ArticlesJude Kelly OBE:
Project Manager Extraordinaire

by Alison Duffy

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Thomas Edison:
Father of Innovation Management

by Roger Neill

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101 Things to Know About
Managing Projects

(that they probably didn’t tell you on the training course)
by Roger Neill

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Innovation Masterclasses

Our intensive one-day Innovation Masterclasses focus on three specific aspects of innovation that seem to cause problems – ‘Creative Leadership’, ‘Brand Renovation’ and ‘Turning Ideas into Action’.  The Masterclasses will tackle key issues for those in marketing, sales, R&D, supply chain, project management, design, or any other aspect of innovation.

Thursday 9 September: Creative Leadership
The recently-published global IBM study of CEOs shows that "creative leadership" has jumped to number one in their wish list – the number one desired leadership competency.. This is quite unprecedented. Of course, it provokes a number of questions: What do CEOs mean by it? How do you know when you've got it? What can be done in practice to recruit, support and promote creative leaders? All of these issues will be addressed head-on in the Masterclass, as well as: 

1.    Leading the change to an Innovation Culture: Here we will use case studies of major companies around the world, who have effectively made that change.
2.    Creating the right climate for collaboration and creativity: So that everyone can contribute fully.
3.    Creating high-performing innovation teams: Here we will focus on getting the right balance of personality types within a team and addressing the issues in getting individuals to value each other's contributions and work together effectively.
4.    Getting breakthrough ideas: How to get them when you need them and how to get them implemented. Getting out of the pit so that people can "see with new eyes". 
5.    Having an effective innovation process: Not so complex that people find it hard to implement. Not so simple that it doesn't work.
6.    Moving consumers and experts into the heart of the process: How to involve consumers, customers and experts directly in the innovation process.
7.    Managing creative mavericks: We will share ideas on how to recruit  and support them, taking advantage of their special gifts without damaging the culture of the organisation.
8.    Building buy-in and dealing with “party-poopers”: How to get maximum commitment to breakthrough innovations.  No=one likes to think of themselves as party-poopers, but it happens.  It's one of the major reasons why good ideas take so long to get to market.

Thursday 7 October: Brand Renovation

Led by Roger Neill with special guest,
Dr David Walker, Managing Partner of Happen, who has been intimately involved in the rise and rise of Reckitt Benckiser’s brands over recent years.

It’s a fact that, for most companies, the vast majority of innovation is, in reality, renovation. The existence of carefully-created existing brands means that innovation teams are not starting from a blank sheet of paper. Rather, they are dealing with sometimes much-loved, trusted assets which, wrongly handled, can destroy rather than enhance shareholder value.  So Brand Renovation is a subtle art of considerable complexity, which, few companies seem to have considered, requires special skills.

This Masterclass will feature a range of astonishing case stories - including the rising from the dead of Skoda following its acquisition by VW, the transformation of the unelectable British Labour Party as New Labour, the role of the Olympics in enabling host cities to achieve (or not) major upward shift in reputation, the re-staging of Saatchi & Saatchi following the departure of the brothers, British Airways finding a way to change the ballgame in the fiercely competitive long-haul business class sector, the continuous reinvention of Kylie Minogue, and the wholehearted commitment of Nestlé to consistent renovation as a core strategy and competence worldwide. Also a window on Reckitt Benckiser – widely recognised as a global leader in this area. 

All these cases carry profound learnings for innovators and renovators in all sectors.

Among the issues to be covered will be:

1.    How to leverage current brand assets
2.    Exploring the “founding myth” for future relevance
3.    Creating genuine organic growth
4.    Thinking like a challenger (abandoning the arrogance of past dominance)
5.    Surfacing previously hidden insights
6.    Deciding which sacred cows may be slain
7.    Staying in vogue in a fickle world
8.    Escaping from the low-price/commodity trap
9.    Bringing breakthrough creativity into the often-mundane world of minor pack changes

Thursday 11 November: Turning Ideas into Action

Many organisations still seem to experience difficulty in moving good new ideas, speedily and successfully, through to implementation. So at the masterclass we'll address a number of the major barriers people encounter, among them: managing and simplifying complex internal processes;  dealing with pushback from senior management; getting everyone pulling in the same direction together; dramatically shrinking the time-frame; managing risk while working at speed; protecting the "big idea"; involving consumers and customers directly in the creative development process.
The Masterclasses will take place at Cass Business School in London - 10:00am to 4:30pm - and will involve guest thought-leaders on each of the topics.
Tickets cost £950 per person per Masterclass (plus VAT).  Discounts are available for teams of three or more and for individuals booking all three masterclasses.
To book, email Alison Duffy on   
Please note that there is a restricted number of places which will go on a first-come-first-served basis.

Response to Per Diem Innovation Masterclasses

 “The days breathed life back into me. I thought the content was first class.    I have been bubbling about it to my colleagues today.”

“I really enjoyed the stories and ’case studies’, the models discussed and the group exercises.  The structured but informal ambience was great. It provided a welcome opportunity to consolidate and top-up knowledge and to gain new insights on familiar situations and challenges.”

“I loved the anecdotes, the informality and the broad range of concepts lightly covered, ensuring useful reminders plus new insights for everyone.  It has left me with a great deal of food for thought – what more can you ask of an event?”

“I left feeling that I can now approach with more confidence and ‘legitimacy’ my role. What I have been doing is good but I’ve got more knowledge to draw on now and some practical tools to bring into my practice.”

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