Last week I was in charge of a training program for certification of professional innovation managers. The course-length was three days and we now have seven innovation managers armed with new and enhanced skillsets.
A research funded development project
The project is an exploratory effort to find a coherent model to certify innovation management professionals in Sweden. A former pre-study conducted by a working group of The Association for Innovation Management Professionals in Sweden showed that there was no existing certification that would provide Swedish professionals with proper validation. Said and done they decided to apply for funding to create such an authentication process. Funding was awarded by VINNOVA and the project is running with ownership of association under supervision of RISE who are also responsible for the certification process.
The project is running a number of pilots, in which the participants will go through a training program, develop a case study, write an exam and have a verbal examination, to finally end up as Sweden’s first officially certified innovation management professionals. We are currently in the training phase and I am spearheading it with a three-day course in innovation management for practitioners.
The contents of a certification training program
The course content was packed to cover everything required in just three days. But the content structure was delicate and contained most of the vitals in innovation management. Or what do you say?
- The innovation manager’s job role.
- Definition of the concept of innovation.
- The process, dissemination and blocks of innovation.
- Innovation management, what it is, how it works and methods to utilize.
- Innovation management systems by ISO and the forthcoming 50501 standard.
- Tools and methods: innovation management assessments.
- Tools and methods: developing an innovation strategy and action plan.
- The innovation process: phases and models.
- Indicators of change: problem analysis and strategic intelligence.
- Idea management and ideation.
- Business evaluation and selection models.
- Conceptualization, prototyping and testing/pilot methodology.
The training program was run with me as head teacher in collaboration with Novelty Quest and Påhlmans Business School, following general guidelines provided by RISE and The Association for Innovation Management Professionals in Sweden. Then we had privilege to enjoy a couple of exquisite guest lectures by Magnus Karlsson from KTH/Inngage Consulting, Martin Hultqvist from Innovation 360 Group and from Damian Dugdale from .WDO Innovation.
The participant setup was great and led to extremely fruitful discussions. We had people from the public sector, the aviation manufacturing industry, consulting, dairy products, research, industry organizations, etc. They were given a great chance to network in between themselves, but also to discuss common challenges.
One very inspiring conclusion we could make was the in spite of their diverse backgrounds from extremely varied industries, they all faced the same issue – it is hard for an innovation manager to navigate the innovation efforts in an organization, where to start and what to do first, when to do it, who to form alliances with and why, how to reform the culture and get senior management’s approval, etc..? Questions are plentiful and answers can be hard to find, thus an education like this is a big help to those with innovation management responsibilities. Less guesswork and more facts.
So I am now in the process of creating an extension to the course with two additional modules where one will focus on the strategy process (assessment, strategy, action plan) and one on the operational services (all services required for a fully fledged innovation process and its support functions). Let me know if you are interested in participating or contributing? I am all ears.