Innovation: A Leadership Game Changer (formerly You Can Learn to be Creative)

In today’s world, companies both big and small live on their ability to creatively innovate new products, services and processes. Learn the tools that creative leaders need to drive innovation and how to facilitate leadership teams in driving new revenues from innovation.

The workshop covers the five stages of creativity; tools such as the cause-and-effect diagram; Pareto chart; divergent and convergent processes for problem definition for brainstorming and ideation, and white boarding.

Address some of your existing problems and learn how to apply tools of creativity to solve those problems and generate revenues in this hands-on workshop. The goal is to leave the workshop with a take-home creativity toolkit that can be applied at your company.


Dan Steininger

Dan Steininger

Dan Steininger is the president and co-founder of BizStarts Milwaukee – an organization that facilitates the creation of new companies in Southeast Wisconsin. He writes a column for BizTimes entitled “Innovate or Die,” and is also the president of Steininger ... read more

Course Outline/Topics

I. We live in a world of innovation:

  • Charles Darwin = survival of the fittest
  • Rate of Change = Economist Schumpeter
  • Companies that are gone because of a failure to innovate
  • Every day I see entrepreneurs launching companies with little resources that can take out existing companies in lightning speed
  • Examples???

What if you were Borders?

Cell phone banking

Pandora’s Box

Blockbuster and Netflix

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • Role of Humor

II.  Innovation: What are we talking about?

Innovation: the development and implementation of new or modified products, services, technologies, processes, systems, organizational structures or business models that increase the efficiency or productivity of business operations or encourage the emergence of new markets.

It is not invention as we think of by Thomas Edison. That is when you create something totally new that’s not been thought of before.

EXAMPLES: Encyclopedia Britannica eliminated hard books; went online and generated K12 niche.

ACTIVITY: Give us some examples of innovation in your companies.

  • Wisconsin has had some spectacular successes:
    Epic in Madison; Metavante; Fiserv; Quad Graphics; Marquette Electronics; Jami Doucette

III. Why is innovation such a problem? Why is it so difficult?

  • The Human Mind and the habits of daily decision-making

 a. Habits

Overview – what are habits? FOCUS reinforced over time that reinforced strong neurological links that generate a predictable behavioral result = example taking a new route to work; golf;

b. The science of the brain = neurons axioms connections


c. How do you change a corporate habit?

KODAK… If you don’t

Identifying various corporate habits that impact productivity

  • QUESTION; Why are corporate habits difficult to change?

arrogance; entrenched bureaucracy; fear of unknown; insularity from bad news; it ain’t broke; it’s not my job; sub optimization; past successes; it means more work and stress; trappings of the existing office

Think about Mayor Giuliani and the broken windows theory in New York

IV. The tools of innovation leadership

1. Embrace Uncertainty = explain why uncertainty is so important to the creative/innovative process and how as a leader you support your team – Bob DeKoch Boldt

2. The Port Case Study to demonstrate reason for existence starting with customers of Port

  • Defining the brutal facts (In God we trust everyone else get the facts)DO YOU HAVE ANY TRUTH TELLERS? They may not even be employees but VCs ley customers, industry analysts, weird people like Mark Zukerberg
  • Explain the Cause-and-Effect Diagram
  • Explain the Pareto Chart

3. Problem identification tools: (Shoot Ready Aim)

– Cause & Effect Diagram

– 5 Whys

– Customer need identification

– Appreciative Inquiry

– Blue Ocean Process

– Flow charts

– Ansoff Matrix

– Core Competencies


– USP = Unique selling proposition = Why do you exist?

4. Solutions using the Lean Startup Methodology

– Pareto Chart

– Cost-Benefit Analysis

– Decision trees

– This stepladder technique

– Affinity Tracking

– Replacement Product

– Reverse Engineering (John Deere; GE)

– Minimum Viable Product

– Hackatons

 5. Implementation

– Boston Matrix for risk assessment

– Risk/Impact Probability chart

– Critical Path Analysis

– Shareholders State Analysis

6. Transformation Agenda… To drive innovative change: Prof. John Kotters steps on the implementation of transformational change

7. Innovation Scorecard: this is a transparent, all-encompassing tracking of the innovation  planning process that can be monitored on a monthly basis

8. Truly Adaptive companies = How They Function

Dates and locations to be announced.