The Professional Development Institute
Harvard University Global System
Harvard® Planner Group
Upcoming Seminars
Applying Harvard University Global System™ Tools;
Planned in Boston, New York and Canada
Harvard University Global System™ (HUGS)
in English, French, Spanish
and Mandarin Shipped Worldwide

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

Ottawa-Gatineau Campus
March 21-22, 2019

May 20-21, 2019

New York
June 23-24, 2019


Leading organizations create and extract value from a stream of innovations emanating not only from research teams, but across the workforce and beyond their borders. This workshop permits the participants to:
  • Acquire the cutting-edge competencies, proven instruments and best practices to master the Harvard® innovation framework and deliver bold “out-of-the-box” practical innovations, with less guesswork, both in technological and non-technological fields. These competencies and tools are vital to compete globally, build and retain clients and high-performing teams.

  • Create the conditions conducive to ongoing mission-driven innovation 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.

To Register, please call 1-800-HARVARD
International +1 819-772-7777. Thank you.
“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on!”
Albert Einstein

Innovation is contagious
Note the innovation deliverables can be a product, a service, a policy or an enabling process.


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

  • Pre-requisites for sustainable innovation
  • Collaborative innovation at Airbus, Amazon, Kering, Michelin and the National Research Council
  • 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 and Stage-Gates

  • Configuring, pruning and updating the canvas
    • Current and emerging threats and opportunities
    • The future including pathways to get there
  • Innovation activities and stage-gates
    • Visualizing, observing, incubating, strategizing and modeling options
    • Experimenting and reflecting, reality-testing, prototyping, piloting
    • Developing, alpha testing, scaling, beta testing and delivering excellence

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

  • Anchoring the innovation: Scope, value chain, uncertainties, iterative milestones and evaluation mechanisms
  • Harvard University Global System: A proven framework addressing the flaws of traditional brainstorming
  • 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


Alain Paul Martin works with innovation teams in the policy realm, biotech, software development, energy and mining R&D. In this hands-on workshop, he will share the best practices and the lessons he learned from engineering and science team leaders; from teaching Harvard case studies and experiencing successes and failures.

As a 19-year advanced-technology co-op student at a leading European car maker, he delivered his first innovation, a jig to eliminate his mass-production job through intelligent automation. Upon starting his North-American career in aerospace, Alain earned corporate awards in technological innovations. He went on to lead IT and mathematical-simulation teams to optimize transportation at Du Pont and construction materials and pulp & paper production at Domtar. He also led the development of an operational-research system to assess TV news-delivery quality and impartiality at the CBC.

He subsequently established a track record in digital and physical product innovations as an inventor (Canadian, U.S. and Japanese patents) and a strategic-change agent in banking, insurance and IT. He incubated the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with Dr. Brian Morrissey. He spearheaded the creation Partners in Health Canada (

Alain held graduate faculty posts in leadership and management of change. As an entrepreneur, he created employment for knowledge workers for over 20 years and led teams to receive a Canada Awards for Excellence certificate and the Mercure Gold Award for a client. He led the creation of Harvard University Global System™ (HUGS), the Global Method and the novel software algorithms used by Skanska to manage projects varying from millions to multi-billion dollars in size.

Alain is a current member of Harvard Faculty Club. He is a 2012 Harvard Fellow (Advanced Leadership) and an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s OPM entrepreneurship (1997-99). He is also certified to teach negotiation in the corporation by Harvard Law School where he took formal training negotiation, mediation and alternative-dispute resolution (ADR). Earlier, he studied advanced technology in France and graduated in Commerce at Concordia.


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.

To register, please contact us by email at or call us weekdays (9 AM - 4:30 PM EDT) at +1 819-772-7777; toll free in the USA and Canada: 1-800-HARVARD and pay in advance by credit card.

Send your money-order payable to: The Professional Development Institute PDI Inc.

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.



We deliver in-house versions of this workshop 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 most reasonable. If required to support your request, we would provide supporting evidence for service fees recently billed to governments and companies.

The travel expenses for seminar leaders are on cost-recovery basis. They include airfare, ground transportation, meals, gratuities, airport taxes and hotel accommodation. There is no travel expense for seminars held in the cities of New York, Boston, Cambridge and Ottawa where we hold regular public workshops. If applicable in your jurisdiction, sales and value-added taxes (HST and PST or VAT) are extra.

The client is responsible for the conference room, audio-visual materials including 2 flip charts, an 8x8 feet projection screen, internet access, a digital projector for PowerPoint presentations and a laptop computer (as a back-up machine). We also recommend round tables, each seating five participants, in a crescent arrangement, to face the workshop leader.


The dress code is business casual at your discretion. Trust your judgment. When unsure, err on the side of caution. If overdressed, you can remove a tie or a jacket and roll up your sleeves. Members of the Canadian Forces and the U.S. defense community can, at their discretion, either dress casually or keep the uniform.

You will be reminded the first day to dress the way you feel most comfortable for a photo session the next morning.

Although every effort will be made to ensure a pleasant learning environment including a suitable temperature, we recommend you bring a sweater or a jacket to the classroom as individual comfort zones differ and sudden variations in the weather can temporarily affect air conditioning.

Also please kindly refrain from using strong fragrances during the session in order to accommodate your fellow participants who suffer from asthma.

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
  Worldwide Order Center & Main Training Campus: 70 Technology Boulevard
Gatineau, QC J8Z 3H8 CANADA. 
  European Distribution Centre for Harvard Planners: WH Smith, 248, rue de Rivoli, Paris,75001
Dorothée Ben Tahar: +33 1 44 77 88 99 Extension 1 (Stationery). Concorde Metro Station.

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