Is innovation certification a contradiction in terms?

There are millions of certified project management practitioners in the world.

PMI, IPMA, PRINCE 2, GAPPS, DSDM, SCRUM are just some of the PM certification frameworks. In our ITMP degree, I resisted the pressure to certify for years, then in 2005 we introduced it as an option. Since 2007, all ITMPs take the IPMA level D certification exam as part of the MS ITMP degree.  Many go on to get other certifications. It looks good on a CV, you really do learn things as you study and prepare (Mike and I know this because we both took and passed the 4 hour IPMA level D exam last year!)

Now, I discover, the « world’s first certification in global innovation » is announced for the end of this month.  July 30th, 1pm EDT, you can chat live about the pros and cons of becoming a certified innovation ASSOCIATE, MASTER, MANAGER or LEADER. I’ve just signed up.

This GIMI (Global Innovation Management Institute) of course is, in itself, an attempted innovation.

There is a business model.

There must also be a syllabus, or competence framework or body of knowledge or something behind it.

In any case I’m curious to know more.

There will be many antiprogrammes before GIMI certification, like PMI, becomes an obligatory point of passage.

Meanwhile, my own thinking, and our discussions with Mike, lean towards learning to innovate through actions. Hopefully we will devise a whole gamut of exercises and activities. The longer I think about it, teach it, run the ITMP degree, talk to great innovators, the more I’m convinced that performance and improvisational skills are really important. And those you acquire by doing. It relates to Andrea Burgio’s unanswered question the other night (« can you actually teach innovation? ») when Stéphanie Fen Chong gave her talk to the Telecom Bretagne alumni.

My PBI friend Magnus Gustafsson’s (1999) definition of a project holds true:

“a highly disorganised environment where management becomes a question of stumbling forward and success the outcome of a balancing act on the edge of chaos”

Add the injunction to innovate makes it more like this


than this

versailles stroll

I suspect that like musical performance, innovation performance is multiple and varied. Classical, rock, jazz, Indian, Arabic, Latino, Brazilian, African, etc. is just level one granularity.  Could it be the same for innovation? Start ups? Public service organisations? Multinationals? German Mittelstand? In France? In the States? In Africa? In India? I’m not sure what being a certified level 2 « musician » would actually mean any more than being a certified global innovator.

This is very much thinking out loud and any comments will be very much appreciated!

Meanwhile, here’s the link to those who are interested.

A propos markowskikrys

I run an advanced Masters programme on project management and innovation at ESIEE
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