Today more than ever before we need the creative ideas and efforts of everyone on the team. We don’t need a team of 30 people with only 1, 2 or 3 contributors.
Creativity and innovation do not spring eternal from the heart of organizations. When we do see creative and innovative endeavors springing forth from people you can rest assured that those in positions of leadership nurtured it.
Here’s a quick checklist of things you can do to inspire creative and innovative ideas and developments from your team:
1. Make the atmosphere and environment safe for open dialogue and discussion. This does not mean positioning and posturing but true and authentic exchanges regarding improving our results.
2. Ask people for their ideas. Engage in an annual or biannual ‘Ideas for Improving our Results’ brainstorming session. Prioritize the ideas once you’ve done the basic generating work. Then take action on the “winables” first and the more challenging items as you get better at the game.
3. Welome new and outrageous ideas, engage with them and hear them out. We don’t find new paths by continually revisiting the old.
4. Make experimentation acceptable. The best way to do this is by a controlled method of testing. Experiment within a small group or department and analyze the results. Tweak from there!
5. Make it fun!!! Nobody wants to participate in drugery. People want to be successful, make a difference, and enjoy the process. This doesn’t mean all of our work is fun. But it does mean we can lighten up and turn creativity and innovation to our advantage!