Can innovation be taught

Depending on how innovation is defined, what education is like, and how the individual’s mindset is, I really believe that innovation can be taught. Hmm. Seems like a lot of contingencies right?

Numerous debates have taken place over this question due to some people’s belief that innovation cannot be taught and is instead ingrained in a person. It still goes back to: what is innovation then?

This article outlines creativity against innovation: Despite what people think, creativity and innovation are not the same thing. Creativity is an ability each person is born with. It is creative thinking which assists a person to come up with new and brilliant ideas. Innovation, on the other, is the process of bringing these ideas to life. It should also be noted that innovation is used strictly for organizational purposes, whereas creativity can be used in any context.

So if we take the innovation to being the process, then there’s hope for everyone after all! Everyone can be an innovator if they want to, that is. Now, what skills do innovators then need to posses, in order to get them from just being creative, to being an innovator? Forbes indicates that to be an innovator, you would need these skills:

    • Questioning skills allowing innovators to challenge the status quo and consider new possibilities;
    • Observing skills that helps innovators detect small details;
    • Networking permits innovators to gain radically different perspectives from diverse backgrounds;
    • Experimenting prompts innovators to relentlessly try out new experiences;
    • Associational thinking — drawing connections among questions, problems or ideas from unrelated fields.

These are all things that we can learn, regardless of which background you come from. It all goes back to your mindset, because, do you want it enough? 🙂

So what do you think: can Innovation be taught? Let us know in the comments below!

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