How do you leverage outside expertise to advance an organization's capabilities and impact?
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) is a top ranked global provider of leadership development with the mission to advance the understanding, practice and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide. While CCL has renowned research and development capabilities, it actively engages outside expertise to advance its capabilities and impact. At the request of David Altman, VP Research, Innovation and Product Development and the support of the CEO John Ryan, I served as the Innovator in Residence for 4 years to do just that.
As the Innovator in Residence my role was to:
Find innovative ways to deliver CCL training content at very low cost to leaders in the developing world.
Mentor the staff of the new CCL innovation incubator.
Assist in establishing a new product development capability.
Build internal support for the adoption of new innovative work processes and methods.
Assist in positioning CCL as an innovator in the industry.
The Innovator in Residence role was multifaceted and involved:
Interacting with CCL associates and teams at campuses around the world.
Conducting workshops and symposia for CCL associates and key clients.
Writing and publishing whitepapers on leading for innovation with CCL subject matter experts.
Co-developing new CCL programing focused on leading for innovation.
Facilitating innovation projects with CCL staff.
Participating in key new product development projects.
Participating in the hiring process of key product development personnel.
Advising the CCL executive team.
I delivered workshops and symposia at CCL campuses in North America, Europe, and Asia helping to build understanding and support for new qualitative research and new product development approaches that help build its capabilities as an innovator in the industry.
Working with David Horth, CCL’s Director, Innovation Venturing and Partnerships we published whitepapers and articles on leading for innovation including Leadership by Design and Innovation Leadership.
David and I also co-designed and delivered the Innovation Leadership Workshop in North America, Europe and Asia.
To assist CCL in finding innovative ways to deliver low cost leadership training in the developing world, I guided the staff of the newly formed innovation incubator through the Design Thinking process with young professionals and bottom of the pyramid individuals in India. Several approaches for reaching these audiences were created, tested and implemented. Ultimately this project became the foundation for CCL’s societal advancement efforts – Leadership Beyond Boundaries - lead by the ever passionate Lyndon Rego, Global Director, Leadership Beyond Boundaries.
I met on a regular basis with the executives to provide my perspective on ways to advance CCL’s innovation capabilities and culture. These included recommendations on work processes, decision-making processes, organizational and structural issues, personnel and leadership recommendations.
Key Success Factors
The long-term multi-faceted engagement proved to be the key factor in helping the organization advance its innovation capabilities.
Want to learn more about an innovator in residence for you organization? Contact me.