How Corporations Setup Innovation Programs for Success

Greg Twemlow
5 min readMar 7, 2024

Realizing a Better Future: The Essence of the “Integrative Innovation Skills©” Model

Author: Greg Twemlow — this article also records the priority date for a claim of Copyright for the phrase “Integrative Innovation Skills©” — Sydney, Australia — March 7th, 2024

We’re living in a phase where the world is perpetually on the cusp of disruptive change, and innovation isn’t just a buzzword — it’s the lifeblood of sustained corporate vitality. The urgency to innovate systematically, ethically, and inclusively has never been more pronounced.

That’s where the concept of “Integrative Innovation Skills©” comes into play — a pedagogical model and skills workshop designed to harness and cultivate the full spectrum of innovation competencies across an enterprise.

this article by Greg Twemlow records the priority date for a claim of Copyright for the phrase “Integrative Innovation Skills©” — Sydney, Australia — March 7th, 2024
this article by Greg Twemlow records the priority date for a claim of Copyright for the phrase “Integrative Innovation Skills©” — Sydney, Australia — March 7th, 2024

Innovation transcends aggregating an organization’s brightest stars into a single constellation. True corporate innovation emerges not from the luminosity of individual stars but from their harmonious alignment, ability to collaborate, and a shared commitment to the innovation journey. The misconception that assembling a team of ostensibly high-potential individuals guarantees success is a narrative ripe for reevaluation.

Successful innovation derives from upskilling your team’s capability to navigate the complexities of realizing new ideas, challenging and supporting one another, and remaining resilient when outcomes are uncertain. It demands an evident appreciation of what it truly takes to be successful innovators — understanding that dedicated teamwork is at the heart of impactful innovation. The beating heart of teamwork is a synergetic effort where diverse talents, viewpoints, and skills converge to forge breakthroughs.

In this light, the essence of the “Integrative Innovation Skills©” model and its corresponding workshop design cultivates innovation as a team sport. It’s about fostering an environment where every member understands their role in the larger mosaic of innovation, where the ability to listen, adapt, and contribute is valued above individual accolades. In doing so, we democratize innovation and enhance its potential to yield transformative results.

The Pedagogical Foundation

At the heart of “Integrative Innovation Skills©” lies a deeply considered pedagogical model structured to foster a comprehensive skillset critical for the innovator’s journey. This model is a nod to the intricate dance between creativity and commercial acumen, a blueprint for the corporate innovator’s growth from nascent talent to strategic leader.

this article by Greg Twemlow records the priority date for a claim of Copyright for the phrase “Integrative Innovation Skills©” — Sydney, Australia — March 7th, 2024

Foundational Layer: The Bedrock of Innovation

The foundational skills form the underpinning of the pyramid, encompassing:

  • Cultivated Curiosity: Encouraging open-minded exploration.
  • Empirical Experimentation: Championing evidence-based innovation.
  • Adaptive Problem-Solving: Flexing the intellectual agility to face unforeseen challenges.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Harnessing analytics to guide innovation pathways.
  • Ethical and Reflective Practice: Embedding integrity in the innovation lifecycle.

Integrative Layer: The Conduit of Innovation Competence

This layer is where skills start to intersect, synthesizing knowledge into actionable insight:

  • Collaborative Agility: Fostering teamwork that transcends disciplinary boundaries.
  • Intellectual Property Acumen: Steering the creation and protection of novel ideas into proprietary assets.
  • Sustainable Resource Management: Balancing the pursuit of breakthroughs with prudent resource stewardship.

Apex Skill: Servant-Leadership in Strategic Innovation

At the zenith of our model sits Strategic Innovation Leadership, refined through Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership philosophy. This leadership approach champions the principle that the most influential leaders prioritize their teams’ and communities’ growth and well-being. It emphasizes a leader’s role in nurturing an environment where innovation flourishes not just from directives but through the empowerment and support of every team member.

Servant Leadership in innovation contexts transforms the apex skill into a dynamic force that drives innovation with foresight, humility, and a commitment to ethical progress. It’s about leading by example and fostering a culture where continuous, inclusive innovation becomes the norm. This leadership style ensures that strategic decisions are made with a deep understanding of their impact on the organization and the broader society, underlining the responsibility of innovation leadership.

In embracing Servant Leadership, we advocate for a model in which the leader is both a visionary and a caretaker — someone who sees the potential in every idea and person and who understands that the true measure of innovation’s success is not just its brilliance but also its capacity to serve.

The Experiential Workshop Design

An immersive 2-day workshop to breathe life into the “Integrative Innovation Skills©” model, translating theoretical acumen into practical prowess.

Day 1: Building the Foundation

Participants embark on a journey to internalize foundational skills through interactive sessions and case studies. A special focus on Intellectual Property basics ensures an early appreciation for the value of innovation beyond mere ideation.

Day 2: Advancing Integration and Leadership

The second day challenges participants to apply their skills in collaborative sessions, simulating real-world scenarios to create and protect IP. The workshop culminates in an exercise in Strategic Innovation Leadership, marrying the nuances of tactical execution with the broad strokes of visionary thinking.

Commanding, Insightful, and Forward-Looking

As a pedagogical design visionary, I intend to engage deeply with forward-thinkers and innovators. The “Integrative Innovation Skills©” model transcends conventional frameworks, presenting a holistic approach that intersects advanced technology, human capacity building, and the complexities of modern challenges. The model is a beacon for:

  1. Strategic Foresight: Emphasizing strategic, long-term planning, the model equips individuals and organizations with the foresight necessary to navigate future challenges, ensuring readiness for pivotal moments — those Kairos moments — that can significantly alter a company’s course towards a more innovative and resilient future.
  2. Continuous Innovation as a Culture: More than a mere process, innovation within this model is envisioned as a perpetual flame, continuously fed by a diverse and evolving set of skills. This approach advocates for a workplace where innovation is ingrained in the fabric of daily operations, where every team member is empowered to contribute to the innovation dialogue, backed by a comprehensive understanding of the broader impact of their ideas.
  3. Empowerment and Direction: Launching this model signifies a commitment to a philosophy that appreciates and actively cultivates human creativity and ingenuity, providing a structured direction for its application. This foundational belief is crucial for developing enterprises that are not just equipped to face the future but are actively shaping it.

In introducing the “Integrative Innovation Skills©” model, I invite organizations to redefine the landscape of corporate innovation. In this refreshed landscape, strategic foresight, a culture of continuous innovation, and the empowerment of everyone in the innovation team are vital pillars supporting the edifice of future-ready enterprises.

this article by Greg Twemlow records the priority date for a claim of Copyright for the phrase “Integrative Innovation Skills©” — Sydney, Australia — March 7th, 2024
this symbol and article by Greg Twemlow records the priority date for a claim of Copyright for the phrase “Integrative Innovation Skills©” — Sydney, Australia — March 7th, 2024

About the author: Greg Twemlow, Founder of Future Skills Studio.

Future Skills Studio Founder, Greg Twemlow

Greg Twemlow: Sharing what I’ve learned from my career of 35 years as a citizen of the world, parent, corporate executive, entrepreneur, and, since 2018, CEO of Future Skills Studio, focused on experiential learning programs for young people.

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Greg Twemlow

Pioneering AI-Enhanced Educational Strategies | Champion of Lifelong Learning & Student Success in the GenAI Era