Is innovation a teachable skill?

Dr Charles Brauer, director of innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London, argues that innovation is a teachable skill; innovation and new products are not a result of random inspiration and innate creativity. Teaching the skill of innovation means tapping into real-world problems with an evidence-based toolkit, rather than just relying on lightbulb moments.

"There were a lot of organisations looking for different kinds of leaders: people who could think differently about the challenges that the organisation was facing," he says. "The digital transformation and disruption that businesses have been facing – particularly over the past 10 to 15 years – have led them to realise that they need a different kind of insight to take on those challenges."

To tackle this need, the University of London now offers a one-year MSc in the management of innovation, as part of the school’s Institute of Management Studies. Students will be educated on how to apply design thinking, digital research methods and project management. The aim is to look for entirely new business models, rather than to just develop new products and services.

The students would use traditional methods to generate ideas, such as brainstorming, but they are also taught how to scope problems and recognise the challenges and having a toolkit that allows them to approach with different methods.

For more information about how the University of London’s new course and their teaching methods visit the telegraph