Spotlight on Six ‘I’s® Certified Practitioners
Bettina von Stamm, UK/Germany
Natalie: Hi Bettina, you are the first person in the world to be Certified in the Six ‘I’s® of Innovation! Tell us a bit more about your background.
Bettina: Inspired by my insights and learnings from my MBA, I have allowed my passion for understanding and enabling to guide my professional journey since 1992. Running workshops, doing research, writing case studies and a couple of books combined with teaching internationally as well as public speaking have kept me busy ever since. It was a desire to deepen my expertise that drove me back to London Business School in 1994 to do my my PhD, the title of which was, “The effects of context and complexity in new product development”. While innovation remains my touchstone, the last 10 years have seen a gradual, unstoppable shift towards the topic of sustainability, not least as I believe that innovation without sustainability considerations as core driver have become increasingly irresponsible.
Natalie: What attracted you to the Six ‘I’s® of Innovation?
Bettina: There are several things! First, it was its unique value of bringing process and people, stages of the innovation journey and mindsets, together. Having talked about process steps and the need for diversity, in mindset, a lot, it was a ‘hallelujah’ moment when you first introduce me to your Model. Finally, here was a process model that was not linear, and there was a set of questions that would allow each and everyone to understand where on the innovation journey they strength and contribution would come to play. To me it is invaluable as it makes crystal clear that everyone has a part to play for innovation to happen and succeed. Secondly, the beautiful and so important icing on the cake for me was to see ‘purpose’ at the very centre. Too many organisations seem to pursue innovation without direction, without questioning it. Having ‘purpose’ at the centre not only provides guidance and an anchor point throughout the project, it also allows questions to be asked that are too often forgotten: about why we innovate, for whom we create value, and what this value actually constitutes of – is this value just monetary, or does it truly consider all three aspects of the triple bottom line.
Natalie: Why did you decide to become a Six ‘I’s® Certified Practitioner?
Bettina: It is a systemic, holistic approach and an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to understand, and engage with, innovation. There is nothing that delights me more that seeing the cogs in people’s brains starting to whirl, for connections to be made, for understanding at a deep level to set in. This is what I see the Model doing, whether it is when it is first introduced, or applied in practice.
Natalie: How do you incorporate the Six ‘I’s® into your work?
Bettina: Given the kind of work I do I use it mostly to help people understand innovation and diversity better, which means it is tied into the workshops or teaching on innovation that I engage in. It is always one thing to talk about diversity and how essential it is to innovation, and another entirely if people can experience it first hand by gaining insights into their own strength and contributions, and those of their team mates. Past conflicts are understood, future ones can be prevented. That reminds me of another thing I love about the Six ‘I’s®, it creates a language around innovation. Shared language is hugely important as it reduces misunderstandings, and prevents things from becoming personal.
Natalie: What is your key message to others out there who are considering using the Six ‘I’s®?
Bettina: For managers and leaders of innovation, the Six ‘I’s® will make your job easier to engage those who may have been reluctant to get involved; it is also a great tool for monitoring your portfolio, and of course it will demonstrate that innovation is not a fluffy, black-box art that cannot be managed.
Dr Bettina von Stamm, FRSA, Innovation Philosopher – Story Teller – Catalyst
This article also published on LinkedIn.