Catalyst for Business Innovation

Innovation Training for SJ Companies

A business session put innovation in the hands of New Brunswick companies of all sizes.  October 16-18, Enterprise Saint John’s Catalyst Innovation Program hosted a 3-day work session. Certified Simplexity Instructor, Mark Breen worked with businesses to find their team’s problem-solving styles and train them to bring innovation back into their workplace. This could mean tackling tough internal resource issues or complex business problems that could lead to an improved bottom line or efficiency. Here are some of the problem-solving styles found in most workplaces:

Generators: These people are great at coming up with new ideas and ways of doing things.

Conceptualizers: These people are deep thinkers and think big picture

Optimizers: These people like solid, practical step by step plans

Implementers: These people are all about action and getting things done

The Simplexity process can then become the “innovation engine” of an organization that matches how people problem solve with skills and tools to drive new ideas and innovation.

The concept was designed by Min Bassadur, a former executive with Proctor & Gamble who came up with the methodology in 1981. His research has found using this method, is a good way to create a well-rounded team that produces better ideas and better results.

“The Conference board of Canada’s latest report card gives New Brunswick businesses a D- when it comes to innovation. But, they also say innovation doesn’t have to only mean major technological shifts forward. Incremental innovations using knowledge to approach management and communications can mean significant gains to companies and our economy. That’s what we’re trying to do with this process, show local companies small innovations can lead to large gains,” says Breen.

In the 3 years Breen has been running the program, he’s found success using the process in education programs at NBCC and UNB Shad, as well as local small, medium and large businesses, including Dillon Consulting, Moosehead, Saint John Energy and Intelisys.

“It’s allowed us to focus on the true challenges in our organizations and view them for what they really are, opportunities. Mark Breen has continued to coach and support us as we’ve rolled this out inside our company. We use it on a daily basis as a way to improve our products and processes.  I’d highly recommend any company take a look at this process,” says Intelisys COO & Owner, Wayne Chamberlain.

At the end of the session, seven (7) new facilitators were certified from five (5) different companies including Mrs. Dunster’s, Crosby’s Molasses, Catherine Doucette Training, TChapman Consulting and CBCL Engineering.

There will be opportunities for more businesses to take another 3-day training session in the process in 2018. However, if you ever want to discuss improving innovation in your business now, you can contact mbreen@enterprisesj.com.

A version of this story appeared in the Saint John Telegraph Journal October 16, 2017