Want More Innovation?
Innovation is not – contrary to the list of ‘skills’ on some performance review forms – a skill that one can turn off and on at will or read about and BE better at. Though creativity is a large piece of innovation, piloting and actual implementation and evaluation of results are part of the innovative process as well. Innovation is a collection of behaviors that employees do or don’t do.
Innovation can be embedded into the organizational culture or relatively absent from the values, processes, and practices in that organization.
If it IS present in people but NOT in the culture, what results? People leave (physically, mentally) or feel squashed.
If it IS NOT present in people but IS in the culture, what to do? Carefully design learning and development activities involving a real-life, hands-on project and plenty of collaboration (internally and perhaps externally). Some of the ingredients of innovation can be learned about, others can be learned about and practiced, and others are discovered in the moment. This effort deserves a lot of thought and planning in order for it not to become the subject of sarcasm du jour.
- Know what you think innovation means – what are you aiming for?
- Reflect on your work unit to assess what innovation already lies within
- Strategize plan for giving developmental experiences to those in your unit who need more exposure and opportunity to be innovative
- Choose carefully – it’s a jungle out there. Lots of courses – online and live – will clamor for your attention. Scour them critically.
- When in doubt about a potential learning opportunity, ask someone with a training/adult learning background.*
*I’ve offered this before and will offer again: I will always be happy to review flyers, course descriptions, etc. and give my unfiltered opinion. This goes for current clients and all others!
By the way, in case you’re wondering, the Japanese began growing watermelons inside molds in order to drastically reduce the costs of storage and transport. Cube-shaped watermelons are stackable, make for great, compact market displays, and are aesthetically interesting.
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