The Corporate Innovators M&M© Coaching Model


A Coaching Model By Nishtha Mehta, Corporate Innovation & Transitions Coach, CHINA

My Coaching Model: “Corporate Innovators’ M&M©”

Food for Thought

What can stifle an organization’s innovation culture & drive to innovate –rallying around leadership’s vision, innovation mindset, risk-taking appetite, playing with the unknowns, asking good questions before jumping to solutions, ways of working, ways of being, ways of supporting?

  • Resistance to shifting from one way of doing things toward something new
  • Fear of failure
  • Siloed thinking and doing (different departments
  • Too much focus on the current task on the plate and losing foresight for what else
  • Low employees/team members/ leadership engagement
  • Lack of empowerment for teams
  • Lack of options
  • Unavailability of resources
  • Unavailability of inspiration
  • Lack of curiosity
  • Stuck in old standard ways of operating, with a lack of agility, swiftness, and adaptability

Many More

Lot of things that can make the organization and its leadership and teams stay in their comfort zone, and stay in status quo space. Somewhere in the minus (-) or so, just moving along the day-to-day mundane to maintain (=). To become innovative and adopt a more innovative culture, mindset, and ways of working, and shift towards more plus (+), an inspiring, courageous, engaging transition is key with the stakeholders and teams themselves.

Now Imagine This!

Transitioning to an Innovative culture, mindset, new capabilities, and new ways of working is not like a switch where we press a button or ask someone and they can or they will.

We need to understand what’s holding them back. We need to understand what can help them make this transition. We need to understand that for a transition to happen from one form to another, we need to let go of something, we need to be able to step back, we need to be able to dissolve something inside of us or the environment or the influence, isn’t it? And then can have the space to adopt new forms as relevant.

Corporate Innovators Coaching Model Nishtha MehtaCorporate Innovators Coaching Model Nishtha MehtaConsider This!

Ice cubes. To innovate with the new format of icecubes – one needs to let it melt, play with it, let it diffuse to create space, and then fill it in with new energy, new ingredients, and new form – classic or creative – as the need might be.

The Corporate Innovators M&M© Coaching Model

With This Backdrop, Introduce You to My Coaching Model Called Explore “M&M” With Nishtha, an Innovation and Transitions Coach

Melt (mindset shift – reframe perspectives)

  • I will coach the person or group in the session to put oneself in the shoes of the other person. Or imagine the crisis or become aware of the crisis. Enable them to let go of current judgments and approaches by seeing very diverse perspectives from other industries, others who are at the forefront of innovation in other organizations
  • What transitions and demand shifts are happening in the market?
  • What changes are happening in the way consumers, planet, and communities are consuming?
  • What issues, and root causes are we seeing for us losing momentum or not gaining the kind of goals we have?
  • What will happen if things continue the way we are doing /competition is doing?
  • Why should partners come to us to partner and innovate together?

Tools like –

  • Role Play
  • Visualization
  • Point of view

Mount (behavioral shift – frame problems and opportunity spaces)

  • I will coach the person or group in the session to move from the melt zone, letting go mindset, new perspective/awareness shift to the mount zone, which creates opportunities for them to picture and even role play where they want to move towards becoming more innovative. Moving them forward
  • Which problem’s root cause will you narrow?
  • What evidence do you have to support that addressing this root cause will give you traction?
  • What will enable this transition/ transformation for seeking the growth you need in your business? In your teams/ leadership/ talent development?
  • What specific capabilities and skills will be an important, priority?
  • How will some of these innovation skills come into play in different scenarios?

Tools like –

  • Vision Board
  • Scenario role plays
  • Experiment plan

Mate (executional shift – Ideate and create innovation possibilities)

  • I will coach the person or group in the session to continue moving along to the next zone, i.e., of Mate zone, which enables them to mate ideas, infuse new connections, and new solution possibilities, and shape
  • What do these ideas look like? Describe.
  • What if x idea is connected with y idea, how will it look like?
  • What impact can it have?
  • Who will benefit?
  • Who will drive these and how?

Tools like –

  • How might we? HMW?
  • The crazy 8’s
  • Visualize
  • Evaluate (ask the client to choose their metrics to evaluate each idea to shortlist a set as per the expected outcome and prioritize to take forward into execution

Mold (commitment shift)

  • Here I will coach the person or group in the session to move into the transition completely. Ie, the Mold zone, that enables them to commit to actions, resources, and timelines
  • How can you ensure this transition and capability building will work?
  • What do the ways of working look like in these new scenarios? Process?
  • Resources and support that will be needed to take the innovation ideas and plan forward?
  • How will you ensure alignments are put into action and by whom?

Tools like –

  • Action plan
  • 10-20-30 (10 days, 20 days, 30 days. Commitments that can be fulfilled in 10 days vs. 30 days)
  • Measures of success for the set/ aligned innovation culture, mindset, and ways of working to be carried forward


My M&M coaching model in action in a recent leadership and corporate innovation group coaching workshop

Corporate Innovators Coaching Model Nishtha Mehta

Dealing with transition needs? Are you ready for M&M?

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References – ice cube analogy and why I got inspired to link it back to my coaching niche/ coaching model support – how I found a connection between the need to transition to more innovative culture and space creation for employees to melt/let go/ voice… and cultivate diverse interactions for employees to mount and mate new ideas, new ways.

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