Open 2013: The First Step Toward Educating More Innovative Engineers in Corporate America


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  • Take out your computer, tablet or pda; in a few minutes you’ll be doing a survey
  • Corporate visitsto understand how the culture, processes, leaders and space of the company enable and inhibit innovation and intrapreneurship; met with directors, VPs and even chief skunk
  • polecat
  • Strong reflection of the cultureWon record number of US patents each of past 20 yearsReceive $1500 for first patent filed (even if co-developed) – and any revenues ultimately earned are shared
  • Concerns about the physical separation of people brought on by social media
  • Mentioned by the Air Force and IMDS; resonates with faith-based universities like ours
  • Air Force collaboration with General Mills and P&G on open innovation sites; BASF used an innovation space to stimulate cross-pollination
  • Mentioned by 6 companies
  • Mentioned by all ten corporate partners, often connecting communication and selling
  • Underlying belief in the dignity and value of all people; again this resonates with values based institutions
  • You cannot be good at any of these things unless you have confidence in yourself . . . And well founded confidence is based on true competence . . . Mastery of one’s profession
  • Here are some early reflections on the impact of confidence on engineering education and practice
  • Reflect on what we do as engineering educators during the design review; analogies to architecture
  • Open 2013: The First Step Toward Educating More Innovative Engineers in Corporate America

    1. 1. THE FIRST STEP TOWARD EDUCATING MORE INNOVATIVE ENGINEERS IN CORPORATE AMERICA Understanding Innovation and Intrapreneurship in Corporations and the Implications for Engineering Education March 23, 2013open2013
    2. 2. I-ship Study Process Phase I Phase II Phase III 3 yearsopen2013
    3. 3. open2013
    4. 4. I-ship Study Process Phase I Phase II Phase III 3 yearsopen2013
    5. 5. We asked over 100 innovation leaders: “What behaviors and competencies do you want in your new engineers that would make them more effective innovators and intrapreneurs in your company?” and received 160 responses.open2013
    6. 6. Six Broad Areas of Competence 1. Technical competence 2. Innovation a. Anthropologist b. Cross-pollinator c. Experimenter 3. Breadth (“T-shaped”) 4. Communication/value proposition 5. Teamwork 6. Confidenceopen2013
    7. 7. Go to this site to take a short when you rank the ninecompetency areas they will move totheir rank)The internet password for“Renaissance Conf” is “nciia” open 2013
    8. 8. 100 innovation leaders said:We want confident, competent, open mindedengineers who work effectively on teams thatemploy experimentation, analysis and innovationto create and “sell” products that are trulyresponsive to customers around the globe.open2013
    9. 9. Frequency3025201510 5 0open2013
    10. 10. 1 – Technical Competence• Systems Engineering• Deep knowledge of product domain “car guy” . . . “airplane guy”• Optimize the whole product for the right problem • apply an axe to chop the problem down to its essence, and resist immediately using a drill to search for the nugget of innovation – LM • focus on the right problem and the value proposition before creating the product – IBM • keep the composites engineer from using composites for all “light- weighting” challenges - Fordopen2013
    11. 11. 2 - Innovation Air Force Intellectual curiosity BASF Inquisitive; brainstormingCampbell Soup Curiosity – proactively curious Comcast Design; many design courses (like IDEO) DuPont Design/innovation: Can come up with strong IP Ford Innovative IBM Creative; able to come up with ideas; architectural/innovation skills; experienced in innovation IMDS We want the most innovative engineersLockheed Martin Product focused: innovation over invention; creating open assumptions for ambiguous problems; identifying alternative 2013 approaches
    12. 12. Patentsare keyelement ofIBM‟scultureopen2013
    13. 13. Three “Faces of Innovation” 1. Anthropologist 2. Cross-pollinator 3. Experimenteropen2013
    14. 14. 2a - Anthropologist • Listening and Empathy – Ford and IBM • “observe and listen and document and clarify with customer first; determining what is driving the clients mission?” - IBM • Concern regarding the lack of conversational skills that are so valuable in seeking out customers’ wants and needs - multipleopen2013
    15. 15. Place in the world - Connectedness“Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If we are allpart of a larger picture, then we must not harm othersbecause we will be harming ourselves. We must notexploit because we will be exploiting ourselves. Yourawareness of these responsibilities creates your valuesystem. You are considerate, caring, and accepting.Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridgebuilder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to theinvisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is apurpose beyond our humdrum lives.” - Gallup Business Journalopen2013
    16. 16. 2b - Cross-pollinator• Look anywhere for solution – Air Force• Open to seeing potential ideas in other areas – IBM• People need to pick up the phone and call – Pankow• BASF Innovation Spaceopen2013
    17. 17. 2c - Experimenter• strong experimental skills - DuPont• learning from failure - BASF• engineers need to “accept a failure and move on” - Lockheed Martin open 2013
    18. 18. Prototyping• Lockheed Martin - engineers who can “model, design, build and test products”• Ford emphasized the use of “experimental prototyping” such as that employed at IDEO, for exploring a design space, rather than proving out a design concept or product• Campbell’s Soupopen2013
    19. 19. 3 – Breadth• Right brain capabilities (such as art) – Pink, Kelley, Brown• “T-shaped people” – BASF, Ford, IBM• “Need to read more than Aviation Week” - Lockheed Martinopen2013
    20. 20. 4 – Communication and Value Proposition• “How to propose; how to report; how to write; how to sell; how to make a presentation.” – DuPont• “articulating what the technology will mean to customers; when presenting your concept or product to the customer, stick to „small words and simple concepts.‟” - Lockheed Martin• break down communication and selling skills into several components including “document „use cases, articulate technical skills to client, show relevance to client.” - IBM• see how the parts fit together, including the market and the consumer.” – Campbell Soupopen2013
    21. 21. 5 - Teamwork• value people with different skills and perspectives - BASF• respect for all people, especially the people making the products - IMDS• understand people, especially different generations - Pankow• ability to understand people; how to deal with people - Comcast• collaborative teamwork in cross generational groups; understand the generational issues of team members - Campbell Soupopen2013
    22. 22. 6 – Confidence (and attributes and behaviorsthat depend directly on confidence)• question the status quo enough to consider disruptive solutions• take risks and learn from failures• be a self-starting seeker of opportunities• have the pride and motivation to make a big difference• have the integrity to tell the truth, even when its bad news• live with and function well with ambiguityopen2013
    23. 23. The ultimate goal: competence and confidence leading to openness to “crit”• Team based design/innovation require openness to others‟ ideas• The natural defensiveness of youth leads tends to close their minds to criticism of their ideas• An engineer with high levels of confidence and competence is less threatened by criticism and ideas that diverge from his/hers.• Seeking competence/mastery is a powerful intrinsic motivation (far more powerful than extrinsic motivators such as grades, praise of others or pay) – Pink (Drive)open2013
    24. 24. Design Reviews: balance learning and rigor The design review process is one of the most important operating mechanisms that we have in the engineering community. Design reviews are led by technical specialist. One of their jobs, in fact their most important job, is to lead design reviews and make it a constructive learning experience for all of the engineers. These meetings are hard-nosed design reviews . . . , often run over digital systems with people from around the world. Derrick Kuzakopen2013
    25. 25. Competencies that YOU say are most importantopen2013