Management Consulting for Nonprofits and Social Enterprises

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Building Capacity to Innovate for Associations and Non Profits

Published By

Ed Bernacki, Senior Consultant

VECTORS GROUP

Building Capacity to Innovate for Associations and Non Profits

Leading people, leading ideas: strategies and solutions
Our management culture focuses on managing people. Equally important is how we manage ideas. Leaders need expertise in managing people and managing ideas. Innovative organizations set two challenges for innovative solutions:
1. Defining where new initiatives are needed to create opportunities and innovative solutions.
2. Build the skills and capacity of people and teams to innovate and deliver on the first challenge.

1. Defining challenges where new thinking is needed

What challenges do you need to solve?
Ed Bernacki helps teams conceive new solutions to challenges with half-day or day-long idea factory design sessions. Each is planned to engage people in a process that leads to solutions. The idea factory is a way to understand creative work. People know we create things in factories, these create ideas.
1. We define our raw materials – a well-defined challenge and the right people in the room.
2. We shape a process inside the factory – we explore the challenge, design options, and work toward a result.
3. As with any factory, we ship a result – we continue until we have a result: a concept, solution, opportunity and so on.
Ed Bernacki hosted idea factories with associations, non-profit causes and charities. He then wrote several books on, “I am an Idea Factory!” Email to get your copy of his graphic book: edbernacki@vectorsgroup.ca

How to lead innovative organizations
Foresight puts the “lead” in leadership. It defines the need for new processes, services, and strategies. It supports people. It encourages collaboration. Ed Bernacki brings his international experience to benefit organization with consulting services:

  • Innovation reviews or audits to explore culture, skills, and vision for innovative solutions.
  • Stepping back from daily challenges to create an agenda for change for future results.
  • Strategy based on factors that show what makes innovative business innovative.
  • Review plans, goals and vision to shape a type of 100-Day Strategy with actions.

 

2. Build Capacity to innovate: In-House Training, Briefings, and Presentations

Manufacturers invest in R&D to create new ideas. This grows their capacity to innovate. Associations and non-profits need to invest time, energy and resources to develop a greater capacity to innovate in our organizations. Ed Bernacki can deliver in-house presentations – one-hour to one-day of skill and insight development. Each in-house program is designed for the specific issues of an organization.

Teams: We are an Idea Factory! Develop teams to boost skills to innovate: improve collaboration, use idea management tools, and shape a culture to foster innovative solutions. It’s a great way to kick off a new project team.

Staff: I am an Idea Factory! Building the skills of staff and managers to solve problems and make decisions. Key themes of the idea factory:

  • Managing my ideas: creating and capturing ideas
  • Managing my thinking style: collaborating effectively
  • Managing my focus: determining where “I” need new ideas to get results

Managers: Build collaboration: stop killing ideas of people who don’t think like you People would be easy to manage if everyone thought like you. Learning to lead and work with people who do not think like you is crucial. We need to manage cognitive style.

  • Participants use the Kirton Adaption-Innovation thinking style indicator
  • Debrief to gain new insights for managing themselves and others for greater results

Staff fun: The BIG ACME Toy Company A half-day innovation team-building simulation. BIG ACME is in trouble. Teams will learn an innovation process to create ideas to save the business. Ideal to engage staff in a fun way with an innovation process.

About Ed Bernacki

Ed Bernacki is an innovator with an international career working on a wide range of innovation projects.
Ed Bernacki has spoken at 250 conferences in 12 countries, delivered 200 innovation workshops for most of Canada’s government departments, and published several books. He has worked with many big and small organizations. His first job was with the Ontario Soccer Association where he became the innovator who prompted new thinking on many services. While he lived in Australia and New Zealand, he worked on innovation projects for the Singapore Government, New Zealand Post, various non-profits, and numerous companies in Australia, and later Governments across Canada.
In Canada, he worked for KPMG before heading to New Zealand for an Executive MBA. Ed is a highly published international writer and thinker on innovation. He also invented a new type of idea journal for conferences and sold 60,000 worth over $1 million.

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