Innovation Training

Lee Roulston

By Lee Roulston, Thinka Co-founder,
5 March 2024

Thinka’s ‘Encourage Innovation’ Workshop

Innovation isn’t creativity. It’s action. It’s tangible. It’s the thing that comes after ideation, where something actually happens. Teams who innovate must be able to execute – they need to be able to trial, test and deploy, so as to create value. An innovation project must also be supported by strategic thinking, strong financial acumen and the ability to influence stakeholders. In short, teams need a diverse set of skills to be truly innovative.

What you’ll explore

  • Different definitions of innovation
  • Environments and cultures for innovation
  • Design-thinking and other innovation methods
  • Execution: skills to get off the ground
  • Pitching and influencing stakeholders

What you’ll apply

  • An ability to lead different types of innovations
  • Skills for setting up innovation teams
  • Strategies to lead and facilitate innovation
  • An ability to execute an innovation project
  • Pitching and influencing skills
Workshop Purpose

Innovation skills are essential for the future of work. When you have a team that is proficient in creative thinking skills, problem-solving and design thinking processes, you’re better able to break new ground. In this increasingly complex world of work, businesses need to work harder to stay current and must build an innovation culture to do this. The purpose of this workshop is to prepare organisations with the skills to continually respond to change and implement radical or incremental innovation.

Working with organisations in Melbourne and Sydney, and across Australia, we know that organisations are facing new and complex challenges. Here’s a few of them:

  1. New technology and rise of AI: Advancements in technology and the way we work will automate more manual work, changing job roles, processes, products and services. Employees who think like entrepreneurs and have skills in innovation capability, critical thinking and problem-solving will become increasingly desirable. 
  2. Complex world of work: Living in a ‘VUCA’ (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment means that organisations need to be able to cope with a changing environment that presents ongoing challenges. Covid recovery, economic instability and hybrid working have led to a constant need to innovate and respond to change. 
  3. Flatter hierarchies: Organisations are becoming flatter with employees having more responsibility and autonomy than ever before – especially in hybrid working environments. Team members are expected to take ownership for managing projects and applying skills in problem solving, design thinking and entrepreneurship to achieve solutions. 
  4. Increased collaboration: Building an innovation culture allows for better collaboration when teams are coming together to find solutions. If they are skilled in problem solving and design thinking, it makes it easier to work through challenges and implement initiatives to push forward. 
  5. Rise of ‘human skills’: More and more, organisations are helping employees develop both technical skills and soft skills. Organisations need to build these skills explicitly to innovate and stay relevant. Innovation skills will help organisations become more agile and flexible, so they can respond to the market and find solutions with speed.

Overall, these challenges can make it more difficult for organisations if they’re not skilled in innovation. However, with the right support such as Thinka’s Innovation Workshops, coaching sessions, and support from leaders, employees can thrive in this complex world of work.

Workshop Benefits

With the help of Innovation Training Sessions, skills that organisations can put in place to enhance performance include:

  1. Creative thinking skills: When organisations invest in creative thinking and see its value, it helps to build innovation culture. Instead of moving too fast into ‘solution mode’, employees properly assess problems and work through possible solutions using design thinking frameworks. 
  2. Problem-solving: New markets, technologies and opportunities call for constant problem solving. Organisations are better equipped to deal with ongoing change when they have strong skills in assessing the root cause of a problem, applying strategies to solve problems, and sharing learning experiences with colleagues. 
  3. Becoming active learners: Active learning is a critical skill for employees in today’s work environment, as they often need to upskill quickly to keep up with current trends, methodology and expectations. Employees can develop their active learning skills by keeping an open mind, seeking out new opportunities, and developing a range of learning strategies. 
  4. Strategic thinking: Effective employees can think strategically; anticipating challenges and seeking new opportunities to achieve outcomes. Employees can improve their strategic thinking skills by being learners, staying informed about industry trends and developments, and practising creative problem-solving. 
  5. Decision making: Employees make well-considered decisions with confidence when they’re flexible and see all points of view. Employees can build this this capability by working through different scenarios, researching and establishing best practice, and by weighing up both positive and negative impacts.

By developing competencies in these practical skills, Australian organisations can grow capability in innovation and find new ways forward.

Workshop FAQs

What is Innovation Training?

Our Innovation Training workshop is specifically designed for organisations to develop innovation skills. It aims to provide participants with the skills, tools, resources and confidence necessary to manage increasingly complex work environments. Our experienced facilitators have worked with many leaders and teams across Australia and draw from case studies and shared experiences to offer meaningful advice, practical strategies, and stories to learn from.

Why should my organisation offer Innovation Training?

Being part of this short course can help teams to improve their ability solve problems, engage in design thinking, and collaborate. It can also help participants see practical ways to take ideas into action – which is the essence of innovation. The workshop experience is designed to help employees learn from each other and see where their strengths are – are they better in ideas or execution or both?

Who can attend Innovation Training?

Innovation Training is designed for organisations as a whole. The skills we focus on builds organisational capability in innovation. However, this training can be easily customised for specific audiences such as teams, emerging leaders, frontline leaders, or middle management. A team leader might want to be involved in the session with their team too.

Is Innovation Training only available in person?

Innovation Training Programs can be delivered in an in-person, virtual or hybrid format; depending on the organisation’s set-up. It is typically made up of strategies, discussions and a series of activities to support on the job application. The training can be complemented with coaching sessions with a Thinka coach. Coaching plays an important role in challenging old behaviours and building fresh confidence and capability in each of the participants. Organisations might also opt for a blended program that makes use of eLearning modules and other forms of media.

Workshop Case Study

Capability Development Program with Carlisle Homes


1. What was the objective?

Over the course of a 12-month professional development cycle, we worked towards improving the capability of leaders and team members using a range of workshops that targeted a specific skillsets. These skills were in line with the business needs and the latest data out of the World Economic Forum’s ‘skills for the future’ and complemented business strategy.

2. How did we do it?

Carlisle Homes’ professional development approach meant employees could opt in or be nominated by their leader to attend workshops. Each face to face workshop focussed on critical thinking skills, mindset and adapting to change, data-driven decision-making and innovation. The workshop formula was activity-based and used real work case studies to give a reference for applying the learning. This training course was aligned to the career development approach Carlisle Homes had designed to prepare their people for the ‘future of work’.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

The learning was integrated through the use of post-workshop application tasks. The main impact was seen in the improvement of Carlisle Homes’ data culture, with each leader being able to make more informed choices and embrace change. Employees were better able to see trends and adapt to new ways of thinking and working.

After this workshop, I'm comitting to leading by example when it comes to innovation. A highlight for me was changing my thinking - its ok if an idea isn't fully formed yet, it's still innovating.

Encourage Innovation participant, Urbis

Workshop Outline

Delivery Options

In Person Workshop

Virtual Workshop

See Demo

Key Outcomes

1. Leaders who understand the different types of innovation.

2. Leaders who can set up environments and teams for innovation.

3. Leaders who can use and facilitate innovation methods.

4. Leaders who know how to manage an innovation project.

5. Leaders to who can pitch and influence stakeholders.

Target Audience


Learning Approach

Experiential and application based learning

Workshops to pair me with:

Craft Strategy

Disruption is the new normal, and we need to adapt, move and change with it.

Strategy Training For Leaders

Inspire Vision

It’s about producing something tangible, making vision more than a pipe dream.

Design an Organisational Vision

Our in-person workshops maximise opportunities for robust conversation, experiential activities and intensive group work. This is no ‘death by PowerPoint’ experience – our facilitators are skilled in presenting and leading immersive experiences that get the most out of people. Supported by multimedia, attractive takeaway pages and practical strategies for using back on the job – our in-person workshops build a formidable bridge between exploration and application. We have a 10 person minimum for an in person workshop.

Our virtual workshops breathe fresh life into the online experience with their almost ‘radio show’ feel. Our expert facilitators use a combination of multimedia, questioning techniques and break out activities to target micro-skills – with a focus on application. Supported by an online platform hosting custom-built workshop materials, participants can be assured of a lively, dynamic session that has a distinct bias to action. We have a 6 person minimum for a virtual workshop.
This audience includes executive leaders who are driving the more visionary and strategic areas of the business. The skills are geared toward building capability in innovation, operationalising strategy and working with ‘middle management’ to cascade information. Leaders must be advanced in their development to truly benefit from working with these skills.

Thinka believes that every learner needs to walk away being able to do something differently once they’ve engaged in a learning solution. The real power is in every individual applying their learning. Our behaviour-based methods, supported by the latest research, are key to making the steps for change relevant and realistic.

Thinka supports with methods like storytelling, experiential activities or rich questioning, but ultimately, we know the integration between solution and real world is the most crucial part of the learning experience. That is why we look for ways to ‘build a bridge’ between the solution we provide and what happens back out on the job.

Whether it’s an application template, a set of strategies, some tips or a ‘how to’ model – we work hard to provide every learner with not just information but the tools they need to make a real difference.