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Innovation Coaching

Let's find out why innovation needs in-company training and how to organize it

In the United States, whose economy has been disrupted for the past 20 years by the approach disruptive of startups and big-tech companies, l'Innovation Coaching it is a reality that has established itself in recent years by outlining a figure within companies who would train the organization and employees to innovate.

The adoption of this figure is less and less just the prerogative of multinationals and more and more widespread. Innovation Coaching is becoming increasingly necessary in an era of profound digital transformation that the pandemic has accelerated even more.

To have positive effects, the company must draw up a training plan for employees that has clear goals and objectives, whether it is the adoption of a new management application or a total change of company organization, it is important that people are involved and that they understand the reasons for innovation and its path within the company.

For this role you must be able to have strong communication skills and a lot of passion for innovation and its positive applications but not only. Who is the Innovation Coach? The definition provides it Phil McKinney, former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Hewlett-Packard, today presenter of a radio program called “Killer Innovations” and author of Beyond The Obvious, a text on how to use innovation and creativity to achieve success.

An Innovation Coach is able to collaborate with clients in a creative and thought-provoking process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential and gives them the tools to do so.

McKinney continues, "The Innovation Coach is the newest and 'hottest' topic in the innovator community." Precisely for this reason it is still partly to be explored. Executive coaches are now considered an accredited tool for improving personal and business performance within an organization. Their impact on business reality has been proven: according to The Economic Times the ROI of the coaching business is almost six times its cost and leads to an improvement in 77% relationships, 67% teamwork, 61% job satisfaction, and 48% quality. The impact of the Innovation Coach has not yet been studied, but in my experience – says Phil McKinney – an expert innovator can have a significant impact on a personal level and on the entire company.”

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Let's see what are the fundamental requirements of the perfect Innovation Coach according to Lisa Bodell, CEO of futurethink, a New York-based company dedicated to research and innovation training:

  • Being Innovators firsthand and experiencing innovation firsthand as well as being constantly updated.
  • Seeing beyond the company perimeter, obviously having a complete overview of one's sector but also knowing how to look both outside one's own company and in different sectors to discover innovation trends.
  • Relate and adapt to your audience, the first rule for effective communication and transmission of values.
  • Focus on Experiential Learning or learning with interactive experiences, go beyond power point presentations and involve people.
  • Managing skepticism and preventing any criticism are tasks that conclude the engagement work created with the interaction of the point before.
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To learn more about the topic and the theme, I leave you with two books and two in-depth articles:

Phil McKinney starts from the principle that producing and realizing great ideas is the key to staying at the forefront in a world that is changing at a dizzying speed. But why is it so difficult to do it? According to the innovation expert, the real problem is that we are teaching people to ask the wrong questions about their business, or to ask none at all. Therefore the author has developed his own personal method, the FIRE (Focus, Ideation, Ranking, Execution) Method to ensure that companies ask the right questions, the ones they need to survive. The book is full of concrete examples and aims to change the way people innovate and create.

“Being a Coach Innovator – reads the presentation of the text – means encouraging a culture that aims at the emergence of ideas, maximizing creativity and involvement and generating a greater number of options for oneself and for others. Ultimately it consists in going beyond the obvious and giving space to new ideas”. Cristina Bianchi is the founder and Managing Director of "Enhance Training and Development", an international company that offers solutions related to training, while Maureen Steele is the founder and Managing Director of The Training Box, another company for trainers and communicators.

The world is changing and those who are successful learn to innovate their own products along with their own processes and at people.

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