Innovation Revolution Fast Start – 30 in 30 Challenge Recap – Part I

How do you start a Revolution? You speak. You share. You align. You inspire. You activate. That’s exactly what I did in June. I set out on an EXTREME speaking challenge. I committed to do 30 presentations in 30 business days. I did it—well almost. I did 29. I think that’s good enough for now.

It’s certainly not a challenge for the faint of heart, but neither is the pursuit of innovation. I’m a believer in less talk and more action, but in this case talk was action. Ironic, huh?

I couldn’t possible recap all the insights I gained in one blog post, so this is the first of the series.

1- The Set Up
Why would I do such a crazy thing? What inspired it?

You can’t change the world all by yourself. If you look throughout history, all the great revolutions had massive followings to help propel change forward. This is no different. In order to change business as usual and innovate at the speed of change, you need an army of people to make it all happen. That was my mission. To share, inspire and enlist.

As for the challenge part – I took the idea from all those fitness challenges I saw my friends participate on Facebook. I noticed how their community of friends and family supported them. I knew I needed my network to do the same for me in order to achieve such a great feat. It worked. My friends, colleagues and theirs all rallied to help me.

2- The Process
Just like my work at 48 Innovate, you can’t accomplish epic feats without a process or methodology. Hence I set up a mini process. I had an online engagement form, sample presentations descriptions and follow-up templates to make it as easy as possible for me to engage and execute.

I knew my target audience was employees and leaders in medium to large companies, so that’s who I went after. I didn’t limit my opportunities by vertical or function, because this message appeals to all people who work. Innovation is a MUST for everyone in the 21st century. In order to make the 30 work in such a short time period, I had to stay relatively local to simplify the logistics.

3- Goals
My goals were pretty simple. I wanted to kick start my Innovation Revolution by empowering others with knowledge and action. I wanted to gather video footage for my speaking sizzle reel. I wanted to explore insights and reactions of participants across all disciplines and verticals. I wanted to practice. If I sold books or received leads for future speaking or workshops, that would be a BONUS. But the sheer act of doing and learning along the way was the BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement). I can say without any hesitation I achieved those goals and the experience informed and re-enforced my mission. I am determined to make work fun, meaningful and productive again. My mission is to empower leaders and employees to transform to meet the opportunities of the 21st century.

I spoke to technologist, scientists, higher education professionals, bankers, insurance agents, business strategists, recruiters, real estate agents, executives, young professionals, middle managers, sports enthusiasts, sales professionals, marketers, financiers, entrepreneurs, human resources professionals, researchers, assistants, designers, developers, engineers and many others in biotech, healthcare, technology, universities, financial services, insurance services, retail, media, design, marketing and every industry in between.

What did all these groups have in common? The genuine desire to innovate, to change the world, and the willingness to consider a different path.

Stay tuned for the next post where I deep dive on the themes and insights from the participants of my 30 in 30 Innovation Revolution challenge. It was a truth tour. I held the mirror and all discovered a path forward to make change happen.

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K. Melissa Kennedy

Chief Innovation Officer, Founder, Intrapreneur. Entrepreneur. Enthusiastic leader and speaker. Teller of truths at 48 Innovate
I spent many years working for and building successful companies. I parlayed that experience into a unique process for harnessing hidden assets inside organizations and turning them into big-idea-generating, $1-billion-revenue-producing resources. (Spoiler alert: it’s the people.) I'm an internationally acclaimed expert, happy to share the not-so-secrets that have led to impressive outcomes for Fortune 100 corporations, major educational institutions, start-up companies and entrepreneurs. Working with companies like Cisco, Lancope, Arby's, Capitol Broadcasting Company New Media - WRAL, PRSONAS, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog, REVO Communications, Erno Group, Focus Carolina, Madan Global, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, INZONE Brands, Albright Digital, Spring Metrics and NC State Kenan Fellows.

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