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Innov8 - Now is the time to think differently

Date: 14th April 2021
Location: Zoom
Time: 9:30am - 1:30pm
Theme: Innovation

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Innov8 - now is the time to think differently

By working across three sessions – and exploring eight critical steps – you will gain the tools, capacity, skills and confidence to respond, adapt and thrive at this time of seismic change.  

At the end of the programme you’ll be equipped to identify and implement the everyday solutions to power your business to success.

This is a 3 day programme held over 3 consecutive weeks.


Workshop 1: Wednesday 14th April 09:30 - 13:30

Catching customers: stay relevant as customer behaviours change

Customer behaviours are changing – in some cases a seismic change – and your business needs to respond and develop great ways of staying relevant.  This session provides the tools you need to help you explore and understand your specific customer needs, ensuring what they want is reflected in your products and services.

Market research: transforming data into insight

In a world of data, how do you find the right information to make sense of things?  This session will help you grow in confidence in gathering information, developing insight, and using this to validate the new opportunities that can power your business.


Workshop 2: Wednesday 21st April 09:30 - 13:30

Generating killer ideas and solutions: see faster results, outcomes and financial impacts 

How do you generate fresh ideas when things need to change?  This session will help you uncover sources of inspiration, adapt and widen your thinking style, and give you the skills to generate and explore great ideas.

Leverage the power of those who might help

You do not need to do it all alone.  From universities, knowledge centres, great suppliers, business partners, and business support organisations, there are many organisations with the expertise, technical capabilities or specialist skills needed to power your business. This session will help you build successful collaborative business relationships and introduce you to our great business support ecosystem.

Making it all pay: pragmatic planning and successful execution.

Without an effective plan it becomes hard to see what needs to be done and to hold yourself to account.  This session will offer a rapid and pragmatic approach to business planning – giving you some of the practical methods you need to drive your idea, sales and the overall business.


Workshop 3: Wednesday 28th April 09:30 - 13:30

Failing faster: speed up your thinking and test your ideas more quickly

Quickly establishing what will work. Cut through the noise and learn faster. You need to be agile and able to test ideas quickly and efficiently before committing valuable business resources.  The session will show you how to undertake the rapid testing of new ideas and concepts with potential stakeholders, allowing you to prioritise winners.

Communicating with impact: stay competitive in a changing world

You often only get one good chance to get your message across. You must be equipped to take it.  This session will give you the tools, techniques and confidence need to present your ideas clearly and succinctly.

Finding, understanding and securing funding. 

Commercialising ideas costs money. How can you share the costs and de-risk your investment through external sources?  This session introduces the main options available and helps you better understand the overall process.

Where your business is right now

Businesses best suited to Innov8 are likely to be affected by one or more of the following challenges:

  • Experiencing uncertainty due to COVID-19, EU Transition and Net Zero.
  • Undergoing significant business growth, with a quick evaluation of new opportunities required.
  • Needing to pivot their business model, working practices or operations to remain competitive.
  • Seeking new ways to develop innovative products and services.
  • Wanting to improve and build resilience and adaptability.

What will you learn / take away from the session?

There are many benefits of attending – you will discover the essential skills needed to respond to these challenges:

  • Supercharge your projects – see faster results, outcomes and financial impacts
  • Understand the tools that can help respond and adapt to the 'new normal'
  • Help you stay relevant as customer behaviours change
  • Come up with new creative solutions to the problems you face
  • Speed up thinking and test ideas more quickly
  • Increase your flexibility, agility and adaptability
  • Help you stay competitive in a changing world
  • Find out who can help, support and fund your project

Innov8 programme leader

Prof. Rob Holdway is Co-Founder and Director of management consultants Giraffe Innovation Ltd. Providing senior management support and coaching to a wide range of organisations both in the UK and internationally, on the successful commercialisation of good ideas.   

Rob has a B.A. (Hons) Industrial Design, M.A. from Brunel University and spent four years as a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art/Imperial College working on the Good Design Practice Programme with the University of Cambridge. His clients have included: De La Rue, Virgin Group, PC World, Belkin, RSA, Early Learning Centre, J. Sainsbury Plc, Toyota, Morphy Richards, British Airways, Canon, Dell and L’Oreal.


Our Workshops are part-funded by European Regional Development Funds.

Our workshops are delivered free of charge to participants; however, as they are fully-funded, they are classed as state aid to participating businesses and are subject to state aid rules and the associated eligibility criteria:

Greater Manchester Clients Only

SME: Small or medium enterprise i.e. less than 250 (Full Time Equivalent) employees

Annual Turnover less than 50 Million Euro OR Balance Sheet less than 43 million Euro


Where is it?

Online Platform - Zoom

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