Strengthen Innovation and Strategy

The Innovationedge team offers onsite workshops that can guide and inspire your team to new levels of success in innovation.. Topics include open innovation practice and strategy, building a healthy innovation ecosystem, scenario planning for innovation success, low-cost intellectual asset strategy including secrets of success with defensive publications, and managing the threats and opportunities of disruptive innovation. Workshops include advanced content and fun, tailored exercises to help the team truly incorporate the learnings.

As one example, here is a description of a workshop that we recently conducted at the international CoDev 2010 conference on open innovation. It was a day-long workshop with experienced participants, though for some groups it may be better as a two-day workshop.

Scenario Planning to Make Innovation More Like a Business

Instructors: Cheryl Perkins, Jeff Lindsay, and Pat Clusman

Innovationedge, Neenah, Wisconsin


Participants will learn how to guide innovation according to sound business principles for improved returns, higher productivity, and long term success. Advanced skills will be given in open innovation (innovation through collaboration with other organizations), coping with disruptive innovation, developing cost-effective intellectual assets, and building the culture and processes needed for innovation success with high economic returns. Advanced content on intellectual asset strategy is included, covering novel IA strategies to manage disruptive innovation and low-cost IA tactics to get more protection from a limited budget.

The course will be tailored for the needs of the participants. It is designed to cover two-days, but can be compressed to a single day or further extended, as needed. It draws upon years of experience of the instructors, including unique material described in part in a recent book from the major international publisher, John Wiley and Sons The book is Conquering Innovation Fatigue: Overcoming the Barriers to Personal and Corporate Success by Jeff Lindsay, Cheryl Perkins, and Mukund Karanjikar (2009). Dr. Jeff Lindsay is the former Corporate Patent Strategist of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a U.S. patent agent, an experienced innovator with over 100 U.S. patents, a former university professor, and an experienced business consultant. Cheryl Perkins is the CEO of Innovationedge (, the Chair of the international annual conference on open innovation known as CoDev (, and the former Senior VP and Chief Innovation Officer of Kimberly-Clark.

Overview and Content

Advocates of innovation in corporation often launch programs with little hope for financial return, pursuing grand dreams without the discipline needed for business success. Innovation needs to be made more businesslike, more efficient, and more likely to generate returns. In this workshop, we teach our principles how to make their innovation strategy more successful and businesslike. A combination of proprietary content, case studies, and hands-on exercises are used to help participants gain new skills in leading business operations toward innovation success.

Key concepts to be covered:

  • Collaborative innovation: how to build the culture, tools, and processes needed to repeatedly find success, and how to create alliances that bring innovation success.
  • Building the networks (the innovation ecosystem) both inside and outside the organization that are needed for innovation success. This includes a brief introduction to Value Network concepts which we have found very valuable in helping clients understand gaps in their organization and in their external relationships.
  • Understanding the hidden barriers to innovation that case “innovation fatigue.” This is a brief overview of a major theme in our recent book from the leading publisher, John Wiley & Sons: Conquering Innovation Fatigue: Overcoming the Barriers to Personal and Corporate Success by Jeff Lindsay, Cheryl Perkins, and Mukund Karanjikar (2009).
  • Disruptive innovation: how to bypass the normal barriers that keep large companies blind to the threats and opportunities that disruptive innovation can bring, and how to use a new intellectual asset strategy to lay a foundation for future disruptive success while averting disruptive threats.
  • Talent management: how to strengthen innovation using the “Da Vinci in the Boardroom” approach of added-value open innovation with multidisciplinary talent already on your team.
  • Secrets of advanced intellectual asset strategy: How too use patents to build bridges for successful partnerships, and how to use low-cost non-patent tools such as defensive publications and digital intellectual assets to get much more return on your IP spending. This section alone can bring value worth hundreds of times the cost of the seminar.
  • Crafting a culture of innovation to achieve the vision of the organization.

Case studies covered include 3M (managing disruptive innovation threats), Johnson Controls (business growth by building in adjacent fields), Microsoft (the cultural revolution that led them to use IP for partnerships, not as barriers to collaboration), Orion Energy Systems (multidisciplinary innovation and in-sourcing), Chevron (partnership with a national laboratory, illustrating the importance of good connections among scientists), and Kimberly-Clark Corporation (business model innovation).

Several interactive exercises are interspersed in the workshop, including a competition giving experience in crafting a pitch to a prospective partner. The participants form teams to represent a small company with a specific technology that we supply. In this simulation, the teams are seeking to form a partnership with a large international corporation. The teams must consider the business model and select the benefits to emphasize during the short time they have before the panel. Each team then gives the pitch and the panel selects a winner. The panel may include seasoned participants of the workshop.

Case studies and exercises will be tailored to meet the needs of participants and to cover technical or business areas of interest.










Amy Spreeman