Continuous innovation is essential to survive and thrive competition in today's disrupted and unpredictable business landscape.

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”

― Edward de Bono

Harnessing the Power of Applied Innovation is a five half-day online short course at Cranfield University, Centre for Competitive Creative Design.

The online short course is a functional and applied innovation methodology course which offers industry expert insights on creativity, market, and circular economy which are the three keys to unlocking your own innovation potential.

Sustainability and the Circular Economy principles will be discussed to help participants to re-think their current business models and explore the new and more meaningful directions for innovation.

By deciphering customer’s previously unidentified desires, participants will be able to map the problem space. Building on this foundation, participants will learn a structured innovation approach with practical creative tools. This will allow  participants to navigate a course to brand new products and services in addition to signposting a roadmap for identifying untapped markets.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • DurationFive half-day sessions
  • LocationOnline
  • Cost£1,250

Course structure

Our program provides instruction informed by the experience of pioneering engineers innovating within some of the UK’s most exacting and rigorous creative environments. Through reflective learning and peer collaboration on practical examples, we will challenge participants’ inventive bias and myth-bust common creativity misconceptions so participants will discover an agile imaginative mindset. Using our unique tools and processes developed in a dynamic problem-solving industry, participants will learn objective and measurable research techniques to identify stakeholder desires. Using a diagnostic problem identification framework, participants will learn to transform ideas into actionable business solutions, products, and applications. We will demonstrate how solutions to identified problems can be transformed into intellectual property and provide unique out of the box thinking methods to locate brand new marketplaces in real life business settings. In the public sector, participants will uncover new areas for process improvement and streamlining capable of effecting transformational change.

What you will learn

On successful completion of modules, you will be able to:

  • Understand the barriers to innovation and methods to overcome your psychological inertia,
  • Gather end user and stakeholders’ intelligence, analyse, and objectively recognise opportunities using your understanding of your customer’s desires and needs,
  • Identify and open up new uncontested market space and create new value streams,
  • Discover your unidentified competitor threats and your potential displacement from established markets,
  • Apply a lifecycle that will give structure to your innovation and identify the four basic steps of systematic creativity,
  • Streamline improvement of processes and services while reducing roadblocks and inefficiency,
  • Establish an agile culture of creativity with tools, techniques, and practices that you can embed within your organization,
  • Gain practical insights through actionable innovative projects that are transferable to your business operations.

Core content

  • Module 1: Customers desires
    Understanding and practical tutorials for the identification of hidden needs, attributes and tools for structured creativity.
  • Module 2: Jobs to be done
    Understanding your customers/stakeholders journey and further practical tools for structured creativity.
  • Module 3: Discovery of new markets 
    Discovering untapped markets and a deeper understanding of complicated problem solving using systematic analysis of the opportunities with practice.
  • Module 4: Disruption
    Innovation tools for identifying how to disrupt your products, services and markets. Tools for the most difficult problems. Intellectual property stories.
  • Module 5: Circular Economy and Innovation 
    By adopting a Business Model Innovation perspective, Circular Economy principles and implementation examples will be discussed.


from 9:30 to 13:30 (UTC: +00:00 – The UK time)

  • 26 Sep 2022 – Module 1
  • 03 Oct 2022 - Module 2
  • 10 Oct 2022 - Module 3
  • 17 Oct 2022 - Module 4
  • 24 Oct 2022 – Module 5

Who should attend

Professional learners from the private and public sector, industry and commerce backgrounds who are willing to learn how to break down the barriers that impede applied innovation while networking with peers from around the world in one of the UK’s most highly regarded design centres.


James G M Kelly 
James has decades of experience in the safety critical automotive and aerospace engineering industries and now consults for the Jaguar Land Rover Autonomy Research.
Internationally he has received 3 Tata Innovista Global Innovation Awards. At Land Rover he was also presented the personal JLR Chief Engineer’s Award. He has a total of 400 patent applications (and counting) worldwide (Over 220 of which have now granted) and has been awarded the JLR Patent Award ten years running.
As a proven innovator he pioneered the study and identification of vehicle occupant desires at JLR, introducing new and novel customer research methods. Using his 13 years of global in-the-field research into all-terrain driving he led the creation of an innovation strategy and process which encompasses the complete lifecycle of creativity from customer to implemented technology. Using his expertise, he led the design and development of successive projects, products and process improvements; Auto Terrain Response, All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) and All Surface Progress Control (ASPC) (Both featured in global press and on Top Gear). The features created are available now on Range Rover and Jaguar vehicles.
Currently creating Jaguar Land Rover research autonomy roadmaps and developing exclusive all terrain systems.

Dr. Naseem Akhtar
Naseem holds a PhD in control systems from Cranfield, MSc in control systems from Imperial College and MBA from the University of Birmingham. He is a member of the Jaguar Land Rover Electrical Research team. He received a JLR technical prize for introduction of hidden needs methodologies to understand unarticulated need of customers. He was also awarded a JLR Patent award when the methodologies resulted in a number of patents for the off-road navigation system. He has 27 patent applications and 13 have been granted. Features delivered as a result include All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC), ATPC Pro, Track Following and ATQA with many other innovations in the pipeline.
Applying the Blue Ocean Strategy process within JLR’s corporate planning department he developed a global innovation network in collaborations with the world's leading business schools to access customers and turn their input into innovations. The output of the network resulted in the identification of new uncontested markets and many new themes, business models and features for JLR including: Health Tec in vehicles; off-road features for USA, Green Jaguar, City Land Rover for China; new uncontested markets for China, USA, India and the Middle East. He authored and presented a white paper on JLR long term strategy to transform itself to address novel markets for mobility in collaboration with the Cambridge Judge Business School. 
Currently researching and developing post quantum encryption algorithms.

Dr Enes Unal
Lecturer in Circular Economy and Innovation, Dr. Enes Unal organises and leads the short courses on Circular Innovation, leveraging expertise in sustainability-oriented and design-driven innovations. He has completed his PhD at Politecnico di Milano, School of Management under the European Doctorate in Industrial Management (EDIM) scheme.
Dr. Unal has done research on Circular Business Model Innovation mostly with a focus on manufacturing industry. In particular, he studies the value creation and capture through circular economy oriented innovations by incorporating the context and managerial commitment. Enes has published many peer-reviewed scientific articles in high impact factor journals. Currently, he also does research on the synergy between enabling technologies and Circular Business Model Innovation.

Ken Webster
Ken Webster is a visiting Fellow at Cranfield University and Director of the International Society for Circular Economy (IS4CE) From 2010 to 2018 he was Head of Innovation for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy pioneer organisation. He held a senior academic position at the Business School and Centre for Circular Economy at the University of Exeter from the end of 2018 to the end of 2020. 
His books “The Circular Economy: A Wealth of Flows (2nd Edition 2017)” and “ABC & D: Creating a regenerative circular economy for all (2021)” relate the connections between systems thinking, economic and business opportunity, and the transition to a circular economy. He makes regular contributions to conferences and seminars around the world. His current interests include; open vs closed circular economy approaches, construction, and the built environment – he is on the supervisory board of the Madaster Foundation in Amsterdam - regenerative agriculture and integrating the monetary and materials stocks and flows.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.