An ever-increasing number of suppliers provide products and services to help companies be more creative, collaborative, and inventive. But the roots of a company’s innovation capacity are simple: its talent pool and its commitment to building knowledge and competencies. Managers must invest in two kinds of education to make this work. First, they need to ensure that the professionals they employ are current in their fields. Every discipline is experiencing accelerated development — the downside of which is rapid knowledge obsolescence. Second, organizations should train their people specifically in the innovation skills needed to bring potentially valuable ideas to fruition.
This competency is not innate, but can be learned. Developing innovation skills requires mastering some fundamentals through repetition. Such training is rarely available in science and technology programs, so educate your talent pool accordingly.
Adapted from “If You Want Innovation, You Have to Invest in People” by Mehran Mehregany.