Creating breakthrough innovations by design

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to develop not only products and services, but it is also used to devise strategy and manage change. It encourages the creation of new opportunities. It is an interactive and a team-based approach to develop innovations that are technologically feasible, economically viable, but most important desirable from a human point of view. Instead of talking about design thinking during the lecture you will all be part of doing design thinking. The starting point is what is happening in your business and company. From there we will tap into the vast experience of the people participating and together co-create a prototype of tomorrows offering. The lecture will take you through the whole design thinking process from the initial challenge to the end of the process with presentations of prototypes and potential solutions that impact people’s lives.

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The traps of innovation

For many companies creativity, continuous innovation, and the ability to turn ideas into action are critical to standing out above the rest. Yet, working with innovation is tough. There are many ways companies go wrong, as they want to enhance innovation. Quite often innovation works is treated like manufacturing that has repetitive tasks, reasonable predictable activities, and items found in one place at a time. However, innovation is an open-ended search process (otherwise we wouldn’t call it innovation!) – so tasks are unique, requirements on projects change constantly, and output is often information that may reside in multiple places at the same time. Failure to acknowledge those critical differences gives rise to several traps that undermine innovation. In the lecture these traps are exposed – and proven strategies to overcome the traps are offered.

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How to successfully measure your innovation performance

Executives often ask themselves, “Why aren’t we better at innovation?” Solutions exist ranging from coming up with better ideas; looking outside for partners and concepts; protecting the new and radically different business from the old; perfecting the execution. Despite these advices wrongly applied they may take the company to unproductive outcomes or even to dead ends. To have a better idea on what is feasible or not managers need tools to assess current innovation performance. Yet, innovation performance measurement is not a straightforward task. Many managers start – and get stuck – in the hundreds of possible innovation metrics to use. In addition, measurement often produces data rather than meaning and may direct behavior toward unproductive rather than value-adding activities. In the lecture you will go through a step-by-step framework for innovation measurement. The framework help you identifying if the current innovation measures need to change as well as how to measure innovation more effectively.

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How to build an innovative company culture

Some companies seem to stand out in terms of having an innovative company culture. It is easy to get inspiration from comparatively young companies such as Google and Facebook, but we also marvel at some older companies such as Apple, Procter & Gamble, 3M, and General Electric to name a few, who have been able to reinvent themselves. As we look at these it is easy to ask: “How do these companies do it?” Research has told us the corporate culture is a much more important driver of radical innovation than labor, capital, government or national culture. This raises two questions: 1) what is an innovation corporate culture? and 2) how can you build one? In the lecture we combine findings from research in the form of a practical 360° assessment tool managers can use to assess how conducive their corporate culture is to innovation – and discuss specific areas where their culture might be more encouraging to it.

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Excellence in teaching

Excellence in teaching is a workshop aiming to help everyone concerned with teaching answer two questions: First, how do teachers develop excellence in their teaching? And second, what sort of environment can help them do so? The background is an inductive study on excellence in teaching and what the best teachers do Anders has conducted at Babson College, Harvard Business School, and MIT. During the workshop we discuss that achieving excellence in teaching is about much more than planning, executing, and concluding a course. It also means carefully framing the “why” or “big picture” of the course, creating specific dynamics, including a close rapport with students, and aiming to initiate a never-ending learning journey. The workshop discuss how an organization and its actors can strike the right balance between stability and change, they can set in motion a virtuous cycle in which excellence is created and recreated.

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Tailor-made lectures

Acknowledging there are many aspects of innovation that are unique to your company and your specific business not covered in the above there are also a number of tailor-made lectures offered. Example of topics Anders has lectured on ranges from: the role and impact of digitalization on innovation; how social innovation impacts business; why we should care about open innovation and how it changes the rules of the innovation game; the most important trends in innovation; being an innovator on the inside; to developing innovation systematically. Reach out for a continuous discussion on these – and more – topics

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