The Human Side of Innovation
Knowledge of cognitive style plays an essential role on multiple levels during this entire process, it:
- Improves communication and helps everyone involved understand what each contributor is trying to say as well as the need behind each statement.
- Smoothes the way for greater, more meaningful engagement by removing barriers and natural obstacles that pop up when people from different backgrounds and experience come together.
- Offers a way to bridge the gap among different modes of self-expression and language use so that participants spend their energy on finding common ground rather than focusing on potential conflicts.
- Provides a means for self-awareness, explaining why certain kinds of tasks or experiences feel more comfortable than others.
- Supplies a roadmap for building skills to shore up shortcomings and build on strengths.
In short, knowledge of cognitive style is an invaluable tool that gives each user a degree of flexibility and interpersonal skill that permeates each step of the innovation process.
Kathleen leads the ‘Culture of Innovation’ division of StandPoint, an organization guided by the philosophies of adult learning and cognitive styles. She is a recognized expert in how adults learn and work together. In her 40 + years of experience in analyzing different cognitive styles, she has utilized her vast knowledge to develop graduate courses and workshops with a remarkable ability to systematically impact all types of learners. Learn more about Kathleen.
Understanding Cognitive Styles (3 hours)
Knowledge of cognitive style begins with self-awareness: recognizing the basic elements of cognitive style and what they look like in practice. When we understand how these elements play out in our own lives, we can begin to apply that knowledge to our interactions with others. The highly-interactive and hands-on initial 3-hour training module provides participants with a firm grounding in understanding cognitive styles, preparing them for the eventual application of that knowledge during the innovation process.
Participants will use a framework for understanding cognitive style based on the work of Dr. Carl Jung, as derived from the Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator (MBTI). As they explore the ways in which personal preferences for receiving and processing information affects virtually all aspects of one’s life and work, each participant will begin to appreciate how StandPoint pioneered the application of the MBTI to the building of innovation teams and voice-of-the-customer (VOC) study participants.
Building the Best Innovation Teams (2 hours)
Breakthrough innovation depends on participation from diverse team membership, whose individual approaches to process management, creativity, self-expression, and problem-solving may naturally be in conflict. The most effective cross-functional teams can learn to mine their differences in a way that helps each contributor function at his or her highest level of performance. Knowledge of cognitive styles is an essential component for this level of teamwork, affecting how team members and leaders are chosen, how they go about successfully completing each step of the Stage-Gate® process, and how they work together to address emerging obstacles in a way that keeps their project moving forward.
In this 2-hour module, we offer style-based approaches to enhance staffing choices, effective leadership, communication, and problem-solving.
Becoming a Better Researcher & Innovator (2 hours)
Innovation researchers need to possess strong observation skills, empathy, and the ability to listen actively. They also need to be able to give feedback with sensitivity and to enter the world of the customer and hear their “story” accurately. In addition, researchers need to be skilled at problem-solving as issues emerge during interactions. However, few researchers possess all of these skills naturally.
In this 2-hour module, participants will recognize how cognitive style impacts each step of the research interaction and learn how to:
- Use style to profile and select participants based on their strengths.
- Encourage and enhance the contributions of all participant types.
- Respond effectively to the needs of each style group.
- Choose and structure activities designed to make the most of whatever styles are in the room.
Participants will leave this module with a deeper understanding of their own natural skill sets, where they may excel as a researcher, and areas in which additional training that will be essential to their career in voice-of-the-customer research and innovation.