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Innovation

INTRODUCTION:

This module enables company managers to be innovative and to encourage innovation in others.  The module introduces a variety of concepts models and frameworks to enable participants to understand and critically evaluate the nature of creativity and innovation and how an appropriate strategy, organisational culture and individual approach can be established and maintained in order to facilitate an innovative in an organisation, within the context and environment in which they operate.  The concepts and models discussed can be used to help those within manufacturing to understand and derive appropriate approaches to adopt creative and innovative thinking which aligns with and supports the strategic objectives and direction of the organisation as a whole.  The module addresses the nature of creativity and innovation, the complexity of business and the importance of scenario planning and systems thinking in order to help derive strategies which foster an innovative environment.  It also examines the nature and effect of leadership, organizational life cycle, team and individual dynamics to understand how these influence creativity.  It draws together, focuses and deploys learning (including models, techniques & tools) from other modules.

The module is followed by an assessed assignment whereby the participants are required to demonstrate the achievement of specific learning outcomes.  This requires the participants to apply the knowledge and techniques acquired during the module to a specific problem or issue in the workplace.

The module will contribute directly to equipping the participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead within a process based company.

OBJECTIVES: On completion of this module participants are able to:

  1. Understand and critically discuss innovation in the arena and context of manufacturing.
  2. Identify, make explicit & seize relevant opportunities for innovation – and implement when accountable.
  3. Relate choices for change to real business needs; i.e. focus attention appropriately.
  4. Create an innovative environment, & foster and ensure innovation within a team.
  5. Accept and practise challenge & creativity.
  6. Justify and influence activities that promote change.
  7. In addition, the module is designed to further develop the participants’ key transferable skills and generic-academic capabilities in the following areas:
  • Verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to learn;
  • Written communication skills;
  • Ability for critical evaluation and analysis.

CONTENTS:

  1. An innovation framework for a manufacturing context.
  2. Thinking & analytical tools – divergent / convergent thinking, problem solving, mindsets & how to unfreeze them, destroying myths about individual creativity.
  3. Conscious thinking versus non-conscious thinking; how we can make new predictability.
  4. The World: Patterns waiting to happen, complexity theory and its applications, accidental innovation.
  5. Choices for attention – focus, level of organisation, dimension.
  6. Systems Thinking: Exploiting complexity and coping with confusion.
  7. Scenario Planning: Possibilities in an unpredictable world.
  8. Positive & negative managerial behaviours and practices; values, climate & culture, managerial tools.
  9. Personal action plans.
  10. Justifying change.