Many of the conveniences and necessities we enjoy on a daily basis are a direct result of entrepreneurship. At one point, someone had a great business idea, converted that idea into something tangible, and grew a successful company.
But, what separates an entrepreneur from an intrapreneur? The main difference lies in the settings in which they work. In most cases, intrapreneurs leverage their entrepreneurial skills to foster innovation within their organization, as opposed to taking outside risks like entrepreneurs.
A faster pace of innovation means that the importance of standardizing and streamlining processes has never been greater. If your organization is struggling to keep up with the innovation demands within your sector, recent studies suggest that some key learning and development (L&D) strategies hold the answers you’ve been searching for.
In fact, having a well-crafted innovation strategy is the key to maintaining your company’s competitive advantage. The competition of the rapidly globalizing marketplace is growing at an unprecedented rate and staying up-to-date with new developments will help your organization stand out from the crowd.
A common misconception, however, is that the best innovation strategies can be formulated around innovative products alone. While outputs demonstrate your organization’s pioneering nature to the public, driving and sustaining effective innovation (to uphold those innovative outputs) requires having first established an effective innovation strategy within your office.
Your company’s L&D function can help you get there. According to the 2019 L&D report from findcourses.com, companies with growing revenue streams are three times more likely to predict an increase in their L&D budget. Moving innovation from the training room into daily operations can be achieved by reevaluating how your company currently approaches training. From there, you can utilize L&D strategies that will maximize your organization’s innovative potential.
If you’re just beginning to explore what innovation means for your company, business innovation training courses will help you get a firm grasp on your organization’s needs, and transfer the right knowledge to your employees so they can help nurture that vision.
Conversations with practicing training professionals in the 2019 L&D report reveal how an organization can build, maintain, and sustain an impactful innovation strategy. From creating safe spaces for ideation in the training room and keeping your L&D function agile, to taking advantage of innovation expertise from beyond your organization, read on to discover the innovative potential of L&D!
Build Safe Spaces to Let Ideation Flourish
Consider how your organization currently approaches training your employees. Is information thrown at trainees with little to no room for participation or feedback? Do they seem unprepared to handle situations? Even if your current training strategy isn’t quite as ineffective, without space for employees to comfortably share their ideas, there’s a good chance that all that vital information is going in one ear and out the other.
Adjusting your approach to innovation management training by designating the training environment as a safe space is one way to give employees the assurance they need to contribute to the conversation without fear of repercussions.
Tiffany Poppa, the Director of Employee Experience at Bonobos, has found that innovation is an organic byproduct of capitalizing on employees’ individual strengths in training. “Focusing on strengths creates trust; it creates a safe space to try something and possibly fail, have a conversation about it, and move forward. […] Our strengths-based approach has effectively fostered a culture of collaboration and open communication because it celebrates the individual,” Poppa says.
By feeling like they can participate in their own outcome driven innovation training, employees will be more willing to engage with the training materials. Furthermore, you’ll find a wealth of new perspectives being brought to the table. By driving diversity within your innovation team, you’ll be opening your organization up to limitless growth potential.
Agile Training Breeds Innovation
“Agile” is yet another term used by professionals across industries, especially when it comes to developing an impactful innovation strategy. But what does it mean in relation to training? As we’ve established, the market has never been as competitive as it is today, and it’ll get more competitive in the weeks and months to come. Your business’ and your employees’ needs can change on a dime, and being unprepared will mean being outperformed by your competitors.
Implementing an agile innovation training infrastructure will help employees shift more easily from working towards one goal to another, keeping outputs aligned with the broader goals of your business. If you need to break into a market on a moment’s notice, well-trained employees will have the right tools in their arsenal to make those transitions as smooth as possible.
For VP of Learning and Development at Wyndham Destinations Anthony Sandonato, agility has been the key to building an L&D program that stays aligned with Wyndham’s needs.“Our L&D team structure is built upon that flexible framework, and designed to remain nimble and adjust to continuous organizational changes without compromising either the speed or quality of our talent development strategies,” Sandonato explains.
With an agile training infrastructure in place, your L&D function will be prepared to upskill employees and take on new challenges as the needs of your business evolve.
In a similar L&D report from findcourses.co.uk, Global Talent Development Manager for WilsonHCG Dave Miller explained that “Because employees are based in different locations, and their cultures and demographics are different, we have to constantly adjust what we do. I think that constant feedback also keeps up the competitive advantage.”
By experientially demonstrating agility to employees in training, they’ll be able to apply that same logic to their daily tasks.
Look Outside Your Company Walls
While these strategies are imperative for long-term business success, you may not have all the resources available to implement them. Looking beyond the walls of your organization is one way to ensure that you’re deploying an innovation strategy that will drive you to meet your business goals and objectives.
Resources abound to help you implement and sustain an impactful innovation strategy and your organization’s competitive advantage. Head of US Learning and Talent Development at Bayer Karen Bicking finds that “you can influence innovation when you’re living it.” Take the first step of exploring the resources outside your company walls to garner a better understanding of the innovation landscape dominating today’s marketplace. Full-service software platforms like IdeaScale offer bespoke solutions to help your company’s outcome driven innovation training strategy shine. If you’re wondering how to make training for creativity and innovation work for your company, asking for help is the best place to start.