Monday, April 2, 2012

How Do True Innovators Learn?

Learning and the learning process, from theory to practice, has been greatly debated since the time of the Greek philosophers; Plato, Aristotle and Socrates. There is no doubt today however, that we as individuals learn in different ways - that we absorb and process information, organize ideas, are influenced by reflective and external insights, experience and environment in distinct, unique ways.

Statue of Socrates. Academy of Athens, Greece
Here at the Front End of Innovation, we believe in facilitating, fostering and constructing opportunities for collaborative learning, built upon experiences and an environment that advances innovation for everyone involved. In other words, not only are our events catalysts for change but also for learning.

One way of achieving this goal, we believe, is by removing external constraints, noise and prescribed ways of doing things, which often leaves you ill equipped to challenge change and its complexities. Another is by removing boundaries that prevent you from connecting, sharing, playing and exploring - offline and online - within the innovation space.

Our focus at this year at FEI is transcending complexity.

Here's a video from Front End of Innovation 2011 that offers you a window into what we mean, the overall FEI experience and some of the learning formats noted below:

The Front End of Innovation event is unique every year in that you can customize your own experience. There are 8 unconventional learning formats that encourage discourse among attendees about ideas, concepts, and relationships, which create environments and scenarios where the speaker is not the only source of knowledge. These formats also aid in the reflection on activities, content and the analysis of ideas and services that enable you to transform your FEI activity into broader understanding and reap greater tranformative value.

Front End of Innovation Learning Formats include:

FEI Fishbowl: Fishbowl panelists begin by tackling a specific challenge within a key hot topic area. After their initial discussion, an audience member joins the panel, and one original panelist rotates out. This pattern continues until we ultimately have a new set of five people at the end of the fishbowl.

FEI Sandbox: Don’t just listen- act! This format puts you to work on-site and in real-time.. These activities are designed to allow you to approach problems from different viewpoints, testing out assumptions, and redefine meaning.

FEI Coins: Just as there are 2 sides to a coin, there are always 2 ways to tackle an innovation challenge. Each coin session features two case studies from different industries experts tackling the same challenge. Compare and contrast how each company achieved success in different ways, with different models, and different mindsets.

* To see ALL of the 8 learning formats available, view the 2012 agenda, register and customize your experience, please visit:

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