Detailing our Workshop - "Take the Innovation Journey - in a Day - on Stage"

All - following up from the previous post (https://open-european-innovation-network.blogspot.com/2019/08/workshop-take-innovation-journey-in-day.html) please find a first cut at a more complete description. Please note that the concept allows for participants to chose the "idea" which they would like use; this can be anything, yet I suspect it should be specific and relevant to the context of the participants, i.e. if it were a group from a high value manufacturing company they might chose one of their (future) products?

Please do let me know what you think and what opportunities you perhaps see for an initial event? there is room for all of us to contribute and share the experience - which is slowly developing a life of its own! 

If you would like to join Raimonda and myself in continuing to flesh out the concept (both in respect to a stand-alone offering and for a funding proposal) please do let us know. Extended description as follows:

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We continue to live in challenging times. Times when rapidly getting the most out of new ideas continues to grow in importance. Times when it is important to grow our understanding of not what we know we can do, but of what we are truly capable of doing. Times when new approaches to accelerating innovation deserve being explored. This is a challenge we need to take personally. A challenge we need to immerse ourselves in and become confident in being able to make a difference.

This workshop gives participants and their audience the opportunity to experience the journey of innovation through creating and performing an immersive stage play that gives more confidence in being able to make a change truly work - in a day.

Based on the "Story of Innovation" (https://www.innovation-web.eu/wow) participants create an original five-act 45 minute stage-play in 8-12 person teams over the course of a single day, personalizing the vision of the play and proceeding through the story boarding, development, rehearsals and, ultimately, an “opening night” performance.  Besides experiencing the "Story of Innovation" and the principles of moving swiftly from ideation to market saturation, participants learn important team concepts including: valuing all team members' contributions, obtaining buy-in from all members toward a common vision, the role of a successful team leader, creating a strong team structure, and the value in generating extraordinarily high team goals and reaching them.  

The central dramatic question addressed is what does the “true story” of innovation look, feel, hear, smell and taste like not only from the perspective of individual participants and roles, but as a whole.  It is left open to the participants to decide whether their version of the story will be a tragedy, comedy, melodrama, tragicomedy, or mixture thereof. The script itself sets the story as a tragicomedy; it is non-judgmental and ends with no absolutes.  It focuses on role relationships and shows the innovation journey in a state of continuous flux.  There is a mix of comedy and tragedy side by side as the journey meanders from ideation to market saturation.

ENTOV-HVM brings its own team of designers and facilitators to the program to help the participants bring the innovation journey to life.  The workshop ends with an opening night “world premiere” performance and a wrap-up discussion (including the audience) to extract the key learnings of the program and translate these learnings to the individual's innovation world.

The "Workshop - "Take the Innovation Journey - in a Day - on Stage" is designed as a training event for organizations seeking to learn more about what it takes to implement change more rapidly – in any context – through highly condensed collaborative experience. The workshop can also be used as a teambuilding event at the beginning of collaboration efforts – participants bond exceptionally well through the shared experience of taking the innovation journey. The workshop is furthermore well suited for leadership “away-days” and can be tailored to specific “ideas” of “challenges” as needed. The work shop is held at major theater venue in major cities (i.e. the Shakespeare Globe in London, England). The “world premiere” opening night performance will be professionally video-taped and made available for wider circulation.

Topics that will be addressed throughout the experience include: self-management (time management, critical thinking), communication (presentation skills, rhetoric, verbal/ non-verbal, para- verbal communication), taking responsibility on decision making, knowledge about intellectual property, team work, multidisciplinary interaction and willingness to share knowledge, which leads to innovation. The creatively conveyed story highlights critical competences such as confidence, curiosity, creativity, resilience.

Innovation is the journey of an idea from being unique and unknown to being common and household knowledge. It is a journey that can take anything from days (i.e. the concept of “fake news”) to hundreds of years (i.e. air and space travel). It is a journey begun by an individual and completed by the masses. The journey is also roller-coaster of emotions as the idea moves from its wellspring in all directions, up/down, left/right, forward/backward, and continuously varying speeds to finally become part of everyday life (in the context of relevance).

This play represents the experience of partaking in the innovation journey and is meant to give courage to innovators by allowing them to partake in that experience in a safe environment. This is important because it increases the familiarity of the (usually novice) innovator with the key elements of a longer lasting unknown (but presumed stressful) experience which in turn will increase the probability of not only the innovator completing that journey successfully, but also the probability of the value of the idea achieving its maximum reach. Since the play is co-created by the participants and based on a consciously simple script it allows the participants to engage deeply with the (emergent) dynamics of the innovation journey using all their senses and thus permits a significantly more intensive and effective learning experience than more contemporary forms of knowledge creation such as lectures, game plays or web-based learning opportunities. 

The audience of the play will not only serve as the “customer” of the performance, it will also represent various elements of the innovation journey as decided by the actors and thus allow the audience to both observe and partake in the innovation journey which permits for a much richer experience than “only” observing a performance on a stage.

In advance of the workshop participants receive the script and suggestions for making the most of the upcoming experience. Participants are encouraged to assume any number of roles and will be permitted to reference the script at all times up to and during the presentation itself. The presentation will be held in association with a local theater company and the audience solicited from hosting institutions and the general public via advance marketing using available communication channels. Typically the stage will be bare and only basic lighting techniques applied, although music, lights, and video solutions will be available for use as desired by participants. No specific costumes will be required, although participants will be provided with the opportunity to utilize such as desired. Media will be invited to the event and encouraged to publish reviews. The workshop ends with a dinner celebration. All event costs will be covered by the workshop fees.

The generic agenda for the one day event is managed by includes: script reviews, stage play planning, iterative facilitated scene rehearsals with training debriefs, a general rehearsal, the “world premiere” performance, a moderated debrief of learning experiences and an event dinner. 

The “Story of Innovation” script is the foundation for the work of the participants to create their own interpretation and present it in the form of a stage play. The script sets the scene of an “idea” (which the participants may wish to specify) which appears and then travels through the diffusion of innovation path (as aligned to the hype cycle framework) to market saturation. The characters are presented as “roles” and participants may assume any number of roles during the performance. Participants are encouraged to bring their own characters into the interpretation of the roles in the performance. The basic roles are: innovators, users, marketeers, buyers, funders, and product packagers; participants may add roles as they feel necessary. The starting “trigger” to the stage play is the “Eureka” moment – “I have an idea”. The closing “incident” to the stage play is the idea becoming the household name for a complete type of product (i.e. aspirin, coke). Between start and close expectations and experiences fluctuate. Excitement leads to disillusionment and disillusionment to growing enlightenment. “Chasms” of adoption are encountered and “leaps of faith” need to be encouraged. Not all ideas survive the journey of innovation. No specific date, time, setting or exposition is provided.

In respect to the sequence of interactions between the roles the script provides a relevant description in a simple conversational format. Each role pursues specific objectives and achieves these through exchanges with other roles. Conflicts, challenges, values etc. of the roles are interpreted by the participants. The web of exchanges between all roles creates a network of relationships that pursues its own purpose (which is left open for discovery / interpretation by the participants). 

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Blog post image of the Shakespeare Globe Theater in London - see http://cdn.ltstatic.com/2007/July/CE169649_942long.jpg

If you are interested in learning more please visit us at www.innovation-web.eu, our LinkedIn Group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8779542/, our blog at https://www.innovation-web.eu/entov-hvm-blog, our Researchgate project page at https://www.researchgate.net/project/Open-European-Network-for-Enterprise-Innovation-in-High-Value-Manufacturing-ENTOV-HVM and our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2014779865300180/. You can also follow us via Twitter: @owschwabe (#innovationweb) and the LinkedIn Group page https://www.linkedin.com/company/entov

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