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Learning at Work – Support Innovators to Build Innovation

June 11th, 2015
Gapingvoid - Hugh McLeod

Gapingvoid – Hugh McLeod

Some of my work involves helping organizations foster learning and innovation with employees.

Organizations that tap into the creativity of their employees have greater ability to respond to unexpected and emerging issues affecting the organization’s core business goals.

Workers who are empowered or naturally understand that work is learning and learning is the work are the organization’s primary asset for success in the 21st century workspace.

Sharing amongst colleagues is difficult in a work environment where the leadership style is top down and controlling.

Sharing your ideas with your co-workers, making sense out of what you are doing and then integrating your new ideas into your projects is a cyclical process. There comes a time when you feel it’s time to put what you have learned out to a wider audience.

An example of this sharing, learning and publishing process is evident in a Project called  Youth Profit. We (a small group of 3 founders) believe that there are solutions to be found for addressing the wicked problem of youth unemployment in Canada.

With automation, artificial intelligence, outsourcing, and digital technologies driving the network economy, jobs for young people have permanently disappeared. 21st century skills are needed for future jobs but the employment training community, driven by an outdated Canadian Youth Employment Strategy is stuck.

Government, private, education and non-profit silo’s are the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. The employment training sector is stuck with a mindset of industrial age thinking about jobs and security.  Sharing ideas, learning together and innovating is not an embedded practice in those job training agencies.

Our small innovation group thinks that an online platform that draws out fresh innovative ideas generated by leaders from the government, non profit, education and  the private sector can lead to potential solutions. Solutions that can be further field tested and implemented if the field testing shows promise.

This is silo busting and cultural shift work. I  think that organizations that support their innovators are the ones that will succeed. With our project, we have little power to change how institutions (education, government etc) support their innovators. What we can do with Youth Profit is provide a place for employment training innovators to share their knowledge and possible solutions for a crisis affecting Canada and the world.

In this link, there are a series of videos that illustrate how five major companies are supporting and relying on their innovators to build innovations. There are plenty of tips and insights that you can use in your organization or to advance your innovation skills.

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