The Professional Development InstituteTM
Harvard University Global System
Harvard® Planner Group

Innovation-Skills Workshop
How to Nurture Imagination, Creativity, Innovation Quality and Scaling

Learning Objectives

Innovation is everyone's business in leading organizations. This workshop permits the participants to:
  • Acquire the cutting-edge competencies, proven instruments and best practices to master the process of innovation, nurture imagination, improve innovation quality, with less guesswork. These competencies and tools are vital to compete globally, build and retain clients and high-performing teams, both in technological and non-technological fields.

  • Create the conditions conducive to a constant stream of mission-driven innovations across the value chain. These conditions should spark novel options by seeding, stimulating and exploring a complete panorama of choices in crafting strategies, goals and deliverables; mobilizing and allocating resources; prototyping; securing buy-ins; mitigating risks; executing and delivering excellence.

Note: innovation deliverables can be a product, a service, a policy or an enabling process.

Workshop Outline (Two 8-hour days, 2 CEU)

1. Asking the Right Questions & Building the Foundations for Synergy

  • Pre-requisites for sustainable innovation
  • Challenging the Rules of the Game. Sketching and constantly refining working goals
    • Applying "system thinking in context" to question assumptions, probe boundaries and practices, reinvent the rules of the game, and re-frame to innovate
    • Crafting the corridors of navigation for discovery, learning and creating value
  • Team-synergy exercise stretching the participant’s comfort zone

2. Crafting Your Innovator’s Canvas

  • Configuring, pruning and updating the canvas
    • Current and emerging threats and opportunities
    • The future including pathways to get there
  • Innovation activities

3. Innovative Thinking: Methods, Techniques and Harvard® Tools

  • Anchoring the innovation: Scope, value chain, uncertainties, iterative milestones and evaluation mechanisms
  • Harvard® Creativity Template and framework to boost innovation capacity and velocity:
    Thinking outside the box with a free flow of ideas, inventing real and fuzzy options, with less guesswork
    • How to stimulate creativity, build, improve upon everyone’s suggestions and have fun
    • How to harness and challenge abductive arguments and open new vistas for potential innovations
    • Rules for healthy and provocative auto-critique and collective critique
    • Sketching the forest and building a value proposition from a cluster of choices:
      Illustrations from corporate finance and aerospace
    • Lessons from Amazon, Dr. Joseph Lister, Louis Pasteur and Procter & Gamble’s longest profitable innovation
    • Testing for quality, usability and sustainability

4. Teamwork Exercises: Practicing Synergistic Innovation and System Thinking

  • How to stimulate critical thinking, build upon each other’s ideas and co-create
  • Iterative innovation rounds: Brainstorming and validating creative options
  • Intergroup learning and feedback

5. How to Create the Conditions Conducive to Innovation Excellence

  • How to address serious threats stifling innovation
    • Normalization of deviance, groupthink, perfection syndromes, “the valley of death”
    • Risks and opportunities facing champions, underdogs and riders?
  • Practical lessons from successes and failures

6. Synthesis & Conclusion

Faculty Leader: Alain Paul MARTIN

I am the CEO of PDI ( www.eharvard.org/pdi), a global catalyst at the intersection of innovation, principled leadership, governance and strategy. I am concurrently the Chief Architect, Harvard University Global System for which my firm has a worldwide-trademark license from Harvard University; and which comprises cutting-edge instruments for managing innovation and performance-improvement projects. I led the discovery and development teams of this system, which was originally used by Skanska in Sweden; then the U.K., Germany, Finland and Saudi Arabia to manage capital projects ranging from a million to a multi-billion dollar budget.

Alain Paul Martin, Workshop Leader Building on a wide-range of disciplines, failure lessons, best practices, leadership skills and my innovation's track record (patent holder: USA, Canada, Japan), I am deeply honored to chair innovation and foresight panels (e.g. « Preparing for New Pandemics: Lessons from Science and Policy », 2021 Horasis Extraordinary Conference on the USA); coach teams, leaders and board members of innovative organizations, NGOs and nations, to ask profound questions; listen reflectively; lead with intellectual integrity and exemplary self-leadership; focus on a shared purpose (including the stakeholder ecosystems, change drivers and cultures, across the value chain); be pragmatic in action; nurture reliable allies, a resilient-team ethos, diversity and solidarity for the common good; co-innovate; collaborate and compete to win ethically on the best value; apply decision sciences (cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, system thinking and operations research); craft and execute foresighted strategies (with the details that count); and a sustainable succession.

I am a 2012 Harvard Fellow, Advanced Leadership and a 1997-99 Harvard Business School's entrepreneurship alumnus (OPM). I graduated in Commerce (Quantitative Methods) from Concordia University in Montréal; and studied advanced technology in Lille (France) with internships at Peugeot, ARD National TV Network (Berlin), the University of Ottawa (Particle Physics) and Carleton University's Hydrodynamics Lab.

I acquired skills in system thinking and deep change management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland (GIC), and mediation and advanced negotiation for lawyers, at Harvard Law School from which I am certified to teach negotiation in corporations. Lifetime learning is integral part of my mission and priorities (see my CV's page 4 on Education and Continuous Learning).

I lead graduate courses and webinars on governance, exemplary team leadership, collaborative innovation funnels and ecosystems, strategic policies, managing high-stake negotiations (bar certified course) and stakeholder engagement (from issue incubation to resolution, strategic communication and agile implementation).

I was twice a graduate-faculty member at the University of Québec where I taught Management of Change in the M.Sc. Project-Management program. I coached, for 12 years, the Applied Research & Technology directors and teams at Teck Metals, Canada's largest diversified resource firm. My exemplary-leadership workshops were held at Bertelsmann, Boeing, Boliden, Cap-Gemini, E.ON wind power, France Loisirs, GE (U.S., Canada, Europe), Harvard University and the Ivy-League's Leadership Summit, IEEE, Japan's METI and Engineering Advancement Association (ENNA), MD Robotics, Morocco's Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, OCP Group, operations-research societies, OPG Nuclear Power, the Project Management Institute (PMI), Skanska, Textron's Bell Helicopters, Tokyo's UN University and governments (Europe, the Americas and Asia).

In finance and banking, I advised the Sr. VP, Audit & Human Resources on governance and strategy at Canada's National Bank whose CEO recommended my strategic-intelligence book. Desjardins' President John Harbour praised my role as the main strategic advisor in crafting "the vision and strategic direction of Desjardins, a $75 billion financial institution", and the "world's 2nd strongest bank" (according to Bloomberg at the time). Earlier, I also coached for five years, the general-insurance executive team to turn Desjardins into the industry's flagship through strategic innovations, leapfrogging Zurich and ING; and become "North-America's fastest-growing general insurer, quadrupling sales and raising profit tenfold (in 5 years"). Desjardins also advanced actuarial research and later spearheaded the University of Sherbrooke's Responsible-Financing Chair.

I subsequently teamed-up, for the third time, with Mr. Harbour upon his appointment by Québec's Premier to head the SAAQ, a government agency that was struggling under the weight of a rampant $489 million debt, fast-rising deaths and severe injuries, due to highway accidents. I researched the best practices taught in leading actuarial schools and governance in precursor jurisdictions from North America to France, Sweden, the UK and New Zealand. Then, I coached the SAAQ team whose decisions, saved thousands of lives, in less than 5 years; reducing the death toll by 35% and severe bodily-injury accidents by 43%, despite a 15% increase in highway traffic; while: (1) building resilience to overcome future shocks, and (2) turning the nearly half a billion deficit into $20 million surplus. Mr. Harbour described my 12-year ad-hoc contribution in strategic thinking, governance, collaborative innovation and exemplary leadership, both at Desjardins and at the SAAQ, in a video in French at: www.eharvard.org/2020).

In the public service, I advised the UNESCO's director general and authored "Overhauling the UNESCO and Strengthening Its Essence". For four years, I advised two prime ministers on strategic policies and was a non-partisan Executive Member of the Prime Minister's Committee on Government Reform. I also led assignments where sensitive multi-party negotiations were of paramount importance, including:

  • The creation, with Dr. Brian Morrissey, of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to restore the public trust in the inspection system and position the country among the safest and trusted exporters;

  • Researching, at my expense, the U.K.'s lessons from mad cow (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases (vCJD). Consequently, Dr. Morrissey and I led an intensive workshop to prepare public-health executives and scientists nine months before BSE was diagnosed in the country;

  • A proposal accepted by Canada's Prime Minister to defuse the growing tensions between Canada and its Asian trade partners, particularly Japan, following the discovery of mad-cow disease;

  • The merger of five agencies mandated to protect investors, maintain the integrity of securities markets, and regulate financial institutions in Québec;

  • Coaching leaders of the First Nations in British Columbia and those of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic of the Russian Federation to apply mission setting, principled negotiation and proactive governance in resolving inter and intra-government issues;

  • Advising the government of the Northwest Territories (NWT) on large-scale environmental risks, from complex mine reclamations to potential oil and gas disasters in the NWT and the Arctic;

  • Recommending untied funds for the World Food Program (WFP) to act as a reliable ally, buy food locally and deliver promptly to meet major-flood victims' needs. Successfully negotiated with WFP (Rome), for CIDA, the implementation of the first project in Rwanda.

  • Co-initiated negotiations to mobilize petrodollar funds and Canadian expertise for the benefits of the poorest countries; thus, extending Canadian aid beyond the ParliamentR's approved budget.

  • Leading engineering projects in Equatorial Africa, funded by CIDA and the World Bank, including a flood rescue, a 2800-KM microwave link, a 660-KM inter-city highway and bridges.

I led the creation of Radio Canada's (CBC) news-equity system to improve the impartiality of the delivery of news and public-affairs' programs, across six time zones, especially during elections, when accuracy and timely reporting are sine qua non conditions for transparency and effectiveness. Building on my experience at Germany's ARD in Berlin and knowledge of counterparts in democratic countries, I led the creation of Radio Canada's (CBC) news-equity system to improve the impartiality in the delivery of news and public-affairs programs, across six time zones; especially during elections and other critical times, where accuracy and timely reporting are sine qua non conditions for transparency and effectiveness. The operations-research based system also served to mitigate the national broadcaster's liability risks (especially in the protection against frivolous suits) and the independence critical to CBC's core mission.

In 2019, under the guidance of Dr. Irene Porro, Framingham State University's Director of the Christa Corrigan McAuliffe Center for integrated Science Learning, I prepared and led a workshop, for leaders and educators of Massachusetts' school boards and schools. Building on my research at Harvard, the program focused on the applications of system thinking in the education of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (acronym STEM), enhanced by a decision-support module ("STEM+D") with interdisciplinary applications; centering on increasing the science capital (Pierre Bourdieu), reducing complexity and learning to build trust and consensus. Thus, teachers can now gradually prepare K-12 learners to:
  • Validate goals, facts, perceptions and biases; make assumptions explicit; and opt for rational decisions by seeking evidence and logic, as close as possible to the source(s) of expertise;

  • Learn to develop empathy for all stakeholders; hold the high moral ground; seek sustainable and just solutions; address the ever-changing risks and resistance to change inherent in complex issues;

  • Learn, before seeking approvals, to plan with rigor, candor, humility and constructive arguments that resonate with – and inspire the trust of – decision-makers and the broader constituencies with vested interests in the issue(s), including those with the power to veto controversial decisions.

  • Acquire proven project-planning, organization and execution skills, with a cutting-edge complexity-reduction framework and instruments superior to traditional techniques, such as the Critical Path Method.

People with serious character flaws strive on spreading misinformation among the unwary, who may suffer from empathetic-listening deficit, fear, normalization of deviance, codependency and/or asymmetries of decision-making know-how. Much of their flaws can be traced to parental and early-education deficits. Higher-education establishments can reinforce positive values and related behavior; but face an uphill battle with dishonest, prejudiced, self-centered and morally-corrupt students. That is why the above decision-literacy module (D) gradually addresses the K-12 critical need for empathy, the high moral ground, rigor, candor, humility and constructive dialogue to build trust and consensus. Acquiring such a proficiency, at least on validity testing, is lofty and overdue. These skills also accelerate STEM learning by opening the young minds to the immense applications of decision-making instruments and the deeply-rooted differentiation-integration (Lawrence-Lorsch) synergy of the four traditional disciplines to meet each learner's specific needs.

Active in civil society, I mentor on crafting the NGO sextet of critical success factors (equity, solidarity, leadership, innovation, funding and governance). The purpose is to prevent and combat poverty and exclusion; and advance social justice, public health and STEM+D education. Inspired by Drs. Paul Farmer and Jim Kim, I led the creation of Partners in Health Canada to harness Canadian generosity for the public health of the poorest of poor. I led the funding for CHEO children's hospital, food banks, Canada Without Poverty, an earthquake and Japan's Tðhoku Tsunami victims. Supporting the American Red Cross for Sandy-Superstorm victims, we teamed-up with the French Embassy, Washington (DC) area's alumni clubs (Wharton, Chicago, HBS and Harvard) and the French-American Chamber of Commerce.

I am recognized by the president of Harvard University for my "Leadership, Vision and Service" and the Project Management Institute for my "outstanding contribution to the state-of-the-art in project management". I am also a recipient of an award from Bombardier-Aerospace/Canadair and a Certificate of Merit from the Canada Awards for Excellence.

I am a founding member of Harvard University's Advanced-Leadership (ALI) Coalition and a former president of two Harvard University clubs. I held memberships with Harvard Faculty Club, the Sierra Club, the Agile Alliance, the Association of Computing Machinery, HBS Club of New York, the Société mathématique de France (SMF) and the Jeunesses musicales de France (JM France). I am a founding sponsor of Roger Fisher House, a conflict-resolution catalyst that is now part of Mercy Corps. I am an Advisory Board Member of both Social Hearts (Tokyo, Japan) and New York's Build Academy which focuses on urban infrastructure, diversity, smart cities and sustainable and resilient design.

I authored articles on strategic policies and the book titled "Harnessing the Power of Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Surprise Events" which was recommended by leading scholars, corporate executives and the intelligence community. I am currently preparing, for 2021, the publication of the second edition of: "Value Incubation Foresight: Probing for Novelty, the Unseen and the Overlooked, in Incubating Events and Stakeholders' Dynamics".

For details about my education and executive development, please see page 4 at www.eharvard.org/martin/martin.pdf.

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Tuition Fees (Public Workshops)

2 days: Regular fees: $1695; Government: $1495; Group fees for 3 or more participants: $1450 per person.

Fees include a workbook, PPT hand-outs, road maps, Martin’s upcoming brainstorming guide, and a daily continental breakfast plus hot and soft drinks during the morning and afternoon pauses, but exclude hotel accommodation.

Registration and Cancellation Procedures

To register, please contact us either by:
  • email at rsvp@eharvard.org. Specify your name, position, organization, phone number(s) and the webinar you wish to attend.
    or
  • call us toll free in the USA and Canada: 1-800-HARVARD; international: +1 819-772-7777. voicemail: 24/7.
Please pay in advance by credit card.

Cancellation Policy
Participants registering as a group must send substitutes in lieu of canceling. For other clients, cancellations are accepted if made at least 10 working days prior to the course, and are subject to a $150 service charge per person. Full fees are payable by anyone who fails to attend or cancels less than 10 working days prior to the session. One substitution or transfer to a later course of the same duration is accepted.

Workshop Locations and Hotel Accomodation
Bring This Webinar to Your Organization

We deliver private versions of this webinar worldwide to business and governments, NGOs and bar associations and other societies. We would be delighted to work together with your team anywhere. Ask us for a proposal based on the number of participants, the seminar duration and a selection of cutting-edge course materials and case studies most applicable to your environment.

Our fees are reasonable. Sales and value-added taxes (HST and PST or VAT) are extra.

The client is responsible for the conference room and audio-visual materials.




International 
Toll-free: USA & Canada: 1-800-HARVARD (1-800-427-8273). +1-819-772-7777
Monday through Thursday: 9 AM to 4:00 PM, EDT. Voicemail: 24 hours 7 days
 
 
European Distribution Centre for Harvard Planners: WH Smith, 248, rue de Rivoli, Paris,75001
Contact : Sylvie Goffinet  +33 1 53 45 84 40. Métro Concorde.