Innovation and Intrepeneurs on the Development Zone

Innovation is pretty much universally recognised as an essential component of a successful business in the modern world.  It is no longer enough just to come with one key product and just keep reselling it, modern businesses need to be constantly looking for ways to improve their product and improve the relationship with their customers.  One of the terms that appears frequently in the media is “Entrepreneur” and is often applied to someone with a single new idea, or a series of “innovative” products.

The entrepreneurial spirit and innovation are not the preserves of new and small businesses, but it can often be difficult to build them in to existing company structures.  One popular approach is to use “Intrepreneurs” – people within the organisation who are given the flexibility to try out new ideas and new ways of working to solve problems that have been identified within the organisation.  This doesn’t have to be a full-time commitment and can be as simple as allowing your employees to use a few hours each week to follow up their own ideas and build new solutions.  Google famously popularised the “20% project”, where they encouraged employees to use up to 20% of their working week to work on what they feel would bring the most benefit to the company – from established products to developing new ways of working.

Training and development can often be left behind when considering such approaches within firms, with the emphasis being placed on practical projects such as improving client retention, ironing out problems in the invoicing process, or ensuring that the core product remains of the highest standard.  But what about the people involved?  The success of your product will be driven by the skills and knowledge of your people – without an excellent product your people will not succeed, but equally important, without your people there would be no product.

Why not consider encouraging your staff to develop their intrepreneurial spirit and see where it takes you – from identifying an area of interest that they want to learn more about, to preparing a business case for a new product or service, or even exploring new ways of training colleagues using the tools available to them.

The Development Zone is there to support you at every step, from courses in our content catalogue about Entrepreneurship and a wide range of other topics, to the DevZone Academy with information about the tools available on the platform, to the custom content tools that allow you to create new and innovative content for your staff.

Why not challenge your training team to consider new ways of delivering training to learners, or challenge individual staff to pitch ideas to their department? The Webinar feature provides a simple to use set of tools that can allow teams across multiple locations to collaborate and explore ideas together from within the Development Zone itself.  Or, if you would prefer to work on a one-to-one basis, the Offline Task module enables you to receive submissions from individuals and provide feedback to them separately.  Both activities can easily be linked to learner CPD records and to Certificates and Badges to incentivise learners to take part.

Not every intrepreneur (or entrepreneur) will be successful, but you’ll never find out how many could succeed unless you try!

About the author

After gaining a degree in Computer Science, Tim spent nine years teaching in a number of secondary schools (11-19 year olds) in Wales.  For the majority of his time teaching, Tim led a highly successful team of teachers delivering vocational ICT qualifications and reached the level of Associate Assistant Headteacher before leaving teaching.  He has also been a senior examiner and moderator for one of the UK's largest awarding bodies.  Since 2013 he has been the senior developer for the Development Zone.

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