The Academy Of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Excellence

Our Proposal To Sheik Marwan

Entrepreneurship and Innovation are two of the most pervasive concepts of our times. They are the two pillars of advantage both for individuals and enterprise alike.

The challenge for everyone, at every level of society, is that there are important gaps in our understanding and our capabilities. In particular the executable skills and real world capabilities.

These capabilities are missing in people at all levels of experience and at an important time in the evolution of technologes and societal progress. The skills we require are hands on, maningful and practical tools and mindsets to deal with the requirements of the 21st Century.

So We Have Focussed On The Challenge:

“How should we build a faculty to increase expertise in the region in the crucial fields of Entrepreneurship and Innovation…”
There’s important subtext to this question. Whilst our focus will be the question above we wouldn’t have answered it without covering the imporatnt context during our work.
  • What is the Vision, Mission and Operational Model?
  • What are the Metrics and Principles, Values and Standards that we need to adhere to to make it the most successful it can be?
  • What makes up the Faculty, Curricula, Content, Structure, Scope and Results?
  • What is the Roadmap and clear Themes of execution that will enable us to build the Platform for Entrepreneurship and Innovation?
As a big part of this there is an important context. We appreciate that there are important dynamics and drivers that our work needs to discover, embrace and get towards answers on.
  • What is the impact of entrepreneurship and innovation on growth and development?
  • What determines the innovative performance of entrepreneurs in developing countries?
  • What role does the institutional environment play in shaping the extent and impact of innovative activities?
  • How does such innovation impact on development?
  • How, and under what conditions, do entrepreneurs in developing countries innovate?
  • What can be done to support innovation by entrepreneurs in developing countries?

1. Expectation And Situation

We are suggesting an initial program of work.*

We will collaborate directly with you to get these areas more clear and aligned but at the high level this is what we feel we need to do so far.
  1. There will be both remote and direct work on the ground.
  2. We will invite the right people to be involved in both areas — whether to help us work virtually or as we develop work directly on the ground.
  3. We want people who are prepared to work and engage with energy to help address the challenge that’s set out above.
  4. We will work with you to get expectation very clear.
  5. We will be building towards a team of highly capable people with important roles that will sustain over the long term
* This initial step is best defined as Discovery & Development. It is a high energy and very different way to work and on the ground as we collaborate it will be a high power way to spend quality time. The purpose is to achieve something that will significantly impact the future of the team and the enterprise we are building together.

2. The Exam Question

We start all assignments with a suitably clear aim. (Something like the suggestion above) We describe it as the anchoring question — the ‘exam question’.*

* It’s a phrase that defines what aim we are trying to achieve or what challenge we want to solve. It really helps us with the right management of expectation of everyone involved.

3. Managing Expectations

We expect people working on this having a rich appreciation of the area but deeply interested in helping to shape the outcomes needed.

Initial preparation will be about developing a working context from materials and conversations. We will work together to uncover the context and the vision we aim to achieve. From this we can build a clear approach, structure and program* we can all understand and work within.

* We orchestrate, facilitate and manage the whole of the assignment.

4. The Preparation Stage

Preparation is key. We want to avoid wasting anyone’s time and we don’t want to create duplication nor cause additional effort ahead of time. So we will ask for all/any context* we can get up front.

* This is typically existing thinking on the topic and so that we can immerse ourselves fully. It could be existing collateral, decks and documents. Material that helps us understand the challenge and the context of the business.

5. Quality Questions & Conversations

We may well ask more questions. In some cases it can be helpful to get on calls with key stakeholders to flesh things out more to gauge the dynamics and sensibilities.

We arrive at the venue a full day ahead to build out and rig the room. Our logistics team will make contact when the time is right and get all of that sorted out with those on the ground.

6. Designing The Right Program

From this material we start to design the assignment. The approach, the program and the frameworks* — this all informs the style of conversations and sharpens the questioning we need in this phase. It also informs the modules we know we will need during any session parts.

The simple aim is to properly construct a ‘blueprint’ for the future. A very clear picture will emerge of the vision, the mission, operating models, purpose, measures and the defining dynamics and dimensions* — as well as an emerging sense of the work that needs doing.

* We use the word framework to suggest the architecture, scope and structure that forces the right thinking and arrives at deliverables that will inspire and ensure rapid progress to executable plans. These will include everything from vision, mission, operational models and thematics for the content as well the principles, criteria, success factors, characteristics, qualities and values.

7. Results & Outcome Oriented

We aim to come out of this phase with the simple and coherent plans that answers the question above. Everyone will be clear about what the business impact, value and outcome is and what that means and how it will all work.

We’ve stressed how important that the conversations are throughout the program. We will work hard to make sure that the conversations stay focussed — that we don’t meander off the important topics — this will happen because we will have constructed the framework to focus on the right things.

We make sure we do not try to achieve more than is valuable or practical given the scope we have suggested for this phase.

8. Moving To Tangible Deliverables

There are a wide range of options when it comes to the formal outputs of each stage. Clearly we will want to create materials for sharing the results but at this stage we imagine them to be reasonably simple.

We prefer to discuss all this more in detail and when we know the results of each phase — that’s because then we can refine the level of sophistication of the visuals accordingly. Being highly visual is an extremely valuable tool when it comes to sharing the results of work like this.

* All our work is visual and useful for communication and we just need to agree the requirement and design accordingly — to simplify or distil.

9. The Basic Deliverables

The default is always that we develop a set of visuals and supporting content from each meaningful step. There will be the live capture in work on the ground — as you see in the images shown in this document and the links below.

All such images and texts can be used in further documentation/use by the team — to guidelines we can agree and suggest. Important ‘visuals’* could be further developed for specific use, narrative would be provided in something like a Google doc. or a Word doc. so that it is easy to maintain and update.

* In some situations such as this we might suggest building more formal collateral — brochures, presentations, posters for example. We don’t define any of this ahead of time as they simply may not be relevant.

10. Bringing The Results To The Enterprise

We typically develop a library of visuals. These are tools and images that we create together and they provide flexibility and utility but can also be used in a broader range of communication materials. They can, through studio development at our end, become more richer/digital* images than in the default.

* They can be used online and in other applications to engage and inspire.

11. A Library Of Symbols

It may also be that they become symbols, icons, smaller visual scenes that work in certain styles of presentations and effectively create a visual language for ongoing communication. We often create more interactive visuals* that make more immersive or educative tools.

* These applications vary considerably in sophistication from simple non editable Apps that supplement visuals with additional narrative through to multi dimensional and online communications tools that can be updated as fresh content becomes available.

More Information On The Approach

Click here to get to further detail, case studies and further examples of the type of work we are discussing here:

Group Partners Links
A Visual Tour — From Principles To


Thinking About Budget

The Streams* below are not linear/sequential parts of the program — they run throughout. Of course there’s always variables. So, we are suggesting budget pots as follows based on similar work.

Please push back for more detail or clarity.

* The streams are important to us and they aren’t a pick and mix menu because we always need to prepare, there’s always direct and indirect work and there’s always a deliverable component that is being designed as soon as we start — but within each we can be flexible on cost.

Budget Ranges

Stream One: Dealing With & Managing The Data

Information Gathering, Synthesis, Interpretation.This covers all the pre session work and our objective treatment of the material that you have and that we uncover and develop as we go. It covers all of the information capture and management that becomes necessary throughout — $x,000 — $x,000

Stream Two: Designing The Architecture & Equipment

Framework Design and Development. This is almost a fixed cost — it’s unlikely to change much. Every programme is governed by at least one framework — made up of the modules we design to manage the conversations that occur within it. These things are established well ahead and run right through the assignment — $x,000–x,000k

Stream Three: The Creative & Collaborative Development

Team Alignment, Collaboration and Engagement. This stream involves any indirect and direct face time with the team, including calls, meetings and the more formal workshop. It involves the ongoing sharing and reviews of content and visuals developed throughout and any joint content development within it — $x,000 — $x,000

Stream Four: Sustaining The Intervention & Communicating More Widely — Parts 1 and 2.

  1. Part 1 — The Formal Deliverables. $x,000
  2. As mentioned above we often go beyond this. It’s difficult to know or cost ahead of the work. It can cover a broad range of things — the budget range is equally broad.

Group Partners

What Do We Do?

  • Making You Think — We help leaders to transform their thinking. In turn that transforms their working; inspires their people — and changes their world.
  • Bigger Picture — Better Conversations — Because we build holistic frameworks based on systems thinking we ask better questions that drive more engaging conversations.
  • Creative Collaboration — We add creativity, objectivity and critical thinking to visually reframe the challenge and (together as a team) create a shared future.
  • A 21st Century Solution — We designed Structured Visual Thinking™ as the antidote to the uninspiring and traditional methods for building plans for the future.
  • It’s A Visual World — We make extensive use of visual techniques to force the critical thinking required, create engagement and then communicate the results.
  • Transferring Value & Impact — We develop material that can be used in different ways by members of the team. Our aim is always to minimise any dependency on us and maximise the impact of ur involvement widely — across the rest of the enterprise — those that weren’t there.
  • The Right Answers — We have no affiliation or interest in any specific outcome — other that the best way forward for you. We are not solution providers or consultants in the technology area.