In a workforce used to following orders, innovation doesn’t magically happen; it requires formal training. Often training is built around ‘Lean’ type initiatives; at the core of Lean training is coaching workers to go out on a limb, rather than stay passive, but it also involves learning how to present ideas and evaluate them in terms of key metrics like cost or time savings. Kiewit builds innovation training into its own internal leadership academy development program, which trains about 200 people per year. Kiewit has also established relationships with outside venture capitalist entrepreneurs who help mentor Kiewit’s upcoming leaders as they go through the development process, which includes taking an innovation from idea to implementation over the course of a year.
- Lean Six Sigma Training - Caltrans is working to embed the principles and practices of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) across the organization as part of its approach for empowering employees to innovate. LSS is a widely used collaborative, team-based and data-driven business management philosophy for improving performance by systematically removing waste. Adoption of LSS requires extensive training with a ‘belt’-based system showing mastery of certain skills. As of December 2015, 15 Caltrans employees were trained as LSS green belts, with a plan to add 10 additional green belts every year through 2020. A Caltrans Green belt candidate is usually a top-performer who embraces the opportunity to drive transformational improvements in their work areas, while having excellent leadership skills and technical abilities. The Green belts are trained in the LSS tools and receive one-on-one mentoring from a trainer who is a Master Black Belt.
- Kiewit offers innovation training continuously - Targeted towards employees with 10-12 years with the company, a training program that lasts several days is offered which includes several different track options. One of the tracks offered focuses on innovation. The courses are offered several times per year, and about 200-350 employees receive the innovation track continuing education courses annually. Information covered in the courses includes different types of innovation styles, lean methodology, history of innovation and phases of innovation.
- City of Denver’s Peak Academy - Peak Academy trains and coaches employees at all levels to improve the way government works. Through innovation, employees do more with less and enhance the Denver city experience.