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The Value of Innovation Mastery. What does it offer?

September 22, 2021

Mastering Innovation

If you check the Oxford dictionary, mastery is defined as "comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment". The next big question is, does it really matter? Do we really need to master knowledge and skills, or can we get by with being competent (having the necessary knowledge or skill to do something successfully)?

In the world of Innovation Engineering, we have two levels of certification - Blue Belt and Black Belt. The Blue Belt level, achieved by completing the requirements of the Quick Start program, builds competency in the innovation system and focuses attention on 12 of 48 skills. The Black Belt level builds on the first certification to achieve mastery in all 48 skills. Let's look at the difference in how individuals with these certifications can support organizations.


Organizational Capabilities Blue Belt Certification Black Belt Mastery Certification
Leverage an Innovative Mindset



Apply a basic system for innovation (repeatable, reliable, trainable)



Apply innovation tools and approaches in daily work and small projects



Teach innovation mindset and skills to others


Leverage an innovation system to lead complex organizational projects (product, service, internal systems)


Develop a business case for an innovative idea


Apply rapid research tools and approaches to validate innovative ideas with data


Leverage Innovation Engineering with other systems (ex. Lean, Agile, PMBOK)



Mastery is a journey. It starts with education and training but is honed through practice, focus and yes, some learning through failure.

“Mastery is not a function of genius or talent.
It is a function of time and intense focus applied to a particular field of knowledge.”

- Robert Greene

What is the value of that to an organization? Well, consider this:

  1. A master can deliver what many organizations hire external consultants to do - with less direct cost and results that are better aligned with an organization's culture.
  2. A master can teach others to develop a stronger culture over time that incorporates a more innovative mindset in their everyday work.
  3. A master helps you retain organizational knowledge and provides career opportunities for key team members to support retention and succession plans.
  4. A master helps you leverage a system that is designed to support smart, data driven decision making in real time - helping drive innovation while reducing your risk.

So what does mastery offer you as an organization? Greater opportunity and reduced risk. Sounds like a no brainer to me if you are looking to really drive innovation in your organization.

-Rhonda Honke

Learn more about our Innovation Engineering Mastery Program here.

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