Five NASA Innovation Tips to Help Training Programs
Fifty-six years ago today, President John F. Kennedy stirred a crowd of 40,000 spectators in Houston. He committed the U.S. to putting a person on the moon by the end of the 1960s. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface with 163 days to spare. Space technology was arguably the biggest innovation of the 20th century, second only perhaps to the TV dinner.
Innovation isn’t limited to rocket scientists. And it’s still just as relevant and necessary today as it was on September 12, 1962. Learning Stream registration management software, being a technology-based system, is always looking for ways to be innovative. But innovation isn’t reserved for technology companies like ours either. It’s just as important for those in the education and training fields—particularly for startup programs.
New opportunities in the ways of distance, social, MOOC, blended, and other types of learning are well-documented. But innovation goes beyond delivery methods. It’s also an attitude. And it’s never a bad idea to follow the same path NASA took in the infant days of space travel.
1. Push yourself. Landing a man on the moon never would have happened so quickly if it weren’t for setting nearly unreachable goals. As Kennedy famously said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…”
2. Learn from failure. Though it may seem unnatural to embrace failure, you shouldn’t shy from it. And unlike NASA, your innovations won’t put lives in danger. A NASA credo: “Where there is failure, there is knowledge and understanding that doesn’t come with success.”
3. Seek ideas from unlikely sources. More recently, NASA introduced its Early Stage Innovation program to encourage ideas from others outside its own walls. It emphasizes high-risk, high-reward concepts. Don’t be afraid to seek ideas and input from people beyond your training circle.
4. Get buy-in along the way. Getting to the moon cost more than a dollar or two. Therefore, NASA kept regular Americans—and the politicians who controlled those dollars—informed and engaged every step of the way.
5. Build on what works. As your program grows and enjoys success, do more of what put you on the right path. But if something isn’t working, scuttle it quickly like a used-up rocket booster.
If your training program is already shooting skyward and you need a flexible registration system that can keep pace, contact Learning Stream at any time.