Making Innovation Happen: The Corporate Innovation Camp

Sometimes ideas strike when you least expect them. Sometimes you seek them out in solitary contemplation. Sometimes you organize a team hunt.

Sometimes you go for a super event like a Corporate Innovation Camp.

What is a Corporate Innovation Camp?

Imagine a big brainstorm in which a large number of ideas addressing your key business challenges are generated and the best of these are developed into actionable business plans and presented for approval to senior executives.

Who participates?

The Corporate Innovation Camp brings together 40-200 people of one organization from diverse backgrounds and departments.

Who facilitates?

Professional facilitators, well versed in creative problem solving and creative tools and techniques, and participants themselves.

What themes do participants work on?

Key business challenges are put forward by senior executives and communicated to participants in advance.

How are ideas developed?

During the Corporate Innovation Camp participants will work through the whole idea “life-cycle” ‘” challenge definition, solution generation, solution evaluation and draft action plan.

The challenges are first explored and defined with precision, then, using various creativity techniques, ideas are generated in large numbers. Participants make considered choices to generate a longlist of ideas for quick evaluation, then a shortlist of the best ideas that they will develop in depth. A presentation and action plan for the best ideas is presented to senior executives who decide which ideas they will take forward.

What else happens?

Corporate Innovation Camps are always customized. In addition to confronting key business challenges, participants are encouraged to present their own workshops in “open-space” forums as do facilitators. An evening talent show may complement the days’ work and…. who says no to a party night?

In our corporate innovation camps we have had magic, lateral thinking puzzles, Rubik’s cube, launching anything with a mobile phone, powerpoint karaoke, cooking madness, yoga, fashion shows with garbage bags, music jamming, painting and much more.

While being very serious about the topics and results, the experience must be unique and highly enjoyable. When people are having fun, creative ideas flow more freely and more generously and the learning is more profound and longer lasting.

Where should it be held?

Offsite, at a place with good conference facilities. An inspiring environment ‘” indoor and outdoor is an added bonus.

How long does it last?

Typically three full days, though it is customizable.

What makes it successful?

People who are passionate about its content and outcome and willing to contribute their talent and listening skills. Participants who are ready to discover new things. Selected participants who will have pre-assigned roles to lead their team to develop solutions in depth and present them to senior executives. Facilitators with good skills in leading creative sessions. Senior executives who are serious about creativity all the way – who will carefully define challenges and then commit to taking the best solutions from idea to action.

It is also crucial that the challenges are relevant and meaningful to participants. It goes without saying that the character of the venue and a high level of excellence in preparation and organization are also indespnsable

What are the outcomes for participants?

Participants will have produced new ideas, ready to implement that they “own”. The will develop their own creative competencies and learn different creative tools and techniques that they can practice at the office or anywhere else. They will attain a new, deeper level of teamwork and alignment. And they will have a great time networking and socializing with colleagues.

What are the outcomes for the company?

New ideas of value to address key business challenges and a substantial boost to creativity and teamwork in the company.

Together with Paul Sloane of Destination-Innovation we have experience in designing and facilitating Corporate Innovation Camps.

For more information contact me by email at [email protected]

Dimis Michaelides, business speaker, consultant, magician and expert in leading innovation and creativity, has authored The Art of Innovation ‘” How to Integrate Creativity in Organizations. See