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7 Ways that Developing Facilitation Skills Can Stimulate Innovation

12 September 2016   |   Management and Business Improvement, Facilitation

7 Ways that Developing Facilitation Skills Can Stimulate Innovation

Developing a culture of innovation in your projects is easiest when project managers have excellent facilitation skills which aid concept development and bring creative problem solving to team environments. Here are 7 ways that developed facilitation skills can stimulate innovation in your projects:

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1. Better facilitation skills yield more creative ways to develop concepts

Old-fashioned brainstorming has its uses, but modern facilitation skills include more creative concept development methods and strategies. Creative Problem Solving (CPS) skills developed in facilitator training create a culture of innovation by helping teams to get out of rigid thinking patterns. 

2. Improving facilitation skills makes workshops more productive

Excellent facilitators are able to conduct productive workshops because a top-notch facilitator can unite attendees around core goals. When expert facilitation is in effect, each team member’s strengths can emerge and contribute actively to forming innovative solutions to core challenges. Expert Facilitators are great at getting teams to focus on delivering the events’ objectives, rather than getting sidetracked during the session.

3. Facilitation training increases innovation by minimizing fear

At the ideation and conceptualising stages of new projects, there is often a high degree of fear. Team members may be uncertain about their ideas or hesitant to venture down a specific track at the risk of losing other options. Facilitation training creates project managers and facilitators who are able to maintain a positive outlook and create a ‘safe’ environment where team members feel comfortable contributing ideas without fear of censure.

A facilitator who is adept at managing and resolving uncertainty in the team can create the right environment for innovation to grow. 

4. Innovation facilitator training ensures project outcomes are novel and relevant 

As a concept, ‘innovation’ means different things to different people. Some describe it as generating novel and useful ideas through creative strategy and implementation. Others describe innovation as ‘staying relevant’. These are all useful definitions because an innovative end result should be forward-thinking and novel yet also high in use value – it should be relevant to end-users’ needs. Accredited innovation facilitators are able to ensure that these essential elements of innovation are present in results. 

5. Facilitator training builds continuous (rather than linear) innovation

Trained innovation facilitators are able to incorporate innovative techniques and tools into continuous development cycles. True innovation isn’t a once-off novel concept fixed in a step-by-step plan. It requires openness to change and to trying and testing the latest methods and tools to find what will attain the best, most relevant end product. 

6. Great facilitators can leverage useful technology

Current, up-to-date facilitator training is useful because technology is constantly evolving. Great facilitators who can keep abreast of the latest technology can stimulate innovation by introducing tools and systems that make it possible to get further in project pipelines, quicker. Innovation enters each stage of the process and is not only visible in the final product. 

7. Facilitator training helps facilitators make projects fun

Even when working on high-level projects, it helps if day-to-day processes are fun and stimulating. A certified facilitator has an arsenal of useful techniques for each stage of development, from ideation to implementation. This element of play encourages a culture of volunteering new ideas and creating forward-thinking solutions.

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