119 Capture Innovation and Other Learning…

Yes! And… Creative Gorilla # 119

Record key lessons and ideas about your innovation and other projects as soon as possible…

“If life keeps asking you the same questions….You are NOT learning the lessons…”

Leif Ericsson Leo Veness (American Artist )

How to Capture Innovation Learning

“Galway Cathedral”

How might you capture lessons from innovation and other projects?

A couple of weeks prior to my recent holiday, I returned with a colleague from running an innovation capability programme with three companies in Ireland. Having woken at ridiculous o’clock to catch the first flight and drunk a large slug of expensive caffeine in Dublin airport, we were mildly hyperactive as we arrived back in Birmingham.

Having run four days of workshops we had a lot to talk about and chatted animatedly as we drove out of the car park. Two minutes into our discussion I noticed there were some real nuggets of information arising.

My first thought was to write them down but I found it easier to use the voice recording facility on my iPhone. Switching it on, I captured 34 minutes of discussion with some great material.

Listening to the recording today, I recalled that we had identified lessons learned, generated ideas to improve the programme for the future companies and created a great business idea. As well though, we gained a number of lessons about capturing ideas, which you may find useful as a creative leader.


These lessons are:

  • It is important to capture the learning from innovation and other projects to improve the next. This is common sense but is not necessarily common. Can you think of projects where there was no follow up?
  • Have the discussion whilst the project is ongoing, when it is still fresh in the mind, rather than waiting until the end; immediacy is important and can help improve the project as it runs. Listening again, I noticed how much I had forgotten about the original discussion and therefore how much valuable information we might have lost
  • The informality and sociability of the discussion really helped to spark ideas, Set up a social interaction outside of the office to capture ideas as a supplement to a formal meeting (in fact you might be able to avoid a meeting!).  You could try the local coffee shop but caffeine is not mandatory
  • Use technology to capture the ideas; a mobile phone recorder suffices if close to the speaker. This is less formal than writing, means everyone is fully involved in the conversation and captures the nuances and the enthusiasm of the discussion
  • Listen to the discussion afterwards and record the pertinent points!


  • Think about innovation projects in your organisation. Are you capturing the learning points and generating ideas to improve as you go?
  • Give the social approach a try and see how you get on

To Close

Talking of the technology, I managed to write the first draft of this article on my iPhone whilst in the launderette drying some heavy washing. I found watching the dryer go round between tapping away on the telephone quite therapeutic.

So if you are considering options for a venue for your socialising, there’s an idea for you!  In fact, if you are in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, you can have a coffee, go on the Internet, review your project AND do your laundry [check it out here.]

John Brooker I Facilitate, Innovate, Transform.

Speak: +44 208 8899990

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