Global Excellence 2019

278 Acquisition International - Global Excellence 2019 16 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2019 Mar19086 Protostar Leadership Development supports managers from many leading organisations, utilising management consultants with at least 20 years senior management experience at global corporations. Recently, we caught up with Michael Coates, Managing Director, to find out more about the firm and how it helps organisations to be more innovative. o stranger to innovation awards, (Protostar were also an AI award winner last year) Michael clearly has a passion for innovation and sharing it with the clients his consultancy supports. Simply having a conversation with Michael allows you to learn so much about innovation, so it’s no surprise to hear that he is a visiting university professor, teaching innovation and change. What is more of a surprise about this British Managing Director, is that he teaches in Mexico – that’s a long commute. “It all started due to family connections to Mexico, however, I soon found that there is a very strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative work ethic in the young people of Mexico, so it is a great pleasure to help nurture that.” Back in the UK, Michael and his Protostar team support organisations ranging from small charities to global corporations. Regardless of company size, Protostar’s innovation consultants tend to follow a similar approach. “First, we help the client to understand what innovation is and what it is not. Then we move on to clarify at a high level what it would involve to develop a culture of innovation at their organisation – this is mainly so they realise that it will take effort, and they have to be committed to the journey.” Once the client agrees that they want to be more innovative, Michael and his team survey the employees looking for evidence of the organisation having: • The resources to support innovation • People with the right skills • Processes that support innovation • Enough funds • A suitable culture And lastly, that managers demonstrate the behaviours needed in an innovative organisation. Michael goes on to explain where this idea came from and what they do with the results. “This survey is based on work from MIT, and it is also a great tool for starting a discussion with the organisation’s leaders about changes that will have to be made if innovation is to thrive.” Not all companies are willing or able to make the changes – even those with a desire to be more innovative. Michael often finds that leaders find comfort in just doing what they have always done. “That is where our innovation coaches come in. We need to help the leaders let go of past ways of working, make some difficult decisions, and to embrace the fear.” Protostar : Renowned for Supporting Innovation N