Innovation Training: Which Program is Right for You?

Rhonda Honke Innovation

So, you are looking for training on how to innovate. Perhaps it is a skill you personally want to develop, or it is a strategic initiative within your organization. As with most things, you ask Google what is out there and are immediately bombarded by a range of programs from various providers with an even bigger range of fees and expected outcomes. How do you choose what is right for you or your organization?

When comparing options, consider the following criteria to help make your selection.

1. Purpose of the training – What are you looking for out of the training? Are you seeking tools to help you personally innovate? The theory behind innovation? A system to help you drive innovation throughout the organization? Understanding what you need as a take away allows you to better review program options. You may also want to explore if programs have ‘laddering’ such that you can start with an initial program and add modules based on interest and need vs. making a large commitment of resources up front (ex. 1-2 day workshops vs. semester-long course).

2. Training Content – Once you know why you are taking the training, you can look at the content of the programs to determine if they are covering all of your needs. Again, consider the level of content you are looking for – ex. tools vs. theory.

3. Delivery structure – Adult learners require that a number of principles be built into training programs to maximize their effectiveness. Look for training that incorporates the five key adult learning principles into its design to improve your chances of success for all learners. These principles include:

  • Adults are practical – Training should show a direct link to how they can apply it.
  • Adults are goal oriented – They should be able to see how they are progressing in their learning
  • Adults are self-paced – Training delivery should be flexible to allow learners to learn how and when they need to
  • Adults have experience/prior knowledge – Training design should value this and incorporate sharing of this experience/knowledge
  • Adults learn by doing – Training delivery should include a focus on practical exercises and experiences, not solely presentation

4. Training support – Is the training supported by a system to help learners apply their training in the real world? This can look like online support, coaching, training modules for leaders, roadmaps for implementation, checklists, etc. that give learners confidence that they are not ‘going it alone’ once the training is done.

5. Certification option – For some, having a training program result in certification is important. It allows learners to apply the training towards the maintenance of continuing education credits for their professional designations. It may also open the door for application of government funding to offset the training investment.

6. Options for government funding – Some programs, particularly if they result in certifications, may be eligible for government funding support (ex. Canada-Manitoba Jobs Grant). If access to government funding would be a strong asset to making your case for attending a training program, check out the options in your province as part of your consideration.

If you are looking for a tool to help you compare training options at a glance, check out our innovation training checklist here.