Intrapreneur Academy: Introduction to Innovation Tools and Methods Recap

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Academy’s second quarter is all about being able to take the Agile mindset cohort members explored in Academy Quarter One: Agile, and put it into action. The second quarter focuses on tools and methods organizations can use to make idea generation and prioritization a repeatable process. Teams in this cohort learned a variety of tools, methods, and processes, met with engineers and took a tour of the factory at one of Eastern Iowa’s largest manufacturers, and had the chance to participate in a webinar with Innovation Games® author Luke Hohmann. Methods is all about turning the ideas from Agile into action.

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Introduction to Innovation Tools and Methods: Putting Ideas Into Action

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Innovation is about creating a discipline in your organization that is adaptive, responsive, and sustainable. During the introduction to the Methods quarter, cohort teams learned tools and methods like:

Teams got to participate in these methods and discuss how they believed these tools could help their organizations. These tools are designed to make idea generation and prioritization a repeatable process. Ideas are captured, discussed, and prioritized during these processes, ensuring that the best ideas from organizations see the light of day.

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Kinze Manufacturing Immersive Factory Tour

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The cohort toured the Kinze Innovation Center, and then had a full tour of the Kinze factory floor with the opportunity to ask questions of long-term Kinze employees. After the tour, members of the Kinze Manufacturing engineering team had a Lunch and Learn. Cohort members learned about how Kinze is integrating technology into its products. Kinze founder Jon Kinzenbaw also stopped by for a surprise Q&A.

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Customer Discovery: Testing and Validating Assumptions

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NewBoCo’s Chief of Business Development David Tominsky taught the cohort common tools and methods from the startup world, including the Lean Startup Method and the Business Model Canvas.

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Innovation Games® Workshop

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Innovation Games®are a set of collaborative tools that teams use to better understand their customers and stakeholders. The cohort learned and then practiced many of the games, including:

  • Sailboat
  • Prune the Problem Tree
  • Product Box
  • Remember the Future
  • My Worst Nightmare

These games are powerful visioning tools that allow focused and productive discussion on specific problems. Each game provides a unique framework for attempting to solve a problem. As to why they’re described as games? They’re designed to be collaborative and enjoyable, in contrast with more traditional methods like focus groups and surveys.

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Innovation Games® Webinar with author Luke Hohmann

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The cohort had the opportunity to participate in a webinar with Innovation Games® author Luke Hohman. The webinar included an open Q&A and a live game demonstration.

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Takeaways from Innovation Tools and Methods

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Cohort teams learned a number of tools and methods for turning innovation into a repeatable, actionable process. Teams immediately took these new tools back into their organizations and started using them, and they are already reporting back that the tools are improving the way their organizations work.

Next quarter focuses on Culture where teams will learn about The Flame model, hear from guest speakers such as Scott Dix and Gale Mote, and tour MediRevv, a consistent leader on CBJ’s Coolest Places to Work list.

The second cohort of Intrapreneur Academy began Friday, October 5. NewBoCo is proud to welcome Rockwell Collins, Woodward Communications, Brucemore, Eco Lips, and Grinnell Mutual into Academy.

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