The Pioneering Spirit
When it comes to innovation, there is a special kind of magic in Silicon Valley. The constant buzz of new ideas. Effective funding of pathfinding innovations. Start-ups in many markets. The birth of entirely new industries. While it may appear that it's all about creative new ideas, the success of Silicon Valley actually comes from a highly-disciplined approach for taking ideas through a series of iterations all the way to market-changing implementation.
Over the past two decades EDG has written about and has collaborated with many of the players that make up the Valley's remarkable innovation ecosystem. EDG's Silicon Valley Innovation Immersion program was established to open this remarkable world to anyone who wants to learn from those who create it every day.
Innovation Immersion = Tours + Talks + Training + Creating Your Own Roadmap Forward
EDG's Silicon Valley Innovation Immersion is typically a week-long program. It combines hands-on innovation skill building with site visits and conversations with visionaries who share their approaches and outlooks. The three pillars of the program can be customized to maximize relevance and impact:
- The innovation methods used by Silicon Valley enterprises and entrepreneurs
- The technologies and business models that are driving disruption
- The connections and venturing potential of the Valley's ecosystem
Each individual or team will create a unique Innovation Blueprint that captures your insights and plans for moving forward. Learn more...
EDG has been running tours for over 10 years. Tour participants have included: AXA Insurance, Airbus, Alibaba, BBC, Cheers Publishing - China, Healthcare Executives and Investors - China, IWB - Industrielle Werke Basel, (an energy company), Johnson and Johnson, Lufthansa Technik, Mayo Clinic, Nyt Hospital North Zealand – Denmark, Panera Bread, SBB - Swiss National Railroads (in partnership with the Swisscom Outpost), Swiss Post - national post and transportation service, Texas Health Resources and Université Catholique de Lille - France.
"Our week in Silicon valley was a powerful experience with concrete learnings for me and my team. We were able to build a robust network we can harness for our open innovation efforts going forward."
— Vincent Durcret, PMI, Head of Global IS Innovation
EDG offers a range of tools to help users increase their capacity for innovation and change. Each tool can be applied independently or in connection with our services and training.
1. The CO-STAR Value Proposition Template
In Silicon Valley the oft-repeated refrain is not: “Do you have a cool idea?” Rather, it is: “Can you pitch me the value proposition of your idea?” More important than the idea itself are questions such as: Will the idea be relevant to a customer? Will there be a market for it? How is it taking advantage of an emerging trend or a new technology? Is it better than other available alternatives? What kind of returns can be expected? The CO-STAR template helps users craft a compelling value proposition and iterate it effectively with others until it becomes a market-worthy new venture. And in more and more places the question today is: “Can you offer me a CO-STAR of your idea?” See the CO-STAR book here. Request your free copy of the CO-STAR template.
2. Online Innovation Tools
To quickly scale your innovation capability, EDG offers two online innovation tools:
Q+ is an online platform for enabling innovators across a large group to post their ideas and CO-STAR value propositions. Q+ guides users to turn their ideas into strong value propositions, enables innovators to learn from each other, and facilitates selection as users vote their favorite ideas and CO-STARs to the top. Q+ can be used for posting spontaneous ideas or for sponsored campaigns, where leaders post strategic innovation challenges and a specific "Invitation to Innovate." Learn more...
Employees are the primary source of innovation. When workers become more innovative, the enterprise will become more innovative. The One Hour Innovator is our cloud-based toolkit for building the individual innovation capabilities of your workforce. It enables employees to develop high potential ideas and to pitch them effectively so they are able to secure funding and support for implementation. The One Hour Innovator offers 60 minutes of instruction and over 100 tips to help an employee with a potentially brilliant idea accomplish the critical few tasks needed to ensure success. Learn more...
3. ValueSTEP™ Innovation Survey
To most efficiently develop the full potential of your innovation capabilities, it helps to know what is already working and what is not. What are your current innovation strengths and weaknesses compared to best practices? EDG’s ValueSTEP Innovation Survey helps you track 16 Innovation Success Factors that separate the peak performers from the serendipitous innovators.
ValueSTEP is a useful tool for setting your innovation baseline and regularly measuring capabilities as your enterprise builds its innovation competence.
4. Innovation Blueprint
The Innovation Blueprint is a visual map to the future that enables people within a team, an enterprise, or a community to create a shared view of where they are headed and what is needed to create this future together. The Innovation Blueprint helps users design an integrated innovation system that brings together a view of the external trends, market challenges, new opportunities, and customer needs - along with the internal innovation practices and tools, organization design, innovation architecture and funding, new skills, and the culture required to make it all work. The Blueprint also guides users to clarify the specific leadership that will be required, how they will engage key stakeholders, and the kind of innovation support that will ensure their people are capable of building the envisioned future. When complete, the Innovation Blueprint delivers a collaborative and shared roadmap to a compelling future.
The book, The Dynamic Enterprise: Tools for Turning Chaos into Strategy and Strategy into Action, by Lisa Friedman and Herman Gyr offers an introduction to the Innovation Blueprint along with case examples.
5. FOCUS Toolkit and Workshop - Design Thinking
Finding Optimal Customer Solutions, or FOCUS, is a step-by-step guide that allows you to rapidly identify high-value customer solutions. FOCUS uses design thinking to uncover important user needs and highlight the points of greatest opportunity. The FOCUS Toolkit is a guide to engaging key stakeholders, subject experts and even customers in collaborative brainstorming activities to develop breakthrough solutions.
FOCUS handbooks direct users through the preparation and agenda planning needed to set up and run a FOCUS Workshop. The handbooks provide instruction and facilitation tips as well as advice on how to turn your insights into actions and your prototypes into products.
EDG has had the honor of sharing lessons learned from twenty-plus years of ground-breaking projects with some of the world's most respected companies at speaking engagements around the world. We have spoken at venues such as international conferences, executive breakfasts, university classrooms, and corporate retreats. We would be happy to talk to you. Our talks tend to focus on aspects of innovation strategy, best practices, and leadership, but we are happy to tailor our talks to address your hot-button topics. Our highly-engaging presentation style has provided insight and inspiration for hundreds of audiences.
Partial List of Past Talks and Conference Workshops:
- Innovation Hackathon - Led half-day + evening innovation challenge and pitching session. INNOVA-CON 2015, IAOIP Conference (International Association of Innovation Professionals), Houston.
- Innovation Essentials. Business Link, Leeds, UK.
- Implementing Idea Management Systems. INNOVA-CON, IAOIP Conference, New York.
- Innovation Silicon Valley Style. IESE Business School.
- Building Your Integrated Innovation Management System. YPO and WPO Webinar (Young Presidents Organization and World Presidents Organization), China.
- Leading the Way: HR's Role in Championing Enterprise Innovation. HR West Conference, Oakland.
- IT Business Transformation: The Keys to Successful Innovation, Prototyping, and Dissemination. Copenhagen.
- Creating Enduring Value. Pre-Conference Institute, Greener by Design Annual Conference, San Francisco.
- Cradle to Cradle Innovation. Pre-Conference Institute, Sustainable Brands Annual Conference, Miami.
- The Role of HR in Tapping Organizational Creativity and Genius. Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA), San Francisco.
- The Digital Revolution's New Media Users. New Media Days Conference. Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Innovation in Action. IIIJ Annual Conference (International Institute of Innovation Journalism), Innovation Driving Journalism and Journalism Driving Innovation, Stanford University.
- Take Hold of the Future: It's Going to Be a Wild Ride and You'll End Up Doing Things You Never Imagined and Love It! BiblioTech 3 Conference, Stanford University. Watch the video here.
- Innovation Silicon Valley Style — and One Simple Tool that Makes It Work. Institute of Marketing. University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
- Harnessing Innovation. The Work Foundation, London. Link here.
- How Can We Mobilize the Swiss Innovation Ecosystem for the Exponential Economy? / Wie mobilisieren wir das Schweizerische Innovationsökosystem für die exponentielle Ökonomie? Swiss Department of Economic Affairs / Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung. Berne, Switzerland.
"The session was immensely helpful in getting me to think about how my organization could foster a climate of customer-focused innovation."
— Tim Decamp, Dept. of Innovation, Universities and Skills
"This is the only seminar of its type I have been to that did not seem like silly marketspeak. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think it provides tremendous value. I hope to be able to incorporate more of your teachings into my work, especially since I am trying to become a successful independent inventor."
— Dr. Chris Lomont, Research Scientist
HR West 2014 National Conference Leading the Way: HR's Role in Championing Enterprise Innovation
Participant feedback on session:
- "Absolutely fabulous! Best learning I've had in a long time."
- "Very useful, solutions oriented, clear road-map. Great co-star model."
- "Very knowledgeable, good examples."
- "Totally engrosing and energized."
- "Very engaging, credible, clearly thoughtful."
- "This was a great session. Very timely for my organization."