In his latest book, Innovation for the Fatigued: How to Build a Culture of Deep Creativity, Alf Rehn highlighted a phrase I hadn’t seen before – ‘Innovation Theatre’.
Coined by Steve Blank, innovation theatre describes the way organisations try to gain cachet in innovation circles by emulating startup techniques. Unfortunately these activities often end up as PR exercises, completing a tick box for trying something innovative but rarely achieving much. Think of them like weak Corporate Social Responsibility programmes. The problem is that the power, spend and decision making remain central, and the innovation is a side dish.
Now look at your learning offer. Are you truly changing your business? Are you achieving?
Or are you learning theatre, ticking a box for learning while the power to move people remains away from you?
You’ll know if you’re learning theatre when:
- You’re ticking boxes
- Your organisation uses your inputs to demonstrate you’re doing something over your outputs and outcomes
- People enjoy what you do and then do the ‘real’ work back at their desk
Break a leg.
4 thoughts on “Learning Theatre”
[…] I’m a big fan of pilots – they don’t fail but just have different degrees of success. What I hadn’t appreciated was how much they fall into the learning theatre environment. […]
[…] This is, in may places, to counteract criticism and end up as nothing more than ‘learning theatre’. […]
[…] It ‘might’ help, but you need to deconstruct structures and processes to implement change in the culture before you even dream of training. Otherwise it’s just learning theatre. […]
[…] doing equality theatre where you can point at events and performative activity. It doesn’t make any difference other […]