How to be Next Level Innovative in L&D


There is innovation and there is INNOVATION.

Being innovative is crucial in our world. Innovation as an individual, a team and as a business, leads to success.

Imagine if our world was still doing things the way we did in the 1800s. We would have typed this blog on a bulky typewriter. You would have received it on paper in a wax sealed envelope. How times have changed!

If you want to be innovative, focus on ‘jumping-the-curve’ and creating something completely new. This means: 

  • Looking to the future.
  • Being aware of industry trends.
  • Defying industry norms.
(Healthcare Resource Group Inc, n.d.).

Imagine if since the 1880s we only focused on a better typewriter and paper.

Sharing information through typewriters and paper had a purpose but it also had a lifespan. Once keyboards, computers and the internet launched, typewriters no longer had the same value and purpose.

Apple explains it this way.

“When Apple started, the big companies were saying ‘your PC doesn't do the job that computers are used for’ – yeah it didn't do the old job, it does a new job!” (Gardiner, 2016).

The same goes for what we do as individuals and businesses. We should not only be improving on what we do now, we should also be looking at new options for the future. Something that defies the norms of the learning and development industry as we currently know it. If we do that, we can:

  • Start a movement.
  • Make a difference.
  • Set a new norm.
Other individuals and businesses will have no choice but to jump the curve too.

If you want to be sustainable as an individual and a business:

  • Think about the future.
  • Look for trends in the industry and other industries.
  • Solve the true problem.
You never know, you might be the next Steve Jobs of the learning and development world. 😉

Here are our tips for how you can be next level innovative. These tips are inspired by Guy Kawasaki’s ‘jumping-the-curve’ theory (Kawasaki, 2017).

1. Do not Wait for Perfection


It is unlikely that your new ideas will be perfect.

The first freezer was not perfect. What is important is that it started a movement. It set a new standard. Businesses that delivered ice would no longer serve a purpose like they did before. To stay in business, they would jump the curve and change.

If Apple did not release its first computer until it was perfect, they would have missed their chance to make a mark on the industry (not to mention history!) (Guy Kawasaki, 2017).

Practical tips:

  • If you have an idea, do not put it on hold because you are seeking perfection. Instead create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and get it out into the world.
A MVP is:

“A development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters.” (Techopedia, 2020).

2. Think Big

When you are thinking of ideas, think big. It is okay if it:

  • Has not been done before.
  • Is not how you generally do things.
  • Sounds impossible.
(Healthcare Resource Group Inc, n.d.).

“It’s not about coming up with the ‘right’ idea, it’s about generating the broadest range of possibilities” (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, 2010).

At Belvista Studios we practice rapid brainstorming for ‘how might we’ questions. For example:

How might we offer insights and education to our industry?

  1. We set a timer (generally 3 minutes).
  2. We write down as many solutions as possible (no matter how weird, wacky or obvious they are).
Quantity of ideas is key to this process. Even if an idea is not the right solution, it may spark other ideas that could lead you down a very useful and insightful path.

Practical tips:

  • Think big.
  • Practice rapid brainstorming.
  • Record every idea. There is no right or wrong.
3. What could our Industry do Better?

Each and every one of us contributes to and impacts our industry. We all have the potential to take what we do to the next level. Do not doubt yourself and allow yourself the space to think.

You never know, you might be the one to make a groundbreaking change and take our industry to the next level.

Practical tips:

  • Ask yourself, ‘What could our industry do better?’
  • Have confidence that you can be the one to make the next big leap in the industry.
  • Pose it to the industry in a social media post and ask for feedback, comments or extension.
That is it for this blog on 'How to be Next Level Innovative in L&D'. We hope that you gained value from it and commit to applying the innovation techniques to your role and business.

References

Gardiner, B. (2016). The Woz: Steve Jobs' lack of technical skills drove Apple's success. Retrieved from https://www.cio.com/article/3494380/the-woz-steve-jobs-lack-of-technical-skills-drove-apple-s-success.html.

Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. An Introduction to Design Thinking Process Guide [PDF file]. Stanford. Author. Retrieved from https://dschool-old.stanford.edu/sandbox/groups/designresources/wiki/36873/attachments/74b3d/ModeGuideBOOTCAMP2010L.pdf.

Healthcare Resource Group Inc. (n.d.) Innovation and Jumping the Curve. Retrieved from https://www.hrgpros.com/innovation-and-jumping-the-curve-blog.

Kawasaki, G. [NextCon]. (2017, June 28). How to Jump the Innovation Curve | Guy Kawasaki [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/49lCRJiy1iM.

Technopedia. (2020). Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Retrieved from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/27809/minimum-viable-product-mvp.

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