How to foster innovative thinking in your team | UB | Main Region
How to foster innovative thinking in your team
Innovative thinking can make all the difference to your business’ success, but how you arm your team with the tools necessary to challenge the status quo? And how do you cultivate an innovative culture when a team is working in different locations?
An intentional focus on creating a space where team members feel like they can be brave and challenge the company norm is necessary, whether that’s in a physical or virtual space. It is up to leaders to encourage a certain vulnerability among your team, while ensuring that they feel safe to do so.
10 ways to encourage team innovation
1. Encourage interaction between departments
Encouraging members of different departments to come together, virtually or physically, now and again can help. Whether through a formal set agenda to uncover insights from all sides, or just through a less formal team catch up, bringing different departments together can allow for a structured, or organic, flow of information and ideas.
2. Enabling interaction during hybrid work
3. Encourage reverse mentoring
Combining the knowledge and different perspectives of entry-level and senior staff, can lead to innovative ideas begin bubbling up between them.
4. Step away from the workplace
5. Encourage learning by mistakes
6. Welcome every idea
If a team member proposes an idea that simply isn’t right for the business, don’t dismiss it outright. Instead, make a concerted effort to be enthusiastic and talk through the concept. By fulling exploring the idea and discussing it you may find that it triggers new thoughts and ideas that your business could well utilise. This will also allow you to explain why certain elements might not be right for the business right now.
7. Make brainstorming a regular occurrence
Set an agenda and share the discussion points with the team ahead of time so they have time to prepare ideas to bring to the table. For instance, you might ask them to come up with five things the company could improve or one way their department could be more productive. Encourage ideas both big and small – a suggestion for a new coffee machine in the kitchen may not seem as ground-breaking as an idea for a new line of products, but both can have a positive impact on the business and your staff in different ways.