Innovation training – 4 most common mistakes

From this article you will learn:
How to organize innovation training for your team to achieve the goal?
What are the most common mistakes when organizing innovation training?
Why not give out training “as a gift”?
Why does the method matter?

“Let’s do innovation training,” said the upset fashion CEO. He was sitting at the head of the conference table, toying with his coffee cup. It was already late afternoon but the need of training seemed to be more urgent than anything else. So just before the end of work time, someone from the company was delegated to find “good innovation training”.

The CEO, happy with his idea, is adding, “it must be good but not too expensive”. The lucky employee is immediately sending an inquiry to several companies that came up in Google by the phrase “good innovation training”. They get the response now and then and decide to go for the most promising offer. The team was informed about a little detachment and the case was forgotten.

A few weeks later, a trainer showed up at the company’s door and did some training. And after the next few weeks, the CEO met again with his managers to discuss the poor results again. ‘Good innovation training’ and nothing changed…

Innovation training – the most common mistakes

Attention, end of the storyline! Now, honestly – you know a similar story, don’t you?

For the purposes of this and all similar situations, I collected the 4 most common mistakes when organizing innovation training. You could probably multiply many more, but I will list the ones that I meet the most often.

Mistake 1 – Each trainer is a different school – a wrongly selected trainer

One trainer promotes a method from Asia with an exotic-sounding name. Another promotes the methods of a famous businessman… from the States – of course. Another promotes the method of a large world institution. And so you could multiply the examples, strategies, methods, tactics because each trainer is the sum of his own experiences. Hence, many of them often promote completely different methods to solve the same problem.

Unfortunately, still few companies are able to say why they choose a certain method. There are many methods of creativity/innovation, and although some differ only in the name, the method must be properly selected for the company’s environment.

Different customers (CEOs, managers or buyers) may have a different way of buying across industries. It can’t be dismissed. Whatever specific method is recommended, you need to make sure that it fits your company. The ideal, of course, is a trainer who knows and uses several methodologies.

Mistake 2 – “Let’s choose a nice training”

Trainings chosen almost like from the shopping shelf have advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage is that they are ready and can be carried out immediately. The disadvantage is that some elements of training may be useless for the team, or may not fit the realities of the industry.

One-size-fit-all training is a good solution if you deal with a narrow issue. However, if you feel like there is a “problem with innovation”, you should first identify specific areas for development. You missing creativity on your team, you don’t know how to innovate in your sales or you want to create an innovation culture? Do you see the difference?

Plus, each employee may be on different knowledge level. Did you know that in my company we make a knowledge test to see what each employee really needs? Ok, today not about this.

Currently, the offer of all types of training is huge and you have to remember that you can do a lot, but not much is really worth it. It is a good idea to involve a consultant or trainer in a short audit. It could help answer the question of what training should be done to solve the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Perhaps training is unnecessary at all?

Mistake 3 – Training without a goal

I encounter this error most often, even though it seems to be the easiest to avoid. Well, training must have a purpose. And not just any goal.

Ideally, this should be a specific business goal like:
The number of new customers per month per trader, increase from 4 to 6.
Improve the team’s efficiency during meetings by 15%.

A specific target allows you to choose specific methods – see error 1 and 2. From the moment we know the target, we know what caliber of the tool we will need. Additionally, having a goal helps us determine if the methods we use are producing the effect we needed. This is valuable knowledge.

Mistake 4 – Training “as a gift”

The team is getting weaker and the company provides them with more and more training. The employees carefully add each of them to their CVs and jointly and severally forget the entire content of the training – at best – 2 weeks afterwards. Although, to be honest, from each training, the employee remembers some interesting techniques or methods. Unfortunately, another fact is that he would have remembered as much if he had read the first topic related book.

This error is about the fact that employees usually don’t ask for training themselves. And the adult learning method is different than with kids. You can’t just say they need to learn. If an adult does not see the purpose of learning – he will learn absolutely nothing.

That is why I promote working with the team on an ongoing basis and methodically revolving around the causes of poor results. Swirling around until the team suggests itself that they might need training in so-and-so. Believe me, I can recognize at first glance the group that came to the training to learn something and the group that the boss sent to me.

Do you agree?
Or maybe you don’t like this approach?
In both situations, leave a comment and join the discussion – I will certainly answer all the comments.

See you in the next post,

Patrycja Franczak

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