Good Morning Pioneers, A sure sign that the Innovation Engineering has become a full fledged movement is when executives from small and large companies are asking us for leads on Innovation Engineering Black Belts they could hire.
Now - to be clear we don't encourage "poaching" however we do encourage a free market. In fact we are clear with company leaders that if they do not lead the adoption of an innovation culture - that good people will quit. They will quit because they are passionate about doing meaningful work.
HELP WANTED: In the past few weeks we've been asked by two small manufacturers and two multi national companies to find an IE Certified Black Belt that they can hire as a contractor and or full time employee. Their goal is to accelerate their Innovation Journey by bringing in someone with some experience. From small manufacturers to large corporations - company leaders are looking for help to accelerate innovation.
Sadly many of these locations don't have an Innovation Engineering Black Belt in their area today that can service their needs. (Note: as you would expect we only send out leads to certified IE Black Belts who are active based on their projects in IE Labs.)
JOBS WANTED: In the past few weeks we've also been asked by three IE Black Belts for ideas on companies with progressive leaders who might be interested in their services.
We are trying to match the companies and Black Belts above - however for various reasons the matches don't seem to be working (location, job levels, cultural mismatch, etc.) This growing demand - has sparked a market driven idea to create a Jobs board for Innovation Engineering. This is in our development pipeline - however the need is growing faster than we expected.
INTERNS for HIRE: The Innovation Engineering courses are up and running on campus this fall across the country. The students are very, very special. They fully "get" innovation, collaboration and working on MEANINGFULLY unique ideas. If you want to hire one for the summer or a semester contact now (see below) and we will connect you. Note - the very best will be hired this fall.
If you are even a little interested in HIRING or FINDING A PROGRESSIVE COMPANY contact David Lafkas or myself at the Ranch 513 271-9911. Confidentiality is #1 priority for both companies and candidates. NO NAMES or IDENTITIES will be released unless you give permission.
To give you an idea of what a dedicated Innovation Engineering job might look like within a company - small to large here's a description.
Innovation Engineering JOB Description
Mission: To help company leadership grow a culture of never ending innovation. The result of this will be increased innovation speed, decreased risk and greater employee engagement.
1. PEOPLE Engagement: The primary driver of culture change is education in the new mindset. The foundation of the new mindset is training and tools. The IE staff tasks in this area include:
- Leading the company’s customized IE Workshop program & Supporting IE Retreats
- Leading IE Green Belt Certification enrollment and scheduling with Front Line Staff
- When ready, coaching of IE Black Belt projects leading to certification
- Internal Innovation Supply Chain Request Platform & group rewards
- Supporting External Innovation Supply Chain Platform and growth
- Author - Company Innovation Coffee House Blog (Original & repackaged Brain Brew)
Key Metrics: % of staff involved, % certified, Cultural assessment, % involved in Requests
2. PROJECT Acceleration: The driver of ROI for the company is the acceleration of projects that are very important problems or opportunities. Tasks in this area include:
- Serving as Project Leader on at least one project at all time
- Serving as Process Coach and coach of the coaches
- Assist or Lead IE Accelerators, CREATE & Strategy Activation Sessions
- Patent Flea Market mining and alerts
- Tech & Problem Solving Support for Front Line Staff (a major focus as culture develops)
Key Metric: Discipline - % projects with math, % cycles with math/concept changes, Concept Score (risk measure)
3. PROCESS Advantages: The driver of sustainable competitive edge for the company is never ending improvement in the company’s innovation infrastructure. Tasks in this area include:
- Forensic Analysis and Metric Mining, Research & Tracking
- Lead/coach IE Infrastructure Projects to increase speed/decrease risk
- HR, Finance, Legal, Tech Development, Supply Chain, Market Research
- Lead private Innovation Marketplace (Yellow Card library, Patent Translations, Spark Decks
- Lead Monthly Process Reviews, Quarterly Pipeline Review
- Lead internal Innovation Leadership Communities
- Lead customization and management of private IE Labs portal
Key Metric: Pipeline value by stage, % moving through each cycle, average cycle time, alignment to Blue Cards & list of process improvements
Details on Organization and Allocation of Time & Energy
- At start focus is 20% People, 60% Project, 20% Process to build confidence.
- As confidence builds it will become balanced: 33% People, 33% Project, 33% Process.
- Everyone in the group can do everything - however there will be people with specialties.
- Small full time team bulk of team part time located in divisions & departments (dotted line)
- Titles are kept simple: VP, DIrector, Manager of Innovation Engineering Group
To all of us Change is hard -- hiring someone from the outside can be hard. Making the decision to leave is hard. I can't tell you what's right for you. The best advice I can give is quote that's a favorite of my daughter Tori. As American Poet Shel Silverstein wrote...
There is a voice inside of you That whispers all day long, "I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong." No teacher, preacher, parent, friend Or wise man can decide What's right for you-just listen to The voice that Speaks inside.