Expert innovators know from experience how to innovate while minimizing hassle, needless tasks and wasted effort – they’ve been successful (and unsuccessful) countless times through trial and error. Using flight simulators and surgical learning tools as examples, it’s been proven that teaching veteran skills to ‘newbies’ isn’t science-fiction, especially in more ‘exact’ disciplines such as medicine and math. But is it possible to design a crash-course that teaches young and inexperienced innovators the less-definable skills, attitudes and insights necessary to ideate, champion and implement without having to go through all the awkwardness of being a rookie? We think so, and here’s why.
As you determine how to build a networking culture within your organization, it’s important to understand how networking actually works. One of the most knowledgeable people on organizational networking and—how this supports innovation—is Rob Cross, a professor in the management department of University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.
The nature of problems in innovative work is that they are often ill defined, novel to the individual who engaged them, and complex in that often several solutions exist to the same problem. In this post we will see how expertise is an important factor in innovative problem solving, and how leaders and organizations can cultivate R&D team expertise.