Jonathan Aberman: Can you teach people to be innovative? Yes, here’s how.

Innovation is a talent that emerges only through use. This presents a significant challenge for preparing our workforce for tomorrow’s jobs, particularly if they are already engaged in either work or full-time education.

How do you teach people to be more innovative? There are only two ways. You can put them into a situation that requires them to be innovative to survive — founding a startup, for example, or being an employee at a company that is going through organizational changes. Or you can expose them to experience of innovation through simulation.

Developing innovation through simulation requires helping participants experience two things. First, the simulation must be challenging: Participants must be forced to think through solutions to a hard problem. Second, the simulation must place stress on the participant.

Innovation skills that are learned by overcoming adversity tend to be more memorable. Doing so makes us surer of ourselves and more willing to take similar chances…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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