Product innovation provides a significant lifeforce and has become a strategic priority for most companies and organizations.  An IBM poll of fifteen hundred CEOs identified creativity as the number one “leadership competency” of the future.  A new and remarkable discovery is that the ability to generate innovative ideas is not merely a function of the mind, but it is also a function of behaviors.

Compelling ways to develop innovation are found in the Harvard Business Press book entitled “The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators”.  The work of authors Jeffrey Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton Christensen emerged from an eight-year collaborative study to uncover the origins of innovation.  They were less concerned with the companies’ strategies and focused on understanding the people responsible for turning creativity into value propositions.

Five skills surfaced from their investigation including one cognitive (ie, genetic) talent and four acquired behaviors.  The cognitive skill is called “associational thinking” or the ability to make connections across seemingly unrelated fields, problems, or ideas. The other four skills are learned (ie, behavioral) and include:

Innovation: Creativity Turned into Cash

• Experimenting

• Networking

• Observing

• Questioning

To our regular readers, perhaps not surprisingly, the required behaviors are virtually identical to the core skills of our professionally trained FAST facilitators.  The researchers discovered that innovators are much more likely to question, observe, network, and experiment than typical executives.  They also discovered that innovative companies are always (ALWAYS) led by innovative leaders.

 “ . . . Innovative people systematically engage in questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting behaviors to spark new ideas.  Similarly, innovative organizations systematically develop processes that encourage questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting by new employees.”

In their discussion of innovative failures, the authors discovered that people did not ask all the right questions . . . thus they emphasize the value of the discovery skill.  In other words, be willing to challenge your people to think clearly.  According to the authors, the behavioral focus found in our facilitative leadership training could pay for the training in a matter of weeks.

Their book also provide details on how to calculate an innovation premium for companies; ie, the proportion of a company’s market value that cannot be accounted for from cash flows of current products or markets.  Investors take note.  This factor alone could pay for the time you took to read this blog, many times over.  The innovation advantage found in our curriculum can be converted into a premium for your organizational value by building the code (ie, DNA) for innovation directly into your people, methods, and guiding philosophies—beginning with a facilitative and collaborative culture.


In conclusion, MG RUSH professional facilitation curriculum focuses on providing methodology.  Each student thoroughly practices methodology and tools before class concludes. Some call this immersion. We call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Become Part of the Solution While You Improve Your Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology Skills

Take a class or forward this to someone who should. MG RUSH Professional Facilitation Training provides an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, 40 CDUs from IIBA, and 3.2 CEUs. As a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), our Professional Facilitation Training aligns with IAF Certification Principles and fully prepares alumni for their Certified Professional Facilitator designation.

Furthermore, our Professional Facilitation curriculum immerses students in the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Because nobody is smarter than everybody, attend an MG RUSH Professional Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology workshop offered around the world, see MG RUSH for a current schedule.

Go to the Facilitation Training Store to access our in-house resources. Finally, you will discover numerous annotated agendas, break timers, and templates. If you value our contributions, take time to buy us a cup of coffee and punch LIKE or FORWARD.

In conclusion, we dare you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.


Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Monthly Facilitation blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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  1. Love the idea that a facilitator is an innovator. This takes me back to the beliefs that human beings are intelligent, creative and want to make a difference. The concept of the innovation premium intrigues me and satisfies the desires of my accounting background. Hard figures sell, and the idea that there is a payback to innovation is something that an executive will find the time to stop for. Makes me want to take a read of the book myself, thanks for the linl.

    • Executives scream for quantification. Nouns scream for adjectives. Cash begs the question, “How much?” Fast begs the question, “How soon?” Indeed the subjective screams for the objective, to give it shared meaning. Scoville units help us understand and consensually agree on the spiciness or heat of a given food dish. Thanks for taking time to comment.

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