How does a business make innovation an everyday occurrence? I recently blogged about the role of a change agent to guide innovation inside an organization. You need a change agent to lead. But you also need a team with the right kind of innovation mindset: individuals who can achieve successful outcomes in the face of uncertainty. The good news is an innovation mindset can be taught. In fact, on May 26, BeyondCurious took a major step in teaching innovation with the launch of BeyondCurious Academy. Through BeyondCurious Academy, we are developing the kind of skills and thinking required to practice innovation, starting with our own team.
BeyondCurious creates mobile experiences that empower brands and people to succeed through innovation. BeyondCurious Academy codifies our best thinking in working with both market leaders such as Lexus and disruptive brands such as GoPro. We think of BeyondCurious Academy as an incubator designed to develop the talent needed to innovate in the mobile age by teaching our team how to flourish in a non-linear, unstructured environment.
What we’ve learned in the trenches of making innovation a reality is that too often client teams tasked with developing new ideas struggle because innovation requires a different mindset than they are accustomed to employing. For example, innovation demands that an individual balance comfort with ambiguity while planning for uncertainty. We are able to do achieve this balance by crafting informed hypotheses through our internal strategy and research practices along with collaborative discussions with our customers and key stakeholders. It is not enough to rely on the rigor of standardized processes and tools. Delivering everyday innovation requires an entrepreneurial mindset and set of protocols that address the disruptive nature of our constantly changing landscape.
BeyondCurious Academy challenges the status quo by reframing an individual’s existing knowledge with an Innovation@Speed approach based on four key pillars:
- Hacker Mindset – being relentlessly inventive in breaking barriers
- Smartcuts – using technology for exponential leverage
- Lean Method – leveraging two-week sprints across disciplines
- Living Products – building products with change in mind
These pillars serve as a foundation for our methodology and are a critical part of our cultural DNA. BeyondCurious Academy builds upon this foundation and provides a platform for people to unleash their potential by mastering the relevant skillset and applying the right mindset for innovation.
By starting with our own employees, we believe BeyondCurious Academy can begin to change the way people innovate in the business world. As we mention in our May 26 announcement, participants will learn through workshops on new innovation techniques and tools, exercises to foster creative thinking and problem solving when faced with extreme constraints, and business mentoring to explore the commercial success of ideas and bring out their entrepreneurial spirit.
BeyondCurious Academy will also teach new hires how to think rather than what to think. For example, a project manager who is accustomed to working with specific timelines, resources, and goals will learn how to plan and solve problems in an environment where new ideas and discoveries shift project priorities all the time.
With the market and technologies constantly shifting, we obsess less about the documentation of tools and techniques, and more about the relevancy of its value and impact. BeyondCurious Academy is intended to be an incubator of change and a safe harbor for our people to learn and grow.
You know the old saying: give someone a fish and you feed him or her for a day; teach people to fish and you feed them for a lifetime. With BeyondCurious Academy, we will first teach ourselves and then our clients how to innovate for a lifetime.