Recently I helped organise and facilitate a series of Innovation Days for a major Health Care Business as part of an innovation capability building process.

It was considered by all participants as a major success.

Here are the reasons why I thought The Innovation Day worked:

– The senior leadership team were heavily involved.

From the CEO down they actively supported the concept and were highly visible on the day.

– The Innovation Day was part of a broader innovation process which involved forming an Innovation Council and a team of Energisers.

– We worked on some real problems using the Blitz (and 360 degree evaluation) tool and process.

Participants then formed small groups and tackled a selected problem and had to produce their solutions with a 9 point action plan in the afternoon to a judging panel with a range of prizes for the top 3.

– Innovation for me, is more about ‘doing than listening’.

Much like learning how to swim, you eventually have to jump in the water and start splashing around to really get it.

That is why working on real problems was beneficial.

– We conducted an Innovation Benchmark  (i.e. IB 3 instrument we have developed) which the staff completed before the day.

In 12 months time we can then decide how the innovation journey is progressing based on this initial reading.

– The day started by acknowledging and celebrating previous innovations.

The day was therefore positioned as a way to enhance what had gone on before rather than something completely new.

– Attendance was voluntary over the two sessions (50 at one, 60 at the other).

This meant that people who were interested in creativity and innovation turned up.

This is important as it created a positive energy in the room and it meant that attendees were more likely to pass on a positive message about the concept.

– Most of all, it was a fun (e.g. free lunch) and interactive day where participants learned a new skill, met some new people from across the business and had an opportunity to unlock their creativity in a safe environment.

If you haven’t tried it An Innovation Day is a powerful symbolic and practical way of boosting your innovation capability.

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