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 in 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.