Everyone has been talking innovation, including the senior leaders and Board at your organization. You’ve read a few articles and maybe even a couple of great books on the topic. Fantastic! You now understand why innovation is important and that it is critical to your business and industry, but where do you start? How do you innovate? I would argue that you need to start with training. Here are the top five reasons why.
The reality is that most books and articles written about innovation are highly informative, but they rarely show you exactly ‘how’ to drive innovation. Training (versus information sessions or presentations) focuses on skill building for execution.
Many people think that innovation is all about having the “golden ticket” idea. The reality is that the idea is only a starting point. Those who generate innovation run experiments to learn more about their ideas and pivot and adjust those ideas along the way based on their learning. Training programs help us open our minds to different approaches and ways of doing things.
By systems, I’m not talking computer systems. I’m talking about integrated processes that can be executed in the same configuration over and over to generate innovative results. The beautiful thing about a system is that it can be learned and used by anyone! Seeking out innovation training supported by a system is your best bet for building your capacity.
It used to be that ‘innovation’ was left to organizations’ research and development or marketing departments. Now, everyone everywhere needs to be able to think innovatively to drive value, from Human Resources to Finance. Industries and roles are being disrupted all of the time. Learning how to innovate in a system guarantees that anyone anywhere can learn how to be innovative. You can do it (even if you think you are one of those ‘non-creative’ types).
Throughout our school years, teachers ingrain in us the idea that failure is bad. Straight A’s are good. As a result, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get things right the first time and minimize risk so we are safe from retribution, or worse yet, termination. What if, instead of waiting for perfect data to make decisions (that never comes), we could build a comfort level with failing fast and failing cheap as a way of learning? If we have experimentation built into our innovation system, we are able to reduce our fear of failure and change by trying small experiments that will drive learning without major expense or consequences. It no longer becomes scary to try something new, it is an exciting learning opportunity.
The fact is that the world is changing around us faster than ever before. We have essentially two ways we can deal with that. Option one is to close our eyes and hold on for the ride, hoping everything is okay in the end. Option two is to learn how to be part of the disruption so we can provide innovative solutions to our world’s biggest challenges and opportunities. To learn how to be a disruptor, start with training on innovation systems. You’ll never regret it.
To learn more about a leading innovation system and its supportive training programs, check out Innovation Engineering Quick Start.