Boosting Private Sector Innovation In Kuwait
As part of their 2017-2021 strategy, KFAS sought to increase capacity for innovation in youth and business. Specifically, they wanted to empower and skill-up Kuwait’s private sector employees in collaboration with leading international research and academic based institutions.
The Kuwait government established KFAS to nurture an environment that fosters curiosity, creativity, building confidence and create a thriving learning culture for a sustainable Kuwait. Their mission is to inspire, influence and enable the advancement of science and innovation to enrich research, business and talent.
The objective was to equip these future leaders with the skills to generate and implement great ideas, in themselves and others, advancing corporate management and yielding business growth to create a thriving culture for a sustainable Kuwait.
At the ATD Conference 2018, KFAS sought a world-leading international partner with whom to collaborate to provide a programme for 25 delegates, to enable executives and managers to keep ahead of business trends in innovation.
KFAS identified a need for a tailored programme, aimed at Kuwaiti private sector executives, to develop innovative future leaders who can generate great ideas to advance corporate management and yield business growth.
Lumina Learning Solution
Scientific research around the neurophysiological basis of creativity and innovation has explored how the brain works to support creativity and innovation. At Lumina Learning we have built on this research, working with various organisations to develop creativity and innovation programmes that recognise the need for a holistic approach to develop innovative thinking and action amongst individuals.
Our research indicated a close link between personality preference, thinking style and an individual’s approach to innovation. Consequently, we developed a ‘Colourful Thinking’ Model to provide a link between thinking styles and behavioural preferences to help raise self-awareness and openness to different innovative and creative approaches. The development was informed by Dewberry, Juanchich and Narendran (2013) with evidence for the relationship between personality and thinking styles, Ettlie, Groves, Vance and Hess (2014) linking thinking styles and innovation intentions, and de Bono (1995) using thinking styles to increase creativity.
KFAS, encouraged by our thinking, were excited to use this bottom-up approach placing the individual at the centre then helping them to determine other critical factors to increase effectiveness on different levels:
Our primary learning outcomes focused on enabling participants to:
- Recognise how their personality and behaviours support them to be innovative
- Learn new models for developing innovation in teams and organisations
- Practise techniques for creativity
- Develop an action plan for self and organisation
- Be able to network for inspiration and innovation
Additionally, we needed to ensure learning:
- Was relevant for individuals across different organisations, sectors and levels
- Appreciated diversity and inclusivity
- Created a practical shift in thinking and behaviour
An international collaborative project working with KFAS-Kuwait to design and deliver a 3-day programme to develop innovative future leaders.
Lumina partnered with industry experts to combine academic psychological knowledge with practical expertise and experience to create this powerful learning experience that would continue beyond the classroom. The programme was designed to be relevant, data driven, highly interactive and practical to engage and inspire.
Five Stage Approach
To guarantee the best outcome for our participants and stakeholders, our approach consisted of 5 stages. Critical to success was the need to:
- Involve key stakeholders throughout the iterative design phases
- Utilise practice research, design and current thinking in our programme
- Iteratively test and amend
- Run comprehensive ‘train the trainer’ to ensure optimum quality control
- Include multiple methods of evaluation (including real time measures and follow up contact after programme had completed to ensure agreed outcomes were delivered and value added).
Step 1: Fact Finding & Research
- Initial call to understand objectives, challenge & rationale
- Researched latest models of innovation, previous projects delivered and links to other key areas in business psychology e.g. VUCA, socio-economic drivers, speed of change, AI, overcoming resistance, influence.
Step 2: Programme Design
- Identified process map for the 3-day programme, reducing innovation into its component parts to determine what we constitute as ‘innovation’…
- Chose Lumina Spark as key to add most value by underpinning innovation with personality preference
- Built skeletal structure of the programme on Lumina’s Four Principles (self-knowledge, valuing diversity, building rapport and co-creating results) and the pillars of training (learning, doing, making sustainable)
- Ran focus group to determine 3 key models to form the focus for each day
- Shared outline with client and tweaked design for delivery based on their insights and feedback about audience attending
- Collaborated with experienced creativity consultant from Vision Juice to flesh out the content, particularly the creativity theory/techniques to move people out of ‘tunnel of learned experience’
- Fine-tuned the flow of the 3 days and transition links that draw components together.
Step 3: Pilot
- Conducted in-house 3-day experience with L&D experts, (participant and facilitator modes) to evaluate full programme and tweak accordingly
- Ran formal Train-the-Trainer workshop for our facilitators
- Delivered 10-person pilot with participants across various disciplines from Lumina Learning
- Gathered feedback and adjusted content against objectives.
Step 4: Delivery
- Delivered first formal KFAS programme in Kuwait at end of April with 24 delegates
- Collected ‘temperature check’ feedback throughout the 3 days (quantitative and qualitative) and comprehensive feedback via online survey analysed by KFAS
- All participants given opportunity to ‘share Spark’ with colleagues and given Innovation Treasures Guide to promote sustainability of learning.
Step 5: Review
- Delivered follow up webinar 6 weeks after programme – content was based on feedback and appetite on specific areas to revisit/ expand upon
- Full analysis was conducted on the feedback and we checked in with some participants and KFAS directly for feedback on experience working with Lumina.
Outline of Programme
Lumina Spark had been chosen to underpin the Innovation programme because we believed it would enhance outcomes for the client by enhancing self-knowledge with some tangible personal developmental needs to further individual innovation and team mapping.
Kuwaiti Nationals have had very limited exposure to psychometrics, so our starting point was to underpin the psychological aspects of innovation through better understanding of self. By raising self-awareness, it enabled participants to open themselves up to the creative techniques for innovation. Day 1 centred on our Colourful Thinking model and Lumina Spark personality model to raise awareness of how personality traits and natural thinking styles can both support and block innovation in the individual. Self-knowledge was critical.
Day 2 we explored the working process of innovation within teams using our Innovation by Design model. This enabled participants from a wide-range of organisations, many of which were in management/team leader positions, to take back their learning to their individual organisations and teams.
Day 3 explored organisational challenges and barriers preventing innovation e.g. managing change through resisting systems. It was designed around ‘handing over the reins’ and providing all the necessary means to embed learning in the workplace.
Our outcome evaluation was determined and mapped during the assessment of the initial challenge encouraging us to work backwards when designing the training.
KFAS required a programme that was:
- Effective for different levels and organisations
- Appreciated diversity and inclusivity
- Created a practical shift in thinking and behaviour
We collected multiple methods of feedback and data to understand the value and measure of success of the work undertaken. This process included:
- Daily ‘temperature-check’ feedback measuring:
- Content value
- KFAS Programme Review
- Quantitative and qualitative feedback, measuring:
- ‘agreement with different criteria’ and
- ‘net promoter scores’
Following the programme, several participants contacted us directly regarding the impact of the training illustrating quality and value delivered.
Post programme we conducted a facilitator review (comprehensive qualitative data based on facilitation experience} of the daily objectives and content delivery. This helped us to self-assess the training impact and reflect on our own learning.
This review highlighted the importance of taking an iterate approach to course design/delivery and the power of partnership working. Our approach was underpinned by science, theory and data but application focused on achieving a balance between theory and approach to ensure participants left with awareness, appreciation and behavioural competence to apply what had been taught across the three days.
The design phases highlighted the relevance of each model included and illustrated the significance of the transition facilitation between these models to allow participants to experience their personal journey to put their learning into practice. It was acknowledged in our post-course review that with a large group, the design allowed little flexibility for any tangential discussions. For future courses we would build in more time for group-based discussions to maximise shared learning value.
To truly understand the value-add, participants were asked to rate their knowledge pre-and post-training. The mean score was 6.5/10 before training rising to 8.67/10 afterwards, indicating participants felt the learning outcomes had been achieved through the programme.
Attendees were also asked to rate the extent to which they felt:
To understand the enduring impact of our intervention, four weeks after course completion, we checked in with participants regarding individual actions plans set and what they had implemented since completing the course.
The feedback received showed many referencing applying Colourful Thinking to problems/ thought sessions and Innovation by Design for enhancing innovation at a team-based level.
Some Individuals had shared Spark with colleagues to understand how they can work collaboratively towards innovative behaviour and three others had set up specific interventions.
Some had also trialled the creativity techniques from the Treasures Guide and Gavin Howden, Lumina’s IT Team Leader has implemented ‘10% time’ dedicated to creativity thinking within his own team as discussed in this video. These observable, tangible applications evidence the added benefit this programme has had on its attendees which are highly unlikely to have occurred without this programme.
One of the delegates, a local Kuwait citizen and senior executive in a local bank reported:
“I’d like to really thank you all for this amazing opportunity. It has been an amazing 3 dayworkshop which was extremely inspiring and energizing! I also got the chance to network with a lovely group. So many things to take back! Once again, thank you! ”.
Our short overview video from the team!
We were delighted to be shortlisted for the ABP 2020 annual awards process through the KFAS project. Below is our project overview video shared with the ABP.