L&D Must Encourage Curiosity to Keep Your Team on Its Toes

It’s no secret that successful companies thrive on innovation. Apple is one of the world’s most recognizable brands, and Boston Consulting Group ranked it as the world’s most innovative company last year. Other high-ranking companies on BCG’s list included Google, which has grown from a search engine to dominate fields as diverse as mapping and self-driving cars; and Tesla Motors, which is in the process of pioneering electric smart cars.

According to Aaron Shapiro, CEO of Huge, true innovation is all about solving problems. The most innovative organizations are those that encourage curiosity in the workplace and enable problem-solving. To emulate the innovation of Apple, Google, and Tesla Motors, it starts with your workforce. Specifically, it starts with L&D. You need to provide your workforce with eLearning materials that spark curiosity and encourage creative thinking and passionate problem-solving.

What does innovative problem-solving look like?

Innovative problem-solving is, at its roots, a creative exercise. You can start by employing creative problem-solving strategies into your team’s routine. A seven-step creative problem-solving framework includes the following steps:

  1. Identify a problem that your team needs to solve
  2. Research the problem’s background and origin
  3. Formulate a challenge that encourages brainstorming
  4. Brainstorm those ideas
  5. Combine your team’s ideas and evaluate them together
  6. Create an action plan based on the best ideas
  7. Implement said action plan

After step seven, collect data and look at your results. If you didn’t solve the problem, then head back to step two, make changes, and iterate.

How the right L&D encourages curiosity and innovation.

Use it or lose it. The more often you use your neural pathways, the more quickly and effectively you can activate them. It’s called the kindling effect, and it effectively means that curiosity can be a learned trait. Challenge your staff with engaging corporate training materials that they can easily access at any time, and keep those neural pathways firing.

  • Focus on accessibility. It’s not easy to practice spontaneous creativity when training materials are tied to your desk. Gartner says 40% of American employees use personal mobile devices for work, so make it easier for your team to learn the way they want to. Provide accessible L&D materials that they can use from their mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets.
  • Use a multitude of dynamic elements. Avoid losing your employees in a sea of words by providing dynamic elements throughout the text to break up the monotony. Text isn’t the bad guy here, but make sure you’re also including videos, embedded quizzes, images, and other elements to keep your employees focused while they learn. 

The more often you provoke curiosity in your employees, the easier it is for them to approach situations from a creative standpoint. Innovative problem-solving becomes second nature. The key is to encourage that curiosity from day one, continue encouraging it, and measure the results of training content. Your L&D materials will help new employees get an overview of your organization, so set the tone with content that effectively demonstrates a drive for innovation and creativity.