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For intrapreneurs, innovation managers and innovation mentors
The Academy for Corporate Entrepreneurship (AfCE) has developed a comprehensive end-to-end certification system covering the essential innovation skills for intrapreneurs, innovation managers and (internal) innovation mentors. This makes it easy for individuals to showcase their innovation capabilities and for organizations to identify experienced innovators in their ranks.
Learn more about the skills you can acquire below
Understanding Intrapreneurship Theory
You have developed a fundamental understanding and awareness of innovation, the need for Intrapreneurship and the key innovation phases (ideation, discovery and incubation). You have learned how large organisations have either succeeded or failed at innovation and are able to reflect on your organisation’s own innovation efforts.
Creative Design Thinking & Problem Solving
You have explored the differences between good and bad startup ideas and excercised creative problem solving techniques to identify and frame customer problems by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. You understand the critical relationship between problem, customer and solution to form a value proposition which can be described as your “idea”.
You excercise the fundamentals of analytical and strategic thinking to constantly question yourself and peers in search of causality. You’ve shown the ability to change direction in your thinking as a result of evaluating new evidence.
You have conducted structured and non biased customer interviews that focus on empathising with customer problems. You seek to understand the past behaviour and actons of customers when they experienced the problems or scenarios in question. You can search for patterns producing data points that help inform decisions whilst remaining open to surprises and unexpected insights.
Your ability to think and act as an entrepreneur who is in constant search of a problem worth solving, for a customer who cares, and solving it in a feasible way that makes sense for both the corporation and the customer. You demonstrate drive, open mindedness, curiosity, risk-taking, networking, taking initiative and assuming responsibility. The mindset is often in stark contrast with the traditional employee mindset focused on executing and incrementally improving an already known business model where you are constantly in “solution space”.
Pretotyping / Prototyping
Your ability to manage the implementation of low fidelity experiments to collect significant (often user behaviour) data. You continuously iterate your pretotypes or prototypes using agile product development techniques that enable new experiment designs to test further critical assumptions. This is a basic skill leading into the more advanced “MVP & Agile Product Development / Management” skill.
Lean Startup Experiments
Your ability to continuously identify, prioritise and refine critical assumptions and design suitable experiments that test specific hypothesis. You are able to generate non-biased data to inform your decision making. Often you will use an “experiment map” to document and keep track of your experiments, which become more complex and accurate as you advance your journey.
Your ability to pitch an innovative business idea in front of decision makers. This may range from a simple elevator pitch to a 7 minute presentation (or longer) that can win funding by explaining all elements of an idea, business model, traction metrics and future go to market plans. You can communiate concisely using powerful visuals and research and experiment data that make your story convincing.
Corporate Startup Team Collaboration
You understand the DNA of a balanced corporate startup team and have proven your ability to collaborate with cross-functional team members, perhaps as a virtual team across boarders. You have proven to be coachable by an external mentor and have demonstrated active listening, self discipline, flexibility, adaptability, effective communication and leadership skills.
Business Model Innovation
You can apply and adapt business models to your idea and use the framework to draw out critical assumptions that need to be tested. You ae well versed in using the business model framework as a lens to view your idea through and communicate weak spots or even compare and contrast with other successful business models.
Early Adopters & Customer Segmentation
Your ability to think and act like an effective innovator in defining and exploring early adopters and various customer segments in order to discover the best opportunities. You can clearly identify who your customer is and what problem they have, leading you to a powerful value proposition for the heart of your business model.
Startup Sales, Marketing & Financials
You can use a range of tools and frameworks that help Intrapreneurs to develop and test the marketing and sales sides of their business idea. These frameworks help give rise to the critical assumptions that feed into various sections of a business model and need to be tested. The use of these frameworks evolve and become more intense as the idea matures.
Evidence based decision making
Your ability to use experiment generated evidence and researchable facts to inform your decision making rather than relying on falsely informed opinions, whether these are your own, those of stakeholders or even customers themselves. You are applying judgement and questioning ability to search for causality and the truth, and therefore managing risk.
MVP & Agile Product Management
You can build and test your solution in increments whilst incorporating customer feedback rather than relying on traditional waterfall methods that don’t allow for frequent integration of feedback. Your ability to use minimum viable products (MVP’s) to run high fidelity experiments to collect significant (often user behaviour) data and to continuously iterate on these MVP’s using agile product development techniques that enable further rapid experimentation and development of new features.
Innovation Manager Skills
Understanding the need for Intrapreneurship
Using up-to-date examples you appreciate why Intrapreneurship is a necessary capability for your organisation to develop and you are actively planning how to implement a suitable Intrapreneurship strategy for your organisational context.
Guiding Corporate Startup Team Formation
You know that the ROI of your initiative will be largely impacted by the mere formation of your corporate startup teams. You can evaluate and make recommendations based on a teams current position along the innovation phases, it’s size, personality fit of members, executive support of members, cross functional skill sets and geographic positioning of members (ability to collaborate) along with it’s proximity to customers and resources availabe that support testing.
Understanding of start up methodology / processes
You are familiar with the methodology and processes successful corporate startup teams need to apply at various stages across the innovation phases of ideation, discovery, incubation and launch. You have learned the reasons why many innovation programs fail enabling you to start implementing structures and frameworks that can support innovation in your organisation.
Articulating an Innovation Thesis
Your ability to understand and communicate with stakeholders where you should and should not invest in innovation. Ability to align with macro trends, align with corporate strategy, reduce wasted ideas and develop a communicable and transferrable roadmap.
Demonstrating an Innovation Strategy
Your ablity to create innovation strategies (set up programs), assess (judge their performance) and report back to senior management (ROI and metrics). Your ability to understand and communicate with stakeholders how you should innovate, in terms of establishing and positioning a suitable program at corporate or business unit level.
Interpreting innovation KPI's and metrics
You know which innovation KPI’s and metrics (team progress KPI’s and startup and business model KPI’s) to ask for from teams across various stages of the innovation cycle and can interpret them to aid funding decisions. You are also beginning to change the thinking within your organiation around what accounting systems you need to help you measure the true impact of innovation (governance KPI’s and corporate innovation performance KPI’s).
Ability to evaluate & invest in startup ventures
You know how to decipher pitches and quiz teams to get the data you need to make funding decisions based on merit rather than internal political preferences or opinions. You are increasing your ability to “back the right horse” and generate a higher ROI from innovation spend.
Innovation Manager Badges
Click on the badges below to learn more.
Disclaimer: Please note that badge representatives have been specifically chosen to honour their respective entrepreneurial achievements and does not constitute any type of endorsement of AfCE.