Teaching Innovation – Innovatively!
How do we improve on current innovation management and entrepreneurship teaching and training to enable value creation from good ideas? Together with a dedicated consortium of industrial partners and academics, the Center for Leading Innovation & Cooperation (CLIC) at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management is about to answer this question through the recently initiated European research project TACIT (Teaching and Coaching Innovation & Entrepreneurship InnovaTively).
Working jointly with the company partners (among them Lufthansa Systems, Lego, Nokia Networks, BMW, AachenMünchener and Torbay Hospital) the researchers from the University of Exeter (project coordinator), HHL’s CLIC, the University of Southern Denmark and RWTH Aachen embark on their mission to provide Europe’s higher education institutions and economy with a profound open-source toolbox and robust methodology for teaching innovation effectively. “The wide range of experience and research support required for developing innovation and entrepreneurship skills lies outside the scope of any single institution. What we need is a pan-European knowledge alliance to foster open innovation,” says Dr. Claudia Lehmann of CLIC.
At Lego, the fast growing largest toy manufacturer in the world, to be innovative and to be creative is a natural part of the firm’s DNA. As Gaute Munch, Director Product Technology Frontend of Lego, says, “What we experience is that innovation happens between people. You can say that the raw material of good innovation is all the knowledge of the people that are involved in the innovation process. Everyone can participate in doing innovation but innovation making is not necessarily something everyone is an expert in. Innovation is a method that you need to master. It is therefore very much about facilitation, driving processes, conducting workshops and involving the right people.” Lego is driving both incremental as well as more radical innovation. The company takes part in the TACIT project because it is always looking for interesting partners that it can do innovation with or that inspires it. “We see it as a real opportunity for us to exchange ideas and thoughts with other companies or academic institutions regarding different innovation methods,” says Mr. Munch. The Lego director is personally most interested in the innovation methods related to the question how one can better involve people in the innovation process, for example innovation theatre or story telling.
With a project duration of three years, TACIT receives a total of EUR 1 million in funding from the European Union’s Erasmus+ program with the aim of developing and testing mechanisms to build implicit knowledge in individuals, enabling them to apply innovation and entrepreneurship successfully and thus support change in their organizations.