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.
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.
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
Mathew Bouma Armand Combrink
Dr Michael Mucalo
Dr Dougal Laird