his opinion into consideration and try to make life easier for him by creating some kind of compensation service if possible)
    related article: https://hbr.org/2010/01/eight-steps-to-connecting-the

  • yanming331 October 19, 2015  

    Ming Yan
    MIM – Somerville

    I need improve my “drive concept to launch” area. I have never driven any new concept into the real business world. The only thing I know is that I should do the advertising for my new product or service. But I do not know how make the concept into a product or service. The article “8 WAYS TO ESTABLISH AN INNOVATION CULTURE IN YOUR BUSINESS” tells that I need do a research at first. I can make collect the data and information from the custom on Internet. Then I will analysis the data to know the what the costumers will need. I will organize a team to make a new concept from the costumer need. I need the team make several solutions of new concept. Put all the solutions into the market and get feedback. Improve the original solutions and choose the best one of them. Do the advertising for the new solution.

    Reference:http://www.fastcompany.com/3044171/hit-the-ground-running/8-ways-to-establish-an-innovation-culture-in-your-business

  • moussa October 19, 2015  

    Moussa Darwish (MIM somerville)
    1. Area of improvement # 2: tactics for innovation projects.
    2. examples of why i am lacking in that area:
    Our company deals is a wholesale import and export company that deals with with groceries with long exp dates that we ship from the USA and from Europe. i always used to think that the best and most efficient way for us to be innovative was to introduce a limited “product” and distribute it across the local retailers. I was always aware of the uncertainties however sometimes the trials would not be cost effective, or positive results would be short lived since they would only be generated due to a buzz that we created.
    i remember one time we introduced a limited type of chocolate that was only produced once a year by the ferrero company, we created a PILOT and some kind of buzz about the product and we distributed a pallet’s worth in the market. after having a positive response we ordered a huge quantity of that product while failing to realize that the item was only a success due to its “rarety”. We were hence overstocked on the item and had to cut prices to get rid of it.
    3. ways to improve myself:
    I think the major flaw in our scheme was that we were short sighted, although we knew the limitations of the product itself, I never stopped to consider the problem in our strategy due to the fact that it always used to work. I realize now is that in order to get long-term success I shouldn’t focus on short term benefits. I should instead invest more time in creating an innovative strategy. A newer way of operating things within the company.
    related article: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/10/19/strategic-vs-tactical-innovation-learn-how-to-get-the-balance-right-2/

  • Giovanna October 19, 2015  

    Giovanna Nardelli- MIM Somerville

    My third improvement skill is about driving concept to launch (present score: 2,3 wanted: 5). The innovation field were always a little abstract to me, I’ve always been told and taught but I have the feeling that even if I know some innovation concepts, it is hard to know if what I am doing is innovative and the results that my innovative actions have reached. In a very practical and simple way, the article states that:
    The most successful growth companies adopt at least four best practices:
    Find the next S-curve
    Lean on customers
    Think like a designer
    Lead the way

    The article’s recommendation are useful and simple, every employee or entrepreneur should learn with it. I will be able to apply it for my next job, being on track of competitors doing a continuous trend process, always be concerned to understand what my company’s customer needs and wants, chase a “design thinking” methodology and keep tracking the market, the company`s and competitors innovation and performance, having a good background to be able to suggest the company to take risks, achieving bigger opportunities for the business and for my career.

    http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies

  • varunsheth4 October 19, 2015  

    Varun Sheth (MIM –Charlestown)

    1st Area of improvement- Align Stakeholders (current score- 2 , Future score- 5)

    After completing my under-graduation I was working in my family business which is manufacturing of orthopaedic implants. My major areas of responsibility were operations and International business development. It is a private limited company so we did not have any external stakeholders hence I do not have a prior experience of working with shareholders.

    http://theindependentsconsultant.com/blog/why-stakeholder-alignment-so-important-and-how-achieve-it/

    I found this article very interesting because they have mentioned who are stakeholders, how their alignment is important for the company and how to align them using six simple steps. In future whenever I’ll work on any group projects in Hult or in future, This article will be helpful. In future, Whenever I will work for big organization where shareholders are involved it would be easy for me to act accordingly and I’ll be able to do my duties efficiently. I learned that we should always focus on what stakeholders needs and how to make them happy all the time so their interest stays in the company. By innovating new product, services or processes in the company the stakeholders are always ready to invest.

    Varun Sheth (MIM –Charlestown)

    2nd Area of improvement- Think and act differently (current score- 3 , Future score- 5)

    My role and duties were limited, when I was working in a particular department of my company. Therefore I did not have an access to the information of other departments. I did not have a holistic view of the organization which lead to very departmental oriented solutions. My exposure was restricted.

    I found this article very interesting http://www.creativecorporateculture.com/creativity-exercises-improve-lateral-thinking/

    This article talks about different exercises to improve lateral thinking. Lateral thinking is a creative way of thinking to solve any problem. There are 14 different exercises you can do to improve lateral thinking. The most important and useful exercise is six hats of Edward de Bono. He talks about six different hats which defines various attitudes or roles to solve any problems. I came to know about how people think and act differently in a particular situation. This will help me to read my group members who will be working with me on different projects round the year.

    Varun Sheth (MIM –Charlestown)

    3rd Area of improvement- Connect dots (current score- 3 , Future score- 5)

    I have never been able to connect the problems with the visible solutions even though I had resources. I had this situation when I was working in operations. I got the order from overseas and I had to execute the order as soon as possible but was unable to find the best available resource to utilise. I lack this skill because sometimes I focus only on one goal and forget everything else.

    I would recommend this article http://www.yentha.com/news/view/4/Book-Review-Connecting-The-Dots-Of-Entrepreneurship because we all can relate to those stories as mostly all come from diversified backgrounds. I would also recommend a book “Connect the Dots: The Inspiring Stories of 20 Entrepreneurs Without an MBA who Dared to Find Their Own Path” by Rashmi Bansal. This book helped me in past. The book consists of different stories of Indian entrepreneurs who did not have an MBA degree but had skills of seeing what is around them and creating a business out of it. All the stories are very inspiring as the entrepreneurs are from small cities in India. It taught me how you should look around and grab opportunities which are unseen to others. In book author talks about how person can be successful by using things around them. The book is divided into three parts people who learnt business by observation and experimentation, passionate for an idea and creativity with entrepreneurship. This book would widen my horizon of thinking and would help me to think while working on group projects in Hult as well as in future.

  • Giovanna October 19, 2015  

    Giovanna Nardelli- MIM Somerville

    My second field of improvement is regarding “types of innovation projects” (present score: 2,6, wanted: 5). I really need to improve this skill, sometimes I was used to a previous learned framework/layout/type always thinking in the same way about how to plan, execute and measure a project. According to the article there are 4 types of project innovation: “breakthrough, sustaining, new market, disruptive”. As the article states, the first one is the common sense definition of innovative strategy, being something huge and new, the article shows that even if this is the most “wanted” project it was not made for everybody because it has many limitations. The second is basically increasing adding new possibilities to a already launched product/service, New market is not just what the name suggests but it is discovering another possibility to improve a already launched product/service. Disruptive is an intentional strategy to reach other and different types of targets. This recommendations are important to apply in my in-company task in group, because I will be able to think about all the kinds of innovation and not me stuck in the “common” concepts because every innovation is valid for a certain case, strategy, target and company. That way, will be better to recognize which type of project innovation the company really needs.

    Link: http://www.theinnovativemanager.com/the-four-types-of-innovation-and-the-strategic-choices-each-one-represents/

  • yanming331 October 19, 2015  

    Ming Yan
    MIM – Somerville

    I want improve my “build team and network” area. I do not have any experience of building a team. If I need build a team now to finish a project, I know what kind of skill or knowledge my team members should have. But I do not know where to find them and how to select the people I can work with at all. After I read the article “8 Tips for Hiring the Right Person for the Job”, I understood how to build a team. At first, I should check the professional network web sites, such as LinkedIn. I will find many people who has the skill or knowledge I need. Then I will send them E-mails to tell what our team’s goal is. Next, I will check the social media who are interested in our project. I need find out what kind people they are. Social intelligence is more important than the skills for me to build a team. I need every my team member work well with the others. Finally, I will talk to they face to face. I ask them questions to make sure they are who I need. Also let them ask me questions to know better about our project.

    http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7155-startup-hiring-tips.html

  • moussa October 19, 2015  

    Moussa Darwish (MIM somerville)
    1. Area of improvement # 1: Build teams and networks
    2. examples of why i am lacking in that area:
    upon graduation and getting my BA in marketing from my college, I was left jobless for a period of about a year and a few months. After assessing my options, I decided to pursue my own path and devote myself to create a career for myself, hence I decided with the help of my father to establish our own import/export business. However, since I lacked a decent corporate experience I had a hard time putting together a good team to work with me, to be honest I never valued the true burden of finding the right individuals for the team, I mean I knew the competencies that were needed but I had a hard time putting all of that together, so I kept dealing with bad combinations of people. The truck driver and the sales executive would constantly be at each other’s necks arguing about the loading time and destinations. I would constantly be arguing with either financial auditor of the company due to his constant tardiness and lack of follow-up with the data base administrator and the cash register’s closing and opening sheets. their performance was clearly not satisfactory but i would choose to be patient since i never knew how to gather up a better team.
    3. how i can improve:
    In the article “eight ways to build collaborative teams” the author identifies 8 ways that are essential for a team to exist, however most and foremost he mentions that teams “are less likely to say that they “sink or swim” together, want one another to succeed, or view their goals as compatible.” So I realize that in order for a team to be in sync together all members need to understand what they are working for precisely also while reading the article I realized that my team members never actually got to socialize with one another, instead of seeing each other as comrades with similar goals they see each other as workers with tittles.
    reference article:
    https://hbr.org/2007/11/eight-ways-to-build-collaborative-teams

  • sophiestucke October 19, 2015  

    3. Innovation focus Areas
    In my old job I often found that only because something has always been done a certain way in my company I assumed that this was the right way to do it. However, I actually just struggled to see that there would be a more efficient way to do it. I really want to improve on this and to develop a better eye for how to make processes more efficient and products more innovative. Although I can name a few examples for this in my previous jobs, one of them would be that every Sunday my team and I had to send a detailed marketing report to our client so they would have it ready for their trade meeting on Monday. Writing this report was very time consuming and could take up to 8 hours work. I was never questioning that there could be a better way to do this but my manager eventually redesigned the report and added automated tables, cutting the time it took to write it in half, whilst also making it easier for the client to read. My goal in the product development module is to acquire this eye for innovation and to also apply this to marketing. This article exemplifies the need for innovation in order for a company to stay current and is a reminder that if I fail to identify areas to innovate my company will lose my competitive edge (https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-ways-to-be-more-innovative-at-work-no-matter-what-you-do).

    A key take away is that rather than accepting that something should be run the way its currently run to get into the habit of innovative thinking and being. Next time I encounter something that needs innovating I will let myself feel the frustration. This will challenge me to think about this problem more creatively and overcome this limitation. The article gives different examples on how companies find creative and cost effective ways to overcome money constraints and other limitations. I have found these examples inspiring and will think about this article and recall the phrase used ‘a beautiful constraint’ which to me summarizes the challenge but also effectiveness of when challenging something that needs to be innovated.

  • sophiestucke October 19, 2015  

    2. Drive concept to launch
    Especially when working for big corporate companies it is often difficult and a time consuming process to drive a new project to launch. In my old job as a paid search analyst I worked for a traditional retailer where new marketing campaigns had to be approved by management in different departments, often making quick decision making to react to the new market trends impossible.
    However I realize that it is my responsibility as the service provider to provide the client with a comprehensive marketing strategy to make the decisions making process easier on their side. Due to my limited experience in the marketing industry creating and presenting a well thought out marketing strategy is something I realize I need to improve. I know that a more profound understanding on customer behavior will help me provide better marketing strategies to my client and figure out what products would appeal to my client’s customer base. I have found this article by the Fastcompany (http://www.fastcompany.com/1829483/8-ways-ensure-your-new-product-launch-succeeds) helpful because it outlines how understanding the customer is crucial and provides guide lines on how to successfully launch a product. I will be able to apply these thoughts in future when I have to provide a marketing strategy, either at my time at Hult throughout the year or working in marketing.

  • sophiestucke October 19, 2015  

    1. Think and act differently
    In my previous job I often felt like I was stuck in a routine and I was not motivated enough to think outside of the box. I was working as a paid search analyst, which was a very analytical role and involved working toward a strict ROAS target for a very demanding client. As this client was very corporate it was often difficult to get suggested changes, such as new and innovative online marketing campaign launches, approved, and if so, it would take some time. This often made it easier to just stick to old techniques if they were successful and ‘working well’ and I wasn’t motivated to think differently. In fact, I think I have generally found it easy to become stuck in a routine in past jobs. Especially in media, where clients often change agencies, it is important to provide new and different ideas to have a competitive edge. The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving which means I have to be very conscious about constantly learning about new digital developments so I can make my agency stand out from the rest. The new product development module has already started teaching me how to think and act differently and made me more aware of this. This article (http://garlicmediagroup.com/marketing-and-thinking-outside-the-box/) summarizes the issue where it is often easy for agencies to get caught up thinking about ROI targets and to think that this new idea they have thought of might be bad for the brand, and it suggests just to ask yourself ‘Why? What makes this idea bad?’- and not just to immediately neglect the thought. I think this is a really helpful take away and I am going to be asking myself this question before I neglect an idea next time. This method will allow me to define the limitations and make it easier to evaluate how far I can push this idea.

  • Allison October 19, 2015  

    Allison Rojas (Charlestown)

    The three areas where I need improvement are:
    1. Driving concept to launch (current score: 1, future score: 5)
    2. Aligning stakeholders (current score: 1, future score: 5)
    3. Getting “more and better dots” (current score: 2, future score: 5)

    1. My first area of improvement is in driving concept to launch in which my current score was at one, and my future score at five. At the moment, I lack in the area of driving concept to launch because of my lack of skills in the field of marketing. My undergraduate was in the Liberal Arts field and I have not had a first hand experience in driving a concept to launch. I do not lack in drive or ideas, but I do lack in the knowledge of what the process is like and how to go about it.
    In an article posted on Hubspot’s Blog (http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/elements-flawless-product-launch-li), it is laid out for us the fourteen essential elements of a successful product launch. What I derived from this article is that the process between developing a concept and bringing it to a launch is very detailed and one that requires a lot of research, teamwork, and overall effort. I’m a very detailed-oriented person, so I know that I’ll be improving my score by implementing the fourteen elements in future projects.

    2. My second area of improvement is in aligning stakeholders with my current score at one, and my future score at 5. To be honest, I had no idea what this was referring to. I know what stakeholders are, but I was unsure as to what it meant to align them and how it contributes to the efficiency of a company. I believe that this, too, stems back to my lack of experience in the field of marketing.
    In this article (http://www.alliance1.org/visionary-leadership/blog/aligning-your-stakeholders-achieve-your-strategic-vision) I found a good definition of what it means to align stakeholders in a company. In my experience I have always tried to keep all members involved on the same page and will continue to do so in the future. One way I can improve on this is ensuring that I make my vision clear. I know that I have trouble communicating my ideas sometimes and that can interfere with aligning future stakeholders.

    3. Lastly, I need improving in the area of getting “more and better dots.” My current score is two, and my future score is five. Culturally, I have a great global understanding. However, having only worked in retail up until now, I still lack an understanding of the business and marketing world, especially on a global level.
    This article posted on the Forbes website (http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanmcglade/2014/12/18/5-myths-about-asian-startups-the-importance-of-a-global-perspective/) uses Asian start-up companies as a perfect example on why having a global perspective is important. By having a global perspective, we are better able to understand a marker that we would potentially enter. In order to better my score, I will make use of websites, such as Forbes, in order to learn more about potential markets I will work in.

  • akshaymittal4176 October 19, 2015  

    Akshay Mittal
    MIM Somerville
    Area of improvement – Get Resources

    I need to improve in the area of get resources. I am able to allocate the resources properly as I lack knowledge in this field. Proper allocation of resources is very important in every industry because if we over order or under order the product, the company will end up losing its cost, so its very important for to learn how to allocate the resources and to use them efficiently. Efficient use of resources is also important as sometimes it leads to wastage of money and resources for the company.

    Reference: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joeltrammell/2013/06/18/the-resource-allocation-dilemma-faced-by-ceos-every-single-day/

    After reading this article I got to know about major points that I should keep in mind while allocating the resources:
    • Framing the Problem – In this one have to figure out the problem before taking any action.
    • Know your Financial Goals – In this one should know their financial budgets and constraints.

  • Giovanna October 19, 2015  

    Giovanna Nardelli- MIM Somerville

    The first skill to be improved is about tactics for innovation products (wanted score: 5, present score: 2,3).
    I am a really “service-driven” person, for me it is much easier to innovate in services than products, in my last company my main duty was to sale products and services, I`ve always felt really hard to be on track of products trends because the changing pace is very fast, every day a new product is developed with new options and features. A few times, when I explained my company`s products distinctions and features, some clients caught me on surprise saying that this resource had already been launched by another competitor. “A comprehensive product innovation strategy must include, among other elements, clearly defined objectives and defined strategic areas of focus; it must have a widely understood role in broader business goal.” (Cooper & Edget & IRI,2010). According to the article, companies that do a complete product study “roadmap are likely to be more successful than those that does not invest in aligning the business goals with the product and technology development. I learned that whatever your product is or will become, you need to do every step thinking about reaching the company’s strategy, so you have to think outside your work field and have a strategic perception. I think this is very useful to me, since I was always nervous about not reaching the client`s and the company expectations when it is a product concern, I was very attached to prove to everyone that my company’s product was the best, but now I know that the product is just the consequence of a very thoughtful strategy. This new perspective will certainly help me with my group works at Hult, since I will always try to think beyond the final result (product, paper assignment) and try to innovate in the previous process of building the strategy.

    Link: http://www.bobcooper.ca/images/files/articles/4/1-Developing-a-Product-Innovation-&-Technology-Strategy-for-Your-Business.pdf

  • yanming331 October 19, 2015  

    Ming Yan
    MIM – Somerville

    I need improve my “think and act differently” area. I used to work and learn individually in China. After I started studying in Hult International Business School, I understood how important the teamwork was. But I still did not know how to be a good team member. When I met my team mates at first time, I did not know what to say and how to behave. In the first and second team meeting, I did nothing but smiled. Smiling was the only way for me to show friendly. I know I am good at logical thinking. But sometimes people do not accept my opinion even it is right. After reading the article “Steps to Building an Effective Team” I found on the Internet, I decide to change the way of speak. I should be sensitive to other team members’ moods and feelings. At the next team meeting, I will try to say “that is a good idea”, “Great ” or “Awesome” after others say their ideas. Say “Right. Is there another possibility of …”, if I disagree this opinion. Everyone needs the recognition. The other team mates will be glad to share their ideas.

    Reference:http://hrweb.berkeley.edu/guides/managing-hr/interaction/team-building/steps

  • akshaymittal4176 October 19, 2015  

    Akshay Mittal
    MIM Somerville
    Area of improvement – Drive concept to launch

    A product is a backbone of the company. As a marketer one should have a deep knowledge about the product. In India I have worked in a company as an intern, which needs product innovation in their business but I wasn’t able to help them in this as I was lacking knowledge about the new product development. They need to introduce a new product in order to hike profits and expand their business.

    Reference – https://blog.kissmetrics.com/product-launch-strategies/

    After reading this article I got to know about major points that I should keep in mind while thinking of new product:
    • Put the focus on the people, not the product.
    • Get opinion leaders on-board early.
    • Be revolutionary.
    • Turn your product launch into an event.
    • Take pre-orders.
    • Release a product your customers will want to show off.
    • Draw out the suspense for as long as you can.
    Now I can suggest them with new product line which they can implement in their company.

  • Sahil October 19, 2015  

    Sahil Kaila
    MIM-Somerville
    Area of improvement: Innovation focus areas (Current:3, Desired:5)

    3) There are so many areas which can be innovated. The problem is to decide which areas to innovate in order to get more productivity and advantage over competition. I personally never experienced any sought of process which involves innovation, but in coming years, as a marketing student, it is very important for me to understand this concept. My family business is manufacturing and supply of agrochemical products in few states of India. Learning about the areas which I can focus on, will help increase the profits for my company/business.

    Reference: http://cerasis.com/2014/07/24/innovation-in-manufacturing/

    Adam Robinson wrote this article on “focus to Achieve Real Innovation in Manufacturing”. In this article he talks about the areas in which organisation should work towards. There are various processes which I can follow to increase efficiency of my firm.

    • Identifying the focus area.
    • Implement a continuous improvement culture.
    • Innovate in operational productivity by implementing various methods such as kaizen, six sigma etc.
    • The creation of cross-functional “innovation teams” in each region of the operation.

    In my family business I can try to minimize the current cost of manufacturing and supply by removing the errors and innovate the current processes.

  • Sahil October 19, 2015  

    Sahil Kaila
    MIM-Somerville
    Area of improvement: Think and act differently (Current:3, Desired:5)

    Every company, now a days is coming up with something different, something new that I have never heard before. For example: Amazon; buying the stuff online 20 years back was like a myth and now eCommerce market is increasing more than 19% every year all over the world (Source: http://www.cpcstrategy.com/blog/2013/08/ecommerce-infographic/). I am a person who has lots of ideas, different thought but I don’t know how to put them in action. In India, I worked in farm equipment sector for a company and I came up with an idea of giving tractors on rent to the customers who can’t afford to buy them. I was pretty sure about my idea because a survey showed us the figures that more than 60% of the farmers can’t afford to purchase a tractor so they rent from their neighbors and family friends in an unorganized way. In the end I wasn’t able to convince my senior for the project.

    Reference: http://www.jobdig.com/articles/856/Think_Differently._Act_Differently._Get_Hired..html

    Kevin Donlin, in this article says “No matter what the news is, good or bad, every company wants to increase revenues and profits. To increase profits and market share every company needs to come up with something new and different every year. The reason why I wasn’t able to convince my senior for the project because I was focusing on the idea, not the figures or percentage of revenue this project could generate.

    From this article I understood all that counts is the ability to do following things:
    • Choose a specific job you want to do.
    • Meet with a hiring authority and explain the benefits of the project.
    • Demonstrate exactly how much money you can make or save for them.
    • What are the future implications for this project?

    I learnt, one should have a problem solving approach rather than having just problem identifying approach. Unless I show them how much worth and beneficial this project could be for your company, no one is going to entertain this idea.

  • Sahil October 19, 2015  

    Sahil Kaila
    MIM-Somerville
    Areas of improvement : Build teams and networks ( Current: 3, Desired: 5)
    With a great team, greater effectiveness and productivity of work can be achieved. Team building is the important tool of every business in order to grow quickly. I personally believe that I perform best when it comes to the individual tasks but I get frustrated when working in a team or group because every individual have different opinions and attitude. In 2014, I was working for Mahindra & Mahindra and I led a project called “custom hiring” for 3 months in a team of four. I couldn’t give the appropriate results because what I thought was a perfect plan wasn’t followed by my team. I was not able to cope up with my team members’ decisions. I wasn’t able to understand their strengths and weaknesses and couldn’t acknowledge their working behavior.

    Reference – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rosalind-cardinal/5-steps-to-building-an-effective-team_b_7132406.html

    I read this article on “ways to build an effective team” by ‘Rosalind Cardinal’ and found very important and helpful for me in order to overcome my weaknesses in team building and networking. The most important strengths for a team to be successful are trust and relationship. A leader should guide the path to reach the particular goal. Instead of delegating tasks, give your team open-ended projects and allow them to determine the best solution. This will encourage them to cooperate and develop problem solving skills. I wasn’t able to cope up with my team because I wasn’t able to establish the relationship with each of my team member. Team can only perform best when everyone shares the information with each other and help everyone to grow so that the team could grow and achieve the goal.
    In future I will focus on the things that author mentioned in that article and stick to the ground rules and involve all the team member in every major or minor decisions to be taken.

  • hilda October 19, 2015  

    Hilda M. Velez
    MIM- Charlestown (Current Level – 1; Desired Level – 5)

    First Area of ​​Improvement: Drive Concept to Launch

    As part of my BA, I did several team projects where we had to develop marketing strategies addressing different issues for real clients. Most of the time, the team hard work was reflected in the interest of the client to implement our recommendations and on several occasions we thought about creating our own consulting company. We had initiative, enthusiasm and good ideas but never found a way to shape the services we wanted to offer. Every day we see how great ideas are lost because people do not know how to develop a good launch strategy. I wanna be part of something big in the future so learning how to go from concept to commercialisation is an aspect I want to improve. In my search for an article on how to improve my skills I found:

    Launching Your Product: Seven Marketing ‘Musts’

    http://www.marketingprofs.com/6/dwyer2.asp

    Gwyneth Dwyer published her own list of things people should do before launching a product or service.

    1. Secure a great name
    2. Nail down the “what is it?” description
    3. Establish a strong visual identity
    4. Insist on effective creative
    5. Promote in multiple channels
    6. Tier your message
    7. Collaborate from the get-go

    Basically, the article states that before any launch the idea must be well organized, clear and precise. “Make sure the name is memorable, relevant, and easy to pronounce it. (In other words, if you see it, you should be able to say it. If you hear it, you should be able to spell it.)” The lack of logical order makes good proposals fail. Now I have a clearer structure and understanding of the importance of mindful brainstorming. Dwyver suggests things in a simple way, somehow we already knew this steps but we tend to overlook. For example, before any launching event for a product, it is mandatory to perform a pilot test. Despite of what we did, we could have taken at least one client to see if the concept we had in mind could work. Regardless of the final outcome, pilots are the best way to evaluate performance and check every single detail before going public. Finally, the last three points are the fun part of the process, advertising and promotion executions. Once the idea is clear, organized and tested then it is time to design strategies to promote and spread the message.

    It is always about the teamwork.
    “Product launches are multi-staged processes that requires lots of players, planning, and teamwork. To achieve the maximum marketing effect, get your team working together launch AT LEAST six months before your launch date. “

  • rainbowlovecat October 19, 2015  

    Yi Hung
    Drive concept to launch
    When I come out the new idea. I am excited to share it. But I usually give up or the idea do not people want. For example, the family business is about faucet. They ask me how to improve marketing share. I said you can attend the red spot to win the prize then you can use this prize to catch more customers eyes. They liked this idea so much. However their boss said it cost too much money and they do not have design apartment.
    According to Paxton Kelly (http://www.prbythebook.com/5-tips-to-launch-your-big-idea/) I did to understand customer first, then gave them fit suggestions. Therefore, I have to more confident and believe myself.
    Audience: know who’s problem you’re trying to solve. Define your primary and secondary targets, and maintain that narrow focus.
    Yourself: what are you doing well and what are you known for? Believe in your voice and allow others to see that confidence. You’re an expert after all!

  • Hani Hasan October 19, 2015  

    Hani Hasan Bajamal ( Charlestown cohort )

    1st area of improvement: Build team and Network (3 : 5)
    4 Years ago I had to assemble a team from my company to work hand in hand with the Indonesian government and Pertamina (Indonesian state-Owned oil & gas corporation) for kerosene to LPG conversion program that will convert more than 700.000 Household in 4 locations in Sulawesi area. Although we did a good job and it’s a successful program, but I felt that we could have achieved more if each of us shares more ideas, so I pushed them to be more creative on solving the problem that facing us, by doing so, I makes them defensive and less creative, because they are not used to openly express their ideas. Basically I expected everyone in my team member to be an extrovert, but according to the article “10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Build and Manage Great Teams” by Jeff Haden, that in order to have a great team we need to have both extroverts and introverts in the team because it will give the team a balance that they need and moreover, introverts is proven to be a very critical component for the team. on the same article I also learn that a team need a good “non-work communication” between them, so they will not value others “as just cogs in the machine.”
    http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/10-scientifically-proven-ways-to-build-and-manage-great-teams-wed.html
    After reading the article above, now I know how to get the best out of a team with introvert in it. I have to get to know them outside the work environment and gain their trust outside the working situation so it makes them easy to express their idea because they feel close to each other and secure.

    2nd area of improvement: tactic for innovation project (3:5)
    In my professional career, I often had to face the choice between continue doing things as the way it work or to innovate and find new way of doing it or even create something that totally new. I believe that a company have to innovate to survive, but on the other hand, it makes me little bit hesitate to innovate and go on the extra mile when everything is working well. On the article “innovation strategy: 4 key tactics of top growth companies.“ by Dave Power , the author said that “unless the CEO makes innovation a priority, it won’t happen.” And “The best growth companies create a culture of innovation.” that statement hooked my attention and gave me more courage on taking the risk and always try new approach and idea even though things are working just fine.
    http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies

    3rd area of improvement: connecting the dots (3:5)
    Since early age, I always want to become an entrepreneur who can create something new and unique that can generates a lot of money. Although I ended up being an entrepreneur, until today I still can’t invent something like I always wanted to because in my mind I kept on thinking that in order to have a great product or service, I have to come up with a brilliant idea that never exist before. However, Belle Beth Cooper in his article “THE SECRET TO CREATIVITY, INTELLIGENCE, AND SCIENTIFIC THINKING.” Said that “being able to make connections between ideas and knowledge we hold in our memories can help us to think more creatively and produce higher quality work.” And he also said that “nothing is original.” those two statement gave me a new perspective, that great products are builds on something that actually exist before, and our jobs is to come up with the experience that we had and incorporate that with something that is exist in the market and make it even better.
    http://www.fastcompany.com/3031994/the-future-of-work/the-secret-to-creativity-intelligence-and-scientific-thinking

  • Hani Hasan October 19, 2015  

    1st area of improvement: Build team and Network (3 : 5)
    4 Years ago I had to assemble a team from my company to work hand in hand with the Indonesian government and Pertamina (Indonesian state-Owned oil & gas corporation) for kerosene to LPG conversion program that will convert more than 700.000 Household in 4 locations in Sulawesi area. Although we did a good job and it’s a successful program, but I felt that we could have achieved more if each of us shares more ideas, so I pushed them to be more creative on solving the problem that facing us, by doing so, I makes them defensive and less creative, because they are not used to openly express their ideas. Basically I expected everyone in my team member to be an extrovert, but according to the article “10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Build and Manage Great Teams” by Jeff Haden, that in order to have a great team we need to have both extroverts and introverts in the team because it will give the team a balance that they need and moreover, introverts is proven to be a very critical component for the team. on the same article I also learn that a team need a good “non-work communication” between them, so they will not value others “as just cogs in the machine.”
    http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/10-scientifically-proven-ways-to-build-and-manage-great-teams-wed.html
    After reading the article above, now I know how to get the best out of a team with introvert in it. I have to get to know them outside the work environment and gain their trust outside the working situation so it makes them easy to express their idea because they feel close to each other and secure.

    2nd area of improvement: tactic for innovation project (3:5)
    In my professional career, I often had to face the choice between continue doing things as the way it work or to innovate and find new way of doing it or even create something that totally new. I believe that a company have to innovate to survive, but on the other hand, it makes me little bit hesitate to innovate and go on the extra mile when everything is working well. On the article “innovation strategy: 4 key tactics of top growth companies.“ by Dave Power , the author said that “unless the CEO makes innovation a priority, it won’t happen.” And “The best growth companies create a culture of innovation.” that statement hooked my attention and gave me more courage on taking the risk and always try new approach and idea even though things are working just fine.
    http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies

    3rd area of improvement: connecting the dots
    Since early age, I always want to become an entrepreneur who can create something new and unique that can generates a lot of money. Although I ended up being an entrepreneur, until today I still can’t invent something like I always wanted to because in my mind I kept on thinking that in order to have a great product or service, I have to come up with a brilliant idea that never exist before. However, Belle Beth Cooper in his article “THE SECRET TO CREATIVITY, INTELLIGENCE, AND SCIENTIFIC THINKING.” Said that “being able to make connections between ideas and knowledge we hold in our memories can help us to think more creatively and produce higher quality work.” And he also said that “nothing is original.” those two statement gave me a new perspective, that great products are builds on something that actually exist before, and our jobs is to come up with the experience that we had and incorporate that with something that is exist in the market and make it even better.
    http://www.fastcompany.com/3031994/the-future-of-work/the-secret-to-creativity-intelligence-and-scientific-thinking

  • Kuan-ting October 19, 2015  

    Kuan-ting Lin (Charlestown)
     
    The first area I need to improve is “Prioritize Concepts” (current score 2; future score 5).
    To discover market trend and develop market expansion is really important for the prioritize concepts. However, human always have their sense of subjectivity that might confuse people turn to wrong way. For example, Nokia didn’t develop smartphone technology as early as they can because Nokia was to confidence to notice the importance of innovation at that time.
    In term of the website” Using Critical Path Analysis to Prioritize Projects
    ” by Monique Renault, he mentions that Lean Six Sigma that can help to research in an objectivity and efficient way:
    1. Creating a Project Prioritization Matrix
    2. Right-sizing the Project
    3. Performing Critical Path Analysis
    In addition, a baseline of past activities and outcomes should contain the following three elements of information:
    4. A list of all activities required to complete the overall outcome
    5. The start and end time of each activity
    6. The dependencies between the activities
    I believe this tool can help me a lot when I need to research some situation in the future.

    Website:
    http://www.isixsigma.com/implementation/project-selection-tracking/using-critical-path-analysis-prioritize-projects/
     
    The second area I need to improve is “Types of Innovation Projects” (current score 2; future score 5)
    The sufficient work-experience can help people to widen theirs vision but I didn’t have any work experience before, I figure out this is why I am lack sense of types of innovation projects. In fact, I have lots of ideas in my mind. For example, I have several new concept ideas for creating new applications and new types of technology restaurant. However, I just write down my Ideas in my notebook and do not make the ideas come true. Therefore, I think I am lack of some basic way to follow to distinguish my types of innovation projects.
    In term of “8 ways to establish an innovation culture in your business “by Faisal Hoque, the article mentions that becoming innovation is a process not immediately happen. People should always look for a long-term goal and set different terms of goals for innovational project. Moreover, an organization is essential for a long-term goal. There are eight ways:
    1. Listen
    2. Understand
    3. Organize
    4. Create
    5. Experiment
    6. Listen again
    7. Design
    8. Implement
    Apparently, my innovation currently pauses at the step four, I need to move to step five “Experiment” in order to test whether my idea works or not. At the same time, I also need to start to establish my goal for my project. I look forward to follow the steps of the article in the future.

    Website:
    http://www.fastcompany.com/3044171/hit-the-ground-running/8-ways-to-establish-an-innovation-culture-in-your-business
     
     
     
    The last area I need to improve is “Build Teams and Networks” (current score 3; future \score 5)
    I always hold a strong self-confidence. When I did teamwork in the university, if there is no one proposes a good idea to defeat my idea and persuade me, I would do my individual work in order to prove my accuracy.
     In term of the article” how to build a teamwork culture” by Susan M. Heathfield, to make teamwork happen, these powerful actions must occur.
    1. Executive leaders communicate the clear expectation that teamwork and collaboration are expected.
    2. Executives model teamwork in their interaction with each other and the rest of the organization.
    3. The organization members talk about and identify the value of a teamwork culture.
    4. Teamwork is rewarded and recognized.
    5. Important stories and folklore that people discuss within the company emphasize teamwork.
    6. The performance management system places emphasis and value on teamwork.

    This article sounds really useful for the international students who have diverse cultures need to work together. It may help to make team work efficient in the future.
    Website:
    http://humanresources.about.com/od/involvementteams/a/team_culture.htm
     

  • Diana October 19, 2015  

    Diana Kolusheva, Somerville

    My third area of improvement is Drive Concept to Launch (current – 2; desired – 5).

    As for me, this is the most difficult part of any project. First of all, it requires good strategy and tactics and I am not very good in tactics as discussed in previous paragraph. Second, to drive concept to launch, one should possess good decision-making and leadership skills and I due to my little experience I did not have a chance to develop these skills to advanced level.

    The article “How to Launch a New Product” by Entrepreneurial Insights suggests a number of tips to use when you are responsible for launching a product (I believe these tips can be referred not only to products, but to any concepts). http://www.entrepreneurial-insights.com/how-to-launch-new-product/

    While the article is very informative and can be used for repetitive reference, I will mention the main takeaway – we should never stop working – that is before the launch, during the planning stage, during execution process, and after the launch. Before the launch it is very important to evaluate external and internal environment of the company, the market and the product itself. That should be followed by thorough planning including development of competitive position, targeting, and marketing strategy. It is necessary to promote beforehand and offer pre-launch trials to key people, be always social and creative, develop positive image of your innovation and build good communication. I would like to emphasize the point that promotion and communication should not stop after the launch, even it can become stronger to maintain and track the opinion about your product. I think I will return to this article in future when I will be working in innovative projects.

  • Diana October 19, 2015  

    Diana Kolusheva, Somerville

    My second area of improvement is Tactics for Innovation Project (current – 2; desired – 5).

    Since I have neither led innovation projects nor even participated in them, I have little idea of the tactics required. I understand that I may have a great idea, but it would be very difficult for me to develop a strategy and tactics to implement it.

    I found the article “Sustaining Innovation Tactics That Work in Any Industry” by Brian O’Connor very useful. http://www.business2community.com/business-innovation/sustaining-innovation-tactics-work-industry-01163855#dJDQj8MZemDsYgcG.97

    Though it may seem rather general as it does not provide any specific suggestions, it can serve as a general guide to develop tactics. The author recommends to follow three simple steps for sustaining innovation. First, we should think about the issue, not the solution. It means that research should be conducted in order to identify problems and bottlenecks before coming up with the decision. Second, the relevant data should be collected. Finally, we should not be too optimistic about the project. The best action would be to develop a realistic plan. When I will be responsible for innovation projects, I will try to follow the above mentioned suggestions since I find them very reasonable.

  • Diana October 19, 2015  

    Diana Kolusheva, Somerville

    My first area of improvement is Innovation Focus Areas (current – 2; desired – 5).

    I have very limited work experience and I believe that is the reason I still do not know in which sphere I want to work. Therefore, I am not sure where I should innovate. I realize the importance of innovation for companies; however, I think I need better understanding of industry and market to find areas for innovation focus.

    I wish to refer to the article by Jeffrey Phillips (OVO Innovation) “Where to Focus Your Innovation Effort”. http://innovateonpurpose.blogspot.com/2015/05/where-to-focus-your-innovation-effort.html

    The article identifies several key innovation focus areas, such as “saving time, reducing complexity, simplifying usage, improving customer experience, improving usability or design to create intuitive solutions, integrating disparate but dependent activities”. Most of all I like the metaphor used by the author. He compares the above mentioned areas with illnesses while all other aspects with symptoms and argues that only “illnesses” deserve much attention. Another good point is that the final outcome of innovation and its benefit for company or customers matters, not the new product itself. I am convinced that this argument is very important since we (people) tend to turn on the heat to create something incredible though it is not always meaningful. This article helped me to get the idea which areas deserve my attention and how to differentiate important points from minor one.

  • Bunkhachon October 19, 2015  

    Bunkhachon Srisawat
    Somerville MIM

    Area of improvement:

    Tactics for innovation projects

    From my background, I started with a company that innovative ideas came from creative teams or hired a creative agency to do the jobs. In addition, when I moved to my second company, the innovation projects were still for the solo group of managers. Those experiences made me lack of the tactics for innovation projects or inspiring ideas. I kept myself in the same thinking box. I generally thought that ideas from my junior colleagues were useless and never listened to them. It was difficult for me to buy new ideas that did not have research support.

    I found this article “Innovation is Everyone’s job.” I am sure that the article will help improving my tactics for innovation projects. The article suggests that an organization should not depend on exclusive people to come up with innovations, opposite, we should create the culture that encourage everyone to innovate. In addition, the article suggests that company should create a culture of innovation in order to empower employers to think innovative and make the innovation become everyone’s job.

    I totally agree with the article and will apply to my future career. I will follow the three basic advices in order to create innovation culture and help me think out of box.
    First, I will identify and implement some immediate innovation in my team such as team dinner and team movie. Second, once my team become confidence that their ideas can really happen, I will share more works with them and work together with them to identify innovations. Third, I will maintain an innovation culture and keep that atmosphere in order to inspire my team to develop and find a new idea. If I can create culture of innovation as the recommendations above, I am sure that my future team can become great inventors and create new revenues for company.

    Reference: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ronashkenas/2012/10/31/innovation-is-everyones-job/

  • Bunkhachon October 19, 2015  

    Bunkhachon Srisawat
    Somerville MIM

    Area of improvement:

    Drive Concept to launch

    From individual assessment, the result shows that I have lacked of “Dive concept to launch” which makes me realize my experience when I worked as marketing support at Beiersdorf (Thailand) three years ago. At that time we needed to launch a new product line which we called “Innovative Products.” The products were Pure &Natural Facial Care. This project was not successful. The product’s concept itself was very strong and new for market, but we failed in marketing. We sold only in exclusive stores targeting high income customers. In addition, we promoted mainly on online channels. We created a big online campaign to support the launch. At the end, we were far from the KPI that we expected. I think we targeted the wrong group of customers and we focused on the wrong channels. I was sure that the products themselves had potential since the healthy and organic trend was there. Therefore, it might be something during the process went wrong. From that experience, I am honestly afraid of creating an innovative product because I know that I lack of skill to drive a new concept to successful launch.

    “14 essential elements of flawless launch” is the article that give me good tips of how to launch successful products. From the article, there are 14 recommendations that marketers should concern before launch new products. According to my experience at Beiersdorf as I mentioned above, I think if my team followed the recommendations from the article, the innovation project would not had failed. Therefore, I will apply these recommendations to my future career. Here’s the three priorities that I will keep in mind before launching new products. First, I will be more crystal clear about buyer persona. Second, I will run a sales test on the new products. Third, I will make sure my launch is customer-focused.

    Reference: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/elements-flawless-product-launch-li

  • Bunkhachon October 19, 2015  

    Bunkhachon Srisawat
    Somerville MIM

    Area of improvement:

    Team Building and Networking

    I think I lack of the team building and networking because I do not trust in team members and I do not find networking beneficial for me. For instance, last year my company launched the new campaign. We expected the campaign to gain double sales in one month.
    The marketing director came up with the very creative idea but I personally thought it was a little bit too crazy and not going to be able to drive sales as much as we expected. When it came to meeting, I felt myself invisible in a room because I did not trust his ideas. I felt separated from the team and did not feel engaged with this campaign. I did only my own tasks. Therefore, I realize that mistrust ruined my teamwork skill. In addition, I lack of networking skill because I generally think it is not necessary for me to build a network. Last year, I skipped many networking events which could be a very helpful source for me to gain knowledge and meet new people. In that time, I thought that I did not have my own business yet therefore I do not need networks. Also I did not look for a new job so I did not want to find any new opportunities. In previous year, although I went to some networking events, I just went straight to see only some people who could give me benefits or worked in the same area of mine. Those attitudes closed doors of new opportunities and stopped me to learn a new thing.

    I came across this article “Building trust inside your team.” The article suggests that trust is the key element to build a good team, without trust, you cannot accomplish the goal of your team. Also the article gives basic tips for building trust in a team by showing good examples to teammates and encouraging team members to share personal life. This article is very useful for me. I am sure that I will apply the tips in order to build up my future team. I will trust more on my teammates, show a good example to my team and share more on personal life with them.

    In addition, I found another article “How to network the right way: Eight tips” and it changed my attitude of networking. The article encourages people to start networking before we need it, not network just because looking for a new job or looking for our own benefits. Opposite, we should be friendly, honest, generosity and open. we probably can be connections for the people who may be able to help each other. And one day, these people will remember us and eventually help us in somehow. From the article, I learn that the true network occurs when people enjoy each other and see each other in the room which has equal value. My attitude of networking is changing now. Next time, I will start going to networking events by asking myself “How can I help?” instead of “What will I get.” And I will join more networking events since I see that it should be built before I actually need it.

    Reference1: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/building-trust-team.htm

    Reference 2: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2014/07/28/how-to-network-the-right-way-eight-tips/

  • cmendez2016 October 19, 2015  

    MIM Somerville 2016
    No. 3
    Area of improvement: Reason to Innovate (Current: 2, Desired 5)

    I wouldn’t consider myself a person that doesn’t believe in innovation, I deeply believe that in order to thrive you have to embrace and lead change. But in my professional experience I found myself being skeptical about this concept. My former job was in the Wine and Spirits Industry and the R&D team was focusing in innovating with Ready-To-Drink products, since I heard there was this project I thought of it as a total failure because the Mexican market was not ready to embrace this drinking category. As I guessed, the launch of the product was a complete failure, we spent a lot of money with the launch plan and failed to meet the budget during two consecutive years. So this made me think, is there always a need to innovate?

    Chad Brooks wrote Innovation: Key to Successful Business, in his article he gives the results of a study by Accenture which reveals that more than 90% of executives believe that the ability of a company to survive resides on the ability to develop new ideas.

    I always thought of innovation as a breakthrough idea. Something that would totally change the path of the company and something that needed to be an explosion when entering the market. But in this article, the author succeeds to explain there are different types of innovation, such as: Open, Disruptive, Reverse, Incremental and Breakthrough.

    Reading this made me realize that in order to be in the game you always need to embrace change. And that there a lot of ways to do it, you do not need to have a breakthrough idea, you can start by having a small idea and the increment it with time. One day this small innovation that you slowly started building, one day will have been the key to game changing and could put you in top of the pyramid.

    Reference: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5167-innovation.html

  • ROSA VERONICA October 19, 2015  

    3. Veronica Cruz
    MIM – Somerville
    Finally, my third area of improvement is to Prioritize Concepts (Current Score: 3, Desired: 5)
    I consider myself to be a creative individual and that it’s my competitive advantage. But with that creativity comes a slight difficulty to organize my ideas and being able to prioritize them in order to be more productive. A clear example was when I was working as a Sales and Marketing Manager for a peruvian hospitality company. I used to have many responsibilities and had a lot of ideas on how to get better results for the company but I realized it was hard for me to efficiently prioritize in order to deliver better results.

    Reference article: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229069

    I found this article very useful because it gave me clear points on how to easily prioritize when making business decisions:
    • Consider the objectives and choose the idea that matches them best.
    • Identify the path of the business.
    • Focus on the strongest idea (most innovative and that will provide more sustainable competitive advantages)
    I plan on participating on the Hult Prize competition this year and I will definitely apply this recommendations when deciding on our business idea to find the most innovative idea that could make us this year’s winners.

  • vagrawal2016 October 19, 2015  

    Vishal Agrawal
    MIM Charlestown
    October 18, 2015

    3.Drive Concept to Launch (Current Score 2; Future Score 5)

    My third area for improvement is Drive Concept to Launch. When I was a trainee, I never had a chance to launch new product. Usually, I was assigned with tea-tasting tasks and come up with different tea blends.

    Reference article: http://pragmaticmarketing.com/resources/6-secrets-of-a-winning-product-launch

    This article provides with 6 secrets for an effective product launch:

    1. Matching Product Capabilities to Market Needs
    2. Clear Positioning and Messaging
    3. Setting Clear Launch Goals
    4. The Power of Leverage
    5. Priming the Pump
    6. Timing the Launch to Maximize Sales

    This article helped me understood various concepts behind product launch. Firstly, a product should meet the needs of the targeted market. It should be clearly positioned. Consumers should be made well aware of the benefits and capabilities of the product. Then, one should set up clear goals for the product and define measures to compare its efficiency. It suggests the using the Power of Leverage in the successful launch of a product. It helps in promoting the product and getting the customers know about the new product. Then it suggests priming the pump. It means creating demand for the product and making the product available to the consumer. Lastly, it says timing plays a key role in the launch of a product in order to maximize sales. In my future career, I will definitely use these suggestions.

  • rainbowlovecat October 19, 2015  

    Yi Hung
    Prioritize concepts
    I worked in business company before, and my boss gave me a lot of work. I have the problem with the prioritize because she always wanted me her paper after 3 hours. However the problem was I had so many thing need to do, not just hers then I did hers first. When I finish my works usually 8 p.m.
    According to Frances Booth (http://www.forbes.com/sites/francesbooth/2014/08/28/30-time-management-tips/) Here said “End your working day at a fixed time. Don’t let work creep to fill your entire evening. You can also have two finishing times. One for an ideal day, and one latest time that you won’t work past.” I think I will use this rule at my next job.
    After read this article, I know more skill to manage work time and what thing need to do first.

  • alejandra.delahoz89 October 19, 2015  

    3. How to align stakeholders: It is sometimes difficult for me to truly interact and get to know people from other areas different from mine at work and unluckily I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the times in the past years it has been due to lack of interest. I do not say this in a proud way but I wasn’t aware of how important networking with other areas from the company different from the one you working is, because in order to grow inside a company and to solve problems you must keep in touch constantly with as much people from the company as possible. And if you get to know them and show interest in them it will be much more probable that they will be willing to help you out when needed.
    Browsing through the net I came across an article that was very helpful for tips regarding this matter (https://www.hr.cornell.edu/life/career/stakeholder_alignment.html). It states the importance of getting to know the people in your organization in order to create better and more productive teams, with the stakeholder alignment model which consists of overlapping customer, employee and CEO, then realizing that groups and individuals have expectations and finally make sure each employee commits to the values of the company.
    I think this model could help when shared with the individuals of the company to see in general where people are standing and what can be done in order to align them in case of a bad result and steer them in the right direction, or continue using the same strategy in case of a bad result.
    With this model and looking at the results I could get a fuller perspective of how my fellow colleagues feel and learn to interact with them more and become more empathetic with them.

  • alejandra.delahoz89 October 18, 2015  

    2. Prioritize Concepts: I’ve come to realize that in general I’m a much more qualitative rather than quantitative analyst person. Therefore it is difficult for me to learn to prioritize concepts basing my ranking of importance on quantitative data.
    In my job before coming here, what I struggled with the most regarding this issue was defining which package should we give more importance to regarding the volume share it was reaching in the market at the moment.
    In the article I found (http://www.isixsigma.com/implementation/project-selection-tracking/using-critical-path-analysis-prioritize-projects/) it suggests that when in doubt of not knowing what to prioritize, what could come in handy is a prioritization matrix listing all the priorities, how long it would take to do them, effort and benefit outcomes and when they’re due for. What I came up with in order to include the quantitative date from the company would be to add another column to the matrix and write down how the product is doing in the market YTD so that way, a conclusion on how to prioritize can be drawn more easily.

  • alejandra.delahoz89 October 18, 2015  

    1. Connect Dots: This was one of my lowest ranked abilities because I sometimes have a hard time getting a good view of the entire picture and therefore connecting the dots from other areas that aren’t exactly obvious. This is why I sometimes made linear assumptions and created obvious concepts as opposed to creative and new ones.
    In my job I struggled a little matching things from other areas and coming up with solutions when the problem involved not only the marketing area or was not only a marketing problem. i.e. sales, distribution, etc.
    With the help from my boss I started becoming better at this and looking the unobvious facts but I think I still have a long way to go in this area.
    I found an excellent article from Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanhall/2012/07/10/how-to-create-a-world-class-business-idea-in-six-easy-steps/2/), suggesting 6 easy steps on how to create a top of the line business idea and one of the steps was connecting the dots. It says that in order to do so, one must take into consideration and context the full background of the situation and be meticulous about details. Always looking for “clues” that could help reach a concrete and well backed up conclusion.
    Another helpful recommendation was to always create different hypothesis of the “dot connection” to see which fits better to the problem or situation being researched. That way, you’ll be able to pick and choose which is the idea or concept that best matches.

  • alican_gulal October 18, 2015  

    Alican Gulal / Charlestown

    3-Tactics for Innovation Projects

    I am really struggling with this topic as well because creating a project for a new product or service is completely a big question mark in my brain. If it is about an existing product or service it may easier. In my point of view, innovation is interpret future needs and apply your plans successfully. Applying innovation to projects or finding innovation projects seems complicated to my own. But i keen on to work for it and improve it. Because as a future International Marketing Alumni, i am aware of the situation that how crucial for a marketer to find innovation in the businesses and projects.

    according to the Research of Cognizant Business Consulting;

    there are 5 ways to generate tactics for innovation projects:

    these are;
    -Internal Collaboration System
    -Encourage Customer Inputs
    -Social Media
    -Exchange ideas with other companies
    – Crowd Sourcing

    I will use this recommendations in my professional work life; i took this article and saved it. When i will be in the field i will use each and every single of them as possible.

    http://www.cognizant.com/SiteDocuments/Innovation-Beyond-the-Four-Walls.pdf

  • ROSA VERONICA October 18, 2015  

    2. Veronica Cruz
    MIM – Somerville
    My second area of improvement is to Think and Act Differently (Current Score: 3, Desired: 4)
    I consider that after many years working in big companies that have structured processes and ways of developing products, plans and strategies it became hard for me not just to “think outside the box” but to “throw away the box” and come up with completely new ideas. I do think that I have improved a little bit in that aspect during the past year after working at a smaller peruvian company that encouraged me to innovate but it’s an area that I want to get better at because it can be applied not only in my professional life but also in my personal life.

    Reference article: http://velvetchainsaw.com/2011/11/21/being-more-innovative-acting-thinking-differently/

    What I loved about this article is that the autor states that innovators can actually be made! I never thought it was possible. In order to start thinking and acting differently I will start taking more calculated risks as suggested in the article, and also developing my creativity and discovery skills by frequently wondering what the next trend or business opportunity is. In order to do that I plan on reading more business articles and being more informed and aware of the business changes that are constantly happening. I believe that by doing all this changes, eventually I will be able to come up with innovating ideas without effort.

  • ROSA VERONICA October 18, 2015  

    1. Veronica Cruz
    MIM – Somerville
    My first area of improvement is Tactics for Innovation Process (Current Score: 3, Desired: 4).
    Even though I’m an Industrial Engineer and I’ve been trained to constantly think of the best way to improve processes, after working for almost 8 years in Sales and Marketing in the corporate world it has become difficult for me to keep finding ways to innovate. I have experience in some multi-national companies (P&G, 3M and L’Oreal) that are known for being innovators but most of the time the peruvian team would only follow the HQ’s orders because it was “safe” and we would get good results anyways. There were very few times where managers would actually take risks. I think that’s why now it is hard for me to break that pattern and start innovating again.

    Reference article: http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies

    In the article, the tactic that I found the most useful to help me improve was to “Lead the way”. It was eye-opening to realize that in order to be the best in their fields, top company’s CEOs make innovation a priority and even award the employees that fail while trying to come up with revolutionary ideas. I plan on applying this mindset in my career from now on and not be afraid of making mistakes when coming up with new ideas that I truly believe will be benefitial for the company I’m in. For example, if I think that re branding a product in my portfolio will gain more market share by targeting a new market I will make sure that I present my project to my bosses without the fear of being turned down.

  • Kari October 18, 2015  

    Kari Wilson
    MIM – Somerville

    Area of Improvement: Tactics for innovation projects (Current level 2 – desired level 5)

    Examples of why I am lacking in this area:
    While I have played roles in the brainstorming ideas and planning how these ideas would be implemented, the company I worked for was not receptive to new innovative ideas. The culture didn’t allow for many new innovation ideas to be approved because we were a non-profit and on a strict budget. The organization had good intentions and as the marketing team we were asked to come up with new ideas (i.e. videos, museum exhibits, new fundraising strategies). However, when it came down to distributing budget money for the year, innovation was always last on the list. I can remember only a few of these ideas actually getting funded through completion.

    How I would improve:
    I would love to learn how to not only take ideas through to implementation and results, but also learn how to create an atmosphere that is receptive to innovation. One recommendation I would use from this article to improve my tactics for innovation projects is to lean more on the customer. This implies to really get to know your customers through surveys and other out of the box strategies so that when you are coming up with new ideas, you can be more confident that they will resonate with your audience. Another key insight is that innovation needs to be supported by the highest levels of the company. As a future manager, I would encourage my team to take risks and not be afraid of failure. By allowing team members the freedom to fail, you give them the capability to grow and do their best work. This strategy only works when management values innovation and also has a long term view when it comes to new ideas. These managers realize that new ideas can take time to become successful. I would also set aside some budget money specifically for new ideas to ensure that if a team comes up with a good idea, we will have the budget to fund it – including budget for testing and measuring results.

    http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies

  • emartinez2016 October 18, 2015  

    HULT International Business School | Boston, Massachusetts
    Master of International Marketing
    Somerville – Team 6
    Elizabeth Martinez Jorges

    New Product Development (Module A)
    Individual Innovation Assignment

    Area of Improvement #3: Drives Concept to Launch
    (Current Level = 1 >>> Desired Level = 5)

    The principal reason I wanted to study a Master of International Marketing was to learn something new, a new challenge in my live, understand the other face of the coin in a company, because in Supply Chain we really do not understand what Marketing and Sales does. And in one month of class I believe is a new ocean of knowledge that I had no idea.

    This is the principal reason I believe this is an area of improvement, because I don’t have any expertise in marketing and how to sell a product. Maybe in the different subjects of this Master I can use my knowledge in logistic, team work and management tools to improve my marketing skills, but right now I have to start from the basic and learn each day something new.

    When I think in how to drive a concept to launch, I believe there are different steps that we have to pass in order to achieve our goal, and to create or improve a product. This link explain different steps that we have to be aware of and the most important, that the process never ends. (http://www.rossla.org/article.html?aid=141).

    It refer that taking a new product to the market can be a great experience and I want to have that know-how in my professional life, the gratification that something new created by me and my Team is helping others improving their lives.

    One of the things I will do is save this article and when I have an idea to launch, be sure that I have a solid plan and re-read it to understand what is the next step I have to make, because this information makes me understand that a product launched is only the beginning of a road that never really ends and we have to enjoy the ride to be successful is the finish line.

  • JANKHANA October 18, 2015  

    Jankhana Gandhi
    Somerville Cohort

    (Type of Innovation Project currently 1 desired 5)
    First Area Of Improvement: As per my previous job experience with Tata Teleservices Ltd, I was a leader in Sales and Relationship management. I use new tactics for increasing the revenue and Sales of the company. In my profile I was not able to take initial step, when my seniors guided me to start moving I was following to the core .To start off with a new innovative idea was bit difficult for me.

    Second Area of Improvement: Prioritize Concepts
    Even though I have worked in services and sales industry, I need to learn to prioritize concepts. I work hard and sometimes really miss on important aspects of Business. As quoted by Steve Tobak, I need to learn how to prioritize work and make effective use of time, which is very important in every business. I can achieve my goal and be successful if I set priority in life.
    Reference: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231520

    Third Area Of Improvement: Drive Concept to Launch.
    (Currently 2.5 achieve 5)
    With my past experience I can easily make and set strategy for starting business, but I am not sure on launching. I have a fear of failure here, I feel if launched and will not run well in market. My name and brand will be affected and will face consequences and challenges. As explained in the article I need to learn to well plan and execute to avoid duplicity and to earn in the market.
    Reference: https://www.atkearney.com/communications-media-technology/ideas-insights/article/-/asset_publisher/LCcgOeS4t85g/content/the-pivotal-role-of-launch-management/10192

  • emartinez2016 October 18, 2015  

    HULT International Business School | Boston, Massachusetts
    Master of International Marketing
    Somerville – Team 6
    Elizabeth Martinez Jorges

    New Product Development (Module A)
    Individual Innovation Assignment

    Area of Improvement #2: Tactics for Innovation Projects
    (Current Level = 1 >>> Desired Level = 5)

    One of my projects in P&G when I was Transportation Manager for Venezuela, was working with sales in a different way to deliver our product to our customer. Because of the lack of truck part and freight increase we manage a new way to deliver our product, now our customers have to come to the different P&G Distribution Center in Venezuela with their trucks if they wanted the product and this means we didn’t pay the freight.

    This was a big change for everyone in the company, and one of our biggest challenge was to sell this idea to our customers and they had to believe it was a win-win approach. My team worked in the 80% of the idea and how each area was going to execute the assignment in the correct time and correct way. The only problem was that we didn’t have the skills to sell this to our customers because we only were working and thinking in our needs and problem and not in the customers. Because of that we had to give Sales the opportunity to explain the project to the customer and they were now the leaders of this innovation.

    This is why I believe right now I don’t have the tactics to sell an Innovation Project, I have to learn to think as a customer and be in the other person shoes to understand their problem and sell the project as a big solution for both. The following link (http://www.forbes.com/2008/09/29/small-business-marketing-ent-sales-cx_mf_0929innovativemarketing_slide.html) is an article that explain 12 Innovation Marketing Techniques, give examples and an estimated cost for each tactic.

    This information help me expand my vision on how I should sell my idea, my project and depending of what is my innovation I have 12 different options to work it. Furthermore, this is like a summary in how to increase my research and learn more in how my idea become a reality. Because I now understand introducing an innovation can be difficult, as Joel A. Baker (futurist, filmmaker and author. Executive instructor) said “Innovation is a 50/50 proposition, 50% is the idea and 50% is how you presented”.

  • Yu-Hsuan October 18, 2015  

    Yu-Hsuan Tsai (MIM-Somerville)
    3.Area of improvement: “Do I know the tactics for doing innovation projects?”
    Current score:2. Future score:5.
    This point refers to the fact that I know how to identify key uncertainties of a concept and that I know how to do some preliminary testing. This result is true because when I was working for a trade company in Taiwan, I knew there were some parts that my company could change to improve and have a chance to make a larger profit but, I did not know how to make the changes work. I am lacking in this particular area as I have no real experience with doing actual innovation projects.
    The following link offer us how to improve this: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2014/02/10/what-tools-do-i-need-to-be-an-innovator/
    1.Associating & Networking: learning to see connections between differing ideas and combining them together is an important lesson for me. In this year, I want to enhance my knowledge from different countries and cultures. Maybe I will gain some ideas for innovation.
    2.Questioning & Observation: Like my second part said, I want to have the curiosity of a kid. I have to keep letting myself ask “what if”, “why”, and “why not” questions in all situations. Try to observe people’s behavior.
    3.Experimenting: Do not be hesitant to participate in all events. This is a chance for me to learn from all types of situations. This also gives me a chance to learn from the people around me.

  • emartinez2016 October 18, 2015  

    HULT International Business School | Boston, Massachusetts
    Master of International Marketing
    Somerville – Team 6
    Elizabeth Martinez Jorges

    New Product Development (Module A)
    Individual Innovation Assignment

    Area of Improvement #1: Types of Innovation Projects
    (Current Level = 1 >>> Desired Level = 5)

    I have 4 years of experience in Logistics and I thought I didn’t have any innovation projects in my work, because for me it was something completely new and in my job I was doing a better process with less cost so next year we can have a smaller budget and increase the revenue of the company, this was the main reason I believe my level of knowledge was 1 in this area.

    The following link (http://global-innovation.net/innovation/Innovation_Definitions.pdf) helps me understand that innovation is not only the creation of something new, but also the improvement of a specific area. With this approach now I can believe I have a little knowledge about this important definition and how can not only focus in marketing but also in others areas.

    As well, through this paper I have learned that are different types of innovation. We have: Product Innovation, Process Innovation, Marketing Innovation and Organization Innovation. Based on the characteristics of the article I can infer that I have knowledge in Process Innovation that includes the use of different techniques, equipment or software. An example of this was my last role as Transportation Manager for Venezuela in P&G, because of the government problems and lack of inventory we have in the country we need to change our detergent sales techniques to our customers (Distributor, supermarkets, etc.). Before we negotiate the new order according to their inventories and sales potential path for the next 6 months. Now we work with production plan and in a multitasking Team -Plant, Distribution Center, Transportation-Customer Services and Sales- because we sell what has not yet been produce so our customers can assured product in their shelves for a few days. This is an Innovation Process that changes the way we work with our customers and sell our product.

    Now that I understand are different types of innovation, my next step will be improve my knowledge in Marketing Innovation. Understand how it’s aimed to the customer’s needs, opening new markets, etc. and in this section of innovation has sub types for working in a Project and how to achieve the common goal between the company and the customer. This will also help me increase my exposure when I have to give a new idea of innovation.

  • Filipe October 18, 2015  

    Filipe Freire / MIM / Somerville

    Individual Innovation Assessment

    1. “Align Stakeholders” (2 – 5)

    a. The alignment of stakeholders of both inside and outside the company is what drives organizations to either success or bankruptcy.
    In my last job I developed a new project for my company but I’ve failed in aligning as many inside stakeholders to my team as I wanted to. The project was a success but I could’ve done better in motivating people to work with me to achieve the organization’s goals. I think the reason that I fail in motivating people is for being a bit shy and conservative, but I’m willing to improve my skills as an entrepreneur to attract good people to work with me.
    b. According to the article “The Alignment Factor” (http://www.bi.edu/cccFiles/seminarer/RI_Magazine_main%20article.pdf) the alignment and stakeholder support are the most powerful tools any company can have in its operational arsenal, providing leverage that opens markets, sells products, and allows a business to thrive. The three alignment steps presented in this article are intelligence gathering, selecting the right roadmap, and benefiting from corporate storytelling.
    c. This is definitely a powerful asset to have when you are an entrepreneur especially because you need to attract great people to work for or with you but also to get support from outside stakeholders. I’ll start putting a lot of effort in this subject since I feel is my biggest weakness by practicing on regular days to speak in public with confidence and motivation. I will use these steps from the article to help me improve my skills as a manager to align better people around me to work within the company’s interests.

    2. “Tactics for Innovation Projects” (2 – 5)

    a. As we are always trying to innovate to be a step ahead of the competition we come across the tactics for implementation of a project. I’ve thought of many innovative projects to do professionally but I’ve never proceeded with my ideas because I’m not sure how to test it, or I’m not 100% sure that it is going to succeed. The problem starts when evaluating the project, the risks begin to appear and even though I know that that’s part of any project, the fear of failure takes control and I end up dropping the idea.
    b. The article (http://web.simmons.edu/~weigle/INNOVATION/Adner_2006_HBR.pdf) has helped me understand the process with innovative projects by showing me how to map my own innovation strategy. There are 7 steps to follow such as:
    1- Identify all the intermediaries that must adopt your innovation before it reaches the end customer.
    2- Identify all the complements required to move the offer forward to the end customer.
    3- Estimate the delays cause by your interdependence with your own complements
    4- Estimate the delays caused by the adoption process.
    5- Estimate the delays caused by the intermediaries.
    6- On the basis of those estimates, arrive at a time-to-market for your innovation.
    7- Reassess your initial performance expectations and innovation strategy.
    c. By mapping my innovation strategy I can have a clearer image of my idea or project. From now on, when scratching my project plan, I will make sure to follow these steps so I can have an in-depth look of my risks, by estimating and determining the delays, complements and intermediaries of a innovation strategy so the risks don’t interfere with my success.

    3. “More and Better Dots” (2 – 5)

    a. When I was 15 years old I had this new business idea that I thought it was brilliant. I got so excited to start my new business so I began searching for similar companies around my county and I started scratching my business plan. I presented my idea to my father for approval but he told me to keep searching and to keep gathering insights. It was then when I found out that there was an identical business in another state with the same company’s name of mine. I kept searching and I realized, after understanding all the data I’ve collected, that the business was not viable. It was better to make those mistakes on paper than in real life, if I’ve rushed myself and invested in a nonviable idea I would’ve lost a lot of money. That’s why gathering more and better dots when in position of making a important decision is so important.
    b. This article (http://amp.aom.org/content/20/1/104.short) explains how some entrepreneurs identify opportunities for new business ventures by using frameworks to connect the dots between the changes in technology, demographics, markets, government policies, and other factors, so they can acquire patterns recognition so they can have a better opportunity identification overview and insight.
    c. I find it very helpful to have a framework for identifying patterns and opportunities so I will start my own framework using my previous and current experience so that in the future I can be a better entrepreneur. Also I’ll make sure to include in my framework all the news and trends I learn nowadays so I can improve my patterns recognition.

  • Jiajun October 18, 2015  

    Jiajun Cheng
    MIM Somerville

    Types of Innovation Projects (current 3 – expected 4)

    At first, I did not understand what exactly the types of innovation projects means. I did not work for any company in a long period of time. But just some short internships. When I was doing the internship in China Merchants Bank. I realized when people processing some different types of innovation projects, other people who in basic positions can not participate in it. Base on this situation, I did not have much experience of working innovation projects.

    https://innoverendondernemen.be/english/innovationproject

    After clicking all the degrees of its description, I found it is more like a plan and it is better for us to set all the works in advance. We can consider and collect information from all types of direction and organization. Recently I’ve witnessed a innovation tournament which holds in Harvard. It is a really good experience for those people who like myself. I would love to join in such a great tournament or game like that hereafter.

  • sghanate2016 October 18, 2015  

    Shibani Ghanate
    MIM Charlestown

    This Individual Innovation Assessment has given me a brief insight. Even though I know I have to make a lot of improvements in all the focus areas, I am going to begin with the following three:

    1. Reasons to innovate
    Current Level – 2 Future Level – 4
    I think every person is involved in innovation through every day life just by figuring out how to get things done in a faster, simpler and cheaper way. In the past, however, I had never given much thought to how important it is from a business perspective. The first two sessions of New Product Development have been enlightening. Now I am curious and eager to deeply understand the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of innovation. The following link helps me further understand the urgency of the ‘innovation’ situation: https://strategymeetsaction.com/our-offerings/innovation/10-reasons-to-innovate-now/
    These may not be enough reasons to understand the depth of how important it is, but personally for me it begins to do the job. We have discussed a lot of similar reasons in the classroom but I need to cautiously train my head to constantly think innovatively because I realize now, how the world is hastily evolving. Through this year I plan to keep up with the market trends & business trends by reading and listening. I also want to challenge the way I think and work, to make situations easier and simpler for myself, my team or my classroom so I can adapt to the process of innovation at its very basic level.

    2. Building teams and networks
    Current level – 2 Future level – 5
    For me, this is the most important focus area of all in this assessment. At this moment, at the beginning of my career I need to know how to be an integral part of a team and how to understand and utilize the strengths of my team members and work with their weaknesses. In my previous job we had a huge team, each member coming from a different background and culture. But I could never tap into each one’s true potential because it was hard to slice my way through the language barrier and the understanding capability of each person. I also never had a vital need to develop networks so I barely made an effort to go forward and build profitable connections.
    The following article is refreshing and is completely in tune with what I think I should develop as a team member and a leader.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/10/01/6-ways-successful-teams-are-built-to-last/
    Glenn Llopis talks about creating an emotional connect with the team players so you know “exactly what buttons to push and when to push them”. A lot of leaders ignore it but more than being a manager I want to be a coach in a team to back one up and support his/her idea which builds an environment of positivity and motivation.
    He also says, “Team building requires the management of egos and their constant demands for attention and recognition – not always warranted.” Each person brings something valuable to the table, often we fail to recognize these values because the thought process does not match ours. Through this year I want to learn to work with patience, accept different views and build a ‘growth mindset’.

    3. Tactics for innovation projects.
    Current level – 1 Future level – 4
    I need to not just improve but learn the fundamentals of tactics used in innovation projects. Due to a minimum work experience, I have never been in a position where I needed to identify concepts, make value propositions and run tests. I believe I am in the right place to develop this skill with a fresh and open mind. Innovation is not just an idea but effective implementation of this idea which helps the business sustain and grow in revenue, customers, shareholders and quality of the employees. It is a slow process which faces more failures than successes but you never stop trying. The following article explains strategies for building innovation projects and what it takes to be an innovation leader
    https://www.atkearney.com/documents/10192/23b911ad-0067-4c30-8fc0-c57ac7d1eef5
    Key Takeaways:
    1.One of the most interesting tactic in this reading was ‘open innovation’ which means the company should not just restrict innovation to its R&D but ask its customers, external partners and networks what they think should be improved and how.
    2. From this article I learnt that as a Marketing Manager I need to be an innovation leader. I must know how to create a system that continuously monitors the marketplace, keeps track of the competition’s innovations, collects feedback in real time, analyzes the feedback, makes reports, takes corrective action and at the end, rewards new ideas.

  • Josef October 18, 2015  

    The third point I need to improve is “Build Teams and Networks”!
    Actual Level: 2
    Desired Level: 5
    The last year of my five years working experience were very special. I was responsible for a team of 5 people and all of them had been at the same career level before. The situation was not easy for me because of the close relationship combined with huge pressure for being successful with the team. As mentioned we had several problems but two of them effected our daily work seriously. One problem was that we were very good friends and missed sometimes to keep the focus. There was no structure in our team which helped us in stressful situations. This was the reason for why we did sometimes to much overtime to deliver the results within the agreed time. Another problem was that sometimes a team-member came to me and told me that I changed my attitude. I couldn’t understand him at that time.
    ARTICLE: http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/10/01/6-ways-successful-teams-are-built-to-last/
    This article provides a very structured approach how to build and lead successful teams. I want to point out three of the six ways which are described in the article to reflect my experiences. Firstly, it is highly recommended to structure your team and give everyone a clear profile and a role/position within the team. I missed this point, because of the existing relationship. Secondly, a leader should be aware of how he leads the team and how he acts. I thought I hadn’t change my style but when I look back I’ve realized that I changed it without knowing it. Thirdly, successful teams always celebrate their success. I have to say that I missed this aspect too often. This is a very important point because it gives the team the opportunity to load their batteries and is the perfect time to reflect the learnings of the project. I’ll use these three aspects to build and lead successful teams in future.

  • Kari October 18, 2015  

    Kari Wilson
    MIM – Somerville

    Area of Improvement – Drive concept to launch (current level: 2 – desired level: 5)

    Examples of why I am lacking in this area:
    While I have been through an informal innovation process that drove a concept to launch, this is an area I would like to improve. My team had an idea to place offer language on the back of a key program element that was purely informational. This was something that had never been done before and the team I was on was supposed to follow it through to completion. Because this was the first time we had ever done something of this scale at my organization, it was very informal and was a learn as you go type of experience. This resulted in many last minute add ons and meetings instead of following a detailed plan from the beginning.

    How I would improve:
    From this article, one thing that I would do differently next time is to include a “Project Champion” or someone who stays with the project from start to finish to keep the project on track and aligned with the goals. We did not have a consistent team when working on our innovation project. This meant we had to keep going over what we were supposed to be doing and slowed down the execution process. By appointing a “Project Champion” they can manage deadlines, manage roles and responsibilities of the team, and take ownership of the project from start to finish. Another recommendation I would implement would be to determine what the consumer would see as a success and then cater the product and messaging to them. It is easy to fall into the trap of doing what may be good for the company and forgetting about whether or not the consumer would respond to the idea. This could ultimately result in losing revenue and having the idea fail because the company was not listening to the consumer.

    http://www.thestrategydistillery.com/news/best-practices/high-scoring-innovation-concepts-fail-post-launch/

  • cmendez2016 October 18, 2015  

    Constanza Mendez
    MIM Somerville 2016
    No. 2
    Area of improvement: Drive Concept to Launch (Current: 1, Desired 4)

    I consider myself a very creative person, I am curious and I am attracted to new and innovative things all the time. Whenever I learn of some groundbreaking idea, I get excited and anxious to get involved. The problem is that this feeling and level of interest lasts a couple of days until I am looking for the next new thing. This phenomenon it is said to be the number one obstacle for driving a creative, innovative and possibly very successful concept to launch. I have struggled with this in various parts of my life, in my job I’ve come up with very creative and exciting ideas, but when a barrier comes up, I get disappointed and stop pursuing my idea.

    For example, in my former job I entered a competition about product development and won. Together with my team, we suggested to develop an energy drink concentrated in drops. B:oost is a very well known energy drink in Mexico, and we suggested to use its formula to create a dropper that when mixed with water would make a fresh made energy booster. Everybody loved the idea, but in order to develop it, we had to follow a complex process with various departments in the company. I immediately felt overwhelmed and bored and decided to drop the process.

    Scott Belsky has committed his professional life to training creative people to teach them how to push their ideas to completion. I found his approach to this matter very interesting, so I watched his Tedx Talk called Making Ideas Happen.

    His suggestion to effectively launch your wonderful idea summarizes in the following way:
    1. Make meetings with potential people involved in the project
    2. Take action steps to review during meetings
    3. At the end of the meeting capture following action steps
    4. Add dreamers, doers and incrementalists to your team
    5. Share and let share ideas liberally
    6. Fight your way to breakthroughs
    7. Don’t become burden by consensus
    8. Build an immune system for the team and trust it
    9. Seek people with initiative
    10. Gain confidence when being doubted

    What I found most interesting about this lecture is that you have to find people in your team that make up for your weaknesses. He mentions there are Dreamers, they come with ideas and are always up to the next thing; the Doers have their feet on the ground and settles the idea into reality; and the Incrementalists goes from dreamer to doer and balances the situation. I am more of a Dreamer, so from watching this I learned that surrounding myself with people that compensate me will always keep me confident and energetic to land my idea.

    Reference: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxPugetSound-Scott-Belsky-Mak;search%3Ascott%20belsky

  • cmendez2016 October 18, 2015  

    Constanza Mendez
    MIM Somerville 2016
    No. 1
    Area of improvement: Drive Concept to Launch (Current: 1, Desired 4)

    I consider myself a very creative person, I am curious and I am attracted to new and innovative things all the time. Whenever I learn of some groundbreaking idea, I get excited and anxious to get involved. The problem is that this feeling and level of interest lasts a couple of days until I am looking for the next new thing. This phenomenon it is said to be the number one obstacle for driving a creative, innovative and possibly very successful concept to launch. I have struggled with this in various parts of my life, in my job I’ve come up with very creative and exciting ideas, but when a barrier comes up, I get disappointed and stop pursuing my idea.

    For example, in my former job I entered a competition about product development and won. Together with my team, we suggested to develop an energy drink concentrated in drops. B:oost is a very well known energy drink in Mexico, and we suggested to use its formula to create a dropper that when mixed with water would make a fresh made energy booster. Everybody loved the idea, but in order to develop it, we had to follow a complex process with various departments in the company. I immediately felt overwhelmed and bored and decided to drop the process.

    Scott Belsky has committed his professional life to training creative people to teach them how to push their ideas to completion. I found his approach to this matter very interesting, so I watched his Tedx Talk called Making Ideas Happen.

    His suggestion to effectively launch your wonderful idea summarizes is the following way:
    1. Make meetings with potential people involved in the project
    2. Take action steps to review during meetings
    3. At the end of the meeting capture following action steps
    4. Add dreamers, doers and incrementalists to your team
    5. Share and let share ideas liberally
    6. Fight your way to breakthroughs
    7. Don’t become burden by consensus
    8. Build an immune system for the team and trust it
    9. Seek people with initiative
    10. Gain confidence when being doubted

    What I found most interesting about this lecture is that you have to find people in your team that make up for your weaknesses. He mentions there are Dreamers, they come with ideas and are always up to the next thing; the Doers have their feet on the ground and settles the idea into reality; and the Incrementalists goes from dreamer to doer and balances the situation. I am more of a Dreamer, so from watching this I learned that surrounding myself with people that compensate me will always keep me confident and energetic to land my idea.

    Reference: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxPugetSound-Scott-Belsky-Mak;search%3Ascott%20belsky

  • yatishshrimali October 18, 2015  

    Yatish Shrimali
    MIM,Somerville

    Area of Improvement – Build Team and Networks

    Throughout my work experience in my institute, we have tried a lot to build teams and creating strong network relationship. We neither succeed in it. We faced a lot of problem in creating a team. Students were having lot of issues in working together. Many of the conflicts occurs between students and it leads to disaster end of of many teams. The institutes’ management team tried to figure out the issues many times, but the result remains the same. We also tried to make them work with the different ideas and concept but it was also not helpful. Team building and networking Is all about exchanging the views and ideas. Meeting new people around and respecting the other culture.
    But now we have to improve more in this field because the world is becoming more global and wider. Now a day, its all about relationship building and networking.
    We are trying to build a mindset among the students that they will be working in the teams for all the semesters. They will be assign with different projects and group exercises, which they have to complete being in a team. We are also assigning different professors with different team so that it will be helpful for the students, they will get the perfect guidance and chances of conflicts will also decrease. We are trying to set up such team exercises and activities that students will feel like they are working in the real world. So that they will be strongly prepared for the real world. We are also organizing different Seminars and Presentations for the students and professors so that they will be motivated throughout the stream.
    We are also mixing the students among themselves throughout the course so that everyone will get chance to work with every student in the Institution.

    http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/02/04/networking-tips-for-college-success-how-to-build-relationships-and-land-a-great-job-after-college/

    This following link has provided me various solutions and ideas. It has guided me all the way to find innovative paths.

    http://www.hult.edu/

    Also “Hult International Business School” is also very inspirational for me. It sets a perfect example of team building, networking and creating relationship among students and professors.

  • pekkar October 18, 2015  

    Pekarevskaya Alexandra-Charlestown.
    3rd area of improvement: Build teams and networks
    When I decided to try myself as an event manager I faced a huge problem I never though I would have. I didn’t pay attention to the team I built to help me in this project and because of that my experience was unsuccessful. During the organization period I was very attentive to every details, including market situation, action place, finances and etc. but as I understood later I didn’t pay enough attention to people and didn’t match the positions I want them to take with their personalities. At that time each of us had studying so we couldn’t meet and discuss each issue, so I was dividing tasks between my team without discussions and meeting. After my preparation of the event was done I understood that we cant deal with our work and I decided to expand our team by hiring new team members for the most essential positions, promoters of the party. Other members of my team weren’t happy to work with them, because they were not enough responsible. Also my role division was not good enough, therefore my team wasn’t motivated to work with each other and my project didn’t perform successfully.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/06/07/five-ways-to-build-an-effective-team/

    From the article below I underlined many useful tips for my future experience. Moreover I understood what fatal mistakes I made in my previous projects. Now I clearly see the importance of teamwork and communication between each member. It is not enough to make your team know what to do and to control them. They also need to communicate between each other, be aware of each other achievements and problems. The most important thing I missed is the ability for the team members to correct each other, at least during meetings and brainstorms that I didn’t organized. It is very important to let your team work together and give them some power to be part of important decisions to avoid conflicts and prevent huge mistakes as I did.

  • Nicholas October 18, 2015  

    Nicholas Roughgarden ( Charlestown)
    Area of improvement #3- Align Stakeholders (Current 2 , Future 4)

    1.What area needs improvement?
    The last major area of improvement identified to me was how to align stakeholders. This concept is foreign to me in practice because without any real interactions with company stakeholders it is hard to draw the concept. This concept can be seen as quite difficult because it is not always clear to me how to align all stakeholders. When it comes to a concept like this you need to be able to identify multiple levels of this and I am not always good at this. It is not easy for me to please multiple people and it tends to be a struggle for me.

    2. Reference article.
    In the article written by Dennis Miller he explains the best ways to align your stakeholders. He states that the executive” has to act with three c’s : Courage, Confidence and competence (miller,2014)” This shows a clear way that a person needs to act. It is important that you show that your are confident in the decision that you make for the better of the group. It is to be said that if you do not show these people may question your decision making. He also talks about the company having a clear vision (Miller 2014). This is also very important to a company and getting everyone on the same page so that there is a meeting point and a clear understanding for everyone involved on where to start the basis of your alignment.

    reference article:http://www.alliance1.org/visionary-leadership/blog/aligning-your-stakeholders-achieve-your-strategic-vision

    3.how to improve:
    Using a clear vision from the beginning will be a great way to start the alignment of the stakeholders. Through establishing this it will help to make my job in aligning stakeholder a lot more seamless. Also, I will make sure to do everything with absolute confidence and show no indecision so that it is clear that what you decide is best for everyone who has stake. It is really important for me to be confident in everything I do and this is a big mental step in achieving this alignment. It is important that i believe in what i do and that i do not show any doubt.

  • Jessica October 18, 2015  

    Jessica Dungosintri (Charlestown)

    “Drive Concept to Launch” (current score is 3, future score is 5)

    My third and last area needed an improvement is “Drive Concept to Launch” (current score is 3, future score is 5). It’s hard to think and act differently from the pattern that already set, or maybe the fix mind set. I know sometimes where and what the innovation of the product is but the big problem that blocks me to be successfully innovative is how to make it successful in the market; what should be the concept and how to launch it. For example, I had a chance to join in the competition to create new marketing plan for a local shoe cleaner brand in my country. The product is innovative in term of quality and package but I found the difficulty to make the concept to attract the consumer and be successful in the real market.

    Link: https://hbr.org/2011/07/innovations-9-critical-success/

    After reading this article, having the great idea of innovation only is not enough. In order to make the concept to be success in the market, there are many components need to be considered and combined well together. The innovation I have learned in class is about creating new way to deliver value to the customers as well as capturing the value from it. Therefore, making innovation to be success in the market is beyond offering promises but it needs to make sure that the performance can satisfy the customer needs. Having clear picture of the future where the innovation can still capture the value also important to create sustainable growth and success for the company. Furthermore, the involvement across the divisions is another factor to be considered. In order to have a success innovation concept appear in the market, all of the different perspectives of the concept need to be reviewed and adjusted continuously to make the best fit such as marketing, sales, finance, production, etc. By following these factors, I can drive the innovative concept into the market more successfully.

  • Jessica October 18, 2015  

    Jessica Dungosintri (Charlestown)

    “Build Team and Network” (current score is 2, future score is 5)

    Aside from the Individual Assessment, my second area needed an improvement is “Build Team and Network” (current score is 2, future score is 5). When I was in the university, I had a chance to be a part of a university service-learning project as a head of marketing division. During that time, I have learned how difficult to build the network across the different divisions toward common goal. Different divisions have different perspective and the way of complete the tasks. It creates conflict in the team and blocks all members to finish the task on time. For example, my project is about finding volunteers to help and improve living standard for poor people in a far away province as well as creating business model for them. The conflict between marketing and financial division always occur during the meeting as we have different perspective of common goal. As a result, the plan and activities for the project could not be finished and completed on time and we wasted a lot of time arguing on the same topic.

    Link: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/build-strong-teamwork-20768.html

    After reading the article, I realize that to building a successful team and network need to be done from the bottom-line and collaborative from everyone in the team. There are many steps in building a successful team as mentioned in the article. However, the most basic and importance step to begin with is having clear/specific goal and communication. For both being member or leader in the team, having clear and specific goal and the way to communicate is the well starting point. So everyone in the team is on the same page. Unfortunately, only having common goal among team members is not enough. To make all members feel being a part of a team, I need make myself open and trustful from all members. So, I can let my team members feel comfortable to express their feeling, ideas, and thought. As a result, my team can fit smoothly to all members. However, to make all members getting along well together, meeting together during the meeting or in the work place might not be a good tactic. There might be some activities out of the work and duties that the members need to carry such as having launch together, games, or other activities regardless the work. By doing, all members can know each other more and better. Also, as a team leader during these activities I can understand the outstanding performance and characteristic of each member, which might help manage or motivate the members in the successful way.

  • Jessica October 18, 2015  

    Jessica Dungosintri (Charlestown)

    “Get More and Better Dots” (current score is 1, future score is 4)

    Base on the individual assessment, my first improvement area that I need to consider the most is the “Get More and Better Dots” area (current score is 1, future score is 4). I am lacking under this area because of my inability to understand and grab the global opportunity as well as the global market landscape. Under the Global Marketing subject in my undergraduate study, my team had to make a marketing plan to launch the product in a foreign country. I had suffered a lot even I know well about the product. I count not make the attractive marketing plan to get the customer attention as well as effective strategies to compete with the others competitors in that market place. Also, my team could not response well to the opportunities available in the market as lacking the understanding of the global business landscape and disciplinary.

    Link: http://www.fastcompany.com/3031994/the-future-of-work/the-secret-to-creativity-intelligence-and-scientific-thinking

    From this article, they describe that the innovative is about the connection; connect between the different knowledge you have, then it become the experience and finally able to bring innovation! Being innovative is hard unless you got it where it from. “Innovative is Nothing Original”, many innovative come from the things that already existed. The problem is that did you see it. However in order to get more and better dots you need more knowledge. In the article they mention, “More knowledge you have, more connection you can make” and “The knowledge alone is useless”. In fact, having no knowledge is even worst. Fortunately, there are many ways to get more and broad knowledge in my brain. Starting by reading more and reading widely to explore new knowledge, opportunity, and different perspectives. Making it becomes a new hobby. Maybe can starting by the field that I have an interest such as food and beverage industry, research industry, and then connect those industries to another industry together. As they said innovation is about the connection, I have already knowledge but I cannot remember then how can I make a connection. So, taking note when I come up with the ideas can help me remember and make a connection with the pervious note. The last thing is keeping review you note as you might come up with the new idea generation that even better then before. Making it as a part of my life activities, I can be an innovative person.

  • Kari October 18, 2015  

    Kari Wilson
    MIM- Somerville

    Area of Improvement: Build teams and networks (current level: 2 – desired level: 5)

    Examples of why lacking:
    While I have been on teams (both successful and unsuccessful) I have never been in a management role where I have needed to create a team. In my previous job, almost all of the work was done in a team consisting of internal people and an external agency. My experience with working on teams has helped me determine what types of people would make a good team, but I still lack the experience to identify those people in order to build the team from the beginning.

    How I would improve:
    One recommendation I would take from this article is to include people not only for what they know but who they know. The article stresses the importance of knowing the right people and how that plays a key role in getting a new idea approved in the company. By having someone on the team who has a good working relationship with a senior leader, it can help give the team direction as well as give the idea support when trying to get the organization on board with the new innovative idea. Another recommendation I would implement is to include someone on the team who can tell a good story. This person will be the one to be able to communicate the idea clearly to senior leadership. Having this person on your team is key because not everyone who is passionate about the idea has the ability to pitch the idea to leadership in a compelling way.

    http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/04/12/10-tips-for-successful-innovation-teams/

  • Isabel October 18, 2015  

    Isabel Lobo
    MIM Somerville

    My last area of improvement is “Built team and Network” (Current 3 desired 5)
    Current (4): I know the competences and do know how to get the right individuals for the team
    Aimed (5): I know the competences and do know how to get the right individuals with networks for success

    Why am I lacking in networking? Because despite I have a variety of connections I would need to expand my social circle and interact with people from different backgrounds, cultures and interests. More importantly, interacting with the key people that could contribute to the development of my future success by becoming a better innovator.

    According to Tai Good wing in his article “how to built a powerful professional network “ published by Forbes, quality connections are important and emphasizes on who should belong to the network with the tops 10 key people that could empower work and business.

    After an evaluating my current network, the following are the top 3 people I consider I should attract and maintain in my network, also some strategies to reach them:

    1. The mentor: Successful person that inspires to be like in the future, I can learn from his expertise, success and failure. This person could be one of previous bosses, professor or successful marketer. Lastly, the best way to connect or find this person would be attending to …
    2. The Industry-insider: Expert in determinated industry that could keep me up to date regarding industry trends, support for potential innovative ideas. Focus in not just one person or one industry but at least tree of my interest, they can keep me informed and on track. Attending to conference events of those specific industries will be the best way to develop this link.
    3. The connector: people who know other key people, information and resources. From my perspective, one of the most significant person in the network because can help to expand the network with his others connections and relations.

    In addition to the key connections suggested by Good, I also would like to have “the creative” that person that is always looking to do something different, who propose new ideas, have passion and is always willing to create and innovate. This person could encourage and motivate me to generate new ideas and strategies developing future breakthroughs together.

    I learned from a close friend, CEO of a leader company that there is nothing more important, for a leader or project manager, than having a good network. “A real leader is not who knows everything but who have the connections and the right people to provide it” Ludovic Bodin CEO of Cmune.

    Networking is a great source to develop robust ideas, people in the network can contribute with knowledge, feedback, ideas, recommendations and also introducing other potential people that could enlarge and enhance my innovative thinking.

    Reference article: http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/22/job-search-mentor-professional-success-career-coach-forbes-woman-leadership-how-to-network.html

  • beatriz October 18, 2015  

    Beatriz Guarezi – MIM Somerville
    3 – Drive Concepts to Launch
    Lastly, when I get my ideas straight and trust my instincts on how to put them to action, there is still a difficulty on how to bring these concepts to life, which brought me to a score of 2.
    I have been facing those difficulties currently on my career development process. I have been reading and searching about ways to present myself, my resume, my skills, my experience and I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of things that I can do to improve those aspects. I can start blogging to back my writing skills, I can improve my job descriptions on LinkedIn, I can reach out to the list of companies that match my interests.. There are so many different actions, that it is hard to make all of them happen.
    In order to improve that skill up to a 5, a level where I can put all of my plans and ideas in motion more quickly and effectively, I decided to adapt Ilan Mochari’s entrepreneurial advices on the article “8 Steps to Launch an Idea” to my current difficulties. Advices like “Running an experiment” and “Walk through a transaction” can be shifted to my personal endeavors, and push me to organizing my tasks and doing a step-by-step of what needs to be done and what can be the challenges and implications.
    And out of all the advices, the one that struck me the most is perhaps the simplest: “Make a phone call”. Which for me meant do something, as simple as it may seem, but just get things started with. Make a connection, take one step forward, get things moving.
    Reference:
    http://www.inc.com/ilan-mochari/8-steps-launch-idea.html

  • beatriz October 18, 2015  

    Beatriz Guarezi – MIM Somerville

    2 – Prioritize concepts
    Another aspect I still have room for improvement on is Prioritizing Concepts. Or, for my understanding, making better based decisions. I gave myself a 2 score, which stands for “select concept based on market attractiveness and actionability informed by quantitative data”. I think it represents one of the aspects that may drag me down in leadership positions and situations with a lot of pressure: the need to have full confidence on my decisions. And that confidence is often provided by numbers, by uncontestable proofs that this is the right way to go.
    One time I caught myself on an hour long meeting to decide how much would a ticket to a fund raiser cost. We wanted to achieve our financial goals, but at the same time people were there to help, they wouldn’t like to pay too much. Instead of discussing it and betting on the option we as a team believed it was the best, we spent the entire meeting doing all kinds of sums to try to figure out which option would sell more and give us more profit. And this is just one example of the extra time and effort I have put on decisions that could have been made much more easily if I trusted my gut.
    So, in order to become a better decision maker I want to improve my score to 5, which means ‘select concept based on passion, market attractiveness and actionability informed by intuition and qualitative data and quantitative data’. This puts passion and intuition on the equation, two things that I wish to bring to my confidence building process.
    As she presents “5 Ways to Learn How to Trust Your Instincts”, Nadia Goodman points out that instincts are the greatest resource for creating a new world, through new visions and ideas. Out of all her tips to better trusting yourself, the one I think can be most valuable to me is “Allow your idea to change”. I think that can help me gain confidence on my opinions and instincts, by trusting that things are not definitive and that even though decisions have been made, ideas and strategies change and evolve as people respond to it and there is always room to adapt.
    Reference:
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225304

  • Isabel October 18, 2015  

    Isabel Lobo
    MIM Somerville

    My last area of improvement is “Built team and Network” (Current 3 desired 5)
    Current (4): I know the competences and do know how to get the right individuals for the team
    Aimed (5): I know the competences and do know how to get the right individuals with networks for success

    Why am I lacking in networking? Because despite I have a variety of connections I would need to expand my social circle and interact with people from different backgrounds, cultures and interests. More importantly, interacting with the key people that could contribute to the development of my future success by becoming a better innovator.

    According to Tai Good wing in his article “how to built a powerful professional network “ published by Forbes, quality connections are important and emphasizes on who should belong to the network with the tops 10 key people that could empower work and business.

    After an evaluating my current network, the following are the top 3 people I consider I should attract and maintain in my network, also some strategies to reach them:

    1. The mentor: Successful person that inspires to be like in the future, I can learn from his expertise, success and failure. This person could be one of previous bosses, professor or successful marketer. Lastly, the best way to connect or find this person would be attending to …
    2. The Industry-insider: Expert in determinated industry that could keep me up to date regarding industry trends, support for potential innovative ideas. Focus in not just one person or one industry but at least tree of my interest, they can keep me informed and on track. Attending to conference events of those specific industries will be the best way to develop this link.
    3. The connector: people who know other key people, information and resources. From my perspective, one of the most significant person in the network because can help to expand the network with his others connections and relations.

    In addition to the key connections suggested by Good, I also would like to have “the creative” that person that is always looking to do something different, who propose new ideas, have passion and is always willing to create and innovate. This person could encourage and motivate me to generate new ideas and strategies developing future breakthroughs together.

    I learned from a close friend, CEO of a leader company that there is nothing more important for a leader or project manager, than having a good network. “A real leader is not who knows everything but who have the connections and the right people to provide it” Ludovic Bodin CEO of Cmune.

    Networking is a great source to develop robust ideas, people in the network can contribute with knowledge, feedback, ideas, recommendations and also introducing other potential people that could enlarge and enhance my innovative thinking.

    Reference article: http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/22/job-search-mentor-professional-success-career-coach-forbes-woman-leadership-how-to-network.html

  • beatriz October 18, 2015  

    Beatriz Guarezi – MIM Somerville

    1 – Innovation focus areas
    The first area I see a need of personal improvement on my innovation skills is Focus. I gave myself a low score (2 points) because I lack on narrowing my thoughts and ideas down to specific points, and issues that can be addressed.
    I see that exemplified on my life as I look at my criticism to many things – in the marketplace, in the companies I have worked at and even in society as a whole. I look at things critically and I know that there is much room for improvement, but I find it very hard to focus on specific points, to further ask myself if there is anything I can do about them.
    For instance, I believe that companies must shift to a more social and purposeful way of doing business, in order to do less harm to the planet and to add more value to their customers lives. I read about it, I connect this idea with most of what I see out there about brands and corporations and I am positive that there is room for innovative business models and change of behavior. But I have been looking at it in a very broad way. I need to ‘zoom in’ this issue until it gets to something more specific and tangible, something that can actually lead to action, a clear focus for innovation.
    I think that is something that slows down my capacity to bring innovations and solutions, not only on this matter, but on other things that have caught my attention. I want to be more assertive on those issues, instead of only looking to the broad picture, and that is why I wish to double that score on the future.
    According to Langdon Morris on his article “A Strategically-Focused Innovation Process”, the innovation process is similar to a funnel – first you have many ideas, to end up with just a few innovations. Right now I see myself at the beginning of this process – the “many ideas” stage. As he lays out 8 steps to a proper innovation process, the one I am going to adopt to move forward with this metric is the first: Strategic Thinking. The beginning of innovation is not, as I am doing, random or broad ideation, but specific consideration of how this innovation will add value and in which areas it has more potential.
    So, in order to be truly innovative, I need to start shifting my ideas to more specific goals, and then consider how to act on them to the best of my abilities, perhaps through writing, or teaching, or looking for jobs in companies aligned to the difference I want to make.
    Reference:
    http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/a-strategically-focused-innovation-process/

  • Boyang October 18, 2015  

    Area of Improvement #3: Align Stakeholders
    Current Level: 2 – Desired Level: 5
    It is always difficult to understand how the board works at my age of 23. From its structure to function, I can hardly name one or two. There is no way for me to align my stakeholders well with this knowledge background. Thus, I found an example to help me understand it.
    The article about stakeholders alignment model of Cornell University tells that stakeholders alignment is based on consolidated value vision and distinct accountability. These aspects require stakeholders to define, achieve and evaluate their goals. I think this model reveals a truth: people can stick together with consensus all the time, no matter for achievements or troubles. Step by step following stakeholders’ characteristics, needs and wants and responsibility of their groups, I am supposed to be able to build a robust board in the future. Time will tell.
    Reference
    Cornell University. Stakeholder Alignment Model. Career/Life, 2009
    https://www.hr.cornell.edu/life/career/stakeholder_alignment.html

  • Boyang October 18, 2015  

    Area of Improvement #2: Drive Concept to Launch
    Current Level: 2 – Desired Level: 5
    Honestly, I am lack of overall functional working experience. This makes me so hard to fully understand the launching process. For who majors Advertising like me at his/her college, it is always confusing about how business runs and works. Even though I have a wonderful plan already, it may probably not work simply because of not using “business words” to describe it for the boss, no mention to messing up the priority of launching strategies.
    Driving concepts to launch is not about business plan template, but dynamic reality. Since time is the only solution for fixing experience lacking, what I should focus on, personally, is avoiding to make mistakes while making the plan. “That most recent version is just a snapshot of what the plan was then. It should always be alive and changing to reflect changing assumptions.” (suggestion #3) And I will and have to be alive, too.
    Reference
    Tim Berry. The Top 10 Business Plan Mistakes. Entrepreneur, 2012
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/222547

  • Boyang October 18, 2015  

    Area of Improvement #1: Tactics for Innovation Projects
    Current Level: 2 – Desired Level: 5
    Once I failed as suggesting my boss to sell our maternal and infant supplies directly online by establishing our owned digital channel. Because if we did so, it would do hurt our retailers by sharing their market demands. However, there is still a way for us to sell it online: products can be delivered from stores after online ordering. This win-win decision that was made eventually is absolutely better than my proposal. Though I am no longer the freshman in business now, still inexperienced. The obstacle in front of me is that I am lack of B2B background. All I have been communicating with these years are individuals.
    Fortunately, Micheal D. Mumford’s article shows me guidance. Managing organizations is a remarkable tactic for implementing innovation (Micheal 333), especially when needing someone from specific groups with fundamental working experience to demonstrate some basic issues for your new ideas (Micheal 335), which are more likely to be missed while making plans only by marketing staffs and managers.
    Next time, therefore, I will do a few surveys with those initial retailers relevant to innovative plans before my final proposal, instead of coming out an idea without the overall relationships-friendly situation.
    Reference
    Micheal, D, Mumford. “Managing Creative People Strategies and Tactics for Innovation.” Human Resource Management Review (2000): 313-351
    http://www.doc88.com/p-5813420960160.html

  • Isabel October 18, 2015  

    Isabel Lobo
    MIM Somerville

    My second area of improvement is “More and better Dots” (current 3 future 5)
    Do I know how to get intelligence about my Business Opportunity Landscape? Concepts.

    Current (3): I have regional, multi-disciplinary and single-industry perspective. Multi-industry perspective.
    Aimed (5): I have global, multi-disciplinary, and multi-industry perspectives

    In the past, my work has been generally linked to products and services within a specific industry, for instance, premium baby brand in Consumer Good Industry, or investing funds in banking, or retail in fashion, etc. Multi-industry perspective would be my next challenge to develop blue ocean strategies and therefore, have a better business opportunities landscape.

    In the referenced article, Accenture advocated the economic and digital revolution (connectivity) that generates a new cross-industry business models in order to reach global opportunities. This article provided me with insightful tips and recommended initiatives to improve my multi-industry perspective:

    Disrupted business models: The transition of business ecosystem from traditional single industry to multiple industries based in collaboration to gain mutual benefit. For future projects, I will evaluate out of the box business models and potential cross- industry collaboration by analyzing common objectives, partnerships and mutual interest. Moreover, learning from best practices across industries.

    Emerging markets and mature markets: continue research on emerging markets for future opportunities and mature markets to generate value with multi-industry strategies by analyzing competitors expansion strategies and industry trends.

    Governance and proactive coordination: Allocating the right resources and use of collaborative data. Develop a plan and its implementation always embracing innovative thinking and participation.

    Drive open project platforms and entrepreneurialism: Seek for best-in-class systems to connect with consumers and partners, to collect data and provide information. Applying test and learn philosophy by receiving new ideas from partners and employees.

    An extended strategy to develop multi-industry landscape would be by enlarging networking. By meeting people from diverse industries, I can learn and gain valuable information in order to effectively retain prospect partners for future projects.

    Reference article: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-outlook-cross-industry-ecosystems-growth-outside-the-box.aspx

  • pekkar October 18, 2015  

    Pekarevskaya Alexandra-Charlestown.
    2nd area of improvement: Think and act differently
    I can clearly see problem I faced in the recent times. I’m always very thoughtful and accurate in making decisions that all ended up in my inability to try something new and take risks. During my work in start up last year where I was creating a promotion strategy for a new innovative product I always had to think differently and create some new solutions for a brand new product on market. After my 4 years of studying for a bachelor degree I started to thing linear so every time, finding a creative solution was a very hard and not always successful work. After this project I understood that I’m stuck in my comfort zone and can’t go out of it to try something unusual that can help me to be innovative. I think if I would expand my skills and train my innovative thinking I would do much better work for my own satisfaction and also for the company I worked in.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/3028465/work-smart/10-surprising-ways-to-transform-your-creative-thinking

    I found this article very interesting and useful because of different reasons. First of all it is well structured and a can make I quick and clear notes for my future work and life in general. Secondly I found many good advices I have never thought about before. For example point 4 says that everything new comes from making connection between your past experience and knowledge. It means that I should not always look for some brand new solution, instead I should concentrate on something I already knew, develop that idea and transform it to my present issue. I analyzed that thought and came up with some good ideas for my past works immediately. in point 3,6 and 9 author tells us about atmosphere that can help to produce some good and creative ideas. I have never experienced with my work place atmosphere therefore I think it can change the whole process of producing ideas. Thirdly I liked this article because author gives us many quotations from successful business people and also refers to some researches that supports his ideas and make them even more relevant. I found many new facts and extremely useful hints I will definitely use to improve my “Think and act differently” area.

  • Yu-Hsuan October 18, 2015  

    2.Area of improvement: “Do I know how to think and act differently to innovate?”
    Current score:2. Future score:5.
    This area points out my lack of skill in finding the key to make a team successful. This could be because my upbringing did not allow me to think differently. For example, in school when any question was presented to the class there would be only one correct answer. If you have an opinion that differs from the textbook, no matter what the answer was it would be wrong. Regarding this situation, my brain is used to accepting any information that people give to me. How to think and act differently is a huge lesson for me to learn. The following link provides insights in regards to how this can be improved.
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237866
    1.They pursue curiosity, not passion.
    2.They make friends with stress.
    3.They see chain reactions
    4.They ask more questions than give answers.
    5.They contribute before gain.
    6.They schedule time for nothing.
    7.They value experiences over objects.
    My first takeaway is to stay passionately curious. I will try to reunite with my childhood curiosity. Keeping my eyes open to discover new and interesting things. Second, I will give myself more time to think. Thinking about all of the things that I have been through and or what I have learned. Keeping things neat and linear. I won’t just study parts. Now that I am back in school, I have been given a second chance to develope different ways of thinking and to hopefully expand my skill sets. I should ask myself everyday about what I saw and what I learned that day. Of course, the classes are tough, but I accept the challenge and will tell myself the stress will make me stronger.

  • Yu-Hsuan October 18, 2015  

    Yu-Hsuan Tsai (MIM-Somerville)

    1.Area of improvement: “Do I know how to build concepts? (connect dots in new and different ways?)” Current score:2. Future score:5.
    Talking about my background. My major was biotechnology and then it changed to aquaculture. In my Master program I learned statistics. Even though I learned a lot, I still feel that I am missing something to link everything that I’ve learned together. Learning how to link all of my knowledge together will help strengthen my future. This is something that is a very important for me to figure out. The following link gives some experiences and suggestions for me to improve:
    http://www.fastcompany.com/3031994/the-future-of-work/the-secret-to-creativity-intelligence-and-scientific-thinking
    Like the picture displayed on the website, I have the knowledge but not the experience. But in order for the knowledge dots to link together, I need to have more experiences. There have three steps that I can follow:
    1.ADD TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE—THE POWER OF BRAND NEW EXPERIENCES: Keep having a passion to learn everything and exploring new opportunities. Listen people’s experiences and absorb it. If there is a chance, try to force myself to participate in more events or speeches.
    2.KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING-ESPECIALLY IN THE SHOWER: Always take notes when I hear something interesting or new, because the brain can’t remember everything.
    3.REVIEW YOUR NOTES DAILY-THE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN METHOD: Even when taking notes on everything, we still need time to digest all of the information. Only if we spend time to absorb all of the information,then the knowledge will belong to us.
    My take away:
    *I have to read a lot
    *Always take a notes
    *Using free time to think

  • Isabel October 18, 2015  

    Isabel Lobo
    MIM Somerville

    Based on my assessment results, the first area I need improvement is “Tactics for Innovation”
    Current (3): I know which key uncertainties to work on first and do experiments to test hypotheses.
    Aimed (5): I know which key uncertainties to work on first and do low-cost fast experiments through rapid iteration of artifacts to develop the value proposition across the value chain and build the business case.

    The main reason I am lacking in this area is because I have been in charge of projects that require more analytical approach in order to achieve aggressive results, always intending to reduce risks and limiting creativity and innovation. However, I strongly believe innovation is a challenge worth taking where I could not only provide great results but also exceed expectations by having the right tactics.

    According to David Power there are four main key tactics applied by best practices companies that could be useful in order to improve myself and become better innovator:

    1. Determining the S curve: understanding the cycle of the product and the company in order to predict the future and design next growth strategies. I can work on this by continue research on market trends and competitor analysis.
    2. Learn on customers: comprehension of the consumer trough different marketing tools such as FGI, FGD and online surveys plus continue interaction with them will provide me with the insight to built a stronger business model and products improvement to generate value and differentiation.
    3. Think like a designer: Thinking our of the box, been willing and open to listening new ideas and concepts, moreover entering on blue oceans and expanding to new areas.
    4. Lead the way: coaching the team towards innovation, been able to manage the risk of success or failure by creating an innovation and creativity atmosphere at the workplace.

    The adoption and integration strategy of these tactics must be reflected and linked directly with production, offering, delivery and markets in order to generate value.

    Resource: http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies

  • alican_gulal October 18, 2015  

    Alican Gulal / Charlestown

    2- Get Resources

    This topic is divide 3 in its part. People,Assets and Time

    This part is also includes project management parts which makes this topic more important because of the expectations from a COO or a marketing manager is to find right people for a campaign or advert. and create effective business plan which points out the effective asset usage and finally best time to the business.

    About People;

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235700

    according to the author of this article Lisa Falzone(contributor, CEO of Revel Systems) has got 3 suggestions for it. Her points are cleared with statistics and numbers as well.
    1-Play an Active role in recruiting
    2-Emphasize Culture ( create and understand a company culture )
    3-Get social ( links social media accounts to career page sections )

    About Assets;

    Finding assets for a startup or small-medium sized companies can be little tricky. But there are several options to do that. So it is possible to find a resource if the business idea is good enough to get attention of investors. These investors could be ;
    -Angel Investors
    -Incubators
    -Partnership
    -Loans or Credits
    -Venture Capital

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/12/funding-for-startups-entrepreneurs-finance-zwilling.html

  • pekkar October 18, 2015  

    Pekarevskaya Alexandra-Charlestown.
    1st area of improvement: Tactics for innovation projects.
    Tactics for innovation projects.
    I used to work in a company that produces chocolates and marzipan. That company was on the market for 10 successful years implementing traditional products by promoting and selling them through the same traditional channels for many years. By the time I was hired, headquarters of the company decided to expand their product line and add to their existing assortment few products for kids, therefore whole marketing department was focused on developing that kid’s goods to push them to the market. After I started working in marketing department I analyzed company’s market place, target audience, resources company arranges and after some time I came up with an idea for a brand new product that responded to all criteria that was settles for a innovative product that company was looking for. After my researches I felt certain about success of my innovative idea and was sure that my product have a lot of potential. But the problem I faced then was my inability to transform my thoughts into a real idea to explain it to my chief. At that time I didn’t have enough skills to present my idea on a high level to make it work.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2013/04/01/12-things-successfully-convert-a-great-idea-into-a-reality/

    I found this great article about converting ideas into reality that helped me to analyze mistakes I have done and make some notes for my future experience. My biggest mistake at that time was my demotivation. After I presented my ideas to the marketing chief I didn’t find him being interested, so I lost my courage even after a huge work I have done. I understood that before I should have gone to my chief I should have practice explaining my idea to someone “outside” to make sure it is clear and easy to understand. Asking some advice from business specialists to make some shapes for my thoughts could be a great thing to do. Another great advice I underlined is to create a dots and connections between the product, company and future benefits. On the first stages of developing a product it is very important to understand its future potential and ways to expand.

  • hilda October 18, 2015  

    Hilda M. Velez
    MIM- Charlestown
    Second Area of Improvement: Align Stakeholders (Current level- 1; Desired level – 5)

    “Alignment and stakeholder support are the MOST powerful tools any company can Have in Its operational arsenal, providing leverage That opens markets, and sells products Allows a business to thrive.”

    As my I my second area of ​​improvement, I identified align stakeholders and again 1 is not due to lack of skills but because there is a lot to learn. Despite my professional experience, I have not had the opportunity to play a position where my responsibilities were aligning stakeholders. So I found an article that helped me comprehend better the importance of the process as part of a marketing strategy.

     The most successful companies today are those that manage to create an experience for their customers as for their employees. Commonly, executives concentrate their efforts on branding or sales but do not understand the importance of building internal relationships as external relationships. “It requires creativity, discipline and the use of Numerous management tools, Including key performance indicators. As illustrated time and time again since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09, the framework for effective persuasion must be integrated THROUGHOUT an organization, and yet Actively Also be led by the chief executive and Their extended leadership team. ” Building relationships is the easy part, keeping them is where many companies fail sometimes. Regardless of our experiences, now that we are in search of career opportunities it is important to attribute importance to these processes that eventually we will have to develop strategies aligned with.

  • Nicholas October 18, 2015  

    Nicholas Roughgarden ( Charlestown)
    Area of improvement #2- Think and Act Differently

    1. What is the area of improvement ?
    With all of my work experience coming at a job that really has a clear definition of what we are supposed to do across all of our stores I really never was encouraged to think and act differently. While i do understand the concept behind the idea of thinking and acting differently I have never had a real experience with it. At work we would have a clear way of doing things and we were not supposed to not follow the method that was taught to us. My background undergrad did lay some framework on the idea of differentiation but without actual first hand experience in a job it is not as clear cut as I would like it to be.

    2.Article of Reference
    In an article written by Kevin Donlin he outlines how you should differentiate yourself from everyone else. He talks about how most businesses have common goals and you should find the one that really calls to you and ignore what you see around you as the norm (Donlin 2015). A point that really made the most sense with me was when he talked about not just going along and being influenced by everyone around you. I believe that it is really important not to act like everyone else and fall into the “mold”.

    Reference :http://www.jobdig.com/articles/856/Think_Differently._Act_Differently._Get_Hired..html

    3.How to improve:
    After reading this article it has helped me to realize a way to think and act differently. It is very important to be able to do this and very necessary in a market that is always changing. This article gives you a way to look at things differently and realize that if you can use this method of thinking then your really do put yourself ahead of others. A big portion of being able to innovate and get ahead of your competitors is being able to take risks and not to fall into the mold of others. I can do this by following the train of thought that is given in the article and do my best to think of a way to act and think differently.

  • Marjorie October 18, 2015  

    Marjorie Pain
    Charlestown Cohort

    Based on my results, I need improvement on “Align Stakeholders,” “Tactics for Innovation Projects,” and “Drive Concept to Launch”.

    When I did the assessment, I wasn’t sure what Align Stockholders mean, after seeing my result, I found a webpage where explain what it is, https://www.hr.cornell.edu/life/career/stakeholder_alignment.html, after understanding the meaning of Align Stakeholders, I don’t think this is one of my weaknesses, my previous position was regional finance supervisor, and I had to gather information from all different departments in order to present it to the executive team. Just as the information on the web page states, I would gather information from the customers, the employees from different departments and put it together for the management team to understand. I used to deliver the message/info on PowerPoint presentations but I think I can improve this by building written reports that show the information exposed and a possible solution if needed.

    Tactics for Innovation Projects
    I am lacking in this area because my finance experience didn’t give me the change to work with product development or product innovation. I few time I had to participate on innovating new company processes but this will only affect the internal mechanisms of the company, it wouldn’t affect the revenue or business/relationship with customers.
    The following article helped me to understand different ways to innovate a product or a service having the customer in mind. http://www.cognizant.com/SiteDocuments/Innovation-Beyond-the-Four-Walls.pdf

    Alexander Moscho gives a great advice on page 8 of this article, “Keep it simple and accessible to everyone, seize the diversity by providing appropriate networking tools, and focus on business relevant topics” a take away from this advice is that every time we think about innovation we need to think about all the parties involved.
    It is also mention in this article that virtual communication and social media platforms are a great way to innovate customer service and understand the need of customer in order to develop new products.

    Drive Concept to Launch
    In my finance world, I never had to launch a products or a concept. I came out with new processes to improve the daily dynamics of the business but never had to launch something for the public/customers.

    In the article, 8 Ways To Ensure Your New-Product Launch Succeeds By Marsha Lindsay (http://www.fastcompany.com/1829483/8-ways-ensure-your-new-product-launch-succeeds), I understood the basic ideas of launching a product or service successfully.
    The key factor is to understand the customer’s needs, once the customer need is well defined we can work on getting the actual customers.
    A great take away from this article and a recommendation to follow is to always keep up in a constant innovation mood. As mentioned on the article “our launch never ends” and “a state of continuous improvement that prevents the brand from losing momentum”

  • cristine October 18, 2015  

    Cristine Herbert – Somerville

    3- More and better Dots, Connect Dots – level 3 (desired 5)
    Improving the ability to connect and enhance dots it’s probably an activity that its never complete. For some time, I did not thought of things as dots that could be linked and lead to the creation of new things. Until I realize that that is how my creativity worked. Seeing this article enhanced my idea to keep in mind the importance of awareness in every place and to feed this cycle and make it accessible and growing for the sake of business and innovation.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shani-harmon/connecting-the-dots_b_5102403.html

  • rainbowlovecat October 18, 2015  

    Yi Hung
    Build teams and networks
    I am the shy person, so when I meet a new person I do not know how to talk with him or her. Other one is when I am doing team work I do not know how to say my opinion because I am shy to share my ideas.
    According to Heather White (http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/sales/sales-management/create-a-team-networking-culture) I know networking need time to relate new people, and networking can help you do more thing. For example, when your business get stock or need help, your networking is useful now. Maybe not everyone will help you but you will find the one to help.
    After reading this article, I know how to improve networks. I have to speak loud, but still need to listen others advice. For example, when I am in networks or build team, we will have different opinions. We can not yell our teammate, we need to listen others voice.

  • abashlykova2016 October 18, 2015  

    Angelina Bashlykova (Charlestown)

    Area of improvement №3: Tactics for Innovation Projects (current score 1, desired 5)

    Have to admit that tactics of Innovation is a huge room for improvement for myself. I usually do all presentations in Power Point. But to tell the truth, I believe that Power Point nowdays has become so common and obvious that it would be difficult to impress someone for example your perspective employer with PP presentation especially if you use one of the standard templates. I am lacking in this area as I haven’t worked on serious projects yet; for studying professors never asked for more than Power Point and personally I am not interested in new programs and technologies that is why I really feel behind in this area. However I understand that the visual perception of information is extremely important and if you use the old well-known background or animation sometimes the people might think of you as a careless and lazy person. In addition to this I also need to learn more about how to do rapid calculations in the new programs.
    http://slidedog.com/blog/top-5-presentation-tools-2014/
    The article above describes five presentation tools. For myself four of them are completely new and seem a worthy replacement of Power Point. In order to diversify my speeches as well as get new knowledge in the future I will give preference to the Prezi program or SlideDog software. The reviews claim that they both are equipped with interesting modern tools and details, which will definitely broaden visual opportunities and add a fresh look to your presentation. I also downloaded them to check the interface and can evaluate it as easy to learn and convenient what is highly important for me as a user. These new programs are also suitable for calculations and models construction, that I as marketer will need in future projects.

  • vagrawal2016 October 18, 2015  

    Vishal Agrawal
    MIM Charlestown
    October18, 2015

    2.Build Teams And Networks (Current Score 1; Future Score 5)

    My second area for improvement is Build Team And Networks. I believe this is one of the top-most important skills for a person. When I was working as a trainee in tea packaging company, I was assigned with a “Tea-Tasting” task along with others trainees. We tasted different types of tea grades from various tea gardens and made various blends of tea. We were having different approaches towards it and different views. I preferred BT (Broken Tea) whereas another one suggested Dust tea. We weren’t able to choose a single tea grade.

    Reference article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/10/01/6-ways-successful-teams-are-built-to-last/

    This Article suggests six ways to build successful teams:

    1. Be Aware of How you Work
    2. Get to know the Rest of the Team
    3. Clearly Define Roles & Responsibilities
    4. Be Proactive with Feedback
    5. Acknowledge and Reward
    6. Always Celebrate Success

    This article suggests some good measures which can be adopted so as to improve team-building skill. Firstly, I should be aware of my working style and find ways to improve it so that everyone in the team appreciates it. At the same time, I should know my team and respect each person’s ideas and beliefs. We should clearly define our responsibilities and work towards it. I should constantly take feedback from team members and take suggestions from them to improve efficiency. We should set up reward system so as to provide satisfaction for the work and this further improves effectiveness and efficiency. Lastly, we should celebrate our success.

  • Laura Antonia October 18, 2015  

    Laura Schönleitner (MIM -Somerville)
    3rd area of improvement: drive concept to launch (current: 3, future: 5)
    The core of a company’s business model is game-changing innovation. It’s the ability to convert ideas into new offerings that reshape the market and add value to customers and organizations. At Nestlé I faced a pretty open innovation culture. My team and I were struggling with the abundance of ideas at the beginning of each process.
    The article “10 ways to turn a business idea into a reality” shows the struggle of putting ideas into action. Various managers share their ideas on how they handled and coped with setbacks and distraction throughout the initial stages of their business ideas. http://articles.bplans.com/10-ways-to-turn-a-business-idea-into-a-reality/
    Next time, I will definitely focus more on mapping out each stage of the process and make sure that everyone understood what is going to be required from each department. Although we did some pilots before launching products, I wish we would invest a bit more in small tests that help to calibrate the direction and value to our customers.
    Also I have to keep in mind that the launch never ends. My team and I will have to face that the commercialization of our product will be forever in a state of continuous improvement in order to be highly competitive and prevent any eradication.

  • Nichcha October 18, 2015  

    Area of improvement : Drive concept to launch
    1. Give clear and specific examples why I lack in those areas.
    Drive concept to launch : From my point of view, driving concept to launch is one of the most difficult process to achieve because It’s hard to put my thought into action. For example, when I was a sophomore I had to make a business plan and I got stuck in the process of bringing my thought into action and it bothered me a lot that I couldn’t do it successfully. I think this is because I have little experience in this field and I need to practice this skill if I want to be an innovator.
    2. Reference article : What are the Most Effective Approaches to Drive an Innovation Pipeline.
    http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/what-are-the-most-effective-approaches-to-drive-an-innovation-pipeline/
    3. Using recommendations to become a better innovator.
    “Input ideas and concepts across the entire organization”
    From what I gather, this advice is very helpful for who wants to drive concept to launch a project, the article suggested that we should use software , intranet , or internet to run ideas and concepts across the entire organization for informing other departments to know the process and detail which we will launch. Not only informing them a detail but also getting back some feedback that can help innovator improves their project in different perspective to generate more effective concepts and actions. If I have to drive my idea into action I’ll adapt this recommendation into my process because I think it’s really helpful when all the teams and departments know my plan and assist me to create a better innovative project for the company.
      
      

  • Laura Antonia October 18, 2015  

    Laura Schönleitner (MIM – Somerville)
    2nd area of improvement: get resources (current: 3, future: 5)
    In most cases, companies tend to assume that spending more money on innovation is key in order to successfully compete against others. While working on previous projects, our senior management often pointed out the importance of value and the money involved in innovation processes. Although money is a critical resource, it has its limitations once you have to show innovation impacts on organizations.
    The article “7 immutable laws of innovation” dedicates an own section on the right mix of resources that impact innovation. http://www.forbes.com/sites/philmckinney/2011/08/29/innovation-law-3-the-law-of-resources/
    I wish I had found this paper earlier because it would have made discussions and the support for my arguments easier. On a long-term perspective, people, time and equipment, moreover, the mix of those three has a greater impact on innovation than quarterly results. There is also discrepancy on allowing people to dedicate more time on a project. During organizational change, managers are likely to be focused elsewhere in the organization. Decisions on and problems about innovation process repeatedly go unaddressed. The major takeaway of this article is to form strong project management teams, supported by robust tools (critical enterprise resources), that can perform on day-to-day basis.

  • cmendez2016 October 18, 2015  

    Constanza Mendez
    MIM Somerville 2016
    No. 1
    Area of improvement: More and Better Dots (Current: 2, Desired 5)

    In my former job I occupied the position of Trade Marketing Coordinator for Jose Cuervo, which is the most important producer and distributor of Tequila in Mexico. My team was conformed of three more people and we were in charge of developing and implementing a promotion plan in modern channel retailers to increase the depletions of our portfolio. When that time of the year came, my team and I were in perfect synch and knew how to use each others strengths in order to build what we thought to be a marvelous plan. I did this three years in a row, and every time that we presented our proposal to other departments in the company, we received negative feedback on the plan because some of our proposals weren’t viable with the financial resources, the sales force or the brand’s strategy. After some time, I came to understand that we were a very good team for Trade Marketing, but we lacked on considering other points of view from the other departments that make a company and a marketing plan complex. We didn’t connect with all of the dots in the company.

    In the article Connecting the Dots: Why Innovation is about Finding Relationships between Old Ideas the author mentions that there are four ways to build connections in order to land a creative and innovative result.
    1. Build Your Knowledge Base
    2. Encourage Application
    3. Catch and Store Knowledge
    4. Grow Your Network

    The article taught me that Everyone has potential great ideas and that it is necessary to grow our knowledge base in order to increase the opportunity to develop new and functional ideas in an organization.
    What I learned from this, is that even though we are focused in each other’s tasks when we are working, you need to take time to learn from other departments and different mindsets. Doing this will only give you a wider knowledge of the objective and using this will harmonize better the result.

    Reference: http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/blogs/blogpost/2094/Connecting_the_Dots_Why_Innovation_is_about_Finding_Relationships_between_Old_Ideas

  • Nichcha October 18, 2015  

    Area of improvement : Get Resources
    1. Give clear and specific examples why I lack in those areas.
    Get resources : It’s somewhat tough for me to get all the people , time , and assets together at the same time because it involves a lot of networking to find all of these. For instance, when I worked as a marketing assistant in Thailand I had to find people who could understand Japanese language and also had knowledge in automotive industry so that I could get some data of a new car which has never been sold in Thailand before but has already been sold in Japan. That’s why I needed to ask someone who knows well about these types of cars. I took me almost two weeks to find this kind of guy and it was then when I realized that it’s very difficult for me if I don’t have a good networking.
    2. Reference article :
    The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
    http://theweek.com/articles/444806/10-best-networking-tips-people-who-hate-networking
    3. Using recommendations to become a better innovator.
    “Reconnect with old friends”
      Honestly, I think I neglected some of my good friends because of my laziness, I didn’t mean that I’m a lazy person but every time we had a meeting, they always drink and drink. I like party but not that much because after I drank I couldn’t follow my plan for the next day and it made me a bit upset. That’s why I felt like I overlook them but literally I’m not. I know that I have to keep in touch with them for retaining my relationship and I will try to improve this point to be a better innovator by going with them once in a while to update their life story and mine as well. It’s obvious that if I have a good networking, I can find resources easier and my project will quickly move forward to reach the goal.

  • Nichcha October 18, 2015  

    Area of improvement : Tactics for innovation projects
    1. Give clear and specific examples why I lack in those areas.
    Tactics for innovation projects : I find it difficult to know specific tactics for the project, probably because I have a little experience about doing an innovative project. To make it more clear, I did only one project related to innovation which was one of the marketing course in my bachelor. Me and my teammates had to introduce a new product which has never been in the market before. As I could remember, it was about a tiny powerful water filter. I did a lot of researches because it’s hard for me to sell an innovative product as a normal consumer would not be willing to pay a lot of money for a product that just entered the market. Unfortunately, we got the 3rd place in the competition in class. The reason me and my team didn’t win was that we chose the wrong product to innovate. We thought it was innovative product but in actual it wasn’t. The market already had this kind of product but ours was more advanced that’s why we reached the 3rd position in the competition.
    2. Reference article :
    Innovation Strategy : 4 Key Tactics of Top Growth Companies.
    http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies
    3. Using recommendations to become a better innovator.
    “Lead the way”
      This article shed some light on me about innovation strategies which are very helpful for me to learn more for creating tactics for innovation projects. From my point of view, If I can lead the way in the market then I can easily bring my company to the first place in market share but how to lead the way is somewhat difficult because I have to take a lot of risks in producing an innovative product. Nevertheless, I willing to take the risks if it gives me high returns. For instance, I won’t hesitate to make something new or peculiar if it can lead me towards success.

  • Laura Antonia October 18, 2015  

    Laura Schönleitner (MIM -Somerville)
    1st area of improvement: tactics for innovation projects (current: 3, future: 5)
    Companies face relentless pressure to innovate in the development of their products and services. When I was working at Nestlé, global teams and operations were common practice. However, we faced various challenges implementing new tactics and tools into our organizational structure. One of the main challenges was finding a good balance between formal and informal project management processes. What works for projects conducted in our location doesn’t have to work for another one across the world. Part of the challenge becomes how to replicate the positive aspects while securing the benefits of global initiatives.
    The following article on rules for managing global innovation by Wilson and Doz presents a set of guidelines to become aware of the importance of an extensive communication approach, which ultimately leads to turning ideas outside of an organization into investable propositions inside.
    https://hbr.org/2012/10/10-rules-for-managing-global-innovation
    In future, I would put more focus on choosing partners and contractors located close to one of the internal project sites in order to reduce cross-cultural misunderstanding and support face-to-face communication.

  • Adriana October 18, 2015  

    Adriana Marquez – Somerville

    After taking the Innovation Assessment I realized I need to work mainly in three areas to improve my innovation skills (current score in this areas: 2, future score: 5):
    1. Align stakeholders:
    In the shoe brand that I used to work, every time that we (the marketing team) presented market research results to the design and R&D teams with important insights about what the market was expecting in terms of product design, fashion and comfort, we were facing a huge challenge to make those insights become a reality.
    Those teams felt that they knew all about making shoes (they have been doing it for 20 years) and that most of the information we were giving them was hard to implement and wasn’t aligned with the production plan of reduce variability.
    I think that if I had more knowledge about aligning stakeholders I could be able to (1) make more accurate proposals and (2) get those teams engaged and working to innovate the product since the beginning and not get things done by “fighting” one idea vs the other.
    After reading a few articles I found “Why stakeholder alignment is so important and how to achieve it…” very helpful http://theindependentsconsultant.com/blog/why-stakeholder-alignment-so-important-and-how-achieve-it/
    This article follows 6 steps to succeed at aligning stakeholders: identify your stakeholders, prioritize them, set targets and design engagement programs to achieve them, schedule engagement meetings and review the outcome of every session. Once you review, you start the process over again.
    I think this is very useful because it focuses on having everyone on board with the idea since the beginning of the project. That way, you will know what the stakeholders are expecting but more important they will have to be willing to cooperate with the results because they are part of the project and therefore they understand the importance of making things happen.

    2. Prioritize concepts:
    I’m the co-founder of a jewelry brand in Mexico and, with my partner, I have to take a lot of decisions in terms of product innovation, packaging innovation, new product development, etc. We encourage the few people who works with us to bring new ideas and we get a really good response, however sometimes I found myself accepting some ideas without really thinking through them because we don’t have a defined way to approve them.
    This situation affects the business because we invest on new products even when they are not really aligned with our strategy and we end up “killing” that product anyway. I believe that if we had a process we would work better and save a lot of time and money.
    The article Innovation management: How to prioritize, filter and plan ideas http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/innovation-management-how-to-prioritize-filter-and-plan-ideas/ talks about having a defined screening process in order to successfully integrate innovation framework to any business. I found really helpful what they called the V-Safe screening because it is a really good way to make decisions quickly and efficiently. They say the idea has to meet the company’s goals in terms of giving value, being suitable, acceptable, feasible and enduring. Once we go through this scanning we will have 4 types of ideas: go, no go, modify and wait.
    I will definitely put this V-safe scanning to practice every time I need to make a decision about innovation ideas and giving correct feedback to the people so they can bring up more accurate ideas the next time.

    3. Connect dots:
    In Tropicana (the shoe brand) we (the marketing team) were often having discussions with the sales team because even when our main goal was increasing sales, marketing was concerned about delivering the brand promise (fun to dress with color and fashion) by providing a bigger shoe offer at the stores and sales didn’t care much if they were selling only one model of shoes as long as they accomplished their goal. It was hard to connect the dots between the two areas because it seemed like the goals were not the same even when they were. I think that if I had more knowledge on connecting the dots, I could find solutions to make easier the job for both teams.
    I found really interesting “A 3-Step Framework to Connect the Dots Between Marketing & Sales” http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/marketing-sales-alignment-framework because it suggests to “choose metrics that encourage collaboration and force sales and marketing teams to work together” so even when the terms have a common goal, it is important that the way you measure that goal is the best for the brand, it’s about making it more specific.
    It also talks about the importance of communications between the teams and helped me realized that something as easy as “mix marketing and sales desks together” helps the teams to understand each other without any extra effort.

  • alican_gulal October 18, 2015  

    Alican Gulal / Charlestown

    According to the Audit of Global Innovation Managemetn Instutue:
    I spotted 3 Things that i should improve
    those are ;

    1-Connect Dots
    2-Get Resources
    3-Tactics for innovation projects

    Those 3 Things come forward because of the comparison of the difference between my score and avarage score and also the weak points see in myself that i should improve.
    I try to do my best as a fair judgement. i looked at some articles about how can i improve those skills of mine and come up with some results.
    First of all;

    1- Connect dots

    It is one of the essential and basics of the business world. This skill let us to make comments, draw a plan and interpret the results of previous dots and make a correlation between them.Furthermore, this skill is also helps us to solve complex situations and/or make sure that we wont face it again and determine the problem before if become complex.

    According to
    the https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/design-your-path/201210/how-discover-our-purpose-connecting-the-dots article;
    the way of connect dots are
    -looking backwards
    -asking questions and think about how i win or how i lose
    -accept the things we cant change and move on
    -when future purpose isn’t obvious, focus on present
    -believe & trust yourself
    -step outside of yourself and become a part of something greater

  • Jingzhu October 18, 2015  

    Jingzhu Feng (MIM Somerville)

    1.More and Better dots (Current score 2, future score 5)
    I think I’m lack of more and better ideas. I think the reason is that when I was undergraduate, all we need to do was to remember the concepts of managerial terms, I had seldom networks with people had another major and my brain was crowded with so many daily chores. By recited those boring terms, my brain become boring, which was very harmful to our creative thinking. By seldom networks, I had few chances to connect ideas from different areas, which was a great resources of innovation. By thinking too much of the daily chores, I can hardly have anytime to think something interesting.

    In the article, “7 Ways to Generate Great Ideas,” according to Kevin Duam, Inc. 500 entrepreneur and best-selling author, he suggests several tips. And I pick 2 of them:
    1. Engage in Observation Sessions
    2. Use Structured Exercises

    As far as I’m concerned, I need to engage in more observation sessions. By attending more sessions, I could expand my outlook and receive more new idea. When in the session, I may listen so many ideas which is old for others but new for me. If I can connect these different ideas, I can generate some innovative ideas. Furthermore, by doing structured exercises, I can activate my brain. With an activated brain, I could get rid of the boring mindset induced by reciting those boing managerial terms.
    Website: http://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/7-ways-to-generate-great-ideas.html

    2.Build teams and networks (Current score 3, future score 5)
    When I was undergraduate, I found it was difficult to work in a team which has over 10 persons. People seldom shared their knowledge. They were afraid of losing advantage by sharing too much knowledge, and they didn’t trust each other very much. In that team, I could hardly feel the sense of belonging. I had no idea of tackling such situation, though I really wanted to handle this as the team leader.

    In this article, “Eight ways to build high collaborative team”, by Lynda Gratton and Tamara J. Erikson, the author lists several instructions. I pick 3 of them:
    1. Ensuring the requisite skills.
    2.Supporting a sense of community.
    3.Assigning leaders who are both task- and relationship-oriented.

    The prerequisite for building a collaborative team is to ensure that every team members has the required skills for the task. Sometimes the team may has a atmosphere of trust and collaboration. Yet it can hardly perform well if it is lack of the required skill, which may in turn damage that atmosphere. Furthermore, by celebrating festival or events together, teammates can cultivate a sense of belonging. With this sense, teammates would trust each other, which can dramatically reduce the conflicts between team members. Because they would know exactly that their team members’ comments only focus on the issue instead of the personality. At last, it is also critical to assign the leader who are both task- and relationship-oriented. Leader may change his role at the different time. At the beginning, leader should be task-oriented. The leader would outline the frame, the goal and the sub subjects and so on. And then, as the task become more complex, the interaction between team members may increase dramatically, which induce conflicts. Then, the leader should be relationship-oriented.
    Website: https://hbr.org/2007/11/eight-ways-to-build-collaborative-teams#

    3.Think and act differently (Current score 3, future score 5)
    To be innovative, everybody need to think and act differently. However, when I was undergraduate, my brain was full of dull managerial terms. Being filled with those things, I can hardly come up with many innovative ideas. As a results, I seldom acted differently. Besides, it is very embarrassed to make mistakes in team work. At most time, instructors or leaders would appreciate those act correct and normally, they seldom rewarded those act creatively. So these are the reason why I got only 3 points in this area.
    In the article, “Empower People to Think (and Act) Differently,” the author, Renie Cavallarvi, suggests that to think and differently, leader should provide a save environment in which nobody would be afraid of making mistakes.
    I regard this approach as fabulous. By provided with a save environment, I will get a sense of trust. With this feeling, I may come up with new ideas and thinking differently without being regarded as silly. With different thinking, I can also act differently. For example, I would come up with ideas more in the team which has a save environment than in the class in which I’m afraid of losing face.
    Website: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140602161102-4836514-empower-people-to-think-and-act-differently

  • Laura October 18, 2015  

    Laura Gómez
    Charlestown-MIM

    Based on the results I got form the individual innovation audit, the top three innovation areas I need to improve are :

    1. Prioritize concepts
    Current score: 2 Future score: 5

    The weakest results from the assessment that I got were mainly focused on the area of concepts. I am sure that is because I truly have not had the innitiative, the preparation and the incentivation to work on a well developed project of innovation. I think that any area of business gives you the opportinity to innovate, as innovation has different areas not only focused on offer but also on channels, procedures, location. I think I am lacking on prioritize concepts because innovation is the most important tool for creating value to the company and customers, and on the areas I have had the opportunity to work on (sales and logistics) I have never use it due to my lack of knowledge in concepts. The article ¨Prioritizing effectively¨ by The management Guide (http://www.time-management-guide.com/prioritizing.html) states that there is a rule named 80/20 rule, which is based on the fundamental that the 80% of our time is used on tasks that participate with only 20% of value in the work we do everyday. Taking that into account, the recommendation of the article is bassically focused on the understanding of the concept of prioritizing, which is as simple as choosing what to do and what not to do. In order to prioritize, the first sttep stayed in the article is to differenciate the activities that are important (long- term consecuences, high priority) from the ones that are urgent (short-term goals). The key is to put more attention, time and effort in the important tasks in order to maximize the creation of value of your work. Delegation is also another key term that can improve the part of prioritazing concepts.

    I will apply this recomendations by classifying my work activities into important and urgent with the aim of maiximize my work value, and in any of the areas I am working on apply innovation as a factor of high priority. In that way I can propose in my company projects of innovation sharing the multiple areas in which it can be applied, sharing the traditional concept that is a business strategy only focused on supply and product.

    2. Think and act differently

    In a set work, a fix-minded society and the development of globalization which fights for homogeneity in markets, cultures and individuals the most difficult skill to develop has become to think differently than others. To be judged is the most scariest feeling for human beings, and being different has been associated with being judged by the society. I think I am lacking in this area because I come from a traditional society which day by day strenghts us the importance of a generalized set of rules of how to behave or think. This comes from our family education, the company we work in and the institutions we studied on. Also from the comfort that we have on the world we live in, we dont have the need to think or act differently. Everything that is set is ok as it is right now. In my company, we do the thinks as the traditional way and we dont look how to do it differently because is just comfortable to keep doing thinks the way we have been doing them for years. In the article: ¨Seven ways successful and fulfilled people think differently¨ (http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237866) The author gives tools to start acting in a different way. One of the most important I found was pursue curiosity, not passion. Being curios is a key characteristic of an innovator which comes along with ask more questions, not than give answer tip. The author strenghs the experiences of succesfull people whose great ideas come through curiosity, asking questions, being concious that learning does not ends in our lives. A habit of creating this epiphany when ideas come, is giving every day an schedule time for doing nothing. This is a time where our unconsciusness interacts with our consciusness, and can be to eat lunch alone, go for a walk, sit in the park. The last I think is very important, is to see chain reations. The ability to measure the scope of a decision is very important for innovators, and for me I will follow this habit and try always to visualize the implications of my proposal and join the dots between actions and the outcomes.
    Adquiring the time to do nothing in my calendar in order to incite creativity, and start to ask questions will deffinitely help on my carrier as an innovator by the creation of moments and ideas of change.

    3.. Tactics of Innovation Projects

    Current score: 1 Future score: 5

    I am lacking in this area because at the moment I have an idea of a project in terms of distribution can be innovative and create value for an enterprise, but I dont know the tactics or the way to start to work on that innovation. To know what to do is not that hard, but how to do it is the hardest part, and simply for ignorance I have left my idea behind. On the article ¨Sustaining Innovation Tactics That Work In Any Industry¨ the author states a very important step to follow in terms of building a new strategy in the company, first is important to start with the problem, not the solution. We need to know if the consumer actually needs the solution we are creating for him, because many times companies focus on what should be done in their eyes, but not in what consumers really are looking for.

    As a professional and an innovator this is going to compensate my lack on tactics on innovation projects as I will focus my innovation ideas regarding if they are a solution for the consumer, moreover use the tactic of sustaining projects in a realistic way by giving numbers and calculations of the finantial impact, strategic impact and tactical consecuences that would bring to the company.
    Read more at http://www.business2community.com/business-innovation/sustaining-innovation-tactics-work-industry-01163855#31Ugqzu3VFpl8TMi.99

  • akshaymittal4176 October 18, 2015  

    Akshay Mittal
    MIM Somerville Cohort
    Area of improvement – Build teams and network

    I need to improve in the area of building teams and network. I am lacking in this area because I don’t have good team building skills and techniques. I didn’t get enough chance to work in a team yet. A team plays the most crucial role as they present all the projects and presentations on the behalf of the whole company. There should be perfect understanding between the teammates and everyone should be assigned with different duties and all of them should give their complete inputs in order to be perfect. Discussions are also important in the groups. Networking is all about exchange of information, ideas, interacting with new folks. I am not a social person so it takes me longer to get along with new people so for me its necessary to improve my team building and networking skills.

    Reference – http://www.herbrubenstein.com/articles/TeamBuilding.pdf

    After reading this article I got to know about major points that I should keep in mind while working in the team: Networking, active listening, focus, unity, right direction. I also learned from the article that I should build good relationship and communication between the teammates, and one should choose the teammates wisely as each one of them must be having some experience in different fields and networking with them will help me to achieve the goal.

  • hilda October 18, 2015  

    Hilda M. Velez
    MIM- Charlestown

    Third Area of ​​Improvement: Think and Act Differently (Current level -1, Desired level -5)

    When it comes to marketing, research is what I’m really passionate about. I’ve always found fascinating how assertive our decisions can be if the right information is available. Therefore, “thinking outside the box” is not a strength of mine. For that reason, I selected 1 as current level and not because of missing creativity, but because I know there is room for improvement. Usually when we try to be too much logical or rational, we set up limits for the creative process. I need to feel that each situation is under control and thinking “differently” requires taking risks, getting out of the comfort zone and based on previous experiences I have had a difficult time losing that idea of control when it comes to work. Definitely, this is one of the areas that need improvement so I found this very interesting article about thinking and acting differently:

    Outside The Box
    http://www.marketingprofs.com/3/ross1.asp

    This article written by Phillip Ross almost 15 years ago, gives us a new perspective on creative thinking. Phrases like “thinking outside the box” or “coloring outside the lines” are very common when it comes to creativity, but as a matter of fact, he established that thinking inside the box is equally challenging and important as outside. “Creativity is more a matter of seeing Themselves That the boxes are Inadequate and suggesting a better arrangement or a better definition. Creativity does not simply discard the boxes, it redefines and / or rearranges them after becoming intimately familiar with them. Real creativity is always the fruit of discipline and order. Creativity, in order to be genuinely creative and not simply sloppy disorganization, must emerge out of discipline and order as an intentional effort ”

    After reading this article, I have a better understanding of what “creative thinking means”. The key to a good performance and success is identifying what kind of box are we dealing with. Now I recognized that taking risks is important when needed. However, “creativity does not means breaking the rules”. In many situations, the challenge is going to be finding ideas that fit within the box rather than exploring outside.

  • Charlyn October 18, 2015  

    Tactics for Innovation Projects (Current 1, Future 5)
    In the past year, I have been stuck with the traditional ways of marketing and never or barely have I ventured out of the box to create new ways of getting the target market’s attention. The most challenging task was being able to come up with something out of the ordinary to differentiate our brand from the rest because there are many competitors out there who have the same goal in mind. I believe I lack self-confidence which resulted to me getting little progress in what I do. I really want to have a successful career in marketing someday but first I must change some things about me first. Which is why I find the article “8 Ways to Unleash Your Creativity and Find Innovative Ideas” really helpful.
    http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2014/01/27/8-ways-to-unleash-your-creativity-and-find-innovative-ideas/
    The article is about how we should condition our minds in order for us to trigger the creative spark within us. It has mentioned of different ways to do so but my main takeaway would be “BUILD A CREATIVE NETWORK”. It has definitely made me learn that great ideas are formed when you brainstorm as a team. Sure we can come up with good ideas every now and then but it’s nothing compared to ideas formed out of collaboration.

  • Charlyn October 18, 2015  

    1. Drive Concept to Launch (Current 1, Future 5)
    Once I was assigned to organize an event with only 2 weeks to plan and prepare everything. As the Event organizer, I was assigned a team to help me through it all. The goal was clear, we all wanted the event to be successful. But due to my fear of failure, I took on the job alone and just assigned the team different things on the day of the event itself. The event went well but it surely drained all the energy I had just because I didn’t bother on meeting up with the team to discuss everything with them and it would’ve been easier for all of us. I showed bad leadership and it resulted to mediocrity. In the article “Five tips to launch a new initiative”, It has made me realize what the important things are in order to come out successful in every action we take. The tips are straightforward and clear. What really caught my attention in the article is the tip about how “People can make or break a successful launch”.
    http://evolllution.com/programming/program_planning/tips-launch-initiative/
    It clearly states how a leader should act and how important team work is in order to meet whatever goals you may have.

  • Charlyn October 18, 2015  

    Think and Act differently (Current 2, Future 5)
    It may sound cliché but in order for us to be successful in what we do or whatever goal we have, we must think out of the box.

    “Power of Thinking Differently– Invent, Imagine, Create, Disrupt.. Change the World: Companies Must Think Different or Fail…”
    http://bizshifts-trends.com/2014/04/06/power-thinking-differently-businesses-must-think-differently-fail-dont-just-think-different-different/
    This article has a compilation of lines from different books and articles about how thinking differently could make wonders. Through the reading, I was able to realize that staying in my comfort zone has given me little to no progress at all. I was always stuck with traditional marketing because in my past work, I was given limited authority because of budget issues. It didn’t really give me the chance to expand my creativity and it has given me the habit of coming up with mediocre strategies. Also, my negative thoughts are always in the way. I was always afraid of failing. But one of the most important things that the article has taught me is that I should condition my mind to thinking and looking at things differently. I should dare to think differently and think beyond my comfort zone because in reality, Creativity is limitless. With this in mind, I could always work around the budget without the need to sacrifice creativity itself.

  • Meng October 18, 2015  

    Meng Sheng (MIM2016)
    Charlestown
    First area of improvement: Build Teams and Networks
    Current score: 1
    Future score: 4
    Troubles: I have worked in a bank as a personal financial manager for 4 years. The primary mission of my job was to sell and organize different financial products to my customers in order to maximize their financing income and increase the revenue of our bank. I communicated with my customer and organized my own work well, but I had trouble when I had to accomplish tasks with my team. I was not comfortable with reporting every single step that I did to my teammates, neither did they, and I was also not good at arranging works properly for each person. So when we made mistakes, I did not know how to figure it out and no one wanted to take responsibilities for them.
    Solutions: According to Eric V. Holtzclaw, a serial entrepreneur and company strategist, understanding each teammate’s strengths will help a team leader to arrange works efficiently. (2013) Although it takes time to observe team members, once the leader really knows his group, the work will become much easier. Moreover, encouraging transparency is a solution to avoid misunderstanding and increase the coherence of the team. As Holtzclaw recommend, teammates are like family members, and we need to bring the problems together and help each other to solve it. (2013)
    Actions: To improve these deficiencies, I will change my work-style in several ways. First, I will communicate with my teammates as clear and organized as possible in order to avoid misunderstanding. Second, I will spend more time to know my team members’ strength and weakness, and clarify each section’s responsibility at the beginning of the meeting. This will help our team to work more efficiently and everyone will be able to identify his or her own work.

    Reference: http://www.inc.com/eric-v-holtzclaw/5-things-smart-managers-know-about-building-teams.html

  • Meng October 18, 2015  

    Meng Sheng (MIM2016)
    Charlestown
    Second area of improvement: Think and Act Differently
    Current score: 2
    Future score: 4
    Lack: I have been considered as a good employee because I always follow the rules and listen to the old employees, but I know this behavior limit my creation and the promotion opportunities. I afraid to try new things and getting comfortable with follow someone’s experiences and advices to make decisions. For example, when I recommended a new product to a customer, I used the same way that another employees used to persuade the client. This strategy helped me to keep my sale on an average, but it has never been an outstanding one.

    Solutions: Jeff Hurt pointed out “you have to intentionally take calculated risks, and you have to have courage to change.”(2011) If I am willing to change, I have to think out of the box and do something that I have never done without having a fear. Different points of view might win a different result. Furthermore, she also recommended that the best way to think differently is staying curious which keeps you engaged and develops your discovery skills. (2011)

    Reference: http://velvetchainsaw.com/2011/11/21/being-more-innovative-acting-thinking-differently/

    Improvements: To solve this problem, first, I will start to list various options for each promotion and collect recommendations from people who are from different fields. Second, the curiosity can help me to find out how the most creative people behavior and the way they solve problems. Finally, after I discover a new strategy, I will put it in action. The more experience I have, the more right answers I will receive.

  • Meng October 18, 2015  

    Meng Sheng (MIM2016)
    Charlestown
    Third area of improvement: Connect Dots
    Current score: 2
    Future score: 4.5

    Lack: A good innovation is not just simply come up a new idea and put it in action. it needs experiences, required comprehensive analysis and well organized. My problem is I can come up with many ideas but I don’t know how to organize it and complete it. For instance, when I had a presentation, I spent my most time to figure out which piece of information I should use and how to put them in the right order. The same situation happened when I worked in the bank. I had many new ideas which I thought were good, but when I need to use it, I forgot what I thought or I don’t know which one I should picked.

    Solutions: According to Gregory Stopka (2014), “connections don’t happen all the time and they don’t always happen in the office. “ I need to learn how to catch them and store them. He also said that we needed to provide time to organize each piece of knowledge.(2014) If we want to connect dots, it is necessary to spend time to organize it, and do enough analysis before we launch it.

    Reference: http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/blogs/blogpost/2094/Connecting_the_Dots_Why_Innovation_is_about_Finding_Relationships_between_Old_Ideas

    Improvements: I found several ways to improve these deficiencies. First, I need to write down new ideas from my teammates and myself during meetings or barnstorms. Second, spend more time on organize my thoughts and daily life which will help me to be more organized. Finally, grow my networks and listen to different experiences or cases from others, which will help me to store more knowledge and strategies.

  • Gayathri October 18, 2015  

    Gayathri Satheesh Panicker
    MIM – Somerville

    1. Area of Improvement #3: Prioritize Concepts (Current: 3, Desired: 5)

    2. Examples of why I’m lacking in this area:
    Firstly I lack the experience to have intuitive actionability to prioritize the concepts I have. This could be especially because I was unsure of how I can connect dots (my area of improvement #2). Secondly, I was never in a position where I had to prioritize the ideas that were suggested to help the company innovate. I was mostly just required to provide ideas. However, this is an area for me to improve, in the sense that I should have been able to prioritize my own ideas when suggesting them in the first place. This links back to my previous areas of improvements as well.

    3. How I can improve:
    The article, “Innovate With Purpose: Idea Prioritization”, introduced the idea attractiveness ranking system to me. It was written: “The first time you create your idea priority ranking, or idea attractiveness matrix, begin by surveying all associates. This will allow you to build a profile of innovation with criteria that matter to your organization as a whole, and helps to rank your organizations list of potential innovation ideas. Using pre-set and shared parameters chosen by your team ensures total buy in, and accountability.”

    Creating a simple table with the most important parameters required for an idea to work, such as the profitability and ROI, and ranking the ideas against these parameters would make it really simple to analyze and choose the best idea to present to senior management. With regards to the example I used to explain my 1st area of improvement, following the suggestion of the idea attractiveness matrix would have helped me get more of my ideas approved. I will definitely be using this matrix in future, especially to analyze the ideas I have, so that I will be able to prioritize them well. Referencing to the second area of improvement I had identified, I can even use this matrix to prioritize low-risk and high-risk ideas such that I will be able to present the most attractive mix of ideas for the long term progress of the organization I will be joining.

    Reference article: http://www.innovationcoach.com/2014/04/innovate-purpose-idea-prioritization/

  • tracywu0329 October 18, 2015  

    NienTing (Tracy) Wu- Somerville Cohort- MIM2016

    Third area of improvement-Think and Act Differently (Current 2, Desire 5)

    In my sophomore year, our class held a welcome camp for the freshmen. After we decided all the schedule, we found that a typhoon might come during the camp period and we had to rearrange the schedule. All I wanted to do was making the change as slightly as possible, for example, alter outdoor activities to indoor so we still can stay with the original time and route schedule. While some of others started to come up with an entirely different and innovative plan, they suggested to try new events, keep the concept of activity but conduct in new way, and even change the locations.

    In the article, How Entrepreneurs Think Differently and You Should Too,(http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228136) taught me how to think like an entrepreneur, think differently. There are five tips: you feeling like a kid, you think you can do it better, you are typically optimistic, you are a rule breaker, you are probably a gear head. I concluded these points into one- do not confine yourself. I found that’s the reason why I reacted like that, I limited myself to make big change when rearranging the welcome camp schedule. Although I felt worried about the new plan, I made a concession and accepted the other’s solution. In the end, the camp didn’t go perfectly but it was an interesting and excited experience. It terms out making innovation is not a bad thing and sometime we should adapt our style and make the team, the event, and the project better!

  • Nicholas October 18, 2015  

    Nicholas Roughgarden ( Charlestown)
    Area of improvement #1- Tactics for innovation Projects (current 1 future 4)

    1. What area needs improvement
    The biggest improvement that I have to make is in the area of the tactics of innovative projects. I accredit this mostly to the job that I have been working for many years part-time since it never let me be innovative in any of the processes. When I worked in customer service at Stop and Shop the job was very tedious and the requirements that we faced each day were the same. This has lead me not only to have trouble grasping some of the concepts at first of innovation but also the process or tactics in which you go about the process.

    2.Article Reference:
    In an article written by Brian O’Connor, he talked about how not only to conduct tactics of innovations but how to sustain them(O’connor, 2015) .He talks about how certain products have failed over the years and why they have failed and seems to drive home a few main points.(O’connor, 2015) The biggest take away I had from the article was the concept of identifying the problem first and not first finding the solution. Another big point he drives home is not to give yourself false hope or be overly optimistic(O’connor,2015). He talks about how you should plan for things to go wrong so that your not completely blindsided if it does.

    Reference article: (http://www.business2community.com/business-innovation/sustaining-innovation-tactics-work-industry-01163855)

    3.How to improve:
    By using the method of identifying the problem first before finding the solution I will be able to better get the strategy that i need to succeed. It is important to have a clear method of what you are going to do from the beginning so by starting from the problem and not working backwards it creates a definitive process. Also, the idea of preparing yourself ahead just in case a new product does not work out seems very smart. It is important to be prepared for any situation that could amass so this is a great way to go about planning.

  • cristine October 18, 2015  

    Cristine Herbert – Somerville

    2- Get resources – level 2 (desired 5)
    Getting resources have much to do with knowing how to pitch and sell the idea. This. As an employee, I had only a few moments to practice this skill and it and now it appears as one of lacking abilities. As the article says, it’s very important to know everything from your idea, every possible detail and also make sure to have something that they will want and can be many things, from money to peace of mind.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224236

  • Chao October 18, 2015  

    Chao Yang (Charlestown)
    The 3rd area of improvement is Drive Concept to Launch (current 1, future 4).
    Due to the success of our first upscale apartment, our president decided to start the second state of high-end apartment area. However, after a short period, the average price of real-estate market encountered a mildly decline. In order to maintain sales at the usual rate, my team members formulated a promotion plan and handed up it to our manager. The main idea was give some rewards to new customers, just like decline the price in a covert way. But our manager refuted to do that, because it will arouse the former customers’ indignations. At that moment, I felt a deep sense of shame, because of the lack of experiences and deliberateness. Finally, the manager suggested us to communicate with some large local units, and try to persuade them to buy our new apartment in a group-buying. That means we only gave a few discount to our cooperating organizations. Yet, the market price was unchanged. Fortunately, such a depression had not sustained a long time. Our company was still kept standing on the top of the market.
    http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6030-product-launch-tips.html
    As the author illustrated in this article, the main steps to launch new concept and product are ready, set and sell. It is vitally important to under your market and customers, which can help you to formulate a tactical plan. There always some potential risks in the market, the strategies should be determined carefully. It is really helpful to learn these methods: understand your market, identify your goals, define your audience and key message, develop and test your minimum viable product, create a marketing plan, measure your results, keep the momentum going.

  • Josef October 18, 2015  

    The second point I need to improve is “Think and Act Differently”!
    Actual Level: 2
    Desired Level: 5
    By working for a company which has two main departments where each department comprises five teams without changing their team-members to any time is a apparent problem. The challenge within this context is that if you want to find new innovations you have to think and act differently. I worked in such a Team, where it was very important to create and find constantly new innovations. However, the problem is that after a while and some projects you realize that you have talked about almost every idea or approach with your team-members. This problem leads us to the question, where we could get new ideas or if we were not innovative enough to crack the issues.
    ARTICLE: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidburkus/2014/02/04/why-innovation-needs-outsiders/
    This article provides a very interesting aspect of how innovation works and what a team or a company can do to think and act differently. It is stated that at a certain point, when the process of searching for new ideas doesn’t lead to results, the bringing in of an outsider might help generate a different angle to the problem. These new and different information could help to bring up new innovations. For the company where I worked are at least two different approaches possible. Firstly, the innovative process can be supported by other persons of other teams I think they have enough information about the company to start immediately and are best placed to help with internal and smaller challenges. Secondly, the team looks for an outsider who is not an employee of the company you are working for. I think the combination of both strategies (internal outsider and external outsider) might support the innovation process of the team and the company.

  • Varun October 18, 2015  

    Varun Venkatesh – Somerville

    3) Drive Concept to Launch

    My current score is 1 and my desired score is 4.

    Out of the millions of ideas conceived by people, only a few see the light of day. And out of those few ideas, only a handful of them come out successful. Therefore, more than generating the idea, the challenge is to implement that idea successfully. Since I do not have any prior knowledge or experience in this field, it could be a big problem for me if I do not learn how to go from conceptualizing an idea to implementing it. People are coming up with brilliant ideas every day, but only some of them are able to launch their idea successfully. Being new in the field of marketing, I have a lot of concepts to learn.

    Reference Article: http://www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/5-keys-to-getting-your-startup-idea-from-concept-to-launch/

    The above stated article by Alfred Edmond Jr, tells us five ways in which we can help take our new ideas from the concept stage till its launch. The key take away from this article would be five tips from William Crowder. It is very important for us to understand that in the initial stages, you do not require a great business plan. What you require is a great idea and the passion for it. Also he tells us that we must be open to new ideas and be inflexible. I consider myself to be a good listener so I must use this to my advantage, so that I can collaborate with others and incorporate the ideas and views given by them to make the idea better. Another important tip that I would implement is to understand the business point of view of any idea and be able to change your idea effectively if it adds value to the business aspect of it. And lastly, one must be brave enough to take risks.

  • Varun October 18, 2015  

    Varun Venkatesh – Somerville

    2) Tactics for Innovation Projects:

    My current score is 1 and my desired score is 4.

    Having never been part of a real innovation project, I think I have a lot to learn in the field of innovation. I need to learn the skills right from the idea generation stage up to the execution of the proposed plans. While I worked in ANZ Bank, I was employed in the entry-level position. So I was never really involved in major decisions or innovation projects in our team as such. This is a real disadvantage for me as a marketer as I don’t have any prior experience in this field. As a marketing professional, one must understand the importance of innovation and should be brave enough to innovate. After attending the classes over the past few weeks, I understood how successful companies like Blackberry or Nokia have failed over the period of time due to their inability to innovate. Time keeps changing and change is the only constant. Innovation is the only way to keep up with your competition and to surpass them. At the end of this course, I wish to be someone who is able to understand the market better and be skillful and brave enough to called an innovator.

    Reference Article: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/5-ways-to-become-more-innovative

    The article stated above by Lisa C. Johnson states 5 easy and effective ways to be more innovative. The key take away for me from this article would be to learn from failure, find like-minded people, increase curiosity and to be brave enough to open up to new ideas and innovate. This article tells us the importance of failure in innovation. Most of the innovative ideas face failure in the starting, but that doesn’t mean one must quit. One must learn to overcome failure and most importantly learn from it and come up with ways to improve. After all failure is the stepping-stone to success. Another important thing that I would work on is to find more like-minded people so that I can have productive discussions on topics of common interest and increase my knowledge and skills and hopefully be able to contribute to another person’s knowledge. Also, being around like-minded people will actually help me be more open in voicing my ideas or opinions. To increase my curiosity, I will start asking myself more questions so that I can list out the areas where I need help and I need to increase my knowledge. As mentioned in the article, I should cultivate a habit or reading articles and viewing videos like TED Talks or other materials related to new and innovative things that people are doing around the world. The last and the most important take away would be to be more open and brave to try out new things. I have to be open to new ideas as well as have the courage to voice my ideas. Lastly, I should not be afraid to try something new and must possess the courage to take calculated risks and innovate.

  • Varun October 18, 2015  

    Varun Venkatesh – Somerville

    1) Build Teams and Networks:

    My current score is 1 and my desired score is 4.

    In the past few weeks that I have spent in HULT, I came to understand that there is one thing more important than your education, experience and skills, and that is networking. The team activities and the events that have taken place in the past few weeks was an eye opener for me as I realized how much I need to improve in this area. I admire those who have the skill to start a conversation with someone new and keep it going. When I attended the events during the toolbox, I observed and tried to learn as much as I could from the people around me who I thought were confident in networking and speaking to new people. I find it tough to start a conversation and open up to a person unless I have a certain level of comfort or understanding with them. For example, when we had our first team activity during the toolbox, I was really tensed if I would be able to contribute and get my ideas across. But once I got comfortable with my team, I had no hesitation in voicing my opinions or giving ideas during the discussions. Since then I started to make an effort to speak more and seize every opportunity I get to speak to someone new. I realized networking is like jumping into a swimming pool. The tough part is just till you jump in.

    Reference Article: http://lifehacker.com/eight-power-networking-tips-to-make-more-meaningful-con-1612095537

    The article stated above, titled “Eight Power Networking Tips to Make More Meaningful Connections” by Molly Triffin, gave me some really helpful tips on how to expand my network and make successful connections. It doesn’t just talk about how to make new connections, it also talks about how to make new and meaningful connections that could actually impact your career. The key take away from this article for me would be the Power Tips on how to skillfully network. The first tip that states ‘give before you receive’ is something that I strongly agree with and I would love to implement it henceforth in my team as well as in social situations. I think a small act of niceness for someone can be a great way to connect with him or her, and start a conversation. Finding out about your contacts passions and finding a common ground are two more tips that I found very helpful. I would definitely make an effort from now on to find out more about the other persons interests and passions so that I can keep a productive conversation going on. It would also help me in finding out if we have anything in common which could help in strengthening our connection.

  • vagrawal2016 October 18, 2015  

    Vishal Agrawal
    MIM Charlestown
    October18, 2015

    1.Prioritize Concepts (Current Score 2; Future Score 5)

    My first area for improvement is Prioritize Concepts. I was a trainee in a Tea Packaging company. I wanted to perform several tasks at the same time but end up wasting more time and less work. I generally get confused when it comes to prioritizing the tasks that are more important than others.

    Reference article: https://getlighthouse.com/blog/why-priority-management-trumps-time-management/

    I went through this article and it do provided me with useful tips. Firstly, It suggests applying the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule). One of the most oft-quoted concepts, the Pareto Principle, applies to both people and tasks: “roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” It suggests doing things that have more importance and of higher value. Secondly, the author suggests doing fewer $10/hr tasks and more $100/hr tasks. It means dividing your work in terms of money and then determining which part of your work has higher value and which part have lower value.

  • Gayathri October 18, 2015  

    Gayathri Satheesh Panicker
    MIM Somerville

    1. Area of Improvement #2 – Connect Dots (Current: 3, Desired: 5)

    2. Examples of why I’m lacking in this area:
    Although I am outgoing and outspoken, I tend not to bother people for advice when I do not have all the resources to put my idea to work. What I do instead is suggest the idea to my team and the manager, and if they say we are not able to pull it off given our resources, I laid the idea to rest, without taking the initiative to find others who can help make it work. This is partially due to a fear of being turned down by seniors and the embarrassment that I will have to face. It is also because I have not realized that co-creating would help a lot in the innovation process, until now.

    3. How I can change it:
    In the article, “Five Dimensions to Conceptualize Your Idea to Make it a Successful Innovation”, the author Venkatakrishnan Balasubramanian brilliantly discusses 2 perspectives and 5 dimensions to connect dots to make an idea work.

    It was very insightful and gave me a lot of ideas on how I could have made my ideas work instead of putting them to rest when met with a constraint.

    For example, I learned that I should have a clear understanding of the strategic objectives of the company I am working for before I suggest an idea, and I should have a business model for the idea itself (on how I can implement it and actually make the idea give profits to the company). This way, my managers can know that the ideas I put on the table are uniquely designed for the organization and not just something in the initial stages of idea creation. This way, I also respect the time their investing in listening to my idea and I am ready to answer any questions they have rather than saying “I will get back to you on that”. That in itself, can help connect dots more effectively.

    I can use the 5 dimensions to help form the business model for my idea.
    The 5 dimensions are:
    1. Competitive Advantage
    2. Business Alignment
    3. Customers
    4. Execution
    5. Business Value

    In the excitement of having an idea that can positively affect the company, it has been difficult for me to create a compelling reason for why the company should accept and work on my idea. After reading this article, I have identified that mentioning the key differentiating factor, relating the idea to the current and future business directions of the organization, connecting the wants and needs of the customer to the idea, complementing our capabilities with those of others and explaining what we stand to gain from implementing my idea will greatly improve the chances of my idea getting accepted by the manager and senior management.

    As mentioned in the example I used earlier (in my previous answer), the major concern of my manager was the lack of manpower and the use of technology to aid in making the ideas come to life. Using what I have learned from this article, I have realized that there were a number of experts I could have consulted and introduced to my manager to aid in discussing the ideas.

    This, along with better presentation of my ideas would have enabled me to connect more dots, thus enabling the conceptualization of my idea and make it a successful innovation.

    Reference article: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/01/23/how-to-build-a-framework-to-conceptualize-your-ideas-into-successful-innovations/

  • xujin2015 October 18, 2015  

    Jin Xu (Somerville)
    Reason to innovate (current 2, future 5)
    Based on the assignment, I know there is an innovation mandate from management but I am not sure what it is or what my personal goals and targets are. Actually, when my manager gives us a new assignment, I just know how to complete it. But for innovation, I’m not sure what I could do. All of managers want to make something new and do all the details better. An innovation means more new ideas and always act differently.
    That is my weakness. I should know a specific target and how to get this target. So firstly, I should make more communication with my colleagues and managers. In the past, I realize that I did not have the enough conversation with my co-worker and did know my products at well. In the future I think what I should do is to find out the weakness of my current products to get the innovation point and also have more communication with my colleagues.
    Link:http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/innovation.html

  • viraj bhagat October 18, 2015  

    VIRAJ BHAGAT | MIM – SOMERVILLE COHERT

    Third area of improvement: Tactics for Innovation Projects.

    In my previous experiences, I have never been a part of a group that has had to innovate and try to develop something new and different. Hence, I decided to learn some tactics on how I can start planning to innovate and generate ideas to develop my work.

    The article that I found is called “A Process for Innovation Planning”. This article showed a step by step guide to how I can ensure that the best ideas are generated and implemented. The first step is to see what the goal of innovating should be. What is the different thing that needs to be implemented? I first need to see all the important factors like the resources needed, the timeframe available to develop ideas based on the problem and see the available budget to implement the idea. Then start by brainstorming and experimenting whether the ideas generated can be used based on the goals set. Once some good ideas have been captured it is essential for me to evaluate whether the ideas generated are going to feasible and practical to be implemented. Once this step is done, it is important for me to report to the people that will be able to implement the idea generated by me and check on their feedbacks if something has to be changed or worked on. This article gave me the basic guidelines on how I can start and process innovative thinking.

    Link: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/a-process-for-innovation-planning/

  • viraj bhagat October 18, 2015  

    VIRAJ BHAGAT | MIM – SOMERVILLE COHERT

    Second area of improvement: Build Teams and Networks.

    I was part of a very small team of 4 when I was working for an advertising agency. All 4 of us had a different role to play and handled different aspects of the work. I have had very little experience in working in a good effective team, so, I realized that I have to improve on my team building and networking skills.

    The article that I found called “4 secrets of building strong teams in network marketing” is written based on a movie called ‘When the Game Stands Tall’. This article has the 4 main points that is the key to an effective team. The first point is Camaraderie. This simply means that all the members of a team should have a level of mutual trust and a spirit of good friendship amongst each other. If the members of a team are comfortable with each other then it will be easier for all of them to work together in an efficient manner. The second tip is Compassion. All the members of a team should be there for each other at all times and just be around to share love when each other need it. The third point is Commitment. Every team member should be committed to the success of the team and put in all their individual efforts that is needed in completing their mission or goals as a team. Lastly, the fourth point is Compliment. It is very important to compliment and motivate your team mates to boost their morale and keep a happy atmosphere within the team for future success.

    Link: http://richjuan.com/network-marketing-skills/network-marketing-team-work/4-secrets-building-strong-teams-network-marketing

  • viraj bhagat October 18, 2015  

    VIRAJ BHAGAT | MIM – SOMERVILLE COHERT

    First area of improvement: Prioritize Concepts.

    From my past experiences, I have realized that I do not prioritize all my work efficiently and that sometimes resulted in me completing the unimportant work first and then having much lesser time to pay attention to the more important, top priority work. I always used to jump into doing the first task that came in hand without prioritizing what’s important and urgent.

    The article that I found is called “How to prioritize work when everything is 1” and it has a step by step guide about how I should organize and prioritize all my work in hand. Now, I have learnt to follow the 6 easy steps to prioritize all my work in an efficient manner. First, I have decided to make a full list of all the tasks in hand. Then, from the tasks in hand I need to identify what work is needed to go earlier and what work has a little more time to complete and assess which work has a greater value. Then, I need to order the tasks based on the estimated time and the resources that are needed to be allocated to the task. Also, what I learnt from the article was that I should be flexible and be able to easily adapt to any uncertainties that may come up and also, after looking at the schedule of tasks to be completed, cut out on all the work for the day that is of lesser importance.

    Link: http://www.liquidplanner.com/blog/how-to-prioritize-work-when-everythings-1/

  • Xiangling October 18, 2015  

    Athena, Xiangling Wang (Charles Town, MIM)
    #3 Area of Improvement: Align Stakeholders
    Current Score: 3 Target Score: 5
    1. Why you are lacking in that area
    When I was working in my last company, the company definition of marketing is quite narrow, thus when I was trying to do something out of this fixed mindset of marketing, I would run into so many obstacles and disagrees, sometimes even from the marketing team.
    2. Reference an article
    Link of the article: http://mopartners.com/agility-marketing-alignment-rewards/
    From this article, I learned about what the barriers are to alignment and strategies for marketing to overcome the obstacles and drive alignments.

    3. how you will use the recommendations listed on the referenced article to improve yourself
    First, the correct broad role of marketing should be understood by internal stakeholders. Then, we need to set up common goals across functions in the company, brining in different departments to agreement on the company common goal, encourage stakeholders to take collective ownership of the company business. At the same time, marketing team should initiate active internal conversation to keep everyone on the same page, move for the same goal.

  • Xiangling October 18, 2015  

    Athena, Xiangling Wang (Charles Town, MIM)
    #2 Area of Improvement: Think and Act Differently
    Current Score: 3 Target Score: 5
    1. Why you are lacking in that area
    It seemed like a nature that most of us would tend to obey the set-rules most of the time, even if the rule might be an obstacle to us to achieve our goal. It happened to me a lot in my past years of working, because of some ‘common sense’ or ‘general rule’ that I did not think of a different approach or strategy to get a way out of some dilemma, there was once that my team needed to take part in a client’s annual marketing event, as a marketing service provider, our company would set up a booth in the exhibition and introduce client’s new marketing campaign to its channel partners, we would also ask those interested partners to sign up as registration for the execution of the campaign, so that we could follow up with them after the event. The booth was ok, and introduction was ok, however, we found out that a lot of partner’s information can not be collected correctly, because we provided the survey form in paper, and a lot of handwritings are just unrecognizable. If we thought of what kind situation would happen instead of just using this traditional way, and create a electronic survey form to collect information, this would not happen, and our event would be much more efficient.

    2. Reference an article
    Link of the article: http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2011/23396/5-ways-b2b-marketers-can-think-and-act-different
    This article presented 5 ways how B2B marketers can think and act different:
    # 1. Don’t believe what they say. Neglect the characterization from the others, go for what’s in front of you;
    # 2. Defy tradition. Don’t let the tradition or common sense bind you;
    # 3. Fight for the right change. Do the research, and insist on the implication when you know it’s right thing to do;
    # 4. Be realistic. It’s good to have higher goals, but it’s important to be realistic;
    # 5. Lead. Be proactive, don’t wait for the others to give orders to make a move.

    3. how you will use the recommendations listed on the referenced article to improve yourself

    This 5 actions can really help me to think and act differently, through ‘change, invent, imagine, explore, create, inspire’. We are preparing the team assignment of this class, which is to give recommendation to a company on how to increase it’s revenue by 15%, the company we are targeting is a leading car rental company in US, it has many competitions now in the industry at different level, we could apply these 5 advices to analyze, plan and implement the strategy to achieve our goal.

  • Xiangling October 18, 2015  

    Athena, Xiangling Wang (Charles Town, MIM)
    #1 Area of Improvement: Connect Dots
    Current Score: 3 Target Score: 5
    1. Why you are lacking in that area
    When I was working as Program Manager in my last company, I took care of all the company’s major clients in Greater China, there are in total 6 of them, as a PM, I worked not only with the clients’ GC team, but also the APJ regional heads for client’s marketing tactics development, as my company handled the channel partner marketing campaigns for each of the clients, I was often asked to provide suggestions on who the partners should target to, what kind of approach or marketing activity will be effective, and how to implicate the strategies, but sometimes I would meet problem in providing new ideas and connecting the information (data) we had collected to new channel marketing strategy. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas or information to share, but I did not create a compelling and unique concept for implication by connecting all those dots.

    2. Reference an article
    Link of the article: https://resources.maxymiser.com/h/i/70464024-connecting-the-dots-6-steps-to-a-winning-campaign-concept
    This article tells us how to create a successful campaign concepts by 6 simple steps:
    Step 1: Identify a business goal;
    Step 2: Choose a page that has greater impact to test;
    Step 3: Determine KPIs to understand how the changes you make impact the business goal;
    Step 4: Set up specific scope to get efficient result;
    Step 5: Brainstorm and define test changes;
    Step 6: Connect the dots;

    3. how you will use the recommendations listed on the referenced article to improve yourself
    The process introduced in the article gave me a clearer understanding on how to create new and practical concepts based on information/data I have on hand, not only to create a winning campaign concept, but whatever new program to run. To develop a new marketing strategy, I shall identify the goal of the involved business through communication with customers, filter out those items which will make greater impacts as the core of the strategy, at the same time, review history information/data to make predictions and set up reasonable KPIs to monitor the effectiveness, also I will determine the scope of each relevant items to assure the new marketing strategy could generate expected results, during this process, it’s very important to collect feedback from different team and make necessary changes, when all the steps been done, I will be able to sketch out a actionable marketing strategy for the program.

  • Analilia October 18, 2015  

    Analilia Morales
    Somerville Cohort
    (current 2, expected 4.8)
    As a designer it is easy to stick to an idea and you’d never let it go or change anything about it, sometimes is good being this way because you fight for it but is not always the right way. My Innovation Audit reflects pretty much that behavior and I’m not surprised, I’ve been struggling to change it and I’m also aware of the benefits of acting differently.
    The first area of improvement is: Think and Act differently
    Like I mentioned before it is very hard for me to think and act differently. When I have and idea or project, I come up with solutions and then I don’t really want to change anything. In my past job I was in charge of designing new brands for different initiatives and the hard part was when the rest of my team came to me for feedback or changes, it was uncomfortable for me not for the feedback, because I really appreciate feedback but because I felt nothing was wrong with my designs.
    In the Article “Being More Innovative: Acting And Thinking Differently” they mentioned two things that really made me think: “If you change your behaviors you change your creative impact” and “Innovators are questioners. They question the status quo. They look for the unique and extraordinary. They link ideas that are not normally connected. They tinker and play with things and test new ideas”
    So I think it is all about questioning myself, I’m I right? Should I think different and change the approach that I’m currently using for solving problems or designing new brands? I need to learn how to test new ideas and convince myself that I need to explore more before getting to the final decision. Is all about attitude and embracing the change and of course listening to others.
    Reference Hurt, Jeff. “Being More Innovative: Acting And Thinking Differently.”Http://velvetchainsaw.com/. Web.
    http://velvetchainsaw.com/2011/11/21/being-more-innovative-acting-thinking-differently/
    Second area of improvement: Tactics for Innovation Projects
    “Innovate or Die”. Even though I consider myself a creative and Innovative person I tend to use similar tactics to tackle different situations, my lack of experience in this area make me do this constantly, but I’m aware than Innovating on Innovation is a must. When I need to come up with a new concept I always do the same process, brainstorming, sketching, etc. and maybe if I try different tactics I will be able to get better results. In the article Innovate or Die: The Innovation121 A Menu of [Essential] Innovation Tactics by Tom Peters, he wrote very interesting tactics but this one is my favorite: Culture of “Try it! Now!” Culture! Culture! Attitude! Attitude! Mindset! Mindset! “The way we do things around here.” “Around here, we try things first, fix ’em fast, try again, talk about it later, when we’ve got something to talk about.” I’m adopting this tactic from now on by always having attitude and try, try, try and try it fast. Trying Stuff. Screwing Stuff Up. Fast. By doing this I will discover new tactics, new processes and new results.
    Reference Peters, Tom. “Innovate or Die: The Innovation121 A Menu of [Essential] Innovation Tactics.”
    http://tompeters.com/blogs/freestuff/uploads/Innov_tactics121_Appends011309.pdf
    Third area of improvement Drive Concept to Launch
    I usually develop concepts, ideas or projects but I don’t know how drive these to launch, I believe this could be or is the reason many projects fail. Driving concept to launch in the case of my past job would be presenting the proposal to the client. When I got to the point where we had to launch a project I tended to rely on different co-workers with more experience because I didn’t know what to do. By doing some research I realized launching is all about the previous phases “If you want to get your launch just right, it’s going to take a lot of careful research, planning and measuring, some of which must occur before you even get to the development phase”. So what I can take from this article is that if I make sure that all the design process is correct and accurate, I will be very careful in every step and phase of the project so the launching can flow better.
    Reference Fallon, Nicole. “Ready, Set, Sell: How to Successfully Launch Your First Product.” Http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6030-product-launch-tips.html. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.

  • Fabiola October 18, 2015  

    Fabiola Valencia (Somerville)

    Get resources
    Current Score – 2
    Future Score – 5

    I have spent quite some time analyzing resources needed for a startup, but I have not acted on many of them. Since I don’t have much working experience on the matter, I have a low score.
    The article I read is aimed at startups, “8 Resources Every New Startup Person Should Use”.
    The article advises that you should incorporate your business as the first step; it’s recommend to use LegalZoom as their prices are economical. It also recommends that you set up a domain page for your business. Then it is recommended that you read three books; “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh to learn from his personal “rollercoaster” of his business; “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries, which essentially the message is to conduct a market research, and “Four Steps to the Epiphany” by Steve Blank, which is about the agility of startups in comparison to corporations.
    Also, it is recommended that you use Venture Hacks, a website dedicated to startup-related questions, and lastly unemployment benefits.
    Based on the recommendations, in order to become a better innovator I’m going to read the books recommended, and also brainstorm on the name of the brand that I would like to have. Also, from my understanding of the article I don’t actually have to hire someone and have them on payroll, I can always outsource through these websites and use them as resources to benefit my company.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/nicktaranto/2014/01/27/8-resources-every-new-startup-person-should-use/

  • Fabiola October 18, 2015  

    Fabiola Valencia (Somerville)

    Drive a concept to launch
    Current Score – 1
    Future Score – 5

    I want to improve in this area because I would like to have a successful product in the market sooner than later. My inexperience in the subject is the reason for my low score.
    According to the article, “5 Steps to Take Your Product From Concept to Reality”, in order to take my concept into launch, I should start by analyzing whether you have a large market opportunity or not. From that I should find the best way to do my prototype, depending on my idea. The next step is to consider crowd-funding, the article suggest that you have at least 20% before you go live. The next step the article suggests is to consider if the product should be produced in-house or outsourced. The article’s last advice is to take the business seriously. Based on the recommendations on the article I can start by designing the prototype and have it ready before I start looking for a business partner or investors. I should also closely analyze my potential market and read reviews of competitors, in order to deliver a best product.
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227390

  • Fabiola October 18, 2015  

    Fabiola Valencia (Somerville)

    Build teams and networks
    Current Score – 2
    Future Score – 5

    I believe I’m lacking in this area because I have not been exposed enough to teams and networks. I have worked as part of a team only once as an intern and now at Hult.
    At Hult I will be able to put in practice everything that has been taught to me about working in teams.
    Based on the article “6 Ways Successful Teams Are Build To Last” in order to build a successful team I need to be aware of how I work; get to know the rest of the team; clearly define roles and responsibilities; be proactive with feedback; acknowledge and reward; and always celebrate success.
    On Friday, one of my teammates was able to secure a company for our group project and we acknowledge his success, which is one of the key factors in this article. For the future in order for me to achieve my future score I plan on implementing all I know about successful teams, and two key attributes that I believe I lack. Which are: to be proactive with feedback, and to keep acknowledging and rewarding my teammates.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/10/01/6-ways-successful-teams-are-built-to-last/

  • Chia-Chi October 18, 2015  

    Chia-Chi Liu (Someville)

    The third area of improvement for me is types of innovation projects (current score 2: future score 5). To be honest, I do not much experience in innovation in my career because I have not been involved in any innovation projects. And I do not have any knowledge of it and I have not got any change to learn it from textbooks or someone else. So this is my first time to get to know the types of innovation projects. And I am very appreciated to take such assessment to let me understand better about it.
    In the past, I only know the breakthrough which is to make something that never existed before, just like iPhone. According to the passage,
    http://www.theinnovativemanager.com/the-four-types-of-innovation-and-the-strategic-choices-each-one-represents/
    expect for breakthrough, there are other 3 types of innovation: sustaining, new market, disruptive. It is very interesting about disruptive innovation because to narrow all the details down is extremely difficult, just like iPhone one button in the case. And after that, Apple have expanded one function: finger printing. No one has had that idea before while Apple just did it successfully. So Apple sets a excellent example for me to know different types of innovation types.

  • Chia-Chi October 18, 2015  

    Chia-Chi Liu (Someville)

    The second area of improvement is how to connect dots (current score 2: future score 5). I have experienced so much during in past years. Most of experience makes negative effects on me, which I think it is useless. So when I am thinking about innovation, I usually get rid of that negative experience. And I feel that you always need to absorb more knowledge to feel connected with new times. So I do have lot of ideas, experience, even knowledge, but I cannot connect it to generate something new.
    After reading the following article,
    https://blog.bufferapp.com/connections-in-the-brain-understanding-creativity-and-intelligenceconnections
    I come to realize that even irrelevant things can be connected just like technology and sports. In fact, I know lots of things in different fields, like golf, Bluetooth, vaporizer, ect.
    It seems that they are not totally irrelevant, but it can be connected in a specific point to build new ideas. Even from negative or failed experience, we can learn a lot and make a success. Just as Steve Jobs talked about the secret to being able to make connections so readily: that’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

  • Chia-Chi October 18, 2015  

    Chia-Chi Liu (Someville)

    After doing the individual assessment, I found that the first area that I need to improve is tactics for innovation projects (current score 2: future 5). Why do I need to improve in the area? Firstly, when I take a look at this phrase, I just do not know what it refers to. Besides, I have not much experience on the innovation, not mention to the tactics for the innovation projects. For example, many small and medium business face the challenges of transforming because they are required to adapt to the fast changes in the technology, products and even consumers’ needs.
    Based on the following article,
    http://www.100open.com/2010/08/7-tactics-incentives-for-open-innovation/
    I have learned 7 tactics for open innovation:
    1. Share both risks and rewards
    2. Tap into intrinsic incentives
    3. Don’t expect something for nothing
    4. Ask engaging questions
    5. Build Business empathy
    6. Target quantity before quality
    7. Find your top 1%
    In generally, the ultimate goal for innovation is to find great ideas and turn it into investable business concept or model. I used to focus on quality instead of quantity when I think about innovation. Moreover, I always want to create something new rather than update or recreate old models. I can start to do innovation based on above 7 tactics in the future.

  • Laura October 18, 2015  

    Laura Gaxiola
    Charlestown Cohort

    According to the Individual Innovation Audit my three areas of improvement are: more and better dots, think and act differently, and align stakeholders. Since I don’t have job experience, I have to focus on developing skills that can help me to think global and more “growth mindset” like.

    Improvement area #1
    More and better dots (Current level=1 / Desired level=4)
    This area talks about thinking more global than local. As I said before, I have no job experience, and I live in a small city, so reading articles and trying to find tools and strategies that increase my awareness of global marketing trends and enhance global skills, will help me build a wider vision of how’s the global market right now.
    Allan Haims in his article “Retail Marketing Strategies: Connecting Dots”, talks about how smartphones and digital media have come to change the way customers shop. Being aware about the impact of using this facts to increase sales and influence the customer by mobile engagement, is a global trend that retail stores are trying to include in their marketing strategies.

    http://marketingland.com/retail-marketing-strategies-connecting-dots-139673

    This article shows global marketing trends, where are we trying to get as marketers and how to reach the customer having a global vision. Definitely mobile engagement is getting stronger every day, and sometimes by thinking that because our company just focuses on local market, we limit the potential growth of it. The main takeaways of this article are:
    – An all-inclusive mobile strategy is one of the main objectives and goals an organization should keep in mind this days.
    – Retail and mall developer marketers alike have a massive opportunity to influence in-mall purchases through targeted mobile engagement.
    – In examining marketing priorities, what it comes down to is this: integration.
    – Promotions being sent to and accessed by the consumer need to be relevant, personalized and localized.
    – In today’s fast-paced retail environment, shoppers are mostly using their smartphones to do product research.

    Improvement area #2
    Think and Act Differently (Current level=2 / Desired level=5)
    Having the ability to be unique and take risks is very important to innovate. I feel that I’m working on changing fixed to growth mindset thinking, but I still need to practice more. Since I want to be less traditional and more proactive at establishing action plans, strategies and brainstorming, this article helped me to understand some key factors that will increase my confidence on trying new options, be open to analyze solutions that at the beginning do not make sense and take some risks. Also, I found it easy to read and it explains with real life stories each statement.

    http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2011/23396/5-ways-b2b-marketers-can-think-and-act-different

    The main takeaways of this article are:
    – Don’t Believe What They’re Saying,
    – Defy Tradition
    – Fight for the Right Change
    – Be Realistic
    – Lead
    While working with teams and at projects, is a great opportunity to begin practicing this 5 strategies to think and act differently, build innovative tactics and solutions, unique team works and valuable proposals.

    Improvement area #3
    Align stakeholders (Current level=2 / Desired level=5)
    As I said before, I don’t have job experience. I have worked with teams for temporal projects, but I haven’t experienced being part of an organization and trying to reach synergy between co-workers. Getting to understand the strategies, goals, and mission of the company as a whole, impacts in the performance of every employee and the organization as well. We need to earn skills that let us effectively help to align stakeholders, drive us to the same objective and reaching the same goal.
    The article from the Reputation Institute Magazine mentions that “Alignment and stakeholder support are the most powerful tools any company can have in its operational arsenal, providing leverage that opens markets, sells products, and allows a business to thrive”.

    http://www.bi.edu/cccFiles/seminarer/RI_Magazine_main%20article.pdf

    Some of the takeaways of this article are:
    – Roadmap to Alignment is a clear and systematic set of steps that all departments of the company follow, with the aim of winning alignment with internal and external stakeholders.
    – Elements of the map involve intelligence gathering, analysis, message creation, delivery and reiteration.
    – Alignment Step 1: Intelligence Gathering. Technologies, litigation and legislation, consumer behavior, what stakeholders know and believe about the organization.
    – Alignment Step2: Select the right Roadmap. Negotiation or Confrontation-focused approach to build alignment.
    – Alignment Step 3: Benefit from Corporate Storytelling. Reputation managers have to establish lasting foundations used as a starting point for developing communication activities about the company in general.
    I really think that building a Roadmap will help also to keep synergy in teams, and trying to apply some of this steps will enhance my skills to align efforts between co-workers and maximize the potential of our team.

  • Natalia Garcia October 18, 2015  

    Natalia Garcia
    Somerville

    Area of improvement: Reason to innovate.

    During my previous work experience I always had this concerned about if I’m bringing enough to the table in terms of constantly creating new value with my work. This value in terms of my team work, the support areas, the processes and so on. I was constantly asked for my opinion and for new ideas but sometimes the lack of experience I felt compare to the team I was working with usually pulled me down and just go with what they think was better. My main weakness here could be the fact that in order not to disturb the processes I’m in or to maybe say something that might be wrong I just rely on the usual way of doing thinks, not thinking critical. I feel that markets are now in that innovation era; consumers are constantly changing their minds and searching for new innovative ideas to follow. to keep up not only with the market itself but with the inner processes inside a company an innovative way of thinking and performing is crucial.

    In my search looking for articles where I can find ways of how to become an innovative person, or how to turn that “switch” on I came with this article “6 Tips On Driving Innovation – Even If You Think Your Boss Will Say No” as an example of not how to be creative but how not to be afraid of being so, because I believe that this is actually what happens. The 6 tips are as follows:

    1. Innovation isn’t impossible in large organizations – but you’ll need determination
    2. Being creative is great, but innovators turn creativity into output.
    3. De-risk your idea as far as you can.
    4. Learn collaboration – it’s not the same as teamwork.
    5. Get out of the office.
    6. Don’t expect everyone to say yes straightaway

    As going trough the article and the tips I realized it’s all about your attitude and how you communicate your ideas. Also it key to think out of the box put your brain in creative-working mode. A really interesting thing I read was “Innovation is creativity with output” it means you don’t only have to be creative you need to put your ideas into paper, actually make things happened. As for me I think that this tips really encourage me to go out there and don’t be afraid of letting my thoughts out. So for now on every aspect of my life I’m going to put in practice this tips. At this point Hult is a great place to be and working on teams here is a huge challenge but also a great opportunity to put your self into different type of situations. I will start putting my innovative shirt on. http://www.forbes.com/sites/hesterlacey/2014/02/25/6-tips-on-driving-innovation-even-if-you-think-your-boss-will-say-no/

  • cristine October 18, 2015  

    Cristine Herbert – Somerville

    1- Prioritizing concepts – level 2 (desired 5)
    Good ideas show up every once in a while during any sort of events. As a marketer, I’m expected to be more creative than others, so it’s also an extra challenge to be innovative and assertive when it comes to prioritizing concepts and ideas. This area had shown in my audit as one of the weakest subject, as in my last experience, many ideas would be thrown on the table, but very little would follow through with a defined plan. Or, since the business were doing ok, they would rather let it go and skip to doing the real job. Reading through the article bellow, I could find simple steps that could help improve this skill and ease the process of picking the better idea building a stronger model. They are:
    1. consider the criteria that are important;
    2. weight those criteria;
    3. score each candidate on those criteria;
    4. add up the results;
    5. let the chips fall where they are. The highest rated idea is the one you should pursue.
    I’m sure this guide can help me improve my mental process and my ability go throughout the modelling process.

    http://www.innovationinpractice.com/innovation_in_practice/2008/08/ideation-vs-prioritization.html

  • Emmanuel October 18, 2015  

    EMMANUEL GEORGY
    ID : 2075040
    CHARLESTOWN

    Thirdly, my way to prioritize concepts also needs improvement. I have a lack in that area due to my concentration which goes often on many sides at the same time. That is good to think farther, however it’s good to prioritize what needs to be done now. Due to that conflict I always get lost in my global organisation and that takes me a lot of precious time to re organise logically my agenda. That happened many times during my internships, and because of this I had to stay longer to get things done.
    http://www.briantracy.com/blog/time-management/6-time-management-tips-to-increase-productivity-organizational-skills/
    Key points from this article :
    #1 « Prepare in advance »
    #2 « Schedule your time »
    #3 « The more time you take to sit, think, and plan, the better organized you will be in every area of your life.»
    After that I must confess that it looks obvious. However, the real challenge rely on practicing it.
    The most important thing when you work is probably the dead line. No matter what, you have to feed the demand. That is to say, loosing time doesn’t create innovation, it’s sterile. However, If I apply that strategy I will be able to realise all in the timing and moreover find some free time to plan my future actions. Prioritize my goals and my daily actions will lead me to innovation.

  • Emmanuel October 18, 2015  

    EMMANUEL GEORGY
    ID : 2075040
    CHARLESTOWN

    Secondly, my way to « think and act differently » needs improvement. I have a strong personality that wants to express, no matter what, the way I feel. However, I focus most of my time on my personal goals which could be a problem in a company due to the collaborative activity perspective.
    http://www.job-interview-site.com/the-qualities-of-a-good-employee.html
    Key points from this article :
    #1 « Inappropriate communication between employees can cause many problems to the company. » // Communicator.
    #2 « An employer who can contribute is an ideal worker. » // Team Player.
    #3 « Do not hesitate in helping out others » // Helping others.
    After reading that article, I can now understand why in a company acting that way can provide a global efficiency on human ressources which are after all the pirmary matter of a company. How people act and react inside your effective make the difference in terms of production’s quality, performance’s quality and so on the revenue, on a short and a long term. That ‘s why I will use that recommendation to organise my time in the future, in order to have time to communicate more and help others. After all it s profitable for both sides and the company, because you both learn how to improve in some ways, being globally connected and so effective. The difference between a good leader and a bad leader is that there is one who think he’s just the leader, and that there is one who think he’s also a partner.

    • pkalaivanan2016 October 18, 2015  

      i dont think you have a strong personality.. the quiz lied to you… so i guess that kinda defeats the purpose.. 😛 :*

  • Maria Camila October 18, 2015  

    Maria Camila Torres Chartano
    Somerville Cohort

    Tactics for Innovation Projects

    Current Score: 2.0 Vs. Future Score: 5.0

    As well as I need to improve my knowledge in types of innovation projects I have to improve which are the tactics that I can use to implement them. Indeed as I have not had experience managing flexible innovation projects I don’t really know any useful ploys to create, implement and measure those types of projects. In my belief and in my personal opinion this third point is one of the most important knowledge that I need to internalize for my professional development.

    The article that I have chosen for this skill that I need to improve is “IMPLEMENTATION: THERE’S MORE TO INNOVATION THAN GREAT IDEAS” http://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/implementation-theres-more-to-innovation-than-great-ideas/. As I said I really don’t have experience with innovation projects and I have a background working in an inflexible company, consequence of this for me is hard not just think outside the box but also I don’t know how actually implement the projects which is for me the hardest part of the process. This article is truly oriented to the implementation of ideas which for me is really meaningful considering that in life everyone have multiple ideas of business but actually just a few people are able to do something with that because the gap between the paper and the reality is huge.

  • Maria Camila October 18, 2015  

    Maria Camila Torres Chartano
    Somerville Cohort

    Think and act differently

    Current Score: 2.0 Vs. Future Score: 5.0

    For me this point is really complex and tangled the reason why is because in my personal decisions and personal life I have my own style for everything and I always try to do the things unique but when we are talking about business this changes. I am a very original person but the problem is that sometimes I can not apply that different thinking to my professional career, most of all because I feel scare of fail to other people. In your personal life you just disappointed yourself but in your professional life other people counts on you and you try to do your best to not fail them.

    The article that I found interesting for this aspect that I need to improve is “How Entrepreneurs Think Differently and You Should Too” http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228136. This article will be helpful to enhance this aspect because I have been oriented to have my own business all my life and actually I had a company with two of my best friends of my university once, experiencing this I have realized that being an entrepreneur is not a easy task and most of all because you tend to make the same as everyone else. For that reason this article fits perfectly to my situation. I will be able not just to change my way to acting and think but also do it orienting my attitude and efforts to the entrepreneurship path.

  • Maria Camila October 18, 2015  

    Maria Camila Torres Chartano
    Somerville Cohort

    Types of innovation Projects

    Current Score: 2.0 Vs. Future Score: 5.0

    Before I came to Hult I was working in a bank and practically is the only experience that I had in my professional life before my graduation, therefore I think that because of had been working in a really traditional company I could not wide my horizon in types of projects to innovate. At the bank we always used the same pattern, you have to follow a lot of rules and procedures due the financial field is quite structured.

    The article that I found useful to improve this skill was http://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/learning-to-manage-global-innovation-projects/ because is not just an article that gives you the basic information of which ones are the types of innovation projects, this article gives you a widespread scene of how you have to managing project in a global perspective which I will use and get advantage now at Hult where I have classmates for all over the world with different ways of innovate and different ways of make projects.

  • Emmanuel October 18, 2015  

    EMMANUEL GEORGY
    ID : 2075040
    CHARLESTOWN
    Building Teams and creating Networks

    I am a rational man who truly believes that something can be built with one person. However, having more human resources in one project leads to better realization. My current score is 1, and my desired one is 5…The question could be : [Why ? How ? When ? Where ?] can I get it ?
    I think I lack in this section because when I was working for Sol-amor [French eye wear Brand] I was doing a lot, and alone… I was in charge of relaunching the brand in the fashion landscape so to speak.
    I had to be during that rich experience a community manager, a photograph, a marketing analyst, an artistic director, a media planner, a strategy planner and a project manager.
    I am always thinking that I can do something by myself, which can be true in many cases but professionally you will always need an external contribution. The reason « why » is simply that everybody is better in something special and that if you want to bring the best to a project you must concentrate these skills together. That way, you will save time and so efficiency.
    https://hbr.org/2007/11/eight-ways-to-build-collaborative-teams
    Key points from that article :
    #1 « Assemble the knowledge in order to respond properly to the complexity of today’s tasks. »
    #2 « You need to have a team no matter what is its size, the effectiveness of a company rely on a global culture that enrich the production. »
    #3 « Developing an organizational architecture to make good use of heritage relationships »
    After reading that article, it appears now logical and rational for me that a company can’t be with no more than one professional. Nowadays, customer’s complexity influences the product to be more and more studied and adequate. Moreover customer’s way to approach in his consumption must aware companies that in order to catch their attention and maintain a strong and sustainable relationship they must provide something that has been previously built with experts and so with a team. The network starts with it, and so my awareness. The next time I ll be in this situation I will organize a meeting with the CEO and ask if I can hire adequate professionals to enrich the global production. My position will be : « I can do it, but it won’t be as better as if we were in a collaborative system. »
    My point will be : More knowledge to save time and win money at the end due to an improvement in your production process.
    Innovation is developed by open minds.

    Secondly, my way to « think and act differently » needs improvement. I have a strong personality that wants to express, no matter what, the way I feel. However, I focus most of my time on my personal goals which could be a problem in a company due to the collaborative activity perspective.
    http://www.job-interview-site.com/the-qualities-of-a-good-employee.html
    Key points from this article :
    #1 « Inappropriate communication between employees can cause many problems to the company. » // Communicator.
    #2 « An employer who can contribute is an ideal worker. » // Team Player.
    #3 « Do not hesitate in helping out others » // Helping others.
    After reading that article, I can now understand why in a company acting that way can provide a global efficiency on human resources which are after all the primary matter of a company. How people act and react inside your effective make the difference in terms of production’s quality, performance’s quality and so on the revenue, on a short and a long term. That ‘s why I will use that recommendation to organize my time in the future, in order to have time to communicate more and help others. After all it s profitable for both sides and the company, because you both learn how to improve in some ways, being globally connected and so effective. The difference between a good leader and a bad leader is that there is one who think he’s just the leader, and that there is one who think he’s also a partner.

    Thirdly, my way to prioritize concepts also needs improvement. I have a lack in that area due to my concentration which goes often on many sides at the same time. That is good to think farther, however it’s good to prioritize what needs to be done now. Due to that conflict I always get lost in my global organisation and that takes me a lot of precious time to re organize logically my agenda. That happened many times during my internships, and because of this I had to stay longer to get things done.
    http://www.briantracy.com/blog/time-management/6-time-management-tips-to-increase-productivity-organizational-skills/
    Key points from this article :
    #1 « Prepare in advance »
    #2 « Schedule your time »
    #3 « The more time you take to sit, think, and plan, the better organized you will be in every area of your life.»
    After that I must confess that it looks obvious. However, the real challenge rely on practicing it.
    The most important thing when you work is probably the dead line. No matter what, you have to feed the demand. That is to say, loosing time doesn’t create innovation, it’s sterile. However, If I apply that strategy I will be able to realize all in the timing and moreover find some free time to plan my future actions. Prioritize my goals and my daily actions will lead me to innovation.

  • Gayathri October 18, 2015  

    Gayathri Satheesh Panicker
    MIM Somerville

    1. Area of Improvement #1: Types of Innovation Projects.

    2. Examples of why I’m lacking in those areas:
    At my previous employment, a lot of my ideas for innovation were rejected by my manager for a number of reasons. I was working as a journalist with a small newspaper and because our team was small, we were all required to handle multiple roles. As such, I was also required to help with marketing, along with writing articles. I had suggested many ideas to increase subscriptions of the newspaper and improve revenue through ad space selling. A number of them were accepted. Some of the reasons for rejection included generation gap, manager’s unfamiliarity with social media engagement, a small team and manager’s general dislike for change. This was because my manager was close to retirement and he was used to working the old fashioned way, and I was trying to change that. Thinking back now, I feel like there are a number of things I could have done differently to convince him to use my ideas.

    3. How I could have changed it:
    In the article, “How Samsung Gets Innovations to Market”, authors Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg and Paddy Miller, share 5 insights from the Samsung team on how to work with senior management to get innovations to market.

    They are:
    i. Negotiate the expectations up front.
    ii. Build trust with low risk ideas.
    iii. Present a portfolio of options.
    iv. Manage the choice of evaluation methodology.
    v. Consider going under the radar.

    While the first 4 can be applied in my situation to influence my manager to accept my ideas, the 5th insight would not be applicable in this situation, I believe. Given the culture in my country, and the organization, as well as my job scope, it is highly unlikely that my coworkers would ignore the manager’s decision to put my ideas to work.

    Using the first 4 insights, here is what I will do differently if I was faced with the same situation now:

    i – Negotiate the expectations up front.
    Example: I would explain my ideas not just to my team and my manager, but also to the senior management. I would also give them a detailed explanation for why I suggest the ideas and what kind of support I would need from them in order to achieve the maximum result. I would also use more data and research to back up my ideas to convince them. As suggested in the article I would also discuss how to avoid conflicts with my manager who was not familiar with trying new ways to improve the newspaper.

    ii – Build trust with low-risk ideas.
    Example: I would use this to compliment the 1st insight. As mentioned, when I do more research I will be able to know more about the financial and manpower requirements for implementing the idea. Therefore, I can modify it to make it better suit the organization. When starting off, I would give more low risk ideas and then proceed with other ideas when I have built a relationship with one or more of the senior managers.

    iii – Present a portfolio of options.
    Example: This would also compliment the 1st and 2nd insights. During the meetings, rather than presenting one idea, I would present a host of ideas, ranging from low risk to high risk. I will include more low risk ideas which require little extra manpower and financial commitment in the initial stages.

    iv – Manage the choice of evaluation methodology.
    Example: Being able to pull off the first 3 insights in itself would mean that I would be able to create a whole new methodology on how the manager and senior management review ideas and make decisions. Thus, once I have built a trusting relationship with the decision makers, I would work with them on developing a strategy which can be used with the fast-changing world of technology, without ignoring the collective wisdom they have gained over the years of experience they have.

    Overall, it would not have been a quick change to make but it is something I could have changed. I understand that innovation in this context needs strategic thinking, refined people management skills, patience and a clear idea on how to use these ideas to make things gel together in the long run, rather than the short term.

    Reference article: https://hbr.org/2014/05/how-samsung-gets-innovations-to-market

  • Yan October 18, 2015  

    Yan Xin
    MIM Somerville

    Think and Act differently(Current Score 2, Future Score 5)
    Although I have good understanding when people are discussing a matter together, however I realize that I do not think or act differently. In another word, I am not creative or innovative, but I often tend to agree with others. As a marketer, it is very important to grow the innovative way of thinking and think out of the box.

    I think to think differently first and then my thoughts will lead me to act differently. I agree that obtaining a large amount of knowledge is helpful for generating different ideas. Therefore, I need start from reading more in marketing especially the successful case studies. In the recent years, with the popularity of mobile phones, I have gained the habit of gaining information from online platforms; however, what I have gained is only fragments of knowledge instead of a system. In this case, I am not able to master a subject thoroughly and therefore when I am in the group discussion and therefore I am not a good decision maker for developing strategies. As a result, I will need to practice more with the marketing knowledge that I have learn and in the same time to explore the learning in order to be creative. At the current stage, I have the feeling that I am not experienced enough being a marketer to generate new ideas that benefit the company to grow in the market.

    In order to enhance my skills in thinking and acting differently, the article suggests that :
    • Following a new course of innovative thinking
    • Generating new ideas independently for the business
    • Asking advices for the leaders in the department in order for understanding how they generate innovative ideas
    • Growing my confidence at work and therefore I will be able to speak out my own opinion at work
    • Getting feedbacks from coworkers in order to understand how they perceive my innovative ideas

    Link: http://www.irca-losangeles.com/articles/article.cfm?aid=668

  • Yan October 18, 2015  

    Yan Xin
    MIM Somerville

    Build Team and Networks(Current Score 2, Future Score 5)
    I am also weak on building team and network. I admit that I do not have much experience of being a leader to a team especially on expanding the team and networks from small scale to large. In my previous experience of being a team leader, the team is already established, which indicates that I do not need to make extra efforts to build up a team. However, being a leader will face the situation that employees will leave and it is necessary to identify the new employees to the team. This is one of the specific areas that I need to improve.

    In the article, teams are considered to be the important units that help projects become successful. The team leaders are required to own the talents in selecting the competitive team that consists of diverse team members with different skills.

    The article suggests that the leaders to the team should use the following criteria to select team members and build up networks. Firstly, the team leaders should define the team size. Besides, the leader should take every team member into consideration when recruiting new members; the new members to be recruited should have the skills that help the other team members to complete their work. Therefore, diversity in the team needs to be taken into consideration. This article also suggests that team leaders should build up modeling collaborative behavior that observe the performance of team members from day to day basis. Creating the organizational culture that would provide guidance for team members to deliver their work is also very important for the team leaders to help the entire organization gain the competitive advantage.

    As for the networks that team leader should build, this article suggests that team leaders start from establishing good relations with the team members in order for developing the networks internally.

    Link: https://hbr.org/2007/11/eight-ways-to-build-collaborative-teams

  • Yan October 18, 2015  

    Based on my assessment, I have identified the following three areas that I need improvements.

    Prioritize concepts(Current Score 2, Future Score 5)

    Identifying the priority in order to develop the market expansion strategy is very important, however I realise that I have difficulties to prioritize the tasks in the strategy. For example, I have difficulty to identify whether it is more important to use technology to innovate the products or to develop the advertising and promotion activities. I am able to define specifically what the company needs to do in terms of the marketing activities, however it is difficult for me to make decision as a marketer about what should be done first in order to bring effectiveness to the company. As the time is tight, I need to make decision as soon as possible since the company is operating in a fiercely competitive environment.

    In my opinion, all the actions should be taken following rationales. So when prioritizing the tasks in marketing for the business, it is important to use effective facts to support the decisions.

    Lean Six Sigma is considered an effective path to analyze priorities in projects. The following steps can be adopted:
    • Creating a Project Prioritization Matrix
    • Right-sizing the Project
    • Performing Critical Path Analysis

    In addition, a baseline of past activities and outcomes should contain the following three elements of information:
    • A list of all activities required to complete the overall outcome
    • The start and end time of each activity
    • The dependencies between the activities
    With the method of adopting critical pat analysis, it is possible to improve the opportunities for growth in the market by identifying the priorities in project management.

    Link: http://www.isixsigma.com/implementation/project-selection-tracking/using-critical-path-analysis-prioritize-projects/

  • abashlykova2016 October 18, 2015  

    Angelina Bashlykova (Charlestown)

    Area of improvement №2: Think and act differently (current score 1, desired 5)

    The second area of improvement I have identified is how to think and act differently in order to innovate. I suppose I didn’t have yet enough projects or tasks where innovative strategy should be implemented. That is why I feel the lack of experience in this sphere and can’t identify my personal style of behavior. Dealing with people with different styles also seems quite unclear for now. Probably, one of the difficult points of thinking differently is that I am used to think in one direction, using patterns but it is clear that in order to innovate we should be able to look at the situation from different angles.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140602161102-4836514-empower-people-to-think-and-act-differently
    This article helped me to become a better innovator because it explained one of the original sources that prevents innovation. Basically it is the fear of failure. But when you work in the safe atmosphere and feel the supported by colleges you start to think proactively how to succeed and finally go beyond the usual framework. And this is where innovation begins. To draw the line, one of the good ways that can help to think and act differently is to create the comfortable atmosphere where the art of thinking is embraced even in case of failure. As failure is also the progress driver.

  • Siyue October 18, 2015  

    Siyue Fu
    MIM Charlestown
    (3) Align Stakeholders ( Current Score 2 – Desired Score 5)
    RI co-founder and vice chairman Cees B.M. Van Riel calls Alignment” a mutual rewarding relationship between a company and its key stakeholders, which enables the firm to meet its objectives and realize its purpose. ” For sure, aligning stakeholders is exactly what I lack now. Because I did not even have a clear understand about aligning stakeholders until I finished this assessment. when I was worked for a company or organizations, I was always focusing at the job the manager gave me or tasks I should finish. I never thought about the stakeholders. In the past, I do not think the employees also are the stakeholders for the organization. When I finished the assessment, I did a lot search about the stakeholders, and found that stakeholders are both inside and outside support for the company, and they are really important for a company.
    Furthermore, after understanding the stakeholders I should improve the lack of aligning stakeholders. So I read an article that helps me a lot and gives me useful recommendations. There are three alignment steps:
    Intelligence Gathering: gathering the information about stakeholders should from external to internal. External way is to gathering the social issues and believes to aim the stakeholders, and the internal way is the company need to understand the employees.
    Select the Right Roadmap: negotiation and confrontation.
    Benefit from Corporate Storytelling: reputation management.
    With these steps, we can try to start aligning stakeholders. But it is still difficult for us or organizations. Like team building, align stakeholders needs the trust of people and the stakeholders are the key for the company. For me, If I still work for an organization, I will try to understand and gather the information about the company first. I should know about who are stakeholders for the organizations. That will helps me a lot in my work.

    Article: http://www.bi.edu/cccFiles/seminarer/RI_Magazine_main%20article.pdf

  • Siyue October 18, 2015  

    Siyue Fu
    MIM Charlestown
    (2) Build Teams and Networks ( Current Score 2 – Desired Score 5)
    My first shortcoming is the team and network building and this ability will play an important role in the success. Building teams and networks not only means social and communicate but also means to collaborate. I was worked as a team member in Shanghai office of London & Partners. The Shanghai office only has 3 employees including me, but the whole team has almost 20 people. There are weekly conference call with other offices. At that time I was an intern and get in good with the colleagues only in Shanghai office but I did not realized that only the good relationship is not enough to build a good team. While doing the job I always feel like we did not communicate very well. Because many of our jobs are through internet or phone to communicate.
    According to the article about Eight Ways to build collaborative team, the collaboration is the key for the successful team. And how the team to overcome the large size, long distance and diversity. The research in the article has found that “two practices did improve team performance: training in skills related to collaborative behavior, and support for informal community building. ” Also, the team leader made a difference about the collaborative behavior. For me I am sure that I can not lead the whole team about the overall situation, but I think, there are many tasks for a team, there should has different leaders for different tasks. Like the simulation we took before, I am good at math, so I can lead the math tasks about the project. In my opinion this is called collaborative behavior.
    Article: https://hbr.org/2007/11/eight-ways-to-build-collaborative-teams

  • Siyue October 18, 2015  

    Siyue Fu
    MIM Charlestown
    According to my assessment results about the Individual Innovation Audit. I found there are three areas that I need to improve in the future.
    (1) Reason to Innovate ( Current Score 2 – Desired Score 5)
    Innovation means better changes, we must innovate in order to make progress and ensure success in the growing market. But for my part, I am a person who lack of the spirit of innovation. I am afraid about the risk when I take innovate and do not want to get out of my comfort zone. When I was an assistant in a security company, my job is about doing different paper works. The job is pretty easy and while I beginning to get used to the work the manager of my department told me that there is a chance to change to another department for a better job. Obvious the chance was really important for me but also the job was more challenge for me. At that time I refused that precious opportunity. Now I regret giving up that innovation opportunity for myself, so I realized that innovation is a key to getting better and also if I want to be a successful leader I should understand the reason to innovate very well.
    The 12 Most Important Reasons to Innovate strengthens the impression that successful business need grow business by innovating. In this article there are 2 reasons impressed me a lot. The first one is survival, as I talked before innovation means change. While the environment of business is rapidly changing, if the business keep staying at a same way the company will be eliminated. And second is competitive advantage. With the changeable trend. the needs of customers are keeping change rapidly, innovation can help us to target the different needs while the other competitors do not have. The innovation can differentiate us from others clearly.
    The article currently made a change about my opinion about innovation. If I can understand earlier I will take that job without hesitation and try my best to get out of my comfort zone then innovating myself first.
    Article: http://12most.com/2012/01/06/12-important-reasons-innovate/

  • Josef October 18, 2015  

    The first point I need to improve is „Types of innovation“!
    Actual Level: 2
    Desired Level: 5
    I worked almost five years as a cooperation manager in the marketing department oft he „Tirol Marketing GmbH“. This company is located in the tourism industry in Austria. This was my first job and as my direct supervisor had left the company the whole cooperation management was devolved to me. From this point on was it my responsibility to manage several cooperation projects, companies and key account persons. One big objective was to create or find new innovations with partners. However, the problem was that I had no idea what an innovation was or how the definition of this term was within my company. Moreover, my boss didn’t know it neither. You might say that I was searching for something that wasn’t clearly defined at “Tirol Marketing” but highly in demand.
    ARTICLE: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665186/there-are-three-types-of-innovation-heres-how-to-manage-them
    This article helps me to understand how innovations can be structured and it provides a good understanding of the different levels of this complex area. The article describes three main and typical profiles of innovation, which are “sustaining, breakout and disruptive”. I’ve learned that innovations are not only big changes or new and unprecedented products. An innovation could be also an intelligent change or modification for an existing product. Furthermore, I have realized that it is very important to create a mutual understanding for the word “innovation” in the company. After that it is possible to edge the goals better which helps you to understand where budgets for those kind of projects are available.

  • Chao October 18, 2015  

    The 2nd area of improvement is Build Teams and Networks (current 2, future 5).
    During my working background, my duty was follow the manager’s decision and cooperate with my team members. I have no experiences of building teams and networks on my own. The lace of such experience led me feel confused at the Hult’s workplace simulation two weeks ago. I know it is an indispensable capacity to be a responsible leader in the future. That is why I hope to improve it.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/10/01/6-ways-successful-teams-are-built-to-last/
    During this article, I learned how important team-building is (ex. Jack Welsh) and how to build a team successfully. The author considers team building is both an art and a science, which requires the leader know how to build a cooperative and long-lasting team. What is more, the author illustrates six ways which can help teams lasting successfully. They are: be aware of how you work, get to know the rest of the team, clearly define roles and responsibilities, be proactive with feedback, acknowledge and reward and always celebrate success. Consider these methods, I generally summarize them to six words: recognition, organization, distribution, communication, appreciation and celebration.

  • yfan2016 October 18, 2015  

    YingyingFan (Charlestown)

    Three areas I need to improvement on:
    1. Innovation Focus Areas
    Current level: 2 Desire level:5
    I know innovation is very important for a company, so I kept on trying to do the innovation in my company. My company is an education company. We try to help more children learn better so that they can go to a better high school or college. We keep on tracking the newest testing in our country and the syllabus. We also try to find a new way to make our students learn more quickly and happily. However, I don’t know exactly how to do it or what I need to focus on the innovation.
    By learning the resources, I am planning to set up a research team that include the students, teachers, researchers, policy-makers, educational professionals, and other community members. Bringing them together and let them studying on it so that we can make innovation in our company.
    http://research.ncsu.edu/for-industry-partners/research-focus-areas/educational-innovation/
    2. Think and Act Differently
    Current level: 2 Desire level:5
    Since I tried to find a way to innovation in the education, I only tried to study the other company’s model and follow the idea that many people have tried. The same experience as I was in the college. When we need to hold a party in our college, the ideas that I come up with which often follow the steps that I have watch in the TV shows. The ideas are not new and creative. The only different is that I can find a way to adapt our own business and improve it. I Maybe that is why my company cannot keep going up.
    By reading the article, maybe I don’t need to find a totally different way to innovation. I just need to think about how to make the things different and better that is enough. Therefore, I need to give the truth of the phenomenon. Study is study and knowledge is knowledge. Try to help child find the happiness in the learning is the most important thing. Try to shake the heavy things off and keep focus on what we need, we may can find a different thinking about this thing and act it differently.
    https://hbr.org/2011/09/begin-to-think-differently/
    3.Drive Concept to Launch
    Current level: 2 Desire level:5
    Talking about this, I want to talk about my problems. Every time when we have a new course or a new activity, it is hard for me to launch it. I don’t know how to make our customers accept it and interested in it. It is the hardest thing for me. Just like that at the beginning of our company, we just set it up and did some normal adverting. After this, we just waited for our customers.
    Now I know that I need to do more, not only wait. Just like the writer said in the article, launch is a life style. We need to help people create a new life style. Try our best to let our potential customers accept it and want it.
    http://pragmaticmarketing.com/resources/6-secrets-of-a-winning-product-launch

  • yfan2016 October 18, 2015  

    Three areas I need to improvement on:

    1. Innovation Focus Areas
    Current level: 2 Desire level:5
    I know innovation is very important for a company, so I kept on trying to do the innovation in my company. My company is an education company. We try to help more children learn better so that they can go to a better high school or college. We keep on tracking the newest testing in our country and the syllabus. We also try to find a new way to make our students learn more quickly and happily. However, I don’t know exactly how to do it or what I need to focus on the innovation.

    By learning the resources, I am planning to set up a research team that include the students, teachers, researchers, policy-makers, educational professionals, and other community members. Bringing them together and let them studying on it so that we can make innovation in our company.

    http://research.ncsu.edu/for-industry-partners/research-focus-areas/educational-innovation/

    2. Think and Act Differently

    Current level: 2 Desire level:5

    Since I tried to find a way to innovation in the education, I only tried to study the other company’s model and follow the idea that many people have tried. The same experience as I was in the college. When we need to hold a party in our college, the ideas that I come up with which often follow the steps that I have watch in the TV shows. The ideas are not new and creative. The only different is that I can find a way to adapt our own business and improve it. I Maybe that is why my company cannot keep going up.

    By reading the article, maybe I don’t need to find a totally different way to innovation. I just need to think about how to make the things different and better that is enough. Therefore, I need to give the truth of the phenomenon. Study is study and knowledge is knowledge. Try to help child find the happiness in the learning is the most important thing. Try to shake the heavy things off and keep focus on what we need, we may can find a different thinking about this thing and act it differently.

    https://hbr.org/2011/09/begin-to-think-differently/

    3.Drive Concept to Launch

    Current level: 2 Desire level:5

    Talking about this, I want to talk about my problems. Every time when we have a new course or a new activity, it is hard for me to launch it. I don’t know how to make our customers accept it and interested in it. It is the hardest thing for me. Just like that at the beginning of our company, we just set it up and did some normal adverting. After this, we just waited for our customers.

    Now I know that I need to do more, not only wait. Just like the writer said in the article, launch is a life style. We need to help people create a new life style. Try our best to let our potential customers accept it and want it.
    http://pragmaticmarketing.com/resources/6-secrets-of-a-winning-product-launch

  • emir October 18, 2015  

    Emir Yunusoglu (Charlestown)
    3rd Area to Improve: “Build Teams and Networks” (Current: 2 / Desired: 5)
    Lastly the area that I need to improve is “Build Teams and Networks”. I’ve always aware of the importance of Teams in Business World, it’s a key factor through the way of success however leading people, creating inspiration on them, making them to believe same goal with you is not easy to apply. In my 6 years of work experience I realized that every single interaction with the people improved my communication and networking skills and day by day communication became easier for me however I didn’t have that much opportunity to build and manage teams. The below article shows the 9 tips for better Team Building. The one of the most important point that I got from article is you don’t need to be on leadership role to apply those tips, also being an effective team member or knowing team structure is important as well. According to article the tips are: Clarify and define team goals, Divide tasks to team members, Involve team members to decision making process, Ensure from information transfer, Build trust, Increase team member’s communication, Be careful for interpersonal issues, Show appreciation to team members, Be fair on comments. For me the following takeaways should be implemented to my team in the future. First of all a leader needs to create trustable, personnel relationship with the members. Having lunch with one of them every day in the work days can be a good opportunity to create personnel relationship. Also a leader should be very clear on goals and task divide from the beginning, and each member deeply concentrate on their area. To have a better team atmosphere for example a leader can visit sub departments to check communication quality in the company to avoid blocked lines of communication or arranging events for the team members like an outdoor activities on weekends with the families can develop communication level in the company. Teamwork is challenging process but you can maximize your efficiency with it and the outcome might be gorgeous. http://www.time-management-guide.com/teamwork-tips.html

  • emir October 18, 2015  

    Emir Yunusoglu (Charlestown)
    2nd Area to Improve: “Tactics for Innovation Process” (Current: 2 / Desired: 5)
    The other area that I need to improve is “Tactics for Innovation Process’’. As I wrote on my previous post that I haven’t got any education on Innovation therefore I have a lack of knowledge also for Innovation process tactics. I was always considering Innovation as a result however I understand that on the way to reach Innovation there are tactics and different approaches. The below article focuses on the mutual innovation strategies of successful growth companies and according to their research successful Innovative companies apply these 4 strategies: Find the next S-Curve, Lean on customers, Think like a designer, Lead the way. Normally S curve describes the performance of a company or a product over a period of time. If the companies don’t invest on Innovation when their product life cycle comes to end, it would be really difficult to adapt new strategy and the circumstances might be dangerous. To avoid this situation and to have long term business, Innovation should be constant. So having a Research & Development department, and allocating budget to R&D can be good example for this situation. Lean on Customers means to understanding customer problems and ability to make empathy, thinking on behalf of them. Successful growth companies uses these feedbacks to improve their products. To become better innovator Thinking like a designer is important tool to create yourself an uncompetitive, flexible area under your own boundaries. To avoid high competition conditions Blue Market Strategy is highly effective solution. Lastly, for a better Innovation process a leader should be a role model and through his / her vision lead the others. To sum up, Innovative mind set should be on every significant process of the business such as Production, Competition (Blue Ocean), Customer Needs and Leadership. Through implementing these tactics successfully your company can have sustainable, successful long term Business. http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/innovation-strategy-4-key-tactics-top-growth-companies

  • emir October 18, 2015  

    Emir Yunusoglu (Charlestown)
    1st Area to Improve: “Types of Innovation Project” (Current: 2 / Desired: 5)
    One of the area that I need to improve is “Types of Innovation Projects” that I had never got education on this subject. Although I know the importance of innovation roughly, I didn’t know that approach to categorize Innovations. I have six years of work experience under retail eyewear chain as a real estate section head and operational manager however my focus was always to generate more sales or find prime locations which is more related with networking and communication skills. Also in the beginning of my career my priority was always on increasing sales instead of adding value to company. After I read the below article I see that Products or Services categorized to four different types which are Breakthrough, Sustaining, New Market and Disruptive. All these categorizes complete and support each other and the objective is creating value on customer. For the future I’ll definitely look for a “Breakthrough” product which will be new, ahead of the next big thing and my main instrument to run business. It will require a strong research & development to find and establish it. Also understanding customer is a key point on this subject. “Sustaining” will be very important to operate my business in long term duration. Also from cost reduction, budgeting, profit maximization side it’s highly important. For example Car companies are very good example for this situation. Mercedes has been manufacturing S class since 1972 on the other hand while they were improving S class and increasing new features they always added new cars to their collection. Through adding slight differences or small changes on our product we can always serve to “New Market”. With the customer usage studies we can make our product to capable for multiple tasks, however since we serve to adjacent spaces price balance is very sensitive for customers. Lastly “Disruptive Innovation’’ will be my other instrument to serve simple, low cost solution to my customer’s problem through targeting masses. I believe this Innovation categorization and approach is applicable for every kind of business and product. It showed me the perspective from innovation side, and this point of view will help me to become better innovator for sure. http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2014/01/12/four-types-of-innovation-and-the-strategic-choices-each-one-represents/

  • tracywu0329 October 18, 2015  

    NienTing (Tracy) Wu- Somerville Cohort- MIM2016

    Second area of improvement- Tactics for Innovation Project

    I used to be the activity director of student association in my department in university. I was kind of cautious that I usually followed the traditions and held events that had been held so that I have precedent to refer. The reason why I don’t often create new event is that the sense uncertainties and the fear of failure.

    The article, Sustaining Innovation Tactics That Work In Any Industry (http://www.business2community.com/business-innovation/sustaining-innovation-tactics-work-industry-01163855#OfxSgjzsQR6OeMT5.97), is very helpful with three steps and following detail explanation. First, start with the problem, not a solution. Identify what are the serious problems and then brainstorm solutions. To apply in my case, I could start with researching what my classmates, my department lack of and came up with solutions. Second, gather information about this specific project. For example, I found the problem of my department is that students seldom had a chance to interact with professors, and I decided to hold a picnic event which professors were also invited to attend. I could search online for tips or ask people with similar experience about what activities should I hold to make picnic interesting and to increase interactive. Finally, safeguard against optimism with a credible estimate. I could experiment with my crew, see how the activities will go, evaluate the result, and adapt it. Last but not least, I should be optimistic about the new event, don’t let the fear of failure stop me from innovation.

  • Chao October 18, 2015  

    Chao Yang (Charlestown)
    The 1st area of improvement is Connect Dots (current 2, future 5).
    I had worked in the marketing department of a real-estate company . As you know, it is very important to promote our products and attract more customers. At the beginning, I was confused that I cannot reach the goal even I tried to use all my knowledge. The manager of my department was an intelligent guy. He encouraged us to cooperate with other departments, got useful information from them. He always said groups in our company were excellent, but we could not reach our goals without cooperation. During the cooperation, we exchanged our ideas, experiences, and connected the useful dots. Finally, he led us to explore and extend the market step by step which helped our company advanced rapidly. So, I realized what I extremely lacked was not the professional knowledge, it was how to connect my theories with practices, experiences and cooperation.
    http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/blogs/blogpost/2094/Connecting_the_Dots_Why_Innovation_is_about_Finding_Relationships_between_Old_Ideas

    In this article, the author illustrates four ways to encourage us building innovations with connecting dots. They are: build your knowledge base, encourage application, catch and store knowledge and grow your network, which were exactly used by my manager. We should share and combine our knowledge with others’ to get more potential ideas and opportunities. Like Belle Beth Cooper said, “creativity isn’t about coming up with something that has never been conceived, but rather it’s about connecting two ideas in a new way.” Innovation is not only means creation, but also means sharing, exchanging, combining the old ideas to new and potential ones.

  • Nana October 18, 2015  

    Area of Improvement-Align Stakeholders

    Current (2)
    Future (5)

    It is said that we all have a certain comfort zone that we need to jump out of. The process of doing so comes with the fear of the unknown. “What if they don’t buy into it?”, “What if I am criticized?”, “What if it doesn’t make sense to them? Then I will look like a fool”. The aforementioned is the reason why I tend to have some reservations about reaching out to broader networks in order to “build alignment around an innovation”

    Sharma’s article enlightened me on being open, not only receiving positive and negative feedback but also to integrating the input of stakeholders- internal or external. He explains so succinctly the importance of integrating the opinions of external stakeholders and making it worthwhile. Having stakeholders isn’t as important as utilizing the value they bring on board. Communication is a key factor here. Keep stakeholders involved in different ways. He cites ways of doing so which includes periodic newsletters and having an intranet website. These channels ensure that success/progress is quantifiable. Stakeholder engagement also helps in creating discourse communities within an organization which are extremely beneficial for the overall success of a program. (Sharma, 2008)

    This article brought to bear a lot of valuable lessons that I had no idea about when it comes to stakeholders. One major takeaway from this article is that in as much as networking is important, it loses its value if it is not done the right way and the knowledge gained from it is not utilized efficiently. In the same vein, having important people on board isn’t as valuable as taking into account the knowledge they bring and making use of it to foster success. There are limitless opportunities out there which could be hindered by “what-ifs”. I have to jump into the wild and seize the vast bank of knowledge and help that awaits me.

    Article cited: http://www.censeoconsulting.com/media/pnc/2/media.12.pdf

  • Cristofer October 18, 2015  

    Area to improve: Build teams and networks
    1. The main reason that I do not have networking skills is that I am a shy person. I know that to be a marketing manager is very important to communicate and build new relationships. But it is a little hard for me to make a new contact because I do not know how to start a conversation. Further, sometimes it is difficult for me to open a conversation with people from different fields or industries.
    2. However, there are several ways to improve the networking skills (http://www.raintoday.com/library/articles/10-ways-to-improve-your-networking-skills/). Mary Flaherty states that these ways help you to reach potential customers and suppliers. Here are some tips that she mentioned.
    a) Take a close look at the network and resources that you already have in place.
    b) You can network anywhere, with anyone.
    c) Communicating your message is a means of gaining credibility that is best accomplished through substance, not style.
    d) Keep the conversation fresh and interesting.

    3. These recommendations will help me to improve my networking skills. For instance, I will have more opportunities to create new relationships at Hult with my classmates and professors. I can start by sharing my experience with them and exchange knowledge. Another skill that is very relevant is the communication. I am a good listener, but I have to feel more confident to communicate my own experience with others. Also, I have to make the other person feel comfortable when he is speaking.

  • Cristofer October 18, 2015  

    Area to improve: Prioritize concepts
    1. As a professional, it should not be difficult to prioritize concepts. However, in my last job I struggled in this area because I did not know what was most important at one moment: to solve the customer’s problems or make the weekly pricing chart, which had a deadline to present. On one hand, I had some demanding customers that wanted me to solve their problems at the moment. On the other hand, I had another responsibilities as a part of the pricing team. So, how could I identify which task was the first priority to address?
    2. According to Lauren Perkins (http://www.inc.com/lauren-perkins/how-to-prioritize-when-everything-is-a-priority.html), there are certain techniques that help the day-to-day work. For instance, to assess the value of certain tasks. Completing certain tasks will show more benefit than others. Therefore, Lauren has a rule that client work comes before internal work. Because client work not getting done has bigger ramifications more often than internal work. Another technique is to be flexible which means to be able to deal with changing priorities. We have to decide which one is urgent.
    3. After reading this article, the first recommendation that I took away from this article was to prioritize the client work because client work has more impacts on the business as well as my performance as a professional. Additionally, if I have too many priorities I will have to take them as they come and decide whether they are urgent or not. Also, it will help me if I cut the time for some tasks so I will be able to prioritize effectively.

  • Cristofer October 18, 2015  

    October 18th, 2015
    New product development
    Cristofer Casas
    MIM – Somerville

    Area to improve: Connect dots
    1. Connecting dots is an area that I have to improve. Sometimes, it is not easy to integrate ideas or solve problems in different ways. For example, I used to work in a freight forwarder company as a customer service and there were some processes that I had to follow to complete my work. However, this challenging job requested me to think beyond and resolve the clients’ problems in different ways but sometimes I failed because of the lack of self-confidence, I thought that my idea was not good enough to solve the problem so, I got some troubles with some customers.
    2. According to Renee Cullinan (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shani-harmon/connecting-the-dots_b_5102403.html), integration is one of the most important capabilities that would improve my innovative thinking. She recommends that we should prioritize integration in every work we have. As a result, people will be able to think consciously about their own listening and participating. Thus, people will look for ways to integrate their ideas with those of others to achieve something greater. These new ideas will be essential and innovative contributions.
    3. After reading this article, I realized that a good way to connect dots is by being a good listener and also to participate with my own ideas. So, I will be able to connect my own ideas with others’ ideas and come up with unexpected ideas which will be innovative ideas. In addition, I will think more consciously in every class or meeting so I will be able to integrate these dots.

  • alvinliuao October 18, 2015  

    Ao Liu
    Charlestown

    1. Build Teams and Networks
    In terms of myself, I really like do the individual work. As a traditional Asia person, i always finish my job individually. I’m not used to working with group. When i was working in former company, my boss asked me to build a team for brainstorming a new marketing plan. I was bad at communicating with my teammates and i can not express my ideal in a correct way. Hence i did not know them very well so that i distributed the work unreasonable. at that moment , i know i have to get some improved in building teams and networks.

    2. reference
    http://www.inc.com/eric-v-holtzclaw/5-things-smart-managers-know-about-building-teams.html

    it is really difficult to build a team that works well together. From this essay, the author recommend five ways to help build a work well team.To build a team you need to understand what each individual member’s strengths and deficiency so that leader can distribute the work reasonable . as a leader, the primary job is to help teammate understand each other better. Meanwhile, as the leader of a team, you should let your teammates know that you have their back and you are their best supporter. for the whole team, creating a goal and make all team members towards it will help the team build better coherence.

    3. way to improve

    Looking forward to the future, i will practice my ability in the team as much as possible. as a team leader, i will know more about my team mates and according to their strengths and deficiency to distribute work. meanwhile, i will keep my team have a good relationship for each other so that we can have a coherent atmosphere to do our project. my ultimate aim is to build a excellent team to finish the project perfectly

  • Elcias October 18, 2015  

    Elcias Guadalupe Amaya Hernandez
    MIM – Somerville Cohort

    Area of improvement #3: Align Stakeholders
    This area is about knowing how to align everyone across the whole value chain to achieve a goal. I think that since I understand about production processes I’m involved always in that and I don’t look for the other areas. Maureen Donnellan published an article in 2013 called Stakeholder Alignment and Stretegic Project Management. In his article Donnellan talks about a project he was working on and he noticed that some people across the organization had no idea about new strategy development, the leaders disagreed and those obstacles were challenging the project in general. He recommends in his article that a project manager should stay in touch with the sponsors of the project, must be a leader and must always be included in all the communications; without this a lot of projects fail. I strongly believe that for the development of any project is important to be involved as much as possible but I never thought about it as an essential step in order for the project to survive. Usually I tend to assume that even if I’m not as involved as Donnellan suggests it’s going to work out but now that I think about the effect of innovation across the value chain I see how these actions are not just a requirement but a need and I’ll take it in account for future projects.

    Reference:

    http://managementperformance.com/strategic-project-management/

  • alvinliuao October 18, 2015  

    Ao Liu
    Charlestown

    1. Think and Act Differently

    When i was worked in my father’s company, i was afraid of making mistakes so that i always did what they asked me to do even though i was confused about some decisions. i did conformity thing same with other stuffs thus i gradually lost my own judgement. one day my father realized that i should not continue do conformity things.the moment of truth i think i should do some changes.

    2. reference:

    From this article, we are told to think creatively. in spite of how others people told that there is only one correct answer to the problem. we can still think about from different perspective. Abraham Maslow said that “people have the ability to be creative in their decisions about life. These decisions lead each of us on a journey of continuous development and self fulfillment. If we choose to “do what we are told” we never allow ourselves to grow.” like he said, we should be more creative and according to our thinking way we can act in different ways. we should step out from our comfort zone. it is necessary for us to accept mistake and correct the mistake by thinking and acting differently.we do not need to over care about others told us.

    http://www.irca-losangeles.com/articles/article.cfm?aid=668

    3. way to improve
    In the future,i will improve my ability in 3 different ways. To start with, i will learn more from my colleague, classmates and boss in specific aspects .What’s more,i will think from different perspective and accept new things as much as possible. Last but not least i should come up with my confusion to my boss and get more positive reflection.

  • Elcias October 18, 2015  

    Elcias Guadalupe Amaya Hernandez
    MIM – Somerville Cohort

    Area of improvement #2: Innovation Focus Areas
    This area is related to the reason to innovate, but focuses more on where is the innovation going. I believe that the reason why I need to improve this area is also linked to the reason to innovate, if the reason to innovate is not that clear is also difficult to determine which areas are in need or which direction the innovation should take. If we go back to the simulation that my team and I did a few weeks ago it’s easy to spot that the areas that needed innovation where not as clear and that also affected our final performance.
    Harvard Business Review had a very interesting article published last week called “The innovative mindset your company can’t afford to lose” where Simone Ahuja talks about the case of a Lane Desborough and his diabetic son Hayden. Lane struggled with Hayden’s healthcare because technology was not developed for him to remotely control Hayden’s sugar levels. After quitting his job at GE he decided to work with a healthcare company but his ideas were not considered so he decided to join forces with other people that like him were passionate about solving this problem. Through this process Ahuja identifies 4 important actions that lead to innovation: Looking for passion, prioritizing problem-solving, looking outside and considering alternative business models (2015). I believe that by connecting with people that are passionate about solving the issue is easier to understand not only what should be done but also where the efforts should be focused. Also I think that bringing different perspectives helps to enrich the problem-solving process in general. The actions that I would do to improve in this area is try to get as involved as possible and also try to connect with people that are involved directly with the issue

    Reference:

    https://hbr.org/2015/10/the-innovative-mindset-your-company-cant-afford-to-lose

  • alvinliuao October 18, 2015  

    Ao Liu
    Charlestown
    1. reason to innovate

    In terms of myself, I was working in my father’s company, we imported the red wine form Napa Valley and sell to China. Once in a meeting, we talked about the marketing plan and my father let me talked about my ideal. I said that we need to spend more on advertising and we should open more stores and find more smart retailer. Unfortunately, they didn’t agree with me and they said that i didn’t change my way to thinking and i should do some innovations. For instance, my father made the marketing plan that the company need to sell the red wine online. Meanwhile, we create our own app for iPhone so that customer can check the red wine information by using phone. That’s convenient for clients and reduce our cost on advertising and open new store. at that moment, i thought that i need to innovate.

    2. reference: http://12most.com/2012/01/06/12-important-reasons-innovate/

    From this article, it recommends 12 reasons to innovate. In my mind , the key point is companies that are not innovate will not survive. If you want customers to open their wallet, we should give them a reason to buy your product. It’s why we need to do innovation and show something new and something different from others. Meanwhile,innovation adds value to our product and to clients’ lifestyle.

    3. ways to improve.
    In the future, i will think about in different perspective to do some innovations. For instance, from the essay, i can do innovations from 12 perspective. we can innovate one thing in different perspective. thus we still can get a lot of new ideal. i believe that if i always practice i would get improved.

  • Elcias October 18, 2015  

    Elcias Guadalupe Amaya Hernandez
    MIM – Somerville Cohort

    Area of improvement #1: Reason to Innovate [Current score: 2]
    This area is related to the question “Do I know why my company wants to innovate?”. I graduated last year [I have a B.S. Chemical Engineer] and my work experience is limited to a brief internship and a project with a big company. When I look back at this experiences I realize that innovation was not a simple desire, it was a need. Both companies where having troubles with production but since the operations that they used where so simple they had no need to change anything out of the blue. Chris Bingham says in his article Insights into Innovation: How companies can improve innovation that companies find innovation very difficult because of “the idea that change is difficult and often damaging in the short term” (2013). In Mexico only a few companies have embraced the culture of innovation and some universities try to encourage that, but usually it’s hard, we don’t fix what isn’t broken yet.
    In the same article mentioned above, Bingham says that in order to improve it’s very important to keep going out of the comfort zone, try to help others to understand the transition, make your idea accessible, set internal goals so the employees keep creating new concepts and ideas and [the most important] to keep in mind the customer’s needs (2013).
    During the simulation my team and I where competing with companies with almost the same product and when we had the opportunity to innovate we lost all our competitive advantage because we couldn’t adapt. At some point we got so overwhelmed with the new things we could add to our product that we forgot our customers needs, we didn’t help our customers to get to know our product and with come products we refused to innovate. For the next simulation [or opportunity to innovate] I would like to keep in mind the guidelines that Bingham gives and try to focus more on the customer’s needs. It’s imperative to understand that innovation can’t wait for your process to fail and it should be exercised often.

    Reference:

    http://blogs.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/entrepreneurship/2013/06/10/insights-into-innovation-how-companies-can-improve-innovation/

  • Ekaterina October 18, 2015  

    3. Think and Act differently- Challenge my perspective and expand my horizons
    I have a very practical mind-set. I prefer to work with theoretical facts and draw conclusions from those. Unfortunately, this is not always what the situation requires. For instance, as part of our academic development, we are required to create interactive and attention-capturing presentations. I find it challenging to come up with creative solutions which are not drawn from the facts I am working with. Therefore, for me and my own personal development, it is very important that I work on expanding my creativity and demand a divergent mind-set.

    http://99u.com/articles/16136/7-ways-to-boost-your-creativity

    The article suggests a way to do that is by using “counter thinking” as a way to provoke and create different scenarios and outcomes in various situations by implementing “what if?” approach. This would pose a challenge on my way of thinking and ask of me to think outside of the box which is what I want to achieve as a goal this year. I realise it might take longer than anticipated but long-lasting change shouldn’t be as easy, should it?

  • Ekaterina October 18, 2015  

    2. Connecting the dots- Work on my pitch, approach more people in the professional field
    As previously mentioned, I am a social person but I do not have much experience pitching myself in a professional environment. I have experience working in large corporations as part of my experience and hence interacting with senior management but so far my CV was my only representation. As a result, I have not worked on my pitch and it is something I would like to change. A way to do that is to expose myself to higher networking and communication levels and use those as a way to practice and polish my pitch. This would develop my networking skills and improve my elevator pitch.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/irina-jordan/how-to-network-successful_b_8253588.html

    The article gives tips on how to network successfully and present yourself in the best way. Using these should help me form a presentable pitch which I can confidently use when meeting people in a professional environment. Again, being at Hult, acts as my advantage as I get to interact with people every day and connect with them on both professional and emotional level. By the end of the year I would like to have my pitch polished and feel confident enough with it to approach more representatives of the business professional field.

  • Ekaterina October 18, 2015  

    1. Innovation focus areas- Improve leadership and presentation capabilities
    Despite the fact that I am a socially-orientated person and enjoy communication, a problem for me is to express leadership initiative. For instance, during group projects I prefer to observe and participate once all the information is available and present. As for presentations, I usually choose to be the last person to present unless I am asked otherwise. In my opinion, the two capabilities are very closely linked to one another and by working on one of them, I would improve the other.

    http://blog.readytomanage.com/8-key-areas-of-business-innovation/

    The article outlines ways in which a person could improve their personal innovation. A way to do that is by finding new ways to participate and increase involvement and initiative. In my case, being in Hult is an advantage because it offers great field for participation through lectures and team work. Recently, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and expressed initiative to be more actively involved as a leader. I believe that with the increase amount of responsibility, I would feel more useful and hence motivated to act in a leadership manner. An area I would like to focus more on is my willingness to present in public and it is something which I am positive would improve by continuous practice.

  • jcamacho2016 October 18, 2015  

    Jorge Camacho MIM- CHARLESTOWN

    3. Connect Dots. Current 1- Desired 4.

    I think I am lacking by connecting dots in different ways, in my last job I trained my sellers a group of ten sellers giving them technics and procedures on how to sell better our products and also on how to make our costumers buy more because of promotions or retail prices, focusing just on the action of selling rather that connect a link or create a relationship with the costumer, and now by reading this Article “Connecting the Dots between Marketing and Sales” by Gil Efron and publhised by the Citibank. Retrieved from https://online.citi.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=CitiBizArticleMarketingSales
    I can tell you that it would be great for my future jobs and in life general to connect dots or even better create dots, with our customers by having a relation with them, knowing what they really want, what are they specific neccesities and give them the best service or product in the market

  • Gabriela October 18, 2015  

    My third deficient area is Drive concept to launch. My current level is 1 and my desired level is 5. I think this is my lowest level because in my previous job I was not in charge of launching products, therefore, I didn`t have the opportunity to get involve with the process and methods.
    Reading through the article http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6030-product-launch-tips.html the most useful draw that I could pulled out was that we have to understand our customers and be sure that our product and service fulfil a necessity among users before launching it to the market.
    On the other hand, the way that I can improve myself and be better innovator is knowing that in each moment that I want to drive a concept to launch I have to set my goals first, so I can be clear about what I want to achieve. Moreover, I will define my target audience and be clear that the first interaction with the product, maybe, is not going to be the final version. In addition, I am going to create a marketing strategy knowing what are the habits of my consumer. Consequently, measure the results and compare them with the goals that I identify at the beginning of the process and always think about my next move because launching a product it is just the beginning of the business.

  • Gabriela October 18, 2015  

    My second deficient area is Think and act differently. My current level is 2 and my desired level is 5. I think I have a poor understanding in this area because I don’t have the habit to keep updated with news in the field of the Marketing Industry. I consider that people could think and act differently when they are involved in new trends, advance technologies, have contact with different cultures and take different courses to keep them studying and learning new things. This are elements that lead you to think out of the box because give you a new perspective and aspect of everything.
    Reading this article http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/21-great-ways-to-innovate/ I learned that I can improve my position by studying my consumers and asking then what they think about the product. Also, it is very important to brainstorm every certain time so we can keep updated with new products ideas. Further, repeat and repeat until we discover the best innovative thinking and make it on. In addition, I will ask to my colleagues because they are involving everyday in the job activities as I me, so together we can come up with a creative solution. Additionally, I will try to combine my product or service with another good, because something else could result of the merge. Finally, but not least I will collaborate with another company from different industry but with the same principles and a new idea concept may result.

  • Gabriela October 18, 2015  

    My first deficient area is Types of innovation projects. My current level is 1 and my desired level is 5. I think I am lacking this scope because I am not familiar with the management and innovation process. Also, in my last job I didn’t lead an innovative project, so I haven`t had the chance or the opportunity to explore that area.
    This article (https://www.doblin.com/tentypes/) helped me to understand that exists a path to develop your idea and there is a process that involve a series of action that take you to be innovative or guide you in the way that you could achieve your goal. Also, there is not just one way of doing things. If you integrate the different process, you could be more successful and competitive among your competitors. Moreover, at the end of the day, you have just a framework to guide you. The creativeness and innovation are inside us and we can come up with an innovating idea by combining different opinion from our friends or colleagues that could offer value to the customers.
    Consequently, reading the article I learned that I can divide the path in three steps: configuration, offering and experience. I will make money with my business by using a profit model and I can create value making align with other companies. Furthermore, I have to be careful about the way I deliver my product through the channel because that’s the way I connect with my users. Also, part of the experience of the consumers is the brand itself so how I present the image of my offering is extremity important.

  • Andrea October 18, 2015  

    Andrea Peña
    MIM- Somerville

    Based on my assessment results from the Individual Innovation Audit, the three areas I need to improve the 3rd one is: ALIGN STAKEHOLDERS Current Level- 1, desired level- 5
    For me the whole idea of align stakeholders sounded new. Because I haven’t had the opportunity of work in a business that pays to much attention on this specific matter. Reading about this concept I found really interesting the way they presented, for example:
    “Now, more than ever before, it is necessary for a leader to go beyond the traditional strategic planning process to achieve long-term success and sustainability. Leadership must ensure that its organization is in strategic alignment, a concept that refers to the process of aligning all stakeholders to be focused and committed to achieving one goal: the organization’s vision.” From http://www.alliance1.org/visionary-leadership/blog/aligning-your-stakeholders-achieve-your-strategic-vision
    Strategic planning is the process that professors taught me back in business school, but the fact that one can go beyond the power of that process and think about strategic alignment is –in my perspective- genius. As everyone knows, if –in a team- everyone is pulling in the same direction the goal will be reached easily and faster. Is not being naive, is being smart, this concept is not about take down others before it, but to go further and helping accomplishing the goal.

  • jcamacho2016 October 18, 2015  

    Jorge Camacho MIM-Charlestown

    2. Types of Innovation Projects. Current 1- Desired 4

    Like I said in the last comment I submitted, In my last job I had not clear which was our focusing innovation areas, so I think this is linked with the types of Innovation projects because we did not develop a strong innovation project, in my area which was sells and branding I was lacking because our projects talking about the all company was increase our branding and sales on new segments and areas we were targeting, rather than innovate which my boss did not realized is that this two things are in common, and that is what I find on the article “Three types of innovation. How to managed them”. (October 11, 2011). Retrieved from http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665186/there-are-three-types-of-innovation-heres-how-to-manage-them.
    Basically this article explain which are the types of innovation that we have, what do we need to innovate on our business, and how can we put this all together and come up with a great innovation. In my case I found this really helpful because most of the times I do know what I need and have in order to come up with something new, however I have trouble while putting these together and create a project in order to innovate

  • Nana October 18, 2015  

    Bringing a developed model to life, unfortunately, doesn’t come to me as easy as conceiving and developing the business model.
    Taking this assessment has caused me to reflect on why and I believe it’s because I have always had the fear of failure. Even more critically, I have also developed some preconceived notions that I need to do away with. Namely:
    Mass media marketing is outdated and
    Launching only has to do with prime entry into a new market.

    In her article that outlines 8 ways of ensuring that a product launch succeeds, Lindsay highlights that the topmost thing to do to ensure the success of a launch is to recognize and carefully tackle the main reason why it may fail. She goes on to explain that it isn’t just a matter of acquiring customers quickly, but also ensuring that these customers are acquired faster than all other players in the industry.
    This means going a step further than social media marketing which is currently the trend for customer acquisition. Upon research, she writes that mass media is still the most effective means of increasing a customer base. (Lindsay, 2012)

    I have learnt that “the launch never ends”.
    So long as innovation remains a constant in staying on top of your game in the market, product launch will forever be in a continuous cycle.
    In my case, launching the idea of ‘going green’ to consumers, does not end with my ability to make profit in the first year of entry into the market. With every new idea comes the continuous loop of innovation. The world is evolving and as such, there are always newer and better ways of living a healthy life. This presents my brand with newer opportunities to present an updated version of products, hence the continuous cycle of innovation. I have learnt to not rule out any means of marketing just by focusing on the trend of the day. I have to draw customers to the brand with all the available and possible means possible. With these in mind, I am assured of success.

    Article Cited: http://www.fastcompany.com/1829483/8-ways-ensure-your-new-product-launch-succeeds

    • Nana October 18, 2015  

      Area of Improvement: Drive concept to launch
      Current:2
      Future:5

      Bringing a developed model to life, unfortunately, doesn’t come to me as easy as conceiving and developing the business model.
      Taking this assessment has caused me to reflect on why and I believe it’s because I have always had the fear of failure. Even more critically, I have also developed some preconceived notions that I need to do away with. Namely:
      Mass media marketing is outdated and
      Launching only has to do with prime entry into a new market.
      In her article that outlines 8 ways of ensuring that a product launch succeeds, Lindsay highlights that the topmost thing to do to ensure the success of a launch is to recognize and carefully tackle the main reason why it may fail. She goes on to explain that it isn’t just a matter of acquiring customers quickly, but also ensuring that these customers are acquired faster than all other players in the industry.
      This means going a step further than social media marketing which is currently the trend for customer acquisition. Upon research, she writes that mass media is still the most effective means of increasing a customer base. (Lindsay, 2012)
      I have learnt that “the launch never ends”.
      So long as innovation remains a constant in staying on top of your game in the market, product launch will forever be in a continuous cycle.
      In my case, launching the idea of ‘going green’ to consumers, does not end with my ability to make profit in the first year of entry into the market. With every new idea comes the continuous loop of innovation. The world is evolving and as such, there are always newer and better ways of living a healthy life. This presents my brand with newer opportunities to present an updated version of products, hence the continuous cycle of innovation. I have learnt to not rule out any means of marketing just by focusing on the trend of the day. I have to draw customers to the brand with all the available and possible means possible. With these in mind, I am assured of success.
      Article Cited: http://www.fastcompany.com/1829483/8-ways-ensure-your-new-product-launch-succeeds

  • Camilo October 18, 2015  

    The third and last area of improvement that I identified is: Tactics for Innovation Projects

    Current Level: 2
    Desired Level: 5

    During my previous experience, I noticed that all of the innovation projects I’ve been in charge of have been implemented or taught by the CEO. Before I get into matter, I want to explain that as a Brand Manager for Esquire, I faced a lot of challenges in doing marketing and selling ads. One of the biggest challenges I faced was understanding that the whole magazine and ad-selling business is changing; especially when it comes to printed ads. Today, the magazine consumers are shifting towards the internet, thus having a “migration” of clients as well. All of this change in the industry meant that the way we did marketing, sold ads, and approached to our clients had to change too. Clients were no longer buying the usual full page ads they used to buy a couple of years ago because they knew that less people were reading the physical magazine. In this point, innovation in business came directly from an order of the CEO. Her idea was to approach clients by offering them a whole experience that would benefit their brand, instead of just the ad spread. These new advertising tactics offered the client a complete package that included online advertising, brand activations, radio, TV ads, and finally, the old school printed ad. The important thing to bring up is that these new ideas and tactics of innovation were implemented by the CEO. As a Brand Manager I executed these tactics but, I didn’t come up with them, and that is why I consider I should improve my skills in that area. In the article, http://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/3-rules-to-encourage-innovation.html, the author exposes three tactics that are useful in order to “breed innovation”. In the future, instead of waiting for the CEO to tell me what to do, I wish I could use some of these skills in order to make a new proposition that could change the business drastically. As CMO, I would encourage my team to get together in groups in order to promote brainstorming. This way I can understand that sometimes innovation is not something that just comes to you but, instead, you have to work for it – even better if you’re working for it together as a group. The moment that different ideas “meet with each other”, becomes the moment when creativity starts arising; just like the author mentions it on the article. Besides that, “innovation needs a nurturing atmosphere” and as Erik Sherman mentions, this is directly tied to the fact of allowing people in your company to “make mistakes”. As the author says, “some of the most important ideas in history came from the process of making mistakes and learning from them”.
    In my previous job, this was something that never happened. The window for getting together as a group, and start brainstorming and making mistakes, was always closed. This was added to the fact of having a very small marketing team that would not let you stop for a moment, take a break, and focus yourself in new things to try to innovate.

    Reference Article: http://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/3-rules-to-encourage-innovation.html

  • Camilo October 18, 2015  

    The second area of improvement I’ve identified is: More and Better Dots.

    Current Level: 3
    Desired Level: 5

    When making the audit test, the current level that I selected literally said that “I have regional, multi-disciplinary, and single industry perspectives”. I chose that answer because I am a person that has more than six years of experience in different areas of marketing in Colombia but, most of that experience is in a single industry. The area in which I have been working for the past couple of years is media; primarily newspapers and magazines. As I mentioned on the first comment, my last job was in Esquire magazine. Before that, I worked for approximately 4 years in Colombia’s number one newspaper; El Tiempo. I think that there are various perspectives regarding single industry experience. One perspective that employers have is that it is better to hire an employee that has been involved in only one industry. The reasons for this being good may be related with stability, consistency and solid foundations in certain subject or business. That may be the case up to one point, but I personally do not agree with that kind of thinking. I think that if you are a person that has experience in more than one industry it will make you more competitive because your knowledge base will be clearly broader. Having that said, I think that having more dots will allow me to grow as a professional thus, becoming more competitive in the job market. In the following article, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-working-different-industries-17622.html, the author states “the advantages of working in different industries”. I think that the article clearly backs me up on the idea that the more varied the industry you have experience in, the better. As you can see, the advantages are related to topics such as having “varied skills”, “broader experience”, and most importantly a “fresh perspective”. In the future, I would be especially focused on the fact that having experience in various industries will give me, and my new company, the possibility of acquiring new skills that may have been used in previous jobs. One of my main objectives by coming to Hult is to actually change the industry I’ve been working on in the last couple of years. Just like the article mentions it, I’m absolutely sure that when I change my Industry – for example imagine that I’ll be working at the marketing department of Amazon – I’ll be able to apply millions of new practices that I used to do in my previous jobs. Besides that, I will obviously learn new practices and perspectives as well, thus becoming a more “complete and innovative” professional with wide-raging experience.

    Reference Article: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-working-different-industries-17622.html

  • Camilo October 18, 2015  

    The first area of improvement I’ve identified is: Prioritize Concepts.

    Current Level: 2
    Desired Level: 5

    Before coming to Hult, I worked as Brand Manager for Esquire in Colombia. One of the major problems I faced while working for this magazine was related directly to the amount of people working in the company; more specifically in the marketing department. In Colombia, Esquire’s marketing department had only 8 persons including me, and this was a huge obstacle when it came to decision making and concept prioritizing. The most important challenge I faced was that, in times when the work load was considerably high, I tried to accomplish every task I had, instead of trying to understand which responsibilities should be prioritized in order to accomplish the company’s objectives. As a result, I sometimes faced troubles because at the end of the year, when the time came to analyze and conclude if all the objectives were done, there were some left out or indicated with an incomplete status. By making this exercise, I’ve come to understand that having a small team cannot be the excuse for this type of mistakes. Instead, prioritizing concepts should have been the right thing to do. The following article, http://www.isixsigma.com/implementation/project-selection-tracking/using-critical-path-analysis-prioritize-projects, shows a very interesting way of solving these type of difficulties. As you can see, the author explains a project selection tool that allows you to identify all the projects you have to execute in a year. The interesting part of it is that the tool allows you to list these projects in a timeline based table. On that table you can assign a brief description of the project, identify if there should be any prerequisites included, and give a specific date that you can base on the importance and the relevance of the project to the company. I think that the “Critical Path Analysis“ is going to be an excellent tool for me to implement in the future because it will allow me to identify all the tasks I have and focus on the ones that have more relevance to the company. As I said before, having a small team cannot be an excuse for not being able to accomplish certain tasks. Instead of it, and in the near future, I’ll be sure to prioritize my tasks. I am absolutely sure that if you focus on certain projects only, the capability to become more innovative will expand. Trying to accomplish all of my tasks without having a clear map was a big issue because I sometimes felt like I was “putting down fires”, instead of creating value by implementing new ideas that would avoid the creation of these “fires” in the first place.

    Reference Article: http://www.isixsigma.com/implementation/project-selection-tracking/using-critical-path-analysis-prioritize-projects

  • mpereira2016 October 18, 2015  

    A third skill I need to improve and develop is to have Tactis for innovation Products.

    Current Level: 2
    Desired Level: 5

    As a young employee in my latest jobs I have been very “close-minded” when it comes to be innovative. Since my performance has been in the sales department, I kept thinking that innovation is only due to the R&D department. I think this misleads all the growth-mindset I want to have as a Marketing Manager because innovation takes place in all business areas. Thus, requiring Managers and CEO’s to be aware of this. Because I used to think of me as not being that “creative”, I took myself apart from pushing me to “think outside the box” more often. This was a major problem because, unconsciously, I was not allowing myself to develop new and innovative skills. In today’s world, this is a must in order to keep-up with a constantly changing environment.
    From the article: “ Innovation Strategy: 4 Key Tactics of top Growth Companies” by Dave Power: http://www.inc.com/steve-siebold/5-ways-successful-entrepreneurs-think.html, there are two takeaways that I consider key aspects to be on the “right-track” of innovation. The first one addresses to innovation as a constant factor in all areas of a business. This has been a huge challenge because some companies consider that they sometimes do not need to invest on innovation because they are getting the results they expected. The second, and most important takeout, is that innovative ideas, products, and processes, should be promoted by both, the CEO’s and managers in the company; otherwise innovation will never be a priority.
    As a Marketing Manager, I will always look forward to constantly keep innovating through different ways. For example, using the “Think like a Designer” tactic within all the areas of the company. This will allow me to promote new development ideas and processes within the company and become a risk taker leader, who’s always looking for improvement and new innovation tactics.

  • Luisa October 18, 2015  

    3) Get Resources: http://www.slideshare.net/talk2metboy/managing-project-resources-presentation I found this presentation very clear and straight to the point on why resources are important and how to go about getting them. I don’t have experience in the area of finding resources or how to go about it, or even understanding what it means beyond capital, but this presentation helped me understand better what are the steps to take, and what are the functions of a resource manager and how they have a big role in the consecution of said resources.

  • mpereira2016 October 18, 2015  

    Think and Act differently

    As a second area of improvement, Think and Act Differently as a successful Marketing Managers does.

    Current Level: 3
    Desired Level: 5

    Throughout my three years of work experience, I have realized that it has been a huge challenge for me being able to separate completely my personal from my professional life. I consider myself to be a very emotional type of person. This has sometimes been an obstacle when it comes to be assertive and decisive in decision –making in my workplace. For example, when engaging a discussion with a teammate, I sometimes take it personally; so getting to an objective and a fruitful solution becomes challenging.
    From the five ways the author described in the article “5 ways Entrepreneurs Think Differently” by Steve Siebold: http://www.inc.com/steve-siebold/5-ways-successful-entrepreneurs-think.html, I consider that the main takeaway to improve my management skills is to be able to “Compartmentalize”. As Siebold described it, is to be able to manage multiple and complex situations separately in a rational and successful manner, without getting personally involved.
    In order to act and think in a “ Compartmentalize” way, as a leader or manager I will look to support every decision and idea in a rational and logical way: rather than to take every perspective as personal. This will lead me to be more professional and objective when it comes to decision-making; because in a prosperous business environment facts and data prevail.

  • Andrea October 18, 2015  

    Andrea Peña
    MIM- Somerville

    Based on my assessment results from the Individual Innovation Audit, the three areas I need to improve the 2nd one is: DRIVE CONCEPT TO LAUNCH Current Level- 1, desired level- 5.
    I had a little of experience on this specific area but I still think is not my strong suit therefore I scored myself with one. I found a really helpful although small six-steps-guide that I find quite enlighten. Why? Because in the moment when you got that idea, can be really overwhelming put it together, even more launch it. This startup article help me to focus –at least for the beginning- in what is more important, separate ideas and prioritize. Then is not that the work it’s going to be easy but it’s going to have a process and if you can approve the process you most likely will approve the result.
    “Break the project into manageable phases and focus on delivering key elements first.” From http://www.cio.com/article/2439623/project-management/how-to-launch-a-successful-project.html

  • Luisa October 18, 2015  

    2) Tactics for Innovation Projects: “The last decade has seen the rise of collaboration as a by-word for innovation success.” http://www.100open.com/2010/08/7-tactics-incentives-for-open-innovation/ I’ve never had experience in the area of innovation projects, I have worked before in revamping a brands image and seeing how well is being received by the customer. Its important to know how to develop projects that are innovative for a company, and as mentioned in the article is important to share the responsibility and the reward of the success or failure that the project proposed can carry. So as a tactic for innovation you need to really ask questions that offer insight into how the company is lacking and where it needs the innovation, since its not the same for every one.

  • jcamacho2016 October 18, 2015  

    Jorge Camacho MIM- CHARLESTOWN

    1. Innovation focus areas ( Current 1- Desired 4)
    Since I graduated from University I have been working with my father on our business, we distribute and sell Agricultural machinery, industrial machinery, construction machinery, and all types of hardware and heavy tools in Southern Ecuador and some cities in the North of Peru. My job was basically sales and marketing area, increase our sales and increase our branding. So since we do not produce our products, my innovation focus areas was not really clear on my job, because our sales were good, we have a good number of loyal customers on our data. However I started noticing that we were not attracting new customers, and since we expanded to the Peruvian area our sellers were not doing a good performance in this area. I realized that we were lacking on innovation in terms of service or sales channels, and that is were we have to focus our innovation. I found this interesting article about how can you improve your performance talking about innovation in your business, and I think in our business we have to improve and innovate in our sales channels which because it does not have the impact we want with the channels we are using right now, also innovate in terms of customer service and service in general by providing a service which can satisfy our customers neccesities.
    Reference : ” The eight essentials of Innovation performance”. (December 2013). McKinsey&Company. Retrieved from http://www.mckinsey.com/search.aspx?q=the+eight+essentials+of+innovation+performance

  • Andrea October 18, 2015  

    Andrea Peña
    MIM- Somerville

    Based on my assessment results from the Individual Innovation Audit, the three areas I need to improve the 1st one is: TACTICS FOR INNOVATION PROJECTS Current Level- 1, Desired level- 5
    I put as a current level the number one because –even if is something that I feel passion about- I have never worked in a team of tactics on innovation, so I have no past knowledge in that matter. Researching about the subject I found this statement that stuck in my mind for the rest of the evening:
    “Many companies are innovative despite management,” Sutton said. “But, if you want to see real innovation, often you have to hire defiant rule-breakers who don’t think much of corporate culture.” From http://www.techrepublic.com/article/try-these-management-tactics-to-encourage-innovation/
    All the document is filled of methods and theories to help you to understand the value not just of the knowledge but the value of people’s ideas. The fact that someone on your team can have a ground breaking idea but it may not go along with your “fixed mind set” may be exactly what a company need. For me it help me to understand that even knowing that research and constant intellectual growth is important being consistent wanting to have something different and being aware of the risk you are taking as a company is vital not just to innovate but to survive in today’s market.

  • Florentine October 18, 2015  

    Florentine Achammer (Charlestown)
    More and Better Dots (Current 2 Desired 5)

    My primary area of improvement is to understand “how to gain intelligence about future business opportunity landscapes”. As the business world is in a rapid developing environment, I see changes in trend and business concepts occurring faster than ever. Since I want to tap into the entrepreneurial world, I need to confront myself with the fact that predicting the future needs and wants of customers is becoming a challenging task. Hotel brands such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts for instance do not simply offer a night in a confortable bed anymore, but sell an entire experience to their customers by merging several industries and location services together. This makes it harder to predict how the dots of industries will realign in the future.

    The article of “Urban world: The shifting global business landscape“, written by Richard Dobbs et al., published by McKinsey&Company talks about how Fortune 500 companies will increase their market share to 46% by 2025 in emerging markets. Furthermore the article describes how CEOs are forced to consider three distinct points when exploring a new business opportunity, especially in developing regions: optimizing sales networks, understanding customer’s and competitor’s behaviors and reconsidering company structure and their locations. This article gave me a glimpse on how immense the shift of future business landscapes will be, as the largest companies will move into another geographical dimension. It made me aware of which areas have great future potential, but it also showed me that there is great opportunity in obtaining value and market share in emerging markets.
    Source: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/urbanization/urban_world_the_shifting_global_business_landscape

    Drive Concept to Launch (Current 2 Desired 5)

    My second area of improvement is my lack of experience on how to bring a product or service to market. Growing up in an entrepreneurial spirited family, I seek to develop my own ideas, transform them into business concepts and ultimately create value. The stage where I believe I need advice is the step where I open the doors of my business to the world.

    By reading „6 Steps to a Successful Business Launch“, written by Nancy Mann Jackson published in the Entrepreneur, I have gained knowledge of a 6 step guide to step outside the house and invite customers in. The first main personal take-away from the article is the facts that knowing the customer is not enough, but I need to project myself into th