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St John’s Innovation Masterclass Programme

The St John’s Innovation Masterclass Programme provides high impact personal development and will support you to transform your firm’s ambition, capability and confidence for innovation.

The Programme provides an accelerated induction into the process and culture necessary for innovation in professional services firms. As sectors evolve amidst a dynamic, fast-changing landscape, the modules will support participants to apply innovation best practice from around the world, underpinned with the knowledge and confidence to succeed.

Outcomes will include an effective process and associated tools to use when innovating in professional service firms. Attendees will gain insight into the contemporary people development techniques that will foster a pro-innovation culture for professional firms, who are now facing much more change than previously. The Programme will take full account of the unique aspects of professional services firms, such as partnership structure, the professionals’ sense of identity and attitudes to risk.

Delivered by an experienced and professional team, brain science research and other contemporary techniques will be utilised throughout. This will provide participants and their organisations with a significant leadership advantage in a competitive world.

St John’s Innovation Centre has been at the heart of the world-leading Cambridge Phenomenon, which has changed the world in a wide range of sectors. Experts from the Centre will deliver modules in partnership with the experienced faculty of Spiranti, who bring exceptional practical experience from a wide range of professional services environments.

The Masterclasses will take place in London.  Each Masterclass is one day.

Our approach will combine robust research into the science of leadership to help attendees focus on the key aspects of their personal approach to innovation. This will enable them to leverage success in their wider organisation. Innovation benchmarking and relevant case studies will also be included.

In addition, St. John’s offers ongoing lifetime support for every candidate attending all 6 Masterclasses. This is not the usual alumni programme!  


See the Diary for dates and trainers.


Masterclass 1 – The Innovation Challenge     

This Masterclass provides valuable insight into why innovation is often so difficult in organisations and offers examples of firms that have made innovation work. We will report on recent research findings and introduce the cultural/process improvements that will support greater innovation.

  • Why innovation is difficult in organisations
  • An introduction to the innovation life cycle
  • Recent research findings and case studies in professional service firm innovation
  • Mapping the challenges (and opportunities) facing your firm
  • Client journeys, moments of truth and other techniques for challenge definition
  • How cultural and process can be developed to support greater innovation

Masterclass 2 – Innovation Technology                  

This Masterclass will review how technology can be a catalyst for innovation or represent the innovation itself. We will look at the emerging 4th Industrial Revolution technologies that will change the professional service landscape. We will utilise case studies and introduce the Leadership Radar.

  • Technology as a catalyst for innovation
  • Emerging technologies that will change the professional service landscape, including blockchain, artificial intelligence and others
  • Case studies of firms that have innovated using technology
  • Planning a new technology landscape for your firm
  • The impact on people and processes during technology change
  • An introduction to the Leadership Radar

Masterclass 3 – Ideation & Concept Refinement    

This Masterclass examines different approaches to Ideation. Participants will learn by doing. It then provides techniques for refining a concept/idea (such as customer journey, business model canvas). It will also discuss how leadership role modelling is vital during this stage of innovation.

  • Approaches to Ideation
  • Techniques for refining a concept/idea
  • Story-telling and client journey mapping techniques
  • Expert panels, client testing and assessment scorecards
  • Practical exercise using ideation techniques
  • Using a business model canvas
  • The importance of leadership role modelling during ideation

Masterclass 4 – Managing an Innovation Pipeline         

This Masterclass will explain the importance of managing a balanced pipeline of innovation initiatives. It will also discuss pipeline monitoring and prioritisation techniques. It will explain how to maintain leadership focus, as innovation projects flow from initial idea creation to implementation.

  • Managing a balanced pipeline of innovation initiatives
  • Pipeline monitoring and prioritisation techniques
  • Maintaining leadership focus from ideation through to implementation
  • Effective launch and communication
  • Portfolio risk management
  • Setting KPIs and success measurement

Masterclass 5 – Ensuring Innovation Flexibility 

This Masterclass looks at key techniques that will support vibrant and successful innovation. These include utilising a minimum viable product and agile approach, the willingness to pivot, leading through uncertainty and recognising how cognitive diversity supports innovation.

  • Cultural attributes that support innovation
  • Minimum viable product and agile approaches
  • Testing assumptions and avoiding unintended bias
  • The willingness to pivot
  • The power of partnering
  • How cognitive diversity supports and underpins innovation

Masterclass 6 – Normalising an Innovation Culture    

This Masterclass examines how to deeply embed innovation in a culture. It examines how leaders can support continuous change at scale, by understanding the human brain’s reaction to change. It also covers the importance of leadership role modelling of attitudes that encourage innovation.

  • Embedding innovation and collaboration into a culture
  • Maintaining an open-minded organisation
  • The human brain’s reaction to change and leading people to success
  • Supporting continuous change at scale
  • Leadership role modelling that encourages innovation
  • Leadership resilience during innovation



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