Services

Before moving forward, time is spent understanding your strategic objectives, your business model, and your organizational structure. All services are tailored-made, situational, and specific to your situation. Don’t hesitate to contact for more information.

 
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Strategy by Design

For teams that need a strategic plan or a one-time facilitation to make BIG problems clear and their NEXT STEPS actionable.

Strategy by Design takes your team from problem exploration to action plan using a hybrid methodology rooted in strategic thinking and creative problem solving. Making all data tangible and visual is the key to solving complex problems with speed, creativity, and confidence. The same skills and processes used for the front end of innovation and "building the engine" are applied.

You might go for this if:

  • You're tired of unproductive meetings

  • Your strategic plan needs a refresh

  • You need to connect “Design Thinking” and “Creativity” to high level strategy

  • You’re reviewing your current strategy

  • There’s no clear vision of the future

  • You think strategy is too hard or mysterious to do

 

typical length

1-3 Days (flexible)
Monday – Saturday
Morning, Afternoon or Evening

Location

Flexible

 
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Teams by Design

Skylance uses only scientifically valid psychometric instruments to construct creative, cross-disciplinary task forces

Teams by Design uses only evolving, proven, research-based instruments developed from fundamental theory and empirical data from a large sample of people working in a broad cross-section of organizations.

Skylance does not use personality tests. There’s growing research that heterogeneous, cognitively diverse teams outperform homogeneous ones during collaborative work. Teams by Design helps people capitalize on that insight by helping team members empathize and respect everyone’s creative strengths.

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Aerospace Managers Example:

First, individual profiles are constructed. Second, the profiles are combined into a collective scatter diagram. The final result shows the team’s “innovation DNA” and shows strengths and weaknesses to work on.

This team may excel in their execution and optimization skills. However, they will need to extend extra effort in ideation and conceptualization skills for inventing new products, services, and options.

Bottom line? A team equipped with this data can decide how they might recalibrate to do even better. It may even signal deeper collaboration problems within the organization that have yet to be uncovered and acknowledged.

 

typical length

1-2 Days (flexible)
Monday – Saturday
Morning, Afternoon or Evening

Location

Flexible

 
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Lvl 1: Exploring the language of innovation

For the leader who needs their team to experience the process and skills to co-create, innovate, and reach breakthroughs. If you don't have an innovation officer or structured process, this might be for you.

This experience shows how innovation is a continual and disciplined process. Participants learn about individual and group skills to make it happen. They're immersed into the science of creative problem solving and learn about their own individual styles.

This is a one-day learning-by-doing workshop. The process, skills, and tools do not belong to any one department or discipline and are immediately transferable to real-world scenarios. It shows how diverse teams can sync their creativity and solve any challenge together.

 
 

typical length

3 Days
(or 3 Day Blocks)
Monday – Saturday
Morning, Afternoon, or Evening

Location

Flexible

 
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Lvl 2+3: Leading Multi-disciplinary Innovation

(Pre-requisite: LVL 1)

For the leader who needs their team to continually innovate, compete, or reach a breakthrough.

Two types of 21st century organizations will emerge:

+ Those who simply hold on to their current innovation for 3-5 years before another crisis hits again

+ Those who know how to “put themselves out of business” every day

LVLs 2+3 widens understanding of the innovation process. They will better sync up their problem solving skills with teams. There’s more emphasis on discovering opportunities for new/improved products, processes, teamwork, and executing breakthroughs to real challenges. Cross-functional teams work better together and their productivity is enhanced. "Active facilitation" is a huge part of this endeavor.

 
 

typical length

3-4 Days
(or 3-4 Day Blocks)
Monday – Saturday
Morning, Afternoon or Evening

Location

Flexible

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Innovation Audit

These assess the collective creative capacity starting with the individual all the way out to the enterprise as a whole. Other variables explored include: cultural values, business models, processes, systems, and resources. Custom Programs are designed to help grow creative cultures from scratch, or simply enhance what you’re already doing. For enterprises seeking progressive and lasting change, not just a quick high from the latest fad.

For enterprises seeking progressive and lasting change, not just a quick high from the latest fad.

 

typical length

To be negotiated and determined.

Location

Flexible

 
 

All objectives

Here are the lessons you might appreciate no matter which option you take:

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FAQ

Frequently asked questions, briefly answered.

Q. Can we schedule a call to discuss a potential (non-client) collaboration?

I appreciate people reaching out to me. I’m sure you’re doing great work. However, I have to judge each proposition by merit. My current time, energy, and focus is reserved for 1. paid projects with budgets already allocated, 2. Subcontracting ops, and 3. Teaming ops.

If you still want to reach out, email contact@skylance.org and clearly describe the project, why you’re reaching out, and why you believe I can help. That way, even if I can’t, I can generate some ideas beforehand and offer tips based on your situation.

Q. Can you help me on a project?

Similar to the last question, I’ll do my best to send you some advice, tips, and suggestions. Follow me on various social media channels and start a conversation there! However, before contacting, please understand that I’m a full-time practitioner and most of the time, energy, and focus is reserved for projects with budgets and teaming ops.

Q. Can you share any resources on a particular topic?

There’s plenty of free stuff on the blog, the VIP newsletter, and on various social media channels. Holler at me on social, or shoot an email for anything that isn’t covered!

Q. Where can I send you an RFI, RFP, etc?

Same place. Shoot an email to contact@skylance.org

Q. Some of your training programs are listed as blocks. What does that mean?

Sometimes multinational organizations have people in different locales who need the training, but have different availability dates. Or sometimes different departments need to be trained on different weeks.

Q. Do you do Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Design Sprints or whatever innovation flavor?

I agree with many of the concepts within, but in short, no. To understand my reasoning, read this and this or subscribe for The Dossier to get a better idea of the Skylance umbrella philosophy and the reason why context is actually more important than prescribing a specific flavor. TL;DR: too many of these flavors are turning out to be panaceas. People fall victim to Maslow’s Law of the Instrument which is a risky place to be in.

Note I didn’t say those flavors were outdated or useless; some situations call for tapping into the Lean Startup repertoire, and some may call for DT with a product design emphasis. Part of the value I offer is client education about the “change management” and “innovation consulting” marketplace and what you may actually need.

When you think about “What makes a tough problem?”, think about your circumstances. You’ll realize that you face countless challenges which go beyond product, service, app creation. Not everything is a product design problem!

Since the scope of innovation today has expanded, the toolsets and methodologies must “scale up” as well. There is still a logical, straight-forward, and common sense training pipeline that all Skylance clients can experience, but only if they opt for that program.

Skylance always starts with a joint evaluation of your situation with no preconceptions that a design sprint or product solution is the true solution. We jointly diagnose for the root problems, not just the symptoms.

If you explicitly need product, service, or app design services, you’ll be referred to specialists who are skilled in those domains.

Q. Do you offer a discount for nonprofits?

Yes, but only on a case-by-case basis.

Q. Can you travel to my location to perform the work?

Yes. I’m available to travel within North America and outside. Contact me for a quote.

Q. I have a general question not answered here.

Any general questions not answered, just shoot an email to contact@skylance.org

 

All training venues

Ideal size for training is 10-15 people. Environments are chosen based on how conducive they are for creativity and learning. We can also work together to locate a suitable space (either on-site or off-site). If you're in the vicinity of the Downtown Norfolk area, The Hilton MAIN is a good spot: