How is innovation taught?

The ability to innovate doesn't fall from the sky, it's something you already have, but you've ignored or suppressed. That's why it can be tapped out in an effective way.

I have experienced the Innovation Workshop in its entirety 5 times. It started out as questionable, then fun, then useful, and all the way to addictive. I'm curious as to how this strange experience came about.

After much observation, experience and reflection, I have come from a college teacher and an innovation workshop participant Some light insights were gained from the perspective of the In this article I share these insights with you. I am not an education expert and have not yet had access to innovative coaching methodologies, so this article does not guarantee any correctness or authority. I would feel a little happier if just a few words were of any help to you.


Each innovation workshop opens with a game. There are all kinds of games, and there seems to be no pattern to what is fun or suitable for many people to play. But the games seem to have one common trait - they make you Easy to make mistakes

Not paying attention, you're out; not reacting quickly enough, you're out; not coordinating your movements, you're out ...... In front of a group of strangers, at first you may intend to "hold it together". But after you make more mistakes, you let go. You won't be so afraid to make mistakes in the latter part of the session.

Why is this thing of making mistakes so terrible in our minds? Because years of schooling is how training through practice and exams Make fewer mistakes. . Getting more wrong means low grades, it means low in the big rankings, it means teachers don't like you, it means classmates look down on you, and it even means parents want to beat you up. How horrible.

We seem to have forgotten one thing.—— mistakes Not only is it hard to avoid, And some mistakes It will even lead to great feats。

Today's history textbooks always like to celebrate Columbus as a god-like hero. It seemed that he was the only person in the world at that time who knew that the earth was round, who understood how to navigate the oceans, and who had the superhuman courage to venture into the unknown beyond.

Where did that happen? Not only was Columbus not that great, he was even a standard bad student. If he'd had a geography teacher or a math teacher at the time, he could have really roared and flunked him.

Columbus was calculating the circumference of the earth, have committed a crime mistakes。 According to his calculations, Sailing from the west coast of Europe to China, simply require4000 kilometres。 The real situation is4000 Kilometers to go., We haven't even reached the American continent yet.。

His first mistakes, Actually by the second mistakes salvage—— He doesn't even know the American continent exists.。 Look at the names he gave to the Native Americans.—— Indian people(Indians) I'll know.。

More than once I asked myself this question: if Columbus had done his math right, would he have gone on this great voyage? My answer is no. The kind of anxiety and desperation in his voyage diary before the discovery of America can already tell us that.

Well, now that we've also made mistakes in the game, is it immediately possible to achieve an achievement as big as Columbus?

Of course not.

But only habituation In trying and making mistakes, You can't really actions Get up.


Every arrangement inside the workshop has a strict time limit. Whether it's a coach speaking, a game, or brainstorming, there's always a volunteer holding a sign saying "X minutes left" and running around the field to remind everyone of the time.

Why the strict time limit? At first I thought it was venue restrictions - at the point where people turn off their lights and pull the gates and lock the doors. It later turned out that while this was also the reason (though once I didn't see anyone pull the plug until almost 11am), more importantly the limited time will force you to make " imperfect "The Works.

I teach an information systems development course, and I immediately appreciated the word "iterative" behind this requirement. Imperfect prototype work is taken out so you can talk to users Effective communication . Because the user can only find out if what he thinks is the same thing as what you think once he sees this prototype. Users suggest their own changes based on the prototype, you rush to take them and change them, then bring them back to the users for comments ...... The cycle repeats itself to get more precise user needs, even needs that the users themselves never thought of in the first place.

Let's iterate.。 Why does it have to be stressed“ imperfect” this (Cantonese)? Wouldn't it be nice to be perfect?? It's not advocating“ craftsmanship” (question tag)?

Perfection is certainly nice, but it's bad to strive for perfection right out of the gate.

Our education requires students to Make fewer mistakes., Even if the thinking steps are scrawled all over the answer sheet, All of which would be considered offensive by the reviewer。 Your math teacher may have taught you mindfulness more than once, must“ Reflections on the Analytical Approach+ synthetic proof”。 That way you land on the answer sheet pretty、 Neat handwriting not only earns high marks, It will also win the admiration of others。

Look at people. all of a sudden Just do it right!

What about those counting straws that are really full of your thinking and trying process? Throw it away!

The consequences are serious. Everyone's heart always expects that "when a connoisseur makes a move, it must be there", and that "if it doesn't strike, it will strike". What do you do when you realize that you can't do "one hit wonder"? A random call? No, he's become "no barker" at all.

Countless ideas are created and discarded by yourself in your thinking that way.

Use very tight deadlines, Let the participants put themselves imperfect The work is done.; Not only should we do, It must also be shown in front of people。 That's called making a fool of yourself., A real offering.。 But the result of this coercion is, People are gradually becoming more interested in taking out imperfect The artwork thing“ remove an allergic susceptibility” finish。

Don't underestimate this step, it can help you cure your procrastination.

Teachers often find the iron rule that "deadline is the first productive thing". No matter how much time students are given to complete the task, they will always ignore it and start it at the last time they have to do it. And the results are predictable.

Cognitive scientists have found, The real cause of procrastination, It's not the laziness of human nature, Rather, it is the obsession with perfection that prevents actions。 We Chinese describe it more plainly,“ have high standards but little ability”。

Once the student finds out,“ early actions, early mistake, Quick change.” This iterative strategy is practical and feasible, The incidence of delaying behaviour will be significantly reduced。


Each workshop activity will be grouped. Many of the tasks are done in small groups. Groups work together to expand ideas with brainstorming; groups work together to make a design product with limited materials; groups work together to rehearse a short play ......

Take silent brainstorming as an example. I was particularly puzzled by the emphasis that must be placed on not saying "No" to the ideas put forward by others. Bad is bad and wrong is wrong. I'm pretty gung-ho as a teacher. When a student looks like he's about to jump into a hole, can I not warn him or give him a hand?

Then I discovered the mystery.

First of all, how do you know that must be the pit? For example, if a teacher buys stocks and loses a fortune, he forbids his students to buy stocks. You may think you really are the nicest person in the world. But are you doing the right thing? God knows if people have the talent of a stock god?

secondly, Not letting your partner finish his sentence., How can you know exactly what kind of observations he made to come up with a mistakes views? How can you gain empathy(empathy), Put yourself in his shoes., Really understand his thought process and decision-making style?

Also, an atmosphere of non-denial helps cooperation. Luo Yonghao mentioned in Long Talk that when he planned to start a mobile phone business, almost all his friends were against it and only one friend supported him. He always missed people. There are times when the other person really isn't asking for your expert opinion, but is just looking for a very simple attitude of affirmation and support. It would give him unimaginable strength in times of trouble.

Why must you make things in groups? Once upon a time I thought a group was only needed when it was beyond the reach of one person. Rationally this is correct. But it's far from that simple. Working in groups is good for changing the way students do things habituation . From elementary school to college, all exams are almost always required complete independently The. You can't use any outside resources, or you're cheating. The result is that even if you are given the resources, you don't know how to collaborate with others to get things done.

The common result of grouping inside a college classroom is that one person actually does something and a bunch of people hang around to hitch a ride. Both sides are probably happy, the person doing the work has a sense of accomplishment, and the hitchhiker feels more like he's made a profit for nothing. But it's just that no one really learns how to work with others from it. After graduation, a bunch of hitchhikers and guys who insist on handling the job on their own are thrust into the job market. It's not a disaster. What do you mean, a disaster?

Inside the workshop, the possibility of one person doing the job is essentially eliminated because of the strict time limits. No one can be missing if the mission is to be accomplished with excellence. Team leaders must learn to assign tasks under pressure, and resolve contingencies. Everyone needs to actively contribute their value to be able to brush up on their presence in the group.

This training, To enable you to handle real-world tasks in the future, Learn to use various resources, Especially with others cooperation。 Changed this kind of thinking and behavior habituation, You're not in it for nothing.。


It is argued that innovation is a gift that may be developed at an early age. But that's what primary and secondary schools and even kindergartens should be doing. By the time you reach the college level, it's "too late" to remedy the situation.

But I think it's precisely children who don't need to be trained to be creative, as long as they don't go against their natural instincts. Adults, especially those who have been tormented by years of teaching to the test, however, really need this training.

To many people, innovation is like knowing where the optimal path is when walking a maze and getting out the fastest with the least amount of effort.

Is that called innovation? You've got the map all figured out and all the information is complete. Then you walk out in what can only be called a walkabout. It is because of this expectation that many people simply refuse to think, let alone act, when faced with a problem. They hate to sit there and wait for the teacher or leader to feed them the answer.

What is innovation? The innovation is that you have to get out of the maze, but unfortunately you don't have a map. You have no idea which way to go to get closer to the exit. So what do you do? You'll just have to try, even though you know that many attempts are destined to end up with the wrong results. But innovation still looks at methods. For example, you could take a page from Theseus and use a ball of thread to mark when you try.

The ability to innovate doesn't fall from the sky, it's something you already have, but you've ignored or suppressed. That's why it can be tapped out in an effective way.

Innovative training is helping a group of people who wield sabers and hack at each other every day in the desert to discover that beneath their grassless land is oil; innovative training is making people in broken tiles and cold kilns realize that their rice jars are Shang Dynasty bronzes; innovative training is making students understand that working with others is not cheating, but a necessary quality in modern society; innovative training is making everyone know that the daydreams and nonsense you discard in the recycling bin are not garbage, but a scarce ability.

The coach will explain the rules, let you do the work, and force you to show, without giving an introduction to boring theories and laws. The first step in innovation training is not to add structure to your cognition, but to help you salvage as much as you can from the recycle bin.

There is a natural methodology for innovation. However, it is taught on the premise that the trainee has recovered the basic creative skills. Once you are on the right path of seeking knowledge and practice, you will enter a kind of positive feedback loop. All sorts of unexpected good things (serendipity, as Li Xiaolai used to say) will come your way.

Don't believe me? Try it.


Have you ever attended an innovation workshop? What methodologies do you feel must be taught to trainees? In your opinion, how should innovation be taught? Feel free to leave a comment and we'll share and discuss.

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