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FAST Innovation® Mastery Program

Why hire a speaker, trainer, or consultant when you can build a perpetual innovation engine? You and your team master tools to repeatedly target, solve, and implement your biggest opportunities, while also generating real business impact. It’s the fastest way to accelerate the way you innovate.
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Does it sometimes feel like the world is whizzing past your organization at a hundred miles an hour?

Emerging Technologies. The Great Resignation. Commoditization. Inflation. Supply chain disruptions. New competition. Changing buyer behaviors. It’s exhausting. And it seems like every day there are new and different challenges we face in business. Let’s face it, what worked in the past is no longer sufficient to keep your business relevant.

How can your organization keep up with the increasing pace of change? How can you efficiently meet today’s needs while proactively addressing  future challenges? How can you accelerate the way you innovate?

Build an innovation engine that moves faster than the pace of change.

An engine that can help you solve any problem or opportunity – today and tomorrow – without always needing to rely on outside support. An engine that is supported by a culture of innovation where everyone understands how to maximize their contribution so they feel valued, engaged, and therefore stay with your organization.

Common strategies rarely lead to sustainable results

They rarely lead to lasting impact because they are episodic and not continuous. And, they often don’t address your critical opportunities.
Participants learn useful techniques in the class but struggle to apply them in the real-world. Plus, there is rarely any measurable business impact during the training.
Although they may give you useful advice (and a lot of PowerPoint slides), they are expensive. And, any time you need new thinking, you must hire them again. It’s less of an engine and more of a short-term jump start.
Relying on just these strategies leads to an innovation engine that sputters and fails to produce long-term sustainable results.

Now imagine...

Having an innovation engine that is fuel efficient, can accelerate quickly, and runs as long as you give it proper maintenance.
Having the ability to quickly solve any business problem/opportunity today or tomorrow, without needing any outside support.
An environment where employees are engaged, motivated, and feel valued so that they want to stay with you – keeping your institutional knowledge safe and sound.
All of this becomes possible with The FAST Innovation Mastery Program. Don't Just Learn Innovation. ​Master It. Apply It. Get Results.

Our Model for Creating a Culture of Innovation

Our FAST Innovation Program starts by developing deep mastery in a few employees (The Masters) using a special mentorship model, while also generating real value for the business. For this program, the term master means, “a worker or artisan qualified to teach apprentices.”

Next, we scale these capabilities through an apprenticeship process. The Masters work with dozens of others (The Ambassadors) to help that larger group gain expertise.

From there, we go to The Extended Network within your organization creating greater reach.

And then we repeat the process to scale these new abilities.

This approach allows you to become self-sufficient with repeatable and predictable results.

This is your innovation engine.

This allows you to accelerate the way you innovate.
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Our FAST Innovation Process

Here's how we make it happen

When we say FAST, we don’t just mean speed. FAST is an acronym for the four steps of our innovation process that people will master: Focus. Ask. Shift. Test.

Our approach is designed to help you gain mastery in the steps that are of greatest value to your organization – now and in the future.

We realize that each organization has unique needs. Although all programs are customized, there are three common ways our clients have worked with us in the past.

Focus
Differentiate
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Innovate where you differentiate
To drive stability and maximize impact, you need to know where to double down your investments.
Ask
Reframe
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Don’t think outside the box; find a better box
Everyone will be equipped to reveal hidden solutions to difficult problems by asking better questions.
Shift
Solve
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Expertise is the enemy of innovation
Your teams will find breakthrough solutions faster through effective collaboration and by looking beyond their areas of expertise.
Test
Experiment & Implement
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Don’t fail; experiment
Don’t glorify failure. Instead, embrace effective experimentation as a means of reducing risk.

Three Levels of the FAST Innovation Mastery Program

OPTIONAL ADD-ON: Self-based video training for a wider network of employees beyond The Masters and The Ambassadors (Levels 2 and 3 only)

Level 1: Education

Begin the journey with towards accelerating your innovation results.

who is this for?

  • Companies with limited budget.
  • Companies who want to start small before scaling.
  • Ideal for Learning and Development, High-Potential (HiPo) programs, or small innovation teams.

What Do You Get?

  • Six bi-weekly hourlong group education sessions for up to five employees (The Masters)
  • Custom content portal with videos and other content
  • Limited email support

Level 2: Apprenticeship

Scale your innovation results with a repeatable model.

who is this for?

  • Companies that want to start scaling innovation beyond just a few people.
  • Companies that want The Masters to have hands on experience doing the work.
  • Ideal for innovation, strategy, and product development teams who want to accelerate their innovation efforts. Also popular with Learning & Development organizations.

What Do You Get?

  • Eight biweekly group Masters education sessions on the 25 lenses or differentiation (for up to five employees)
  • Four group Ambassador training sessions, supported by masters (for up to 25 employees)
  • Feedback for The Masters on their training of the Ambassadors
  • Custom content portal
  • Unlimited email access for The Masters

Level 3: Mastery

Create real-world ROI while creating a culture of innovation to sustain these results.

who is this for?

  • Companies that want to accelerate the process of creating a culture of innovation.
  • Companies that want to be truly self-sufficient with their innovation efforts.
  • Companies that want to generate tangible impact more than ten times the investment.
  • Ideal for leaders who want their teams to go to the next level while generating real results.
  • Great for multiple teams who all want to solve complex problems.

What Do You Get?

  • 20 weekly one-on-one mentoring calls on the entire FAST Innovation process (40 calls in total) for two Masters
  • Six group Ambassador calls (for up to 25 people)
  • Feedback for The Masters on their work with The Ambassadors, including a quantitative assessment of progress
  • A scorecard for measuring results/progress towards goals (direct ROI)
  • Separate custom content portal for The Masters and Ambassadors
  • The Masters receive the entire Personality Poker® system
  • Unlimited email access for The Masters for one year
  • Certification of The Masters

What Are The Results?

You expect training, hands-on work, apprenticeship, and mentoring. However, the true value of this program is so much more.
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Solve Any Problem…Forever

​Your shiny new innovation engine will give you and your team the ability to target, solve, and implement your most important opportunities, without requiring outside support.
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Generate Real Results…Quickly​

Solving just one problem will pay for program many times over. Having the ability to do this over and over again is priceless. During the program, you will tap into hidden opportunities and make them a reality.
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Create a Culture of Innovation

We don’t stop with just a few Masters. We work towards scaling these capabilities throughout your organization. Not only does this increase your ability to innovate, it also creates an environment where employees are engaged and motivated so that they stay with you.

The Author of Invisible Solutions® and the Creator of the FAST Innovation® Mastery Program

About Stephen Shapiro

Stephen Shapiro drives innovation by showing leaders and their teams how to approach, tackle, and solve their more difficult business challenges.

Halfway through his 15-year tenure at Accenture, while co-leading the company’s business process reengineering practice (focused on business efficiency), Stephen realized his work was responsible for people losing their jobs.

Wanting to create jobs rather than eliminating them, Stephen founded Accenture’s 20,000-person process and innovation practice which focused on growth.

In 2001, after publishing his first book, 24/7 Innovation, Stephen left Accenture to become a full-time innovation speaker and advisor to clients around the world. He is the author of six books, including his latest, Invisible Solutions®.

Today, Stephen continues to focus on transforming the way businesses like 3M, P&G, Marriott, Nike, NASA, and Microsoft improve their innovation practices.

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FAST Innovation in Action

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Praise for Stephen Shapiro

Book A Discovery Call With Stephen

Want to learn more? ​Book time with Stephen. If you don’t see any time slots that work for you, please email him at inquiries@stephenshapiro.com. He often blocks off time for writing and other activities. And if the calendar does not fully display, please click here to directly access his online calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

One key skill is problem-solving, more accurately problem-framing. Everyone will be given tools which will assist in refining problem statements so that better and more valuable solutions can be developed. Note that I use the word “problem” synonymously with issue, challenge, or opportunity. Quite often, teams want to tap into important opportunities rather than solve a problem. But this is only one of the capabilities we can build. For some, the practical development and leverage of the company’s differentiator might be of interest. Or maybe finding solutions through open innovation could be of value. The content for each program is customized to meet your specific needs. With the Mastery Level program, the entire FAST Innovation model is applied, including Personality Poker®, an assessment tool, and guidance on measurement, motivation, and organization strategies.
Although The Masters and Ambassadors are a start, we also have a self-paced e-learning version of the program that anyone in your organization can take. Because it works best when the individuals taking the e-learning program are mentored by someone in The Ambassador network, it is only available for those who invest in the Apprenticeship or Mastery level programs (Levels 2 and 3). We also offer speeches and workshops for larger groups that more people in your organization can learn about the process. In addition, we offer workshops for Leadership so that they have a greater appreciation for the value of innovation.
With the Education-level program, only The Masters have access to the materials (videos, tools, templates, etc). The only exception is the 25 Lenses Cheat sheet which can be shared with everyone in your organization (a non-exclusive, revokable, limited license). With the Apprenticeship level, the Masters and Ambassadors get access to all of the materials, while only the 25 Lenses Cheat Sheet and the Differentiation Cheat Sheets can be shared with the entire organization. For the mastery level, you have the option of licensing all of the content for the organization for an additional fee.
The process works with any type of business problems/opportunities. Ideally, it is something where you have struggled in the past to find a solution and is meaningful (i.e., solving it would be valuable). Although technical problems can be applied, it is typically best to start with process or people-related challenges. Complex technical problems sometimes require additional methods to find solutions. Regardless, we work with you up front to determine the most valuable and effective path forward.

The FAST Innovation Model drives tenfold improvements in ROI over traditional methods. FAST is an acronym for the four steps of the process:

Focus
Innovate where you differentiate.

Clarify your differentiator and use it as a framework for prioritizing innovation investments. We have a wide range of tools including our 5Ds of differentiation and The Innovation Targeting Matrix.

Ask
Don’t think outside the box; find a better box.

Leveraging the Invisible Solutions® tools, reveal hidden solutions to your difficult problems by asking better questions. The primary focus is on the 25 lenses.

Shift
Expertise is the enemy of innovation.

Your teams will find breakthrough solutions faster through effective collaboration and by looking beyond their areas of expertise. Here we explore open innovation and other methods such as Personality Poker®

Test
Don’t fail; experiment.

Don’t glorify failure. Instead, test hypotheses. We help teams create small, scalable experiments that reduce the risk of failure.