Lead

Develop a game-changing innovation vision and drive it through to impact.

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Companies with strong leadership and well-defined support structures for innovation are swiftly bypassing the management- and efficiency-focused organizations of the past. Getting innovation to thrive and take hold demands bolder strategies, new organizational models, and capability development. Steering an organization toward innovation also requires that its leadership team cultivate new behaviors and skills themselves—and, most importantly, role-model these to ignite belief and energy across the business.

?WhatIf! partners with leaders across a variety of sectors and at varying stages in their innovation journey:

Vision: Crafting a meaningful and ownable vision that creates a shared agenda for leadership and helps employees engage with growth goals because they understand the role they can play in achieving them.

Strategy: Inspiring and shaping a strategy that defines where to play and how to win by setting clear guideposts rather than providing a fully defined playbook that leaves little room for creativity and innovation.

Leadership: Adopting and role-modeling leadership behaviors that signal to the organization that creativity and innovation are valued, and that audacious thinking, courage, and experimentation are welcome.

Narrative: Articulating a fresh and compelling innovation story that galvanizes an organization’s people and harnesses passion across the business, creating the energy it will take to stay the course.

Culture and Environment: Aligning an organization around a clear and compelling innovation ambition, giving its most creative thinkers what they need to thrive and removing barriers to innovation—something only leaders can do.

Model: Selecting and deploying the organizational models and supporting structures that will deliver the greatest impact based on a company’s innovation ambitions, existing capabilities, talent, and culture.

We have found that working with leaders in the ways described above dramatically accelerates innovation performance in their organizations while increasing employee engagement and transforming the culture of the business.

Beyond our bird’s-eye view of innovation as it plays out across markets and sectors, ?What If!'s “Top Dog” leadership-development program gives us unrivalled access to the leadership teams of many of the world's best-performing and most admired companies—Apple, Cisco, Google, Four Seasons, IKEA, Timberland, and W.L. Gore, to name only a few. As well as providing a wealth of inspiration and learning, looking under the hood of these innovation powerhouses has shown us that in any organization there really are some things only leaders can do.

Pointing the way from an operational culture to an innovation culture is one of them.

Recent Work

Working with the C.E.O. and founder of a globally renowned fashion house, we developed an innovation strategy; within 12 months, two new partnership ventures were launched.

Created a powerful internal brand and shared vision and values for international brewing company, driving a culture of excellence and raising employee engagement scores from 80 percent to 86 percent in a single year.

Coached the China leadership board of a body-care giant in strategic thinking and innovation leadership skills, identifying a brand-new segment in which to compete.

Working with ?What If! was truly a fantastic journey that gave us a different way to innovate…The board was truly inspired, entertained, and educated.

Per Hjuler, V.P., LEGO

EXPERTISE

FROM the greenhouse