Innovation Engineering is a curriculum, tool set and mindset that prepares undergraduates, graduate students, managers and executives to be able to thrive as leaders in the new reality of faster innovation, increased competition and rapidly changing technology.
To win in today’s marketplace “reactive” management must be replaced with leadership and leadership by definition is about proactively leading innovations in strategy, customer offerings and how we work together to accomplish our organizational mission.
Leadership is not about dictating, commanding or controlling. Rather, it’s about motivating people to take action and enabling them with the education, tools and mindset needed for them to win. It’s about igniting intrinsic motivation such that people are self motivated to innovate. Inspired people fail miserably three times yet don’t stop - they are driven by a sense of purpose and meaning that is greater then themselves so they get up and try again and again till they win.
The Leadership Development subsystem enables leaders with “What, Why and How“ to create, communicate and commercialize meaningfully unique ideas. It is grounded in 48 Innovation Skills taught over four undergraduate or two graduate school courses that are industry validated and academically grounded that provides you with an entirely different way to approach your personal and professional life.
Importantly, we don't teach Innovation Engineering using the old world “sage on stage” lectures with exams to identify the smart and stupid. With Innovation Engineering a patent pending teaching technology called Cycles to Mastery is utilized with two very simple goals: 1) Enable all who are willing to achieve mastery of the 48 Innovation Engineering Skills and 2) Systemically and continuously as we learn to teach better increase the mastery standard. Said simply, enable innovation by everyone, everywhere, every day. And, walk the talk institute never ending improvement in the Innovation Engineering curriculum and method of teaching.
A Leadership System That Was Developed In a New Way
We started Innovation Engineering on college campuses so to tap into the rigor, discipline and wisdom of the academic community. A side benefit that we didn’t realize at first is that because we started on campus with undergraduate and graduate students they also taught us invaluable lessons in how to motivate, ignite and lead the new generation of Millennial managers and employees.
I can report from first hand experience living on campus in a dorm (that was an experience), teaching undergraduates and graduate students that Millennials are different than Baby Boomers. I can also report that with proper leadership Millennials are the most effective, dedicated and technically skilled workers ever!
As a Baby Boomer who was taught that management was about “command and control” driven by management by objective, inspection and direction the campus experience has been transformational. So much so, that I gave up my planned retirement to a life of writing, key note speeches and sailing on my beloved Winnijean sailboat for a 25 year commitment to this new way of leading.
When you flip to this new mindset you unleash the potential of all of your employees - you find personal meaning again in work - you find yourself living the career you dreamed you would have, and a joy in work that you’ve not experience for years.
To make this more real to your head and heart - Gallop research finds that most managers (51%) are not engaged and that 70% of workers are non engaged. This is arguably the greatest waste in our companies, governments and universities. But you don’t need data to prove it - just ask on social media, ask at your kids day care center, ask at the local pub who “loves their job and is passionate about what they do for a living.”
The solution to this epidemic of apathy towards work is a new form of leadership. Gallop data gives us some clues. When they analyzed their data to find what could be done to ignite engagement they found some simple things:
• The mission or purpose of my company makes my feel my job is important.
• This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
Said another way - what is needed is a leadership approach that enables workers to be be “Willing and Able.” Willing comes from doing what is meaningful. Able comes from providing education, growth and the tools to make meaningful ideas happen.
OK - probably more than you wanted to read. I got carried away writing this morning.
If you'd like to learn more about this I'm teaching an Innovation Engineering College - where you are immersed in 4 college courses in five days. The next one is next week - the one after than is May 4 to 8 in Cincinnati at the Eureka! Ranch. Call 513 271-9911 to receive a brochure on the experience.
Rock and Roll