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eLearning Learning
May 21, 2024

How Learning & Development Can Foster a Culture of Innovation

At d’Vinci Interactive, we're proud to be celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2024. Over the years as tools and technology have changed one thing has remained consistent; investing in a culture of innovation has been essential to our team’s continued success. I hope these lessons learned from our innovation journey may inspire other organizational leaders to grow and evolve as well. 

Innovation, whether it’s innovative thinking, or delivering creative services, products, and solutions, is driven by organizational culture. A corporate culture that doesn’t invest in learning and development (L&D), typically lacks the energy to fuel innovation in the workplace. Research shows a direct link between performance and supporting a culture of innovation. Analysts studying the impact of an innovative culture concluded that the best way to become a leading company is to enhance the capacity to innovate and that starts with a renewed commitment to learning and development.

Support Across the Entire Organization

  • Cultural shifts don’t occur overnight, a meaningful and impactful culture of innovation should be:
  • Represented in a company’s values so it is ingrained in every company decision, policy, and procedure
  • Supported with commitment from the entire senior leadership team
  • Widely shared among the employees – ideally flowing down, to the grassroots, from top leadership
  • Fueled by a company culture of continuous learning 
  • Reinforced by investments in internal L&D and innovation programs

Support a Culture of Innovation

Building a culture of innovation requires organizations to establish supporting programs. 

  1. Internal Innovation Grant Programs: Internal grant programs, such as the one we use at d’Vinci, offer time for innovative internal projects, and foster a culture of innovation. By encouraging employees to explore novel ideas, these programs boost creativity and risk-taking. They empower team members to align and implement their visions, leading to groundbreaking solutions and improved processes. As a result, employees feel valued, motivated, and engaged, driving continuous innovation throughout the organization.
  2. Regular Innovation Shares: To promote and recognize innovation, regularly highlight internal innovations with company-wide innovation project shares. Featuring success stories from around the company will inspire team members to increase their innovative thinking in their own areas.
  3. Build an Experiential Lab: Use an experiential lab to demonstrate cutting-edge innovation-fostering applications and activities with your organization. Leverage Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Extended Reality (XR), to provide learners with a cutting-edge learning experience and a more realistic environment to learn and apply new and innovative ideas and skills.
  4. Mentorship Programs: Encourage a corporate mentorship ecosystem that fosters innovation by enabling employees to glean wisdom from seasoned peers and leaders. Mentorship cultivates fresh outlooks and ideas, igniting creativity in the workforce. As a result, participants in such programs acquire novel skills and expertise, driving enhanced productivity and innovative problem-solving in their roles.

Using L&D to Foster an Innovative Culture

Nothing will do more to foster innovation than supporting employees with a modern, cutting-edge training program that provides the information they need to increase individual and organizational innovation. Organizational leaders need to encourage employees to learn, take risks, think outside the box, and explore new ideas. Consider use of the following elements:

  1. Custom content that aligns with organizational goals/vision: Custom content helps employees see the direct application of innovative thinking in their work. It enables you to align the material with your organization's industry, the challenges it faces, and organizational strategic objectives. It can incorporate real-life examples and case studies from within the organization, making the learning experience more relatable and practical. Examples include new-hire orientation, workforce training, knowledge management, sales enablement, safety/compliance training, and gamified operational simulations.
  2. Reinforcement and continuous learning: Encourage employees to engage in ongoing learning and professional development using performance support job aids. Job aids provide easy access to information “in the place and moment of need”, facilitating the employees’ ability to produce innovative solutions to workplace challenges. These aids can be digital or physical, offer quick tips, case studies, and how-to guides, that offer learning in the moment that inspires and educates employees. 
  3. Online courses and webinars: Provide access to a wide range of online courses, webinars, and resources that promote innovation, creative programming.
  4. Learning management and experience platforms: Deliver and track innovation building learning content through a learning management system (LMS). Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing through collaboration platforms where employees can then share ideas, insights, and knowledge. Utilize eLearning platforms to facilitate virtual collaboration, discussion forums, and knowledge-sharing sessions.
  5. Learning analytics: Putting learning content in place isn’t a “one-and-done” activity. Make sure to leverage predictive learning analytics and feedback mechanisms to make a continuous data-driven evaluation of your L&D efforts a reality. 

The Most Important Part is to Start

For most organizations, using the culture building ideas, tools, strategies, and ecosystems discussed here to build an innovation culture might not come naturally. However, it’s important to implement these building blocks to create and grow cultures of innovation to ensure company growth and success. In addition to our own internal innovation programming, consultants at d'Vinci have worked with clients using a range of L&D tools to help build knowledge and fast-track their innovation goals. In an economic environment of constant change, the time to power innovation is now. Let’s get started!

Mason Scuderi

By Mason Scuderi, President

About Us

d'Vinci Interactive is an award-winning comprehensive learning solutions provider for corporate, government, medical, non-profit, and K-12 target markets.

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