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Innovation in Training and Disabilities

by Mar 17, 2017Disabilities Down Under, Training and Innovation1 comment

Austrian economist, Joseph Schumpeter (1934), described innovation over 70 years ago using five well defined principles:

  1. The introduction of a good (product), which is new to consumers, or one of higher quality than was available in the past.
  2. Methods of production, which are new to a particular branch of industry. These are not necessarily based on new scientific discoveries and may have, for example, already been used in other industrial sectors.
  3. The opening of new markets.
  4. The use of new sources of supply.
  5. New forms of competition, that leads to the restructuring of an industry

Schumpeter’s definition still applies in today’s fast changing world.

“An innovative business is one which lives and breathes “outside the box”. It is not just good ideas; it is a combination of good ideas, motivated staff and an instinctive understanding of what your customer wants” 

Richard Branson declared in a speech at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Innovation Lecture in 1998 (cited in Tidd 2009)

Stanwick (2011) asserts that innovation is much more than science and research. He argues that enterprises should be innovating not just with technology but with operations, organisational structures, business models and relationships. Tidd (2009) adds another dimension to these definitions by stating that innovation cannot happen in isolation but instead must take place across the organisation “through the development of processes for turning opportunities into new ideas and transforming them into widely used practice across the organisation”.

Why are these points critical to the Disability sector and how we develop and deliver training in the sector?

We need to move away from traditional models of delivery and encourage a passion for learning and, as Richard Branson describes it, thinking and operating “outside the box”.

Furthermore we need a workforce that is highly adaptable and ready to embrace inevitable changes putting customers or clients at the forefront of their services and programs.

It goes beyond

semantics!

It requires action and commitment at all levels of the organisation. Although there are ample conversations about person-centred approaches, a closer look at services in the disability sector still show very little change in the delivery of community and disability programs.

The roll out of NDIS has allowed some people to gain more control over their lives but due to the complex nature of the funding and systems, most people are finding it hard to navigate let alone come up with innovative projects that have a true positive impact on the people that need it most.

In my opinion we need to work together, listen to the people that really matter and empower them to take control over their lives. We encourage workers to develop a passion for learning and self-development and most importantly we start to think and live “Outside the box”.

What do we need and how do we go beyond words to become truly innovative?

In my opinion we need to work together, listen to the people that really matter and empower them to take control over their lives. We encourage workers to develop a passion for learning and self-development and, most importantly, we start to think and live “Outside the box”.
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