IdeaWorkx™ Executives and Employees Staying
Ahead of the Challenge to Innovate
While innovation is widely believed to be the key to success in today’s economic environment, few companies have trained their leaders and employees in the principles, skills, tools, and processes needed to actually obtain innovative results. As a consequence, individual employees lack the ability to creatively and systematically solve the complex problems they face every day. In addition, work teams are unable to develop the next generation of innovative products through working creatively together. As a result, organizations are unable to stay ahead of the competition and are threatened by new entrants.
IdeaWorkx™ is a series of seminars and workshops specifically designed to train employees, work teams and organizations in how to generate innovative business solutions for substantial market opportunities. More specifically:
IdeaWorkx 1.0 is a seminar that trains participants in the creativity-enhancing skills, tools and processes needed to generate and execute innovative business concepts as individuals. Participants discover their own creative style, and learn how to systematically increase their own creative capacity. In this seminar, individuals acquire the skills and tools required to increase the number and innovativeness of their own solutions, and discover how to more effectively implement the ideas they generate.
IdeaWorkx 2.0 is a follow-on workshop that builds on the basic concepts from IdeaWorks 1.0, and trains individuals in the advanced tools and skills required to lead others in the process of generating and executing innovative ideas as a team. Participants learn the processes, and practice the tools and skills required to facilitate a work team through the creation and implementation of innovative business ideas.
IdeaWorkx 3.0 is a series of eight modules customized for each company. The modules include the material contained in IdeaWorkx 1.0, and are experiential, hands-on and designed to train participants in innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. However, this sequential series of onsite workshops, supplemented by periodic online sessions with individual teams, goes beyond IdeaWorkx 1.0 to walk participants through the same steps used by seasoned entrepreneurs as they develop products/services and marshal resources for ideas that are “new to market.” The goal of this series is the actual creation of new business ventures. In addition, it is designed to foster greater cross-departmental cooperation and organization-wide commitment to the strategic objectives of the company as a whole.
IdeaWorkx 3.0 Teams:
1. Grow in their capacity to use creative problem-solving processes, principles, skills and tools to create innovative for-profit products/services, as evidenced by a compelling 90-second elevator pitch delivered in an actual elevator to senior executives,
2. Acquire the techniques used by serial entrepreneurs to rapidly assess and test the feasibility of a business solution, as evidenced by the production of written and oral “feasibility reports” presented to senior executives,
3. Develop the knowledge-set required to build an integrated and profitable business model for a feasible business opportunity, as evidenced by the production of 10-15 page “go-to-market strategy” documents to be reviewed by senior executives,
4. Increase their capability to verbally communicate and “sell” an integrated business model to a business-oriented audience as demonstrated by a successful 15-minute PowerPoint team presentation of their “go-to-market strategy” to senior executives, and
5. Grow in confidence, poise and satisfaction in their regular work duties as a result of having completed the IdeaWorks 3.0 training, identified a significant business opportunity, and received accolades from senior executives and colleagues.
For the Host Company, IdeaWorkx 3.0:
1. Inspires all employees to be more innovative in their daily work and to view themselves as important contributors to the overall value of the company,
2. Fosters a collaborative environment where employees recognize the need and feel the freedom to work across the company’s diverse departments,
3. Develops a proprietary process for consistently increasing the level of innovation throughout the company, and
4. Uncovers and develops “go-to-market plans” for new market opportunities and/or new internal efficiencies.
IdeaWorkx 3.0 modules are typically delivered onsite and involves up to 30 participants. The first module requires 1.5 days of training. Each subsequent module consists of one four-hour workshop delivered approximately every other week. Additional sessions with individual teams are conducted online. This training utilizes business ideas generated throughout the program and approved by senior executives.
Training is built around the concept of “entrepreneurship as creative problem-solving” and contains the following modules:
Module 1 – Increasing Innovative Capacity: The “Increasing Innovative Capacity” module is designed to increase a team’s ability to develop innovative solutions, and produce better results for themselves and their business. It drives home the need for a systematic approach to creativity in the workplace and introduces the Simplex® system for creative problem solving. More specifically, this module helps participants discover their own creative problem solving preferences, overcome blocks to creativity, improve their creative skills, follow a process that guarantees more innovative results, and creatively work together as a team.
Module 2 – Mapping the Market Pain: In these hands-on sessions, the seminar leader assists the teams in “mapping” their ideas to better understand the true market pain. This is essential to creating a targeted and successful product or service.
Module 3 – Determining Feasibility: Research shows that seasoned entrepreneurs use a very different approach than managers to determine the viability of a given business concept. This approach is known as “effectual reasoning” and is the basis for this module. As part of this module, participants learn how to assess the technical feasibility, financial viability and market demand for products and services that are new to market, and/or for which no market currently exists.
Module 4 – Building the Financial Model: For many people, the most difficult aspect of the business planning process is translating their vision into a financial model. This module guides participants through the step-by-step development of financial projections in order to estimate Margins, Burn Rate, and Volume. It provides a simple Excel spreadsheet template to speed the process, as well as allow for “what if” analysis and easy updates.
Module 5 – Funding the Venture: This module uses the financial model generated in Module 4 to predict funding needs and timing, and perform business valuation. It also help participants understand their venture from the perspective of potential internal investment, and think about returns and performance measures.
Module 6 – Organizing the Operations: This module walks participants through the creation of a value chain for their proposed business concept in order to assist them in making decisions regarding the activities and processes that should be accomplished inside and outside the concept they are proposing. It also discusses best practices for managing the start-up process for organizing a new business.
Module 7 – Reaching the Market: “Reaching the Market” is a workshop designed to help participants apply the principles of marketing to products and services that are new to market, and/or for which no market currently exists. Participants create a marketing plan for their new business idea including how to make decisions regarding product, promotion, price and distribution.
Module 8 – Selling the Business Concept to Resource Providers: “Selling the Business Concept” is a capstone course designed to help participants complete the “go-to-market” strategy for a high-potential venture idea, with an eye toward presenting it to a panel of senior executives for funding. Participants receive help with laying out their written plan, practicing their 90-second pitch, and developing their PowerPoint slide presentation.
IdeaWorkx 4.0 - Revenue Implementation. Early X will assign a highly trained revenue development consultant to work both with employee innovation teams and c-level executives to insure that the company reaches its goal of generating new revenue. The consultant will work across multiple company disciplines to coordinate with operations, marketing, finance, public relations keeping the new revenue projects on track to implementation. Too much time and effort has been expended at this point to allow great ideas and solid business plans to disappear prior to reaching the market for the lack of a true innovation champion. The goal of this segment is simply to ride herd on the most highly desired new revenue projects that will directly benefit the company.
Early X Foundation
604 Arizona St., Suite 125
Santa Monica, CA 90401