How to Encourage Innovation in Your Team
With so much radical change happening around us, we need our teams to be innovative now more than ever. But you may be thinking – does anyone really have the time or resources for that?
I get it. In the midst of ongoing challenges, it’s easy to just operate in survival mode. But as Jeff Bezos once said, “One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.” You may be in a tough situation right now or down the line – either way, it’s crucial to stay innovative to adapt as change happens.
So, as a leader, how can you encourage more innovation within your team?
#1 Infuse it into the culture:
If you want an innovative team, start by making it one of your stated values. And I don’t mean just a word in one of those cheesy corporate posters, but a core principle that everyone understands how to live out on a daily basis.
#2 Form a diverse team:
Another way to increase innovation is to ensure you’ve got diversity of background, culture, perspective, and experience within your team.
#3 Create a safe environment:
People won’t be comfortable speaking up with new ideas if they’re afraid of being criticized or judged. So, create an atmosphere where they feel safe trying new things, even failing at times.
#4 Make time for it:
Innovation won’t happen if everyone is bogged down with status quo projects. You can create the time and space for your team to exchange ideas or work on the new and novel.
#5 Exchange feedback:
Innovative ideas come out of trial and error, testing and retesting. And an important part of that process involves a continual exchange of feedback among colleagues.
#6 Tap into creativity and playfulness:
Look for simple ways to infuse creativity and play into how your team works together. This will help unlock different parts of the brain and activate the imagination.
Glenn Taylor is a certified leadership coach and President of Skybound Coaching & Training. He works with leaders, entrepreneurs, and teams across the tech, marketing, design, and arts/entertainment sectors. He’s also a jazz pianist, pun connoisseur, and all around nerd. Check out his leadership blog, podcast, and videos at GoSkybound.com.