The LMS is not often thought of as a platform directly supporting or driving innovation but it should be. There may be differences in how your LMS may support innovation based on what features it has, however I will offer some generic ideas that should be applicable to most LMS software.
- Set up a course catalog specifically for innovation content. There is plenty of off-the-shelf courseware on innovation but I encourage you to consider creating some ‘home-grown’ modules that align with your business specifically.
- Create a competency framework for innovation. You may wish to start with specific user populations but this framework can be extended throughout your organisation. Remember you may have different tiers to the competencies to ensure they are relevant to the person’s position and strategy horizon.
- Include the innovation competency framework[s] in the performance management process. When your competency frameworks are integrated with courseware and development planning this becomes a powerful tool to encourage innovation in your culture.
- Set up groups of users that are ‘outside’ the normal organisational structure. This works very well to encourage communities of practice and thought leaders. Ideally the groups will have content authoring permissions as well as other collaborative tools such as a wiki, discussion forum and blog. These can be external tools accessible via links in the LMS interface.
- If you have established some innovation processes using other platforms that capture ideas and include polling and commentary, link the platform to the LMS. I have seen specific software as well as more common tools such as Microsoft SharePoint and Citrix Podio. Most of these are very easy to link to and if you add access via the LMS interface you will have a learning support system operating in real time.
- Select some reports to measure innovation focused learning and collaboration in your LMS. You should measure the enrolments in your innovation courses, assessment results [if you use assessments], identify users with high and low participation, competency gap analysis based on the innovation frameworks, and others depending upon your system and your innovation objectives.
Innovation occurs in all parts of an organisation and all tiers of positions and job titles. When you introduce learning support for innovation you will go a long way toward breaking through the misconception that innovation is some ‘activity’ undertaken only by senior positions or positions focused on product development, marketing and so forth.
Please get in touch if you would like some more information on innovation and learning. I am also interested in hearing from persons who have integrated an LMS or other platform to support innovation.