About This Practice
Organizations today are hungry for innovation. But most companies fail to implement the innovations they invent, buy or borrow. This is because innovation is not just about products and services; it is also about having the right business structure, processes and culture to support it. That’s where we come in; to establish your business system to support innovation so that you can effectively nurture and implement innovations from the idea stage to market.
How We Can Help
We will help you create the business structure and processes to nurture, support and sustain innovation.
Define Innovation for Your Business
You will start your innovation journey by creating a shared definition of what innovation means for your organization. Without this, it will be very difficult for employees to talk about innovation or to implement it.
Get You Ready for Innovation
Next, your people will complete our proprietary Innovation Culture Assessment™ (ICA™) survey. This assessment provides us with insights about your organization’s culture and readiness for innovation. It will help us to determine the gaps to fill to re-shape your organization’s culture so as to support innovation.
Develop Your Innovation Strategic Plan
Next, we will help you to develop a clear strategy for innovation. This will lead to the launch of an innovation process designed to “move innovation from vision to reality” by creating the business structure and processes to nurture, support and sustain innovation. This process will engage employees at all levels in new and different approaches to creative thinking. We have learned that everyone can be creative. You and your people will enjoy our approaches and techniques to bring out the creativity in everyone.
We’ll help you create a steering committee to oversee innovation teams and implement your innovation strategy.
Like any new idea it is likely that employees will resist innovation and the change it brings. We’ve found that it usually takes repeated attempts, endless demonstrations, and monotonous rehearsals before your organization’s people finally accept and internalize it. This requires courageous patience. But the rewards are worth it.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.
Innovation Culture Assessment™ (ICA™)
An unsupportive culture is the number one obstacle to innovation. The fastest way to clearly understand the perception of employees regarding the current state of innovation as compared to what they view as the “ideal” culture for innovation is by undertaking an organization-wide assessment of the current culture for innovation. Where there is an absence of celebrating creativity and ideas one finds that innovations rarely have a vibrant creative environment to thrive. Where the most talked about stories in organizations revolve around creativity, this inspires others to follow suit and build a culture of innovation. The Innovation Culture Assessment will identify the current environment for innovation and creativity.
Why Assess Innovation Culture?
Innovation challenges differ from one organization to another. Just as each innovation is unique, so is an organization’s culture. The process of innovation that works in one place will not necessarily work in another. We must consider the culture.
Business Improvement Architect’s Innovation Culture Assessment™ (ICA™) will:
- Identify the current state of innovation throughout the entire organization
- Provide you with information on the current state of innovation by position, department, location, etc.
- Identify whether or not the corporate culture is seen as risk aversive or adaptive to change.
- Determine the extent in which ideas are currently promoted or stifled.
- Detail the actions required to re-shape your culture to be more innovative.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.
The forestry industry has remained largely unchanged for many decades. One large government’s forestry department believed that change was imperative if they wanted to keep jobs. They had tried traditional leadership and change approaches but it hadn’t made much difference. So they brought us in to help them determine how to create a culture in which employees would be more creative and adaptive. We decided to apply a bottom-up approach to gain traction so that the employees wouldn’t perceive this as yet another management directive. Our client agreed that we could put all employees through facilitated sessions to generate creative ideas and determine what was necessary to take these ideas from vision to reality. We helped them create a steering committee to oversee the innovations and then worked with management to develop strategies for implementation. As a result of our work, the organization’s culture changed; the employees became engaged and they are now delivering new products and services that are helping to sustain this forestry department.
This global manufacturer had identified innovation as one of their key growth strategies. Some of their products had to be completely re-designed to meet the future needs of their customers. Their new product development process didn’t yield them the breakthroughs they needed to achieve these re-designs. Business Improvement Architects worked with their leadership team to create a vision, strategy and process for innovation. We assessed their innovation culture and planned the actions required to re-shape it. They followed-up by creating innovation teams. These teams followed our proprietaryinnovation process and just recently applied for patents for their first major innovation success!
The Air Cruisers Company hired Michael Stanleigh of Business Improvement Architects to help them learn how to implement innovation.
“As the Master Lean Six Sigma Black Belt for my company, I was tasked by the upper management team to ‘implement’ innovation. Michael worked very closely with me to tailor a program to meet our exact needs. Over the 3-day session, Michael not only taught our team about innovation but worked with us to develop a complete innovation process, starting with a vision of the program, all the way to the implementation of the innovative ideas. Not only did we learn how to create an innovation strategy, culture and process, but we left the work session with a turn-key solution for starting our innovation journey. Over the course of the 3 days, we worked in groups to actually complete tasks such as: developing a vision, creating plans to reshape our culture, developing the future structure of our organization, and generating innovative ideas. Michael’s innovation ‘work session’ far exceeded all of our expectations and I would highly recommend his services to anyone starting on an innovation journey.”
DNR hired Business Improvement Architects to help them implement innovation. We trained most of the employees in the Forestry Branch. They were very excited about the possibilities that Innovation has for them and so we then took a select group of individuals through a session to explore innovation more deeply through a process in which they developed their vision, strategy and culture.
“Taking your advice, we conducted our launch in a ‘Town Hall’ setting, which provided an opportunity for committee members to inform the region about the overall committee structure, ongoing upcoming initiatives, and the process to contribute ideas and get involved. We are excited about the level of engagement we have sustained through this process, and there have been lots of discussions/ideas around improving the way in which we conduct business which, at the end of the day is our main priority.”
Three separate art facilities in a large city received a mandate from the local government to combine operations in order to better service general public needs and save costs. bia™ was asked to help the management and staff to unify the operation and help the team to overcome their challenges in bringing the exhibits together in one place. As well, staff did not function well as a unified team, rather, they continued to operate as three separate units within one building. bia™ used an “Innovation Process” and “Project Management” to create breakthrough performance for the staff and the organization. The outcome has been highly successful, with most of the innovations having been translated into projects.
“We are impressed at how Business Improvement Architects has very quickly and effectively managed to get us working co-operatively as a team. We highly recommend them to others.”
Business Improvement Architects has been on faculty with the Gardener Centre of Memorial University since 2003 and continues to work with them to provide open-enrollment programs.
“Michael Stanleigh of Business Improvement Architects has been a contract trainer for the Gardiner Centre, (Previously Centre for Management Development) of Memorial University in both open-enrollment programs with diverse clients and for client-customized programs around specific client needs. We have used Michael and his associates on many occasions, and continue to contract with them because of their professionalism, the invariably high participant evaluations and most importantly because of repeat request from our clients for their services. Michael’s evaluations have consistently been among our highest.”
Nike wanted to create more teamwork and improve overall communication between staff in an effort to capitalize on ideas and suggestions that were always being raised but rarely captured. They brought in bia™ to train and coach staff on a Critical Thinking Process. This led to a number of new ideas being generated and implemented that improved the organizations bottom-line. As well, staff began to use the process on their own, almost immediately, in order improve their own decision-making process.
“The Critical Thinking Process helped the teams to be more strategic in their thinking and improved their overall decision-making and communication effectiveness. Michael’s energy and passion contributed to the overall positive results. We now have a lot of solid decisions to review which will help Nike to continue to be innovative.”