“Big doesn’t beat small anymore; fast beats slow.”

That’s what iMBA Cohort 3 student, Jeremy Vogan, took away from 2012 Spring Workshop on Innovation.

Jim Carroll, speaker, futurist, innovation expert and author of Ready, Set, Done! posed this question and others to students in Cohort 3 of the Innovation MBA Program at the 2012 Spring Workshop on March 24. Carroll spoke about the latest trends on innovation, using provocative data points like “65% of preschoolers today will work in jobs that don’t exist today.” Jim Carroll placed control of innovation squarely in the hands of Silicon Valley technologists citing the example of how cell phones will be the next credit card and technology is driving the design of new vehicle dashboards (think OnStar and GPS!)

In response to questions about how companies could put innovation into action, Carroll’s roadmap was simple, but certainly, not easy:

• What your company can do better?
• What you can do to grow your company?
• How you can transform your company?

During the afternoon, Mark House and Maureen Blackwell, of empoweringLEADERS LLC and adjunct instructors in the iMBA program, helped students put these key innovation concepts in play as they formed “Innovation Teams” to help them improve their Leadership Development Portfolio – that record of mentoring and leadership experiences – which is the core of the iMBA program leadership experience. Students were asked to consider how they displayed key innovation skills demonstrated by the top CEO innovators and then apply them in a team situation to their own work.

What did students take away?

Andreas Knab thought Jim Carroll’s thoughts on innovation “ were right on – upper management sets the tone for innovation throughout the organization, and creating a dedicated “innovation team” will not work.” Andreas went on to say that “the afternoon session that followed was the first “team building” activity where I felt like a team was actually built. The methodology and team performance model Mark House and Maureen Blackwell introduced us to made it clear to me why so many teams I am part of perform rather poorly and how to improve future team efforts. Saturday’s events in combination with the communication class are incredibly helpful, my suggestion to the iMBA program will be to offer them even earlier in the program.”

Jeremy Vogan appreciated the teamwork displayed during the Innovation Team Workshop: “ I felt like we got a lot closer to each other and made real progress toward our dreams and goals”. Another student, Craig Honeycutt, added that the workshop was “a fun, enlightening and humbling process. Even those of us who think we are great communicators have a lot to learn about the true art of real communication.”

empoweringLEADERS™ LLC focuses on leadership development for technical professionals. Our partners came from many years as senior technology leader at software/hardware product companies and small/medium IT consulting companies. They helped those firms to not only deliver outstanding solutions but to build outstanding teams in partnership with their business and HR partners. Their passion is using these proven processes to help clients develop high performance technology teams that deliver outstanding business results. They have certifications from the International Coaching Federation along with others. You can find more information at www.empoweringleaders.com.