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Innovation Essentials is designed to give you some of the core capabilities found inside some of the world’s greatest innovators. Each video contains practical tools that you can apply immediately. Please use, share and embed these videos wherever you wish and if you work for an organisation with a training depart, please send them the link to this page.


The course is largely based on content from my book “Be Less Zombie: How great companies create dynamic innovation, fearless leadership and passionate people.”


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Module 1: Introduction to Innovation Essentials


1.0 Overview of the Innovation Essentials content and how to use it


1.1 How organisations become “zombies”

What is a “zombie” organisation and how does it happen?


1.2 “Sleeping Gas”: the hidden power of the status quo

How “business-as-usual” stifles innovation and damages long-term relevance


1.3 How innovation giants think

What separates great innovators from everyone else?



Module 2: Designing an innovation strategy


2.1 Thinking in three simultaneous time zones

One of the most powerful tools for helping bolder ideas emerge


2.2 Innovation strategy framework

How to create the conditions in which bolder ideas can emerge and thrive


2.3 A metric that makes innovation more inevitable

What to measure so that the whole organisation is focused on the right level of innovation



Module 3: Finding great insights


3.1 The Innovation Particle: The smallest and safest unit of bolder innovation

Many teams start innovating from the wrong place. Here’s where to start.


3.2 Innovation X-Ray: Uncovering hidden insights

How to see beyond the obvious and innovate around what matters most


3.3 Predicting the future more accurately

Why the future is easier to predict than you think


Module 4: Designing catalytic questions


4.1 Questions as a hidden innovation superpower

Why the right question is an innovator’s greatest asset


4.2 How to design a great question

How to design better questions than the competition (the question design tool kit)


4.3 Putting questions into practice

Embedding three types of powerful innovation question inside your organisation


Module 5: Bolder idea generation: CHANGE AFTER EFFECTS TITLES


5.1 Can “ordinary” organisations create extraordinary ideas?

Introducing six factors that shape breakthrough thinking


5.2 Be more human

Creativity in the workplace is ‘biological warfare’. How to get real about what it takes for human beings to be more creative at work


5.3 Change the context, change the game

Why great innovators always have two types of space for idea generation: “Performance space” and “rehearsal space”


5.4 Slow down if you need bolder ideas

Most organisations are in too much of a hurry for bold ideas to show up. How to look wider, think deeper, and dream longer.


5.5 Dialling up creativity means mixing up people

Why some kinds of diversity matter more than others in the creative process


5.6 Sponsorship: Why bold ideas need bodyguards

What kind of leadership is needed to protect bold ideas from a ‘premature death’?



Module 6: How to run low-risk experiments


6.1 The business case for experimentation

Why experimentation is the only choice for organisations that are serious about their future


6.2 Innovation trapdoors

The crucial importance of finding your idea’s “leap of faith” assumptions


6.3 Designing and running experiments

The step-by-step process for designing and running experiments



Module 7: Selling your idea and influencing


7.1 The campaign manager mindset

Becoming the change agent that your idea needs


7.2 What to sell when pitching your idea

The three essential elements of a great idea pitch


7.3 How to sell your idea

The experience your pitch must create for people and the four stories you need to tell



Module 8: Designing Business Models


8.1 Why business models matter and how to design them

The business case for business model innovation, and an essential tool for starting out


The following videos were developed for a project that I ran with CABI (link to CABI). They have kindly agreed for them to be used freely as part of this course.


8.2 Freemium business models

How the freemium business model works with examples from Candy crush, Dropbox and Redhat


8.3 Subscription business models

How the subscription business model works with examples from Amazon Prime, Netflix, Time, Sky Sports, Spotify and Adobe


8.4 Advertising business models

Understanding the dynamics and watch-outs for working with an advertising business model


8.5 Customer usage business models

How customer usage business models work including examples from Amazon Web Services, Airbnb and Uber


8.6 Licencing business models

Understanding the essentials of a licencing business model including examples from Qualcomm, Nokia and Disney

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