Why would an organization want innovation?
Yes, everyone is tired of innovation just being a buzz word people throw around to get attention. Real innovation practice is not all about chasing the new. We have an experienced approach and a track record of producing real innovation- Innovation that balances learning from traditions of established domains with being open to new possibilities.
We see real innovation coming out of learning both the culture and tools of innovation.
With increasing complexity in our world, now more than ever we all have to get better at problem solving as individuals, as organizations and as interconnected systems. Leaders often recognize this, but few know how to steward and foster relevant innovation. From leadership experts and literature over the last 20 years, it keeps being said that creativity and innovation are the most important skills people and organizations need to develop in order to navigate our times. Innovation Gurus like Tom Peters have said we are moving out of the information age and into the age of Creation Intensification, where basically if we don’t get better at disciplined problem solving we will fall behind and be in trouble.
Think Jar Collective founder Ben Weinlick(2010) and knowledgeable colleagues can offer large and small group training or a tailored capacity building plan based on your organization’s unique needs, hopes and desired outcomes.
LABS AND CAPACITY BUILDING
The most common request we receive is to help grow capacity for innovation in organizations and systems. Ben and knowledgeable colleagues will work with you to create a plan for this. Plans often involve training in the tools and culture of innovation building in order to help your organization continuously improve and generate relevant innovations. Based in research and practice, Ben believes that in order to infuse lasting innovation it requires long game culture building as well as teams learning systems, design and creative problem solving tools. Contact us to explore possibilities.
What this work looks like in action from Ben Weinlick and Clients
Interactive workshops from one day to multi-month explorations…
– Human Centered Design Labs to Navigate complex challenges
– The value of creative problem solving in our times
– What supports disciplined innovation in organizations
– Getting out of silos: Fostering innovation by looking in unlikely places
– How to support effective collaborations that get results
– How to ensure ideas turn into relevant action
– Setting up and supporting effective communities of practice
– Strategic innovation and organizational development workshops using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® materials and methodology
– 7 session – multi month Systems Thinking & Human Centered Design Lab exploration to build organizational capacity in teams to steward their own innovation lab teams
Think Jar Collective in Action: Systemic Design Lab to reimagine education systems
Think Jar Collective in Action: Collaborative Funders Table Multi year Social Innovation Lab to remove barrier for indigenous youth in Calgary
Customized Innovation Strategy
We develop a custom innovation plan with you that looks at innovation from a systems perspective.
Contact us here for more info
“In 2015 and 2016, staff from Culture and Tourism and Advanced Education embarked on a longer-term capacity building exercise and explored a Human Centred Design approach to work with ethno-cultural groups. Ben Weinlick created a rich learning environment where staff explored new approaches with a prototyping process over many months. After the formal training, the staff were inspired enough that they continued to work on their own prototyping solutions to better meet the needs of clients. Ben was a great support throughout. At a follow-up demonstration showcase, the prototypes showed innovative thinking and described concrete approaches that can be implemented. My question at the end of the showcase to our team was “What’s next for the prototypes?” I can’t wait to hear the answer.” Tracy Wyrstiuk, Assistant Deputy Minister Government of Alberta Creativity and Community Development
“My colleagues and I were thrilled to work with Ben in the (very cool) Action Lab and use a Design Thinking approach to uncover more ways to strengthen our client service for the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research. Ben succeeded in making the day fun and collaborative, while giving us the opportunity to dig in to some serious issues, think about things differently, and challenge us to take action on our insights and learning. There were quite a few “aha!” moments for all.” Mary Sturgeon, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research- University of Alberta
“Ben is very professional; he took the time to understand our program and customize the workshop to meet the group’s needs; he delivered a great presentation. Our staff were very inspired and open to the new approach of service design innovation and new thinking.” Nicoleta Monoreanu, Program Director Greater YMCA Toronto area
“The Diversity team at Enbridge luckily became aware of Ben Weinlick’s consulting services through a colleague who had experienced Ben’s work through the community she was engaged with. We are very aware at Enbridge of our need to improve our organizational capacity to attract, recruit and develop employees with disabilities, but really felt we needed a fresh eye and perspective on our approach. We asked Ben to come in to lead a full day session with employees across several departments and the feedback from that session has been extremely positive. It led to Ben assisting us with the development of a community of practice which we hope to sustain over the next few years. It’s not just Ben’s experience and knowledge that makes him an excellent facilitator. He was able to bring to us what we needed – the ability to help us re-conceptualize this area and to think critically about our processes and practices. Most importantly he made his creativity and thoughtfulness around the area of diversity very accessible to us, and in that way, left us with a great sense of possibility in the area of hiring adults with disabilities. We are looking forward to our continued relationship with Ben.” Lori Campbell – Manager of Diversity for Enbridge Pipelines Ltd.
“Ben Weinlick’s work as a consultant and social-profit professional really exemplifies his effort to “live” social innovation and human centred design. He easily collaborates across disciplines and sectors and works as an active steward of the group rather than what he calls a “cold” facilitator. Ben has a great deal of expertise that could benefit our Branch and work units that goes far beyond human centred design principles. The Human Centred Design approach was a mystery for many of our staff. Ben was able to walk us through the basic principles of the concept and then allowed us the time to “prototype” or “test” the principles. The prototyping really brought the idea of human centred design to life. We had a lot of fun together and we were able to collaborate across work units. Ben spent a great deal of time understanding his audience to ensure our human centred design lab was a memorable experience for everyone.” Kristin Ward-Diaz, Government of Alberta-Alberta Culture and Tourism
“Ben delivered an outstanding keynote presentation and follow up workshop at The Alberta Library’s annual Netspeed conference. Our delegates were delighted with his talk. It was insightful, inspiring, and contained unexpected lessons that they were eager to put into practice in their libraries and institutions. Ben is a sensitive and thoughtful speaker and I heartily recommend him as both a speaker and trainer/facilitator for other events!” —Lauren Sergy, Alberta Libraries Netspeed conference
“Ben offers a fresh, creative voice in a field where it is hard to say something new. I really dig his appreciation of diversity and open-mindedness, and recommend him if you are an organization looking to infuse real, long-lasting, innovation into your workplace.” — Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD, co-founder, The Creativity Post
“Ben is a consummate professional. He worked with me to deliver an innovation and creativity summit in NYC. Not only did he deliver the event, but he also contributed valuable ideas to the process design which improved the process. A personable character who mixes easily with all types and levels of people. Recommended if you want to escape tramline thinking.” — Peter Cook, Human Dynamics UK
“Ben is one of The Creativity Post’s most stellar columnists. He consistently offers fresh, open minded and knowledgeable perspective which is highly appreciated by our demanding and educated audience. I strongly recommend Ben if you seek a competent, highly creative individual for your team or organization. He’s a fantastic, innovative educator, an out-of-the box thinker and a skillful net-worker. We at The Creativity Post are lucky to have him as a contributor.” — Milena Fisher, PhD, co-founder, The Creativity Post
“Ben’s research around creativity and fostering quality outcomes has been a big part of our organizational transformation. His ongoing mentorship of staff in continuous improvement practices are key elements in SKILLS Society’s desire to be a learning organization. He brings a vibrant personality, action and a keen interest in learning from others. Pat Conrad, Executive Director, SKILLS Society, Canada
“Ben has a tremendous ability to connect with course participants. The workshop on fostering relevant creativity has inspired us to raise the bar in our organization and to challenge the status quo. It gave us permission to have fun and enjoy our work.” Aaron Hill, Executive Director, North Hastings Community Integration Association, Ontario