Joanne Hyland can now celebrate her 10-year anniversary as a teacher here at the Business Institute – and with good reason. Joanne is a woman with a bucketload of experience, both in an academic and business-related context. Today, she is a founding partner and president at the rInnovation Group, where her and her colleagues help Fortune 1000 companies orchestrate their innovation ambitions in a strategic spectre. Besides that, she travels around the world and teaches innovation management, as here at our institute. When asked how the two parts of her work relate, she says:
The two parts are interrelated – one informs the other. Through the work with our clients, we gain practical experience that can be used to develop our research and theoretical knowledge, and that makes it possible for us to evolve the model we use for the work with our clients.
The Discovery, Incubation and Acceleration (D-I-A) model, designed for higher uncertainty innovation opportunities, is the central point of Joanne’s teaching here at the Business Institute, where she is a central figure of our Corporate Entrepreneurship module. Simplified, the model is used to make innovation an integrated and fundamental part of corporate strategy, as well as to help reduce the pace of learning time to reach goals quicker. This is done through an iterative, learning approach to uncertainty reduction across not only technical and market uncertainties but, also resource and organization ones, which have been proven to get in the way of success. But Joanne’s model is not a static tool, instead it evolves and adapts when her and other members of the rInnovation Group gain new knowledge that can improve the model, and, at the same time, Joanne uses this knowledge and experience to refine her teaching skills. And this year it has paid off, because as she expresses:
The model has been designed for larger companies. But this year, no questions were asked about the adaptability of the model to smaller companies. I think that the years of experience here have made it easier to make the model relevant for all kinds of companies – so that was a delightful surprise.
Joanne Hyland’s teaching style and subject also make an impact on the students here at the institute. This is reflected in the fact that students often approach Joanne and tell her that they will write their master’s thesis with focus on an aspect of her teachings. When this happens, she is always ready with advice if needed.
When asked what she has learned going into this field takes, she says that you always have to consider the fact that you can be dealing with very senior stakeholders. This interaction necessitates a level of credibility that is often hard to obtain without a lot of experience, especially within managerial positions. So, if she had to sum this up into one sentence, she would say:
My advice to anyone who wants to go into this field is to realise that it is not just one discipline, it is many, and that you need to get some well-grounded experience if you hope to have any credibility, especially when dealing with the more strategic dimension of innovation going forward.