This title may sound like an oxymoron, but you can in fact teach innovation as you would any other skill, like communication or leadership. It is all about the approach. It is an approach worth taking.
According to research conducted by findcourses.com, companies with real revenue growth were more than twice as likely to use innovative training techniques in their L&D strategy. Companies that foster and encourage innovation were also significantly more likely to have satisfied or highly satisfied employees. But how do you teach innovation? How can your organization do it?
Innovation and Creativity
Innovation is creativity. This means that, at its core, creative training breeds innovation. When you think of teaching, you might well think of something more regimented. But this does not always have to be the case when it comes to learning.
Whether you are using a conference room, a classroom or you are outside, here are a few ways that you inject creativity into your L&D strategy.
Teach Something Creative
In order to teach innovation, you have to get the creative juices flowing. What better way to do this than with a creative workshop? In teaching something like creative writing, life drawing or pottery for an hour or so, you really give your employees the chance to let their hair down – whilst still in the working environment.
Training need not be confined to purely necessary courses and qualifications. By going down the creative route, you can focus on personal as well as professional development. Creative courses can also spill over into your employees’ work. Leaders must take this into account in order to create the right environment and foster these building blocks of innovation. Leaders have to keep up with these latest trends. Leadership training can help inform you about the latest practices to push issues like innovation within your organization.
After an exercise class, yoga class or something of the like, people generally find that their energy levels are renewed. This can lead to better productivity. Better productivity can help you to grow your business. After all, that findcourses.com report did find a link between happier workers and higher growth.
Employees Teaching Employees
Another way to foster innovation is to have your employees working and brainstorming together through the medium of education.
Say, for example, that you need to upskill your employees in certain computer skills – one of your employees already knows how to use said software. Ask that employee to lead that training. As your other employees will be being taught by one of their colleagues instead of an external trainer, there is likely to be a less formal atmosphere. This means that your employees will feel more comfortable with asking questions and bouncing ideas off one another.
You can also extend peer-to-peer teaching to personal development courses. For example; if one of your employees has an additional language, they could deliver a 101 course in that language. Your employees will have fun learning how to pronounce new sounds and suffixes together. Again, this could help ignite the creative spark that can lead to innovation.
An Innovative Culture
Innovation also needs a space where it can be nurtured and allowed to flourish. That means using your education policy to help build an environment in which thinking outside of the box is encouraged and mistakes are embraced.
By making this the norm through training and education, you can build a culture of innovation – one which will be beneficial to your company.
The Main Points
Teaching innovation is possible – it just takes a few steps to get there. Firstly, you need to remember that creativity breeds innovation. Whether it’s online or in a classroom, there’s always room for creativity in an L&D strategy.
An excellent and easy way to do this to teach something creative. A creative writing workshop is a great example of this. This gives your employees the chance to do something creative whilst still being in the workplace. Exercise classes, particularly yoga classes, are a particularly good way to introduce some fun creativity into the workplace.
You can also get your employees teaching one another. Be it languages or how to use some software, peer-to-peer learning is a fantastic way of building a more creative, innovative working environment.
Finally, don’t forget to embrace mistakes and treat them as part of the innovation process. After all, an innovative company is one that is far more likely to see growth and have more satisfied employees.