Spotlight on Six ‘I’s® Certified Practitioners

Neil Sykes, UK

Entheo: Hi Neil, it’s a delight to speak with you. Tell us a bit more about your background.

Neil: After 26 years working for various agencies, much of which spent in leadership positions, I decided it was time for change. I had qualified as an NLP coach, therapist and trainer where I learned that I am the most effective version of myself when facilitating, training or doing one-to-one therapy; in short – when I am in front of people. I soon realised that what I was searching for, was something to combine my strategic and human focussed skills. And then serendipity came calling, and the Six ‘I’s® entered my life.

Entheo: What attracted you/spoke to you about the Six ‘I’s® of Innovation?

Neil: The Six ‘I’s® of Innovation Model is simple, easy to follow and makes so much sense. The Model mirrors the way that we think as humans; and it is this relatability which makes it so attractive. Being purpose-centred makes it human too; as humans we do not do anything without a purpose. Purpose is the anchor to our values, our beliefs, our capabilities and our behaviours, so for me, a Model driven by a well-defined purpose is anchored to success.

I am a big fan of Simon Sinek’s work on always starting with the ‘Why’ – and this model satisfies that for me.  My heart used to sink when I heard meetings opened with ‘here is what we are going to do’ – fine, but why are we going to do it, what is the purpose it will serve?

Entheo: Where have you seen value added by the Six ‘I’s®?

Neil: It was Harry Truman who said, ‘It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit’.  A business that learns this is likely to be great place to work.

I was instrumental in implementing the Model into the culture of an organisation and have seen the measurable impact it has had. It has given that organisation a common language when it comes to innovation. They have embedded it such that they now have a core team leading the innovation function with all other staff members rotating in and out throughout the year. The Six ‘I’s® has facilitated this because everyone realises that they have a part to play – this is where Natalie’s book title really comes into its own ‘Yes, You Can Innovate’; it demonstrates that everyone can and does have a part to play and this is great for organisational culture and building a sense of belonging and pride in belonging.

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

Neil: I do a lot of work with individuals and groups around courage and reconnecting with their deservedness, and I was delighted to see that one of the mindsets to successfully innovate is courage.  The precursor to courage is vulnerability; connecting and embracing vulnerability is key to taking a risk and is an underestimated leadership quality.  Courage alongside the other mindsets of curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, commitment and cleverness really bring the human element of innovation to the fore.  I believe that it is always all about the people; it is people who have the ideas that turn into innovations – neither exists without the other.

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

Neil: The beauty of the Six ‘I’s® is that it fuses the processes that each stage of the innovation journey requires with the mindsets that are equally required for the same stages; together these become the innovation culture of the organisation. At the end of the day, how you innovate will depend on how you show up.

Entheo: Thank you for your time today Neil, I enjoyed getting your insights. I am thrilled that you are finding the Six ‘I’s® Model so intuitive and purposeful to apply in your work.