Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

Is Innovation a Skill to Be Learned?

Posted by David Lafkas on Nov 10, 2016 1:07:34 PM

If your best friend called you today and asked you to go scale El Capitan tomorrow morning, would you be able to do it?

For most of us, the answer would be an absolute no, as it would truly end in a cliff hanger. 

Most of us are not experts at scaling mountains, and if you have interest inInnovation Training scaling mountains, you likely would start by taking some classes and starting on practice rock-climbing walls before slowly graduating to longer and steeper cliffs.

In other words, you would practice and learn from those who know more and have gone before us.

So, why would you treat innovation any differently? 

Isn’t innovation a skill, sometimes seemingly as scary as rock-climbing, that most people are not well practiced in?

And in order to learn more, you can’t do it just by reading it in a book.  Would you learn how to rock climb by reading a book?  No.  Why is it in innovation people think that they can just read a book and can instantly become an expert?

Like any other skill, innovation needs to be learned and practiced.  Again, like any other skill that needs to be honed, we each need to practice innovation in order to learn more and improve and become the expert that our organizations expect us to be.

And in learning and practicing, like any other skill, you will fail.  And you need to fail in order to better understand how to improve your innovation skills.  You’ll get some scratches, some bruises, and maybe a broken bone or two (all figuratively - I hope), but by practicing first on small projects you can work up to the bigger massive innovation projects in your organization. 

So, where can you start?  You can start to learn more by participating in an Innovation Engineering Institute where you not only learn the theory of innovation, but you also practice it so you can hone your skills so you can achieve that success when you return to your organization.  Because none of us can do it on our own and we need experts’ help to teach us.

Topics: training, fail fast fail cheap, Education

David Lafkas

Written by David Lafkas

David is Eureka! Ranch’s legal eagle, or more traditionally our patent and trademark authority, not only serving as in-house counsel at Eureka! Ranch, but also evangelizing on the importance of patents in today’s world of innovation to stay ahead of your competition. As an Innovation Engineering Black Belt, David has helped numerous companies develop patentable new products and services. Most recently, he’s supported High Liner Foods in Canada and the US on their comprehensive journey to achieve a culture of innovation as they not only create breakthrough seafood ideas, but also broadly educate employees and implement systems driven innovation across the corporation. David received a biomedical engineering degree from the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and his juris doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, the 4th oldest law school in the country. He lives in Cincinnati with his rescue dog, Chauncey.

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


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