TRACK Program

IRI’s TRACK Program
What is TRACK? 
TRACK (Training Resources to Advance Competencies & Knowledge) is IRI’s newest program to support our member companies’ needs in developing strategic innovation leaders.  A cornerstone of the TRACK program is a Self-Directed Learning Engine (SDLE) which acts as both an assessment tool AND an evergreen repository of linked resources to enable a leader to close skill gaps identified in the assessment
There are many methodologies identified to lead incremental innovation, but many companies have no formal processes in place to lead strategic innovation management practices. Successful organizations build and identify competencies by leveraging the expertise and knowledge of high performing individuals and teams across the enterprise in a variety of roles
A Focus on Leading Strategic Innovation
Take your high performers from being a good manger and leader to being a good manager and leader of strategic innovation.
At program launch, users of IRI’s Self-Directed Learning Engine will be able to access their skills levels and competencies based on 9 roles from the grid below. The roles are based on findings from a series of IRI working groups and  more fully developed by Gina O’Connor (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), aimed at understanding how to lead strategic innovation successfully.


Chief Innovation Officer
Orchestrator and Strategic Coaches

  Discovery: The creation, recognition, articulation and elaboration of opportunities Incubation: Exploring opportunities, evolving them into business proposals and testing the proposal to gain confidence that it will work Acceleration: Ramping up a fledgling business to a point where it can stand on its own relative to other business platforms in an operating unit
Portfolio: The collection of Platforms or domains that the company is investing in to realize its strategic intent…its business purpose for the future. The future business areas for the company. D-3 Director, Discovery: Seeds the company with possibilities for game-changing new businesses and ensures they have the right climate to grow. I-3 Director, Incubation: Manages the portfolio of incubating businesses as they evolve from concepts to real demonstrations of business value. Make sure the incubation group is focused on “big plays” rather than incremental new products. A-3: Innovation Council: Oversee the incubation and acceleration portfolio in light of the company’s domains of strategic intent, make investment decisions regarding which incubating platforms should be accelerated, and monitor progress prior to transitioning them into an existing or newly formed business unit.
Platform: A business-technology domain. An imagined possible future based on a technology-market landscape that has the potential to offer multiple product opportunities, as the company evolves the necessary expertise. D-2 Opportunity Domain Leader: Shapes the myriad opportunities into a larger business platform. Define and articulate the broad, rich opportunity landscape. I-2 New Business Platform Leader: Explore the potential of a given domain and develop an evidence-based proposal for how it could play out as a new business platform for the company. A-2 General Manager, New Business: Guide the new business’ growth strategy and manage its execution.
Project: One manifestation of, or experiment associated with developing/enriching/realizing the platform. D-1 Opportunity Generator: Identifies and elaborates new business concepts within a given platform/domain that could change the game for the company. I-1 New Business Creation Specialist: Test every angle of an Opportunity Landscape/domain to decipher whether and how it may contribute to a significant new business platform for the company. A-1 Functional Manager, New Business: Experts who scale the new business by developing and implementing processes for growth and efficiency.


Leveraging IRI Knowledge in Developing Innovation Leaders
The SDLE is a very accessible way to harness the decades of  IRI research, learning, and community to improve strategic innovation leadership in your company. A number of external classroom offerings, such as Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management courses, and other IRI member-recommended courses, have been mapped to key skill building needs.
More importantly, IRI member companies have contributed templates for skill practices that a leader can use to improve skills relative to their own work environment.
Make it personal. Make it count.
Using annual performance reviews to drive development is becoming a thing of the past. Empower your team to own their development plan. 
Leaders can:
  • Self-assess in a matter of 20 minutes and view results
  • See best practices from high performers
  • Know exactly how to close the skill gaps to reach maximizing your potential
  • Create a personalized learning plan and even include skill training practices unique to your organization and role
  • Create a development plan
  • Self-assess to prepare for the next job 

This is a great tool for your team, but what does it mean for your organization? 

  • Give people the right development opportunities and experiences they need to  become Strategic Innovation Leaders
  • Make development and career planning a regular part of your conversations
  • Build team capability by leveraging high performers
  • Drive engaged employees who can help meet corporate objectives
  • Supplement other internal development capabilities

Where can you see TRACK in Action?
Learn more and see a live-demo during the Annual Conference. Each member company can receive at least one login for a leader of their choosing. Additional logins will be available at an annual subscription fee. 


Books by Gina O'Connor:

Questions? Contact Gabriella Herzberg,


General Content
Tue., Oct. 29 9-9:30 AM Welcome Remarks Boeing & IRI 9:30-10 AM Plenary: Building New Strategic Verticals Sheila Remes, VP of BCA Product Strategy 10-11 AM Breakout Sessions TBD Dennis Bushnell,...
i201 Workshop at the Future of Flight Center -- Learn about the Business of Innovation
Monday October 28, 2019 12:00pm5:00pm
Students will gain a broader perspective on innovation designed to help them on-board more rapidly, perform better, and create more value for their organizations. Each section will start with a posed...
Wednesday September 18, 2019 2:15pm
IRI's Digital Transformation Community in this case study investigates Michelin’s digital transformation through a series of lenses and draws insights that other business leaders can apply to their...