Front Porch, a not-for-profit organization, based in Burbank, featuring innovative communities and programs that meet the changing needs of individuals as they age, embraces a leading-edge approach to wellness in aging. In keeping with its legacy of innovation, Front Porch has become the first non-profit to enroll its leadership team in the groundbreaking Innovator’s Accelerator program. Seventy of its leaders will take part in the training. Front Porch joins a prestigious roster of top Fortune 500 companies whose employees have participated in the trainings since it was first offered in Spring 2013.
Developed by Apollo Lightspeed – a San Francisco-based company that brings innovative higher education products and services to life – Innovator’s Accelerator brings world-class content and a unique online competency-based learning model together with broadcast-quality production and design, to create the next step forward in online learning focused on innovation. Developed in part with global design and innovation firm IDEO, Innovator’s Accelerator is a breakthrough six-week intensive executive online training course co-developed by the top minds in innovation (Clayton Christensen at the Harvard Business School, Jeff Dyer at Brigham Young University and The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and Hal Gregersen at INSEAD The Business School for the World), utilizing a mix of interactive content, real-world examples and team projects to increase the user’s innovation skills.
Today, the number of people aged 60 and older has doubled since 1980, and the number of people aged 80 years will quadruple to 395 million between now and 2050.1 Today’s aging society, as proportions of people 60 and older are rapidly outnumbering those 15 and younger, is creating a global crisis and presenting real-world challenges that must be solved through innovation. And time is of the essence.
Front Porch CEO Gary Wheeler believes his organization is up to the task, “As dynamic disruptive forces weigh in from all directions, our non-profit organization must passionately and positively embrace change and opportunity at every turn. We need every mind and every discipline within our organization engaged in this process. While we have celebrated many innovation moments and great accomplishments, we can’t sit still.” Wheeler sees not evolving as the greatest risk. “Front Porch is a human serving organization going new places. Being a non-profit, we must continue to thrive so we can help others thrive. Innovator’s Accelerator is a game-changing tool that will help us deliver on our mission, grow innovation in our leaders, and create an all-in culture. Although the Innovator’s Accelerator training is only six weeks, it is precisely what we need to jump-start our larger organizational commitment to what’s possible as we move forcefully, deliberately into our next chapter, and into a new age.”
Front Porch selected Innovator’s Accelerator for its highly interactive and engaging training program, which especially encourages high collaboration across a distributed workforce. Executives are able to learn new skills, exchange information, practice those skills in-depth, and apply them on-the-job. The underlying principle of Innovator’s Accelerator is the tenant that innovation can be learned; this was particularly attractive to Front Porch whose goal is to scale its innovation.
“The Innovator’s Accelerator executive education program is a key part of our strategy to normalize into our organizational DNA, ongoing disruption to the point of innovation,” said Kari Olson, chief innovation and technology officer for Front Porch and president of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing. “We believe its unique dual focus on how an individual and an organization can inspire innovation, gives us a common vision and language across our leadership that will have a profound impact as we teach our emerging leaders the skills they need to create an immediate and transformational future for both Front Porch and those we serve.”
“We are thrilled to have Front Porch participate in the Innovator’s Accelerator training,” said George Lichter, chief operating officer and chief product officer at Apollo Lightspeed. “We consider Front Porch an innovative leader in the non-profit sector. To date, we have had leaders from start-ups to major global for-profit companies benefit from our training. It is a privilege to work with a non-profit organization like Front Porch that embodies the passion and courage for innovation. We look forward to working with their leaders, so they may continue to propel innovation in their category and beyond.”
Once the core skills are learned, the program teaches participants how to apply these skills with their team and make real change in their organizations. “We will take these learnings and apply them strategically as we shape our initiatives over the next 24 months and into the future,” added Olson.
The Front Porch family of companies has been widely recognized for its innovation. Its expansive work and expertise have garnered a variety of awards in the areas of design, service and environments for aging. This past summer, the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing received a Spirit of Innovation Award at the LTC & Senior Living LINK Conference in Chicago recognizing their innovation, dedication to continuous improvement, development of best practices and commitment to the success of the long term care and senior living industry.