I was unable to form a team, can I still apply and be considered as individual participant?
No, this program is designed for teams only. Each team should consist of 3 to 5 members from the same company. The team should also represent already established company. Individual applications will not be accepted.
What is the ideal team size?
Four members would be ideal size but teams of 3 or 5 members will also be considered.
Should the team be from the same department/unit?
No, in fact we encourage cross functional teams as this will add to the learning potential for the teams.
Can a team be formed with members from different sister companies or subsidiaries?
Yes it's possible and the team should apply under the name of the parent/holding company.
Can companies fully owned by government or state participate in this program?
No, only private sector companies including companies partially owned by government would be allowed to participate.
Would applications from sister companies or subsidiaries affect each other's chances in getting into the program?
No, each company application will be evaluated independently from other applications by sister companies or subsidiaries.
Can multiple teams from the same company apply?
Yes but only one team per company will be selected (the team that fits the program the most).
What positions considered middle management?
All positions with duties to manage a group of people (at least one lower level of junior staff) and the day-to-day operations of division/department/unit/team/etc.
Who can be an executive sponsor and what is their role?
The executive sponsor should hold a senior management position and/or have specific executive powers conferred onto him/her to remove barriers that might face the team. The sponsor could have the role/function of overseeing business operations, new initiatives, business development, culture change, etc.
The executive sponsor role in this program is to provide high level guidance on the team's innovation project selection and follow up regularly on the team's progress throughout the program journey. The sponsor will also interact with the mentors and receive updates from them on the team's progress.
What are the costs that companies will have to cover?
The companies will have to cover travel costs including airfare and accommodation to the UK for the international visit. Companies will not be responsible for any other program costs.
The Application Process
What happens once the team submits their application?
Once the application is submitted, an email will be sent to all team members to acknowledge application submission.
Will the team be considered enrolled in the program if the application is submitted?
Successful submission of the team's application only means that the team will compete for a position in the program.
Once the application is submitted, what are the factors that can disqualify the team?
The team application will be carefully reviewed by a committee of evaluators. Any discrepancies may result in the dismissal/disqualification of the team application. Examples on such discrepancy would be:
- Filling out the entire application in Arabic
- Data provided do not match the data on the supporting documents
- Incomplete application form
- Documents attached are invalid
- Team members do not meet the eligibility criteria
How will the teams be assessed for selection?
The applications evaluation committee will shortlist candidate teams according to the quality of their online applications. The shortlisted candidate teams will be interviewed in person by the evaluation committee. Successful teams will provide convincing and quality answers to the competency based questions posed by the panel and demonstrate their commitment, enthusiasm and ability to achieve the program aims and deliverables.
What is expected in the interview?
Teams will be expected to demonstrate their commitment, enthusiasm and ability to achieve the program aims and deliverables. Teams should come to the interview prepared to talk convincingly about their identified business challenge/opportunity area.
What is the innovation project?
The teams will be facilitated to take their innovation projects through the entire innovation process; through ideation, new concept formulation, innovation planning and execution, product and service prototyping, testing and validating customer scenarios and measuring the impact of innovation.
The innovation project will demonstrate the participants' consolidated application of learning to their own business contexts.
The innovation projects will be identified and ideated by the teams on the basis that they will deliver real and appreciable benefits to their companies in relation to the business challenge the team identified at the beginning of the program. As such these projects will be ideated and then selected by the team using taught innovation frameworks and tools. The projects must be undertaken by teams so that they can clearly show the beneficial outcomes that can be achieved through the implementation of successful innovation projects.
Is the business challenge the same as the innovation project?
The business challenge/opportunity defines the area where team wish to innovate. The innovation project is the specific work needed to address challenge/opportunity and would be the consolidated application of learning gain from the program to their business context.
What should we write about the business challenge?
Teams should seek to write clearly and compellingly about a real strategic challenge/opportunity facing their organization that has a major impact for their organization.
How is the innovation project related to our work?
The innovation project will be related to a specific real business challenge for the team's company, a challenge that may pose a threat as well as opportunity for the company. We ask the team to identify such a challenge as part of the application and selection process.
How should we choose an innovation project?
There will be specific teaching and learning on ideation and selection of ideas and concepts.
Will the projects involve others in my organization?
Yes. There will be specific taught sessions on the program covering the importance of and how to manage stakeholders effectively. The projects will also involve testing prototypes with and gaining support from different key company and external stakeholders as well as getting buy-in from senior company executives.
Can we change the innovation project later?
The Innovation Challenge program is structured in such a way that will offer teams the experience not only of learning about innovation but "doing it". Faculty members will facilitate the teams through the process of innovation where there will also be, early in the program, time to prototype, test and validate different ideas and select the right innovative idea. This will ensure that the projects decided upon will be the "right" ones to execute and once selected will not need to be changed.
How much work is expected per week on the program?
We estimate around 5 hours per week will be required by the team members, including team work, project deliverable preparation, readings, assignments etc. However please note this is a guideline only and participants may wish to spend further time on related readings and studies on the innovation area.
What if a member of the team decides to quit?
We will select teams on the basis of their commitment to achieve the program aims and deliverables on behalf of their companies. We would not expect any team member to drop out of the program except under exceptional circumstances beyond the individual's control. A team member dropping out could jeopardize the team's successful completion of the program.
Who is the final presentation for?
This will be mainly for your company stakeholders and will demonstrate the value and impact of your team innovation projects and the program on the company. There will also be representation from KFAS management at these presentations.
What happens if we miss a mentoring session?
We will ensure the dates for the mentoring sessions are planned well in advance so that team members can priorities these in their schedules. Mentors will be as flexible as possible with their "virtual" mentoring to ensure all team members can join the sessions.
What happens in the mentoring session?
Mentors are faculty members and associates with in-depth experience in both innovation and mentoring of individuals and teams. The mentoring sessions will be highly personalized and mentors will use established mentoring and coaching frameworks during the sessions to ensure that teams stay focused and on-track with their deliverables. Coaching sessions will be both challenging and supportive in approach. Mentors will usually adopt non-directive but also sometimes directive coaching styles as necessary in their sessions. They will deliver constructive feedback to the team on their project aims and progress. Mentors will focus on facilitating the improvement of innovation performance as well as development of innovation confidence and competence of the teams and individual participants.
How long are the mentoring sessions?
During the program mentoring period will be from February to April, teams will have 4 virtual sessions that last for one hour and 4 face-face sessions that are also around 1 hour.
If a team member fails in delivering his part, how will this impact the team?
Mentors will help coach teams to ensure all team members contribute to the tasks and deliverables. They will give feedback to any members not delivering. The Academic Program Director will also be consulted should a team member fail to deliver.
How is the team performance measured?
Team performance will be measured "quantitatively" and "qualitatively" by the faculty members the Academic Program Director.
What is the nature of assignments and tasks?
Teams are expected to complete several types of assignments and tasks that include but not limited to:
- Joining live webinars and successful completion of follow-up work
- Active participation in learning modules as well as at virtual and face-to-face mentoring sessions
- Undertaking preparatory readings as instructed by faculty
- Undertaking inter-modular project deliverables
- Delivering presentations on projects as required
- Undertaking assignments through the Virtual Learning Environment
What criteria is used to determine if a company succeeds for the final module?
Completing all assignments and tasks assigned by the faculty members.
Will teams be ranked according to their performance?
There will be a "Director's List" at the end of the program for the top three teams. However, all teams will be recognized at the end of the program by the Academic Program Director for different qualities and achievements demonstrated during the program.