Innovator Track

So, you’re an innovator? Innovators are the traditional business employees or leaders who think outside the box, and who consistently strive for new ideas, culture, and tactics to improve their organization. You embody an innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit while working inside an established company to drive meaningful change.

Why You Should Attend: The Innovator Track will focus on building stronger companies, high performance teams, new product development, succession planning, and team dynamics. Ready to attend? Click here. Want to learn more about the Innovator Track? Scroll down to see the sessions.

There’s a myth that rural America is dying because it doesn’t have any jobs to offer; our work, which takes us to more than a dozen states throughout the Midwest and the South, has shown the exact opposite: rural America has plenty of good, high-paying jobs, but lacks the housing options and amenities that attract workers, and especially young people. The solution lies in an expanded definition of creative placemaking; not just beautifying these small communities and bringing in arts and culture, but starting catalytic businesses that will attract a growing population and the housing, child care, grocery stores, and other amenities they will need to live there.
The media is filled with descriptions of that hoodie-wearing hacker in the basement, busily breaking into the Pentagon. Real threats to people and organizations aren’t that simple, and in this presentation you’ll get to know who’s really on the other side of that keyboard. Understanding your opponent is crucial to effectively shaping your cybersecurity program if you worry about the right kinds of threats.

We’ll walk down these dark halls together – foreign agents, internal threats, wire-fraudsters and hacktivists. What motivates them, what they’re after, and how you can defend against them.”

Inclusive leaders intentionally potential of their team members by empowering and valuing the unique contributions of individual employees. Leaders must leverage the diversity of their workforce by cultivating their inclusive leadership skills.

Participate in a leadership assessment and learn 5 inclusive leadership behaviors.

Workshop Objectives:
• Define and discuss Inclusive Leadership and its benefits
• Discuss how your leadership style impacts business outcomes and organization’s reputation
• Create an action plan to be adopted post-session.

Workshop Outcomes:
• Examine your organization’s goals pertaining to your workforce.
• Identify behaviors and leadership commitments that can systemically enhance team performance and talent retention.

One of the foundations of Innovation is to build dynamic, diverse, cross functional teams of individuals who bring different perspectives to the table. This allows us to generate breaths of ideas, see different solutions, and understand the users in different lights. But this often easier said than done. When we look at the teams we are surround by, or even those who we want as partners in our innovation endeavors, how do we identify that we have this dynamic team that we are striving for? As we begin working and ideating, are we aware if dynamic has remained? In this session we will talk about the pitfalls we find ourselves in when it comes to understand differences in each other, and how we can shift our views and understanding to create more dynamic groups. We will also talk about how we recognize pitfalls, such as group think, and how we can navigate these real time to maintain diversity of thought in our ideation.
One of the core values of the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) is environmental stewardship, and as the single largest manager of farmland in Linn County the airport is taking the lead on water quality. Learn about a new initiative the airport is launching in 2019 – Wings2Water – that provides a mechanism for action on a grass-roots level to make a difference in improving water quality within Linn and Johnson County. Hear from Marty Lenss, CID airport director, about this exciting new program to reduce Iowa’s nutrient runoff and flood impacts, restore local water quality and eliminate the Dead Zone in the Gulf.
A critical question every innovator must ask, repeatedly, is “Who does the organization need me to be?” in order to achieve its innovation objectives. By asking this simple question, innovators can discover the magic blend of traits and skills that are found in the most successful innovators. In this session, we’ll explore eight innovator archetypes, or personas, that you might need to master in order to deliver on what’s required of you as an innovator, and to become an innovation leader.
Inside innovators and change champions beware! Though you may mean well your abusive use of the F Words could be holding your transformation efforts back. No, not the F word, the F words.
Fail Fast Forward…Fail Forward Fast…fail…Fail…FAIL!

Meanwhile, in creeps another four-letter F word that could cost you everything. Come learn how to successfully manage change initiatives through subtle shifts in your communication.

The speed of change is happening faster than ever. Becoming more adaptable as an organization or as an individual requires a different approach than traditional change management has provided. This workshop focuses on helping individuals embrace adaptability while also targeting the organization’s culture, systems, and strategy.

Based off of years of innovation work with corporate clients and startups, this interactive session will address the tenants of adaptability at the individual level including curiosity, experimentation, conviction, and courage. At the organizational level, we’ll help leaders understand the space, support, safety, and context needed to promote an adaptable team and culture.

This session covers the basic premise of improv – saying “Yes, and,” then building a concept in a collaborative way. It involves training yourself to be in the moment with team members, listening actively to what they are saying and then supporting your team with your contributions. It lays the framework for innovation and creativity by changing how we react to another’s idea. And it’s funny.
This interactive training session will show you how to use the Six Thinking Hats method to adopt a deliberate process for solving problems and finding opportunities, including:
– A faster way to be more creative
– A meeting facilitation tool that surfaces hidden agendas and achieves objectives without the usual conflict and flailing around
– A way to make sure that all sides of an issue are addressed now, not a month or two from now

You will leave this session with a sharpened ability to thinking clearly, objectively, systematically, and creatively.

Let’s set the stage – you have a problem or an opportunity and you think that technology is the answer.  In this session, you will methodically work through that idea and determine whether or not you are on the right track. Either way, you’ll discover an approach that will help you spend less time evaluating software options and more time getting the results you want.  
Many companies today want to use Blockchain and think they have a good understanding of how it works. But once companies start digging in, they can quickly realize that their business might not be the best candidate for blockchain after all. Sometimes these companies would still be better off with a centralized web application using a core database, or they might not understand there are two different types of blockchain setups (public vs private) and the complexities that go along with each of these. I want to explain these differences in detail and also talk about issues that might arise when you start building blockchain apps and what you should have firmly in place before even attempting to build out a new blockchain app. This session will also go over some software and programming languages and frameworks that you’ll want to understand before diving in.
Unconscious biases are assumptions we make and prejudices we have without even realizing it. These can lead to unintentional, subtle and hard-to-name chronic acts of inequity, which grow to become barriers towards shared mission and vision (camaraderie), productivity, innovation or sustainable growth in your professional and personal life.

This workshop is designed for developers, product/project managers, implementation leaders, and innovators interested in learning how to embrace cultural agility while undergoing digital transformation. We’ll explore productive ways leaders can start to question traditional, binary systems (“business as usual”) of oppression that often lead to microagressions and microresistance at work. Participants will walk away with actionable insights and short/long-term strategies that will help them evolve as a leader or business entity.

*Sessions and times are subject to change.

Innovator Track Sponsor: Alliant Energy

Why Alliant Energy is supporting the Innovator Track: “As the speed of change and technology increase, so does our need to see and prepare further into the future. Innovation and fresh thinking are critical to the future success of companies in our region and around the world. We’re excited to help facilitate discussions on innovation and change at this year’s NewBoCo EntreFEST. Together, we’ll forge a sustainable future that’s ready to adapt and innovate to meet our needs and goals.”