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Teaching and Coaching Innovation – in innovative fashion!

Innovation matters – of course! Few people would argue with the need to ensure that our organizations change their offerings (products/services) and the ways we create and deliver them (processes) in order to keep pace with a rapidly changing world. If we don’t the message from history is clear – we won’t survive or grow! This theme is as relevant to public sector or social innovators as it is to the commercial world – it’s an innovation imperative.

The challenge comes not in recognizing the need for change but working out how to respond. Anyone might get lucky once but if we want to keep a steady flow of innovation happening then we need to think about organizing and managing the process. Innovation is all about creating value from ideas – but it won’t just happen, it needs some supporting structures and methods. We need to learn to manage innovation.

The good news is that we’ve got plenty to draw upon. In different ways practising managers, academic researchers and consultants have all been trying to understand how to make innovation happen and we can use that knowledge base to help build innovation management capability. But we need to adapt and configure those general principles to work in particular settings. And we need to recognize that whilst lectures and classrooms have their place, there is still plenty to do in terms of getting the message across to the people who will make innovation happen. In other words we need some innovation in the ways we think about teaching and coaching innovation.

That’s the core challenge at the heart of TACIT, a 3-year EU Knowledge Alliance (2016-2018) project under the Erasmus+ programme.[1] Working together academics and practitioner organizations will explore, prototype and roll out a suite of different and complementary approaches to the challenge and make this experience (and the emerging tools and methods) available to a wider audience. The work centres on eight core approaches: storytelling, peripatetic learning, future-based learning, entrepreneurship laboratory, innovation theatre, innovation games, design making, and project based learning.

[1] Teaching and Coaching Innovation Innovatively (TACIT). Partners include Aachen-Münchener, ASIIN, BMW, ISPIM, LEGO, Lufthansa, Nokia and NHS Foundation Trust together with University of Exeter (UK); Southern Denmark University, Leipzig Graduate School of Management and RWTH International Academy, Aachen, (Germany).

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