When I stopped talking it was amazing what I learned :)

This past week at the annual Innovation Engineering conference I spent more time listening and learning than talking (I know that may sound hard to believe.) From this I learned a lot…

I learned about how deeply people care about their organizations. I found that many are not just “doing a job” - they are committed to making their organization a better place to work and a more successful and yes more profitable company. 

I learned how important attendees felt learning was.  The passion for learning more, teaching more, developing more was contagious.  The mindset among the Innovation Engineering change agents attending the conference is towards - continuous, never ending learning.  The presentations this year dealt with some very challenging and advanced concepts on human psychology, advanced teamwork and world class strategy activation.  Despite the more advanced nature of the presentations those attending didn’t even blink - they dove in to learn more, more, more.   

I learned how important and respected great leadership was.  When leadership is engaged in the innovation journey - the impact is exponentially bigger on the business and the culture.   As Barry Bruns says, “Leadership enables a culture of innovation by inspiring and teaching their people to do more than they ever expected or believed they could.”   There was very little “leadership bashing” at the conference.  Rather, I observed a faith in the leaders as people.  The overwhelming consensus was that leaders needed education.   The famous Deming quote, “How could they know?” was brought up often.   It was agreed that in most cases what the leaders need is education in the new, more advanced System Driven Innovation mindset. 

Overall - I was and am humbled by the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of the Innovation Engineering pioneers who attended the conference.  

At the conference the Innovation Engineering Institute announced a number of powerful upgrades.  

  1. Innovation Engineering Workshops: By far the most excitement at the conference was the announcement that we will be releasing 48 “How to in 2 Hours” Innovation Engineering workshops over the next year.  The workshops will be very functional and focused on helping employees - front line to executives work smarter immediately. 
  2. Innovation Engineering Leadership Course: This is a course designed specifically for leadership to help them understand their role in helping enable increased innovation speed and decreased risk. 
  3. IE Labs Upgrades:  The IE Labs portal upgrades announced range from one click Gantt charts to data capture to advanced rapid research tools.
  4. Advanced Strategic Activation:  Ten methods for improving strategic alignment were released.
  5. Advanced Employee Engagement:  Five methods for improving employee engagement were released.

The conference was video taped and will be shared in full through upcoming webinars.