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Study Launched to Research and Improve Innovation in Companies

A new study, conducted by Trainers’ Learning Skillnet and the Irish Institute of Training and Development, was launched earlier this week regarding innovation training in Irish companies. The study showed that 69% of organisations do not have specific innovation training and 8% did not know whether or not their company provides training.The research was shouldered by Laurence Knell of Strategic Innovation Partners and highlights the places where current innovation training lacks.

Innovation simply means implementing new ideas; training for innovation is the combination of two basic concepts, creativity and implementation skills. To achieve genuine innovation, training within companies must include soft skills, such as creativity and brainstorming, and hard skills, like project management. It is crucial to teach and develop both types for maximum innovation outcomes.

 Skillnet Ireland Executive Director, Tracey Donnery stated, “Whether considered on an individual or organisational level, the need to innovate and to be innovative is regarded as essential for an organisation’s long-term success. The research shows that there are significant gaps in the current provision of innovation training. For example, innovation is often seen as a technical skill only, rather than part of the leadership, culture and teamwork within an organisation. If we want Irish businesses to compete in a global marketplace, we need to ensure that organisations increase the capacity of its people to innovate effectively… many organisations have limited budgets for workforce development and training. In fact, this research shows only 20% of SMEs have a training budget at all. Skillnet Ireland and its over 60 Skillnet networks are uniquely positioned to enhance the innovation capacity of Irish enterprise. Working in partnership with enterprise, we have a track record in designing new, innovative programmes targeted to meet specific needs to yield concrete business impacts. We would encourage all organisations who are serious about innovation to contact a relevant Skillnet Network for their sector or region and find out how they can grow and develop the innovation capabilities for both business leaders and teams.” 

 Sinéad Heneghan, CEO of the Irish Institute of Training and Development and Promoter of the Trainers’ Learning Skillnet, also commented, “Critically, only 42% of respondents felt that their organisation uses measurement to help identify improvements in innovation management. The research recommends that an innovation strategy is crucial, and that leadership support is key in delivering it. Innovation is a game-changer that pushes individuals and organisations beyond existing boundaries or limits… at a national, industry and organisational level greater focus on innovation capability development is required. This research shows less than 20% of organisations provide specific innovation training.”

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