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  • Rights: © Copyright 2013. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
    Published 23 May 2013 Referencing Hub media

    Innovation draws on a broad range of skills. People involved in innovation need to be able to communicate and work with a range of people who may have different thinking styles. Dr Martin Markotsis of Scion and Alistair Mowat of ZESPRI discuss how teamwork helps innovation and the importance of recognising and fostering the different skills of individual students.

    Jargon alert

    Optimise: Improve a product or process to achieve the best possible functioning outcome in terms of efficiency, performance properties, cost and so on.

    Thinking deeper

    • Several skills that are important for working effectively as part of a team are mentioned in the video. Discuss why these skills are important and what additional skills students consider are also important for working effectively in a team.
    • Alistair mentions opportunities that help foster skills for working in a team. Have students identify other opportunities young people may be involved in either at school or outside of school that may also foster these skills. Discuss examples of how these skills can be developed or fostered through these opportunities.


    Dr Martin Markotsis

    The skills or things you need to have to be innovative involve being able to talk to people and interact with a group. There are some great ideas that come up by the individual, but I think the better ideas are worked out in teams. So you’ve got the communication skills, the willingness to hear other people’s thoughts or ways of modifying a process. You may come up with a main idea, but the ideas to optimise that or make that even better would come from a team discussion.

    Alistair Mowat

    When I was growing up, there were opportunities which helped foster those skills to be innovative. You’ll have various opportunities in your schooling environment or when you go to university and various projects. You’ll encounter a diverse range of teaching styles through the education process, and you’ll find affinity with some of those styles that better suit your thinking style. And you’ll have to put in more time and effort with those other teaching styles which may be a little different.

    But it’s important to recognise that there is a diversity of ways of how people approach problems, and in my case, I can bring together diverse ideas, but I’m also very cognisant of the skills of other people who are able to bring that depth and focus on a particular area. And you’ve got to recognise that you need to bring together these broader range of skills, and it’s important to be able to communicate and relate to a range of people with different thinking styles to your own.

    Dr Martin Markotsis, SCION
    Alistair Mowat, ZESPRI
    Kelvin Barnsdale
    Mathew Bouma Armand Combrink
    Ryan Zegerman
    Dr Michael Mucalo
    Dr Dougal Laird

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