Creativity & Innovation

By January 31, 2020March 29th, 2021LTEN Focus On Training


Creativity & Innovation

GUEST EDITOR – Vicki Colman

A diverse team helps to support original thinking.

Winter is a time when many of us are either squeezing out that last bit of our budgets or developing a robust plan for how we will be spending it in 2020. Much of our budgets, both time and money, is “spent” on getting things done – the basics, fundamentals. As training and development professionals, we are often in what I fondly call, “Go Mode,” always preparing for the next group of new hires, annual sales meeting, an imminent product launch or the latest corporate initiative. It doesn’t always leave us much room to be creative or innovate.

Being in the reflective mode, I wonder, if necessity is the mother of invention is creativity the father of innovation? Creativity can be defined as transcending traditional ideas to create meaningful new ideas. To innovate is to renew, introduce something new and different, or make changes in anything established. So, just what sparks creativity and innovation? How much of our resources can we afford on being creative and innovative? Here is where thoughts transition from reflective to forward-thinking.

Imagine this: The training plan your team has for 2020 is comprehensive, includes expansion of the team to achieve its greatness and is aligned to the corporate objectives. Bonus: It has even received budget approval all the way up to the CFO.  Now it’s time to chart the path for your journey. Having collective knowledge and experience of developing and delivering training is integral to your overall success.  That is the entry fee into the creativity zone. Having also the time, staff and money enhances your ability to innovate. You are ready to create and innovate!

Yes, it’s true, there are some people who are just more creative than others. A diverse team helps to support original thinking. Taking the time to come together as a team to share ideas and bounce them off one another certainly helps as well.  Having a leader who is both supportive and encouraging is paramount. After all, it is up to this individual to allocate those precious resources. She or he may also know who is best suited for which roles, be it those who make sure that all the basics are met, as well as those who have a more natural tendency to think outside the box. Whichever role you assume, every task is important in getting the job done as we all bring something to the training table.

Now it’s time to reflect on what you have created. Yes, it needs to meet those incredible objectives that you started out with. To be truly innovative it should include something new, perhaps a different way of doing something, or a change to the established order of how it’s been done before. Here lies the bonus for you as a trainer or training team. Creative and innovative training is more likely to stick.  It will be enjoyable, which will increase engagement, and it will be more memorable.

So, this winter, as you reflect on the past and plan for the future, capitalize on all of your prior knowledge and experiences, either as a trainer or as a trainee. And be sure to budget for both creativity and innovation.

Warm winter wishes.

Vicki Colman is senior manager, sales training, for LEO Pharma. Email Vicki at

The opinions expressed in this article are hers and do not necessarily represent the views of LEO Pharma.



About LTEN

The Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network ( is the only global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specializing in meeting the needs of life sciences learning professionals. LTEN shares the knowledge of industry leaders, provides insight into new technologies, offers innovative solutions and communities of practice that grow careers and organizational capabilities. Founded in 1971, LTEN has grown to more than 3,200 individual members who work in pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, and industry partners who support the life sciences training departments.

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