“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes solving it.”


Why an Innovators’ Cafe?

Highly capable innovators can often be pretty confident and self-sufficient.  Ironically, however, those strengths can (if overplayed) obstruct potentially helpful ways of thinking.  Those who prefer to “go it alone” in projects, or have no option due to team size, may not get to practice with others the crucial skills of listening, systems thinking, and facilitating others in their problem-solving – yet all are important if leading innovation teams.

What are they?

An online group activity, the cafes will develop collaborative problem-solving skills for mid to senior career stage technologists and innovators, with minimum disruption as no travel is required.

The skills of listening, using appropriate question styles and understanding stages of problem-solving will be supported according to “action learning” principles.  A couple of volunteers in the group will bring a real challenge of their own that they currently face in managing innovation.   The group members will practice supporting each balancing questioning skills with their own relevant know-how.  So not only will participants’ skills develop, volunteers will benefit from resourceful input and make strides towards resolution of their issue.

The Innovators’ Cafe is a new addition to our 2019-20 calendar and is currently for Members only.  The two hour online “cafes” will take place three times over a 12 month period, interspersed between our main events.  During the pilot stage they will be offered to Innovation Network members at a nominal cost.

How do they work?

The cafés will be conducted virtually, and attendees simply log in from their desks.  An invitation and link to the event will be shared in advance.  Two or three volunteers bring a real professional challenge to the group that they currently face in leading innovation.  If more than two wish to bring a challenge it will be “first come, first served”.

Clear ground rules will be shared with participants.  The phases of problem clarification, root cause analysis and option generation will be navigated, supported by a set of “power questions” which attendees will gain experience using – excellent CPD!

As this year’s cafés are a pilot they are being offered to members of the innovation Network at a reduced price.  Another good reason to join now!

Their value to you?

These cafés will provide a safe, structured, facilitated environment in which to practice problem solving tools with a simple process that can also be used back in the workplace.

As a bonus, those bringing real challenges to work upon will receive fresh inputs that could prove highly relevant to their challenge and help them break out of any stuck thinking.

Key date for your diary

February 7th, 11.00am-1.00pm.

This, our first Innovators’ Cafe, will be a pilot – so grab it now at a special one-off price: £99+vat.

The Cafes will be open to member organisations only at this point in time.  You are most welcome to join the Innovation Network – do get in touch if of interest.

To book: If your organisation is a member and you would like to participate, simply email us and we’ll get you on the list.

Go to our full calendar