Denise in ACTION with The Six ‘I’s® of Innovation

Spotlight on Six ‘I’s® Certified Practitioners

Denise Morris Kipnis, Asia/USA

Natalie: Hi Denise, tell me a bit more about your background.

Denise: I wandered in the wilderness before I found my calling, so to speak. I started out in operations and project management. But I wanted to know things like, why are we doing this? Couldn’t we be more efficient? What’s it all for? What about learning? Isn’t there a better way to treat people in organizations?

I can build you a process for anything, but tell me why I should. Will you use it for evil or good? My career has been disrupted a number of times, and that has led me to interesting work across multiple disciplines, and geographies. I started my consultancy 13 thirteen years ago in the US, but Singapore has been home base for more than 9 years.

Natalie: What attracted you about the Six ‘I’s® of Innovation?

Denise: My consulting practice focuses on organizational change and inclusion: culture change, essentially. When organizations talk about change, they tend to also talk about innovation; and then the relationship between diversity and innovation. But getting the best out of either pairing—change and innovation, or diversity and innovation—requires systemic effort. Right out of the gate, the Six ‘I’s® talks about innovation as something that requires confluence of group / organizational mindsets and behaviors. Culture is explicitly called out within the Model.

Natalie: Why did you decide to become a Six ‘I’s® Certified Practitioner?

Denise: I tend to be pretty agnostic when it comes to tools. My work with organizations starts with, what’s your strategy? What are you trying to accomplish? And then I select the tools interventions that will best serve the context. However, I invested in being a CP because I see the value in the conversations the Six ‘I’s® can start within organizations. It’s another way to build capacity around the skills of innovation and initiate desired culture changes to sustain it.

Natalie: How do you incorporate the Six ‘I’s® of Innovation into your work?

Denise: I could see either using Six ‘I’s® straight away to enter organizations that have prioritized building a culture of innovation, or as an intervention to “unstick” organizations that struggle to build change capability. The behavioral scientist in me looks forward to observing the differences, if any, as I practice the Six ‘I’s® across geographies.

Natalie: What is your key message to others out there who are considering using the Six ‘I’s®?

Denise: I find the Model very accessible, jargon-free, sticky. I can see the rigour of management science in it, and I’m assured by the confirmation of its reliability and validity across cultures. I’m most impressed with how it complements various change and innovation methodologies. And I’ve experienced a personal shift: I have a new outlook on the nature of my own creativity and the contribution I make in my engagements with organizations. Yes, I really do innovate!


Interested in finding out more about becoming a Six ‘I’s® Practitioner? Find out more and register your interest for our next Programmes in London and Singapore.


Denise M. Morris Kipnis heads ChangeFlow Consulting, a global organization development (OD) consultancy that specializes in transformational change. Known for organizational puzzle-solving and big-picture thinking, her areas of expertise include: organization design, change management, inclusion, communication, and project management. Denise has led change projects across various sectors and countries; her clients include multinationals such as Credit Suisse and BHP Billiton as well as SME’s, nonprofits, and government agencies.

Denise facilitates change from all sides, not just the top, using cross-functional teams and other whole systems methods to give voice to unusual suspects and disrupt unhealthy power dynamics and biases that are still so prevalent in organizations. Her core competencies lie in uncovering gaps between strategic intention, culture, and system design; enrolling all levels of the organization in problem solving; and facilitating team and cross-department collaboration.

Denise has a M.Sc in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, a B.A. in English from Stanford University, and project management certification from the U.C. Berkeley Extension.

Denise splits her time between the US and Singapore.


This article have been published on LinkedIn