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Michelle Royal Delivers Innovation Insight to Tampa Bay Startup Week

February 28, 2017

Tampa Bay maintains an entrepreneurial spirit like no other region. In order to celebrate and catalyze this movement, every year the Tampa Bay community (this year supported by title sponsor Chase for Business) organizes Tampa Bay Startup Week.

Startup Week consists of five days of conferences led by entrepreneurs and hosted in business spaces within the professional community. This massive event reflects the diversity and breadth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem within the Tampa Bay region.

On the morning of Friday, February 17, Michelle Royal (CEO and founder of RIDG) presented her talk, “Instant Innovator: Tools to Accelerate Innovation in Your Startup” at the Station House in St. Petersburg.

Attendee John Capobianco said, “Her presentation was absolutely amazing. One of the best — if not the best — presenters I was fortunate enough to be in the audience for. And, I know we didn’t even scrape the surface of the valuable information she has within her arsenal.”

As a leader in innovation, Michelle Royal was a natural fit for Tampa Bay Startup Week. RIDG (Royal Innovation Design Group) is a strategic consulting firm with a mission to “build better innovators” while solving complex issues for various companies. Michelle founded RIDG in 2013 after years of working throughout the world in the field of innovation after obtaining a Masters in Business Innovation. Michelle and her team work with businesses to align and convene a clear story, while taking companies with few resources and multiplying them. RIDG has assisted businesses in achieving returns in the seven- to eight-digit marks.

One of the core services provided by RIDG is Visual Facilitation, a process using visuals to anchor and guide teams using both prepared and live capture methods. Michelle explained that visualization is fundamental to the innovation process. Visuals can be read 66,000 times faster than text, allowing individuals to generate ideas as quickly as possible, making it the fastest route when solving problems. This is conducive to strengthening pattern recognition, permitting new insights, all the while encouraging and building new ideas.

“Visualization,” Michelle said, “is a natural state for discovery and learning,” which is why we need to remember the ABC’s (“Always Be Capturing”). Ideas are an energetic force and documenting these ideas can be the next step toward innovation.

Like a moth drawn to a flame, Michelle has a passion for igniting new ways of thinking in her audience and her clients. She recognizes that everyone in the world has the capacity and knowledge to trigger their innovative power, and so works to assist individuals and companies to uncover this innovation within themselves. Michelle explained that during this process the best type of leadership is to maintain a “servant attitude.”

A leader might have a big idea, but it is vital to recognize who they are in service to. Michelle asked the audience, “What are you going to do with your business or idea and how can you get this idea to serve as many people as possible?”

Michelle pointed out that many people have a fantasized idea of an entrepreneur in which most believe that the entrepreneur is the “grand innovator.” However, it is the team that supports the entrepreneur and works with them to build the foundation for success in order to serve the most individuals.

Because the theme of Startup Week was “uncovering the future,” Michelle got the audience to focus on a future-thinking state of mind. She asked, “How do we create the opportunity to encourage others to think?”

It is essential to create an environment consisting of trust and collaboration because everything about a solution or an idea must be torn apart, tested, and challenged. Michelle explained that gaining insight is done through stretching and that “to encourage possibility thinking, we must intentionally place ourselves in impossible circumstances.”

Michelle also shared that one of the concrete and easy ways to train for this type of thinking is through RIDG’s “Instant Innovator Challenge.” The RIDG Instant Innovator Challenge is a fast-paced, fun and interactive event for individuals as well as teams who would like to become improved and more efficient problem-solvers. During this three-hour challenge, participants receive the resources required to create a prototype and learn the process of refining it and ultimately pitching the idea to their team.

Participants do research, “divide and conquer” and delegate tasks based on individual strengths. They map solutions by creating a storyboard, which is presented to the team. All ideas are measured using a score of 1-10 in three categories: new, useful, and feasible. Those ideas receiving the highest score are the solutions that get prototyped.

The Instant Innovator Challenge allows for individuals and teams to look beyond the ideation process and learn each phase of the innovation process by plunging into an experience that is designed to unlock and challenge their designing capabilities. It assists participants in converting ideas into reality while focusing on individual skills that are conducive to strengthening the team as a whole.

Michelle explained that creativity and innovation are both measurable and that it is possible to design it and her thought-provoking keynote speech at Tampa Bay Startup Week inspired innovative thinking for many of those who were present.
For more information on the tools and training that RIDG provides to businesses that can serve as a mental model or create a pathway to accelerate innovation, please visit their website.

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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.

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