I’m speaking at DIG 2012, it’s my first formal speaking event, though I have tons of public speaking experience on the radio, TV, as well as live at department meetings, company functions, colleges, and as a panel member at the Banff Interactive Festival.  It’s a 50 minute session too, so I’ve got a lot of time to make good use of.

I thought it might be an interesting exercise to publicize all of my prep, document all of the steps, and see what it looks like.  I have an outline done, and this week I’m starting on the actual narrative.

So this week, here’s my Dig 2012 talk outline – Innovation for Small Teams.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Most small development teams are so busy with the day-to-day running of the business that they never get the time to think about the bigger picture, but giving developers the freedom to build their own solution changes they way they develop, and creates better products for the business.

Innovation Days at Info-Tech changed the tone in many ways and was the first step in making our business see our developers as creative individuals who could deliver more than they were asking, rather than mere implementers of specs.

Get inspired by learning about three specific innovation day projects that made significant contributions to our bottom line, and work through a real life Innovation Day pitch meeting.

Session Objectives:
Inspire participants to champion developer-driven innovation in their organization.

Audience Engagement:
Show of hands: Who has heard of “Google Days”, Who has held an innovation day, Who likes cake?
Interactive – Build an Innovation Day outline
Interactive – Create a Pitch

Session Outline:
Part 1: Why Innovation is important

  • Explanation of the value of intrinsic motivation, and how self guided innovation works.
  • Explanation of intrinsic motivation
  • Outline of three different Innovation Day setups
  • How Innovation improves morale
  • How Innovation makes better developers
  • How innovation improves co-worker relationships

Part 2: Some Info-Tech Innovations

  • An overview of the best developer driven solutions at Info-Tech.
  • A look at the intangible innovation benefits

Part 3: This is how we innovate

  • Step by step breakdown of
  • Team Creation
  • Launch Day
  • Idea Brainstorm
  • Pitch Meeting
  • Working on the idea
  • Results Meeting
  • Voting and winners

Part 4: Enough Talk – LETS INNOVATE!

  • Brainstorm an idea
  • Figure out a pitch
  • Pitch the idea
  • Vote on the idea


  • Blog Post summarizing this talk at http://itblog.infotech.com/talks/
  • Encourage Comments on Post
  • Get Twitter discussion going @briangarside