Applied Learning

Spyder Works teams up with ICG to amplify “Ecosystems of Opportunity”

Spyder Works teams up with ICG to amplify “Ecosystems of Opportunity”

For more than a decade, Spyder Works has been a leader in studying and applying intrapreneurship best practices. Now we are pleased to announce a collaboration that will enable us to better deliver intrapreneurship knowledge and training locally and worldwide.

Earlier this year, Spyder Works forged a collaboration with Internal Consulting Group (ICG), a growing global network of more than 4,000 consulting and training specialists. ICG’s commitment to organizational change, thought leadership and the process of innovation makes it an ideal partner to further Spyder Works’ intrapreneurship revolution.“Intrapreneurship is the most powerful innovation tool we have, because it solves businesses’ two biggest problems at once,” says Spyder Works CEO Ken Tencer. “Intrapreneurship empowers people throughout an organization to generate ideas for positive, lasting change. And this mindshift produces dramatically higher levels of employee engagement and retention.”

“We’re delighted to partner in this groundbreaking work,” says Gerry Purcell, ICG’s Global Partner responsible for its North American business. “Spyder Works’ leadership in business transformation will appeal to organizations all over the world that are looking for more effective ways to master continuous innovation and attract and retain their best talent.”

And that’s not just the usual press-release blather. The two organizations first got to know each other in 2016, when ICG named Ken Tencer a Global Thought Leader for Innovation and Intrapreneurship – an honour accorded only to individuals who “have proven themselves in the application of management science to business problems on a significant scale.”

The two organizations will jointly promote Spyder Works’ intrapreneurship programming. While the programs will initially be delivered by Spyder Work’s executive team, Purcell and Tencer look forward to training new teams from ICG’s global network of senior, experienced practitioners. “As demand grows,” says Tencer, “we will be proud to partner with ICG’s proven change-makers to ensure our approach to intrapreneurship reaches all the organizations that need it.”

Purcell believes that innovation execution is the key challenge facing business today. “The world is changing way faster than it used to, and organizations are struggling to keep up,” he says. “The problem isn’t a lack of ideas, it’s knowing what to do with an idea when you have it.”

A recent survey by the global Intrapreneurship Conference (innov8rs.com) found that only 5% of organizations are seeing significant returns from intrapreneurship. Spyder Works’ process institutionalizes profitable change by helping visionary senior executives take ideas to market with entrepreneurial employees through a process of guided risk-taking. “This isn’t just about learning,” says Tencer. “We create productive new relationships and advance your business strategy.”

Spyder Works’ programs are delivered by its education division, Icicle Learning. Intrapreneurship programs are offered in three formats: as one-day introductory workshops, five-day “sprints,” and longer-term immersive formats with available coaching and consulting support to move your business today. All sessions include preparatory research into clients’ organizations to ensure all learning relates to their objectives and their market.

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The power of intrapreneurship is its ability to address both short- and long-term needs. “We can help drive short-term returns with the sprint forward,” says Tencer. “But we can also inform one- to two-year initiatives and create an ecosystem of opportunity that will underlie long-term strategic projects.”

As ICG partners with select thought leaders around the globe, this agreement marks an exciting opportunity for Spyder Works. Says Tencer: “We see this as one more exciting step towards Spyder Works’ vision of becoming the business consultancy of choice for mid-market organizations and intrapreneurs globally.”

For more information on Spyder Works intrapreneurship programs,
contact Ken Tencer at ktencer@spyder.works

For more information on Icicle Learning,
contact Vivian Hisey at vivian.hisey@iciclelearning.com

For more information on ICG,
contact Gerry Purcell at gerry.purcell@internalconsulting.com

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Will We Ever Learn?

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In today’s fast-changing world, we tell ourselves that learning is the most important skill anyone can develop.

Why, then, don’t more organizations encourage their employees to embrace continuous learning?

We’re living in an era of disruption. Yesterday’s print co-ordinator is today’s SEO expert. Bank tellers are financial consultants. Executive assistants are now project managers. And who knows what new skills and outlooks we’ll have to learn next!

Most companies now know they have to change, quickly and constantly, to adapt to new opportunities, technologies and consumer behaviors. But the people who will actually transform these organizations, from the front lines to the executive suite, aren’t getting the tools they need to embrace and lead effective change.

Yes, I’m biased. I’ve spent 25 years helping organizations raise their people’s performance levels through strategic learning and development. I’ve seen companies evolve from offering rote, task-oriented training (with titles such as “Effective Customer Service,” or “Excel for Non-Accountants”) to creating whole libraries of self-guided content that focus not on tasks, but on professional habits and attitudes.

Most organizations, however, still see “learning” as “skills training.” And while they might insist it has always been a priority, “training” has usually been seen as a low-impact, reactive cost centre. So it comes as no surprise that most businesses lag when it comes to helping employees learn the new attitudes and perspectives they need to become agile, creative contributors in the changing digital workplace.

Today’s business world demands that employees, managers and executives all understand and embrace new tools, techniques and models for creating business success. Growing emphasis on innovation, time to market and error-free service requires that all staff know how to create ongoing, exceptional value for customers, and remedy problems on the fly. But you can’t pick this up in a “lunch and learn.” Organizations today have to make perpetual learning, at all levels, an ongoing priority.

We can’t afford to get this wrong any longer.

In 1990, MIT systems scientist Peter Senge wrote The Fifth Discipline, a book that explored businesses’ need to become “learning organizations.” His logic was flawless: As businesses become more complicated, management must move beyond skills training to personal mastery – a discipline that includes clarifying and deepening one’s personal vision, focusing one’s energies, and developing patience. Then, said Senge, business must go several levels deeper and focus on building shared vision, emphasizing team learning, and adopting systems thinking.

Unfortunately, few businesses mastered these new ways of tapping employees’ full creativity and engagement. Which explains in part why aggressive young companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Tesla now have so many established industries on the run.

As more and more companies face the challenges of technological and market disruption, senior management has to try again. True leaders must take over the file for organizational learning. What’s the point of developing a bold new strategic plan if you don’t invest in the learning and the culture that will enable employees to carry it out?

At Icicle Learning, we work with C-suite executives to develop custom-learning solutions. Whether you are rebranding, striving for innovation and intrapreneurship, or gearing up for tough new global competition, we use applied learning to support your whole team with new tools and new ways of thinking, focused directly on your changing needs and strategies. This increases employees’ resilience and buy-in, making your transformation more solid, successful and enduring.

When companies embrace perpetual learning, anything is possible. You can turn on a dime, innovate, and delegate. You can explore new frontiers with confidence. The sky is the limit because you are constantly building and reinforcing alignment, resilience and trust.

In the weeks ahead, I will be writing more posts on this topic, giving examples of the transformations I have been involved with, and outlining the steps you can take to master business renewal. It starts with one idea: your employees are partners in change. They want to know what the next step is, and how they can help.

Don’t let them down.

Next month: The Challenge of Innovation: Why learning must become an essential part of corporate strategy.

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