January 12, 2012
If You Are Planning to Ask an Innovation Consultant for Help

goose.jpg

If someone from your company's leadership team asks you to locate an outside consultant to help your organization establish a culture of innovation, STOP for a moment and, with all due respect, ask that person to answer the following questions.

If they answer "NO" to any of them, do not accept the assignment.

Really. I mean it. If you're afraid to decline the assignment, there's no hope for you, your senior team, or your organization. Zero.

If you say YES without understanding the current reality of the senior team, you will only be going on a wild goose chase -- wasting your time, theirs, and the TBD consulting company's who will be asked to generate a hefty proposal that none of your senior leaders will be ready, willing, or able to respond to.

QUESTIONS TO ASK SENIOR LEADERS BEFORE LOOKING FOR AN OUTSIDE INNOVATION CONSULTANT

status-quo.jpg

1. Do you have a clear, compelling vision of our organization's future? If not, are you willing to create one?

2. Are you personally committed to fostering a culture of innovation? Are other senior leaders on the same page with you? If not, are they willing to make the effort to do so?

3. Are senior leaders willing to walk the talk -- modeling the kind of innovation-friendly behaviors they want to see others manifesting on the job?

4. Are you willing to challenge the status quo?

5. Are you open to receiving new ideas from the workforce -- and are you willing to establish a process that will make it easy for them to do so?

6. Are you willing to listen more deeply to what the workforce is thinking and feeling?

7. Are you committed to establishing and supporting an Innovation Council that will drive the process to raise the bar for innovation?

8. Are you willing to invest in a long-term approach, rather than treating the effort as a flavor-of-the-year initiative?

9. Are you willing to go beyond "command and control", empower people, and push decision making further down the food chain?

10. Are you open to guidance and coaching from an outside company who can support you all of the above?

What other questions would you add to the list?

Idea Champions
Culture of Innovation Keynote
Awake at the Wheel

Photo
Illustration

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at January 12, 2012 10:43 PM

Comments

Great questions and a few that I might add include:

11. Are you sure that you've exhausted internal sources of expertise?

12. Do you have a clear understanding of what innovation means?

And not a yes/no question but:

13. What will the organization be able to do after this process that they are not capable of doing now.

Posted by: Jerrold McGrath [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 19, 2012 12:37 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


Who Are We?

Idea Champions is a consulting and training company dedicated to awakening and nurturing the spirit of innovation. We help individuals, teams and entire organizations tap into their innate ability to create, develop and implement ideas that make a difference.

Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
Webinars Powered by
Idea Champions University

Webinars for online training If you enjoy our blog, you will love our newly launched webinars! Our training is now accessible online to the whole world.

Visit IdeaChampionsUniversity.com to find out more.
Our New Book

If you want to know when Mitch Ditkoff's new book, "Wisdom at Work", will be published, enter your email address.

Your Email address:
Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
Awake at the Wheel, Book about big ideas If you're looking for a powerful way to jump start innovation and get your creative juices flowing, Awake at the Wheel is for you. Written by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions.
See Mitch's keynote address Enjoy a 7-minute interview with Mitch at the Ethical Sourcing Forum in NYC: 3/28/11
Featured in Alltop Guy Kawasaki's Alltop "online magazine rack" has recognized Idea Champions' blog as one of the leading innovation blogs on the web. Check out The Heart of Innovation, and subscribe!
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN

Breakthrough Cafe.
A totally unique brainstorming salon. Great food. Great food for thought. Great people. Collaborate, have fun, get out of the box.

"Inno-waiters With Whine Lists" – The Breakthrough Cafe featured in January 2006 issue of
© IDEA CHAMPIONS