“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
The business world is changing at warp speed. Is your team working with optimal creativity to keep ahead of the transformation? Here are some leadership tips to encourage diverse thinking and innovative action.
Your organization is likely to lose relevance unless your team is continually analysing the market and keeping ahead of the needs of your customers. This means constant rapid change being integral to your culture.
The question we may ask ourselves is, “how do I as a leader encourage innovation?”
It is very difficult to think creatively when one is under massive pressure of deadlines and the office is running hot. As a leader you need to create an environment that is conducive to free thinking. Allow your staff the time and space to be away from their workplace and in their own creative environment. This may be on the beach, at a nearby coffee shop or a break in the local park.
Not all ideas will hit the jackpot. Allow people to try new methods and should they fail, please ensure that you provide a “safety net”. If your staff see colleagues being punished for attempting a new process, understand that no sane individual will be willing to try anything new. Punishment is the death of innovation. Allowing failure is the tonic of creativity.
Failure is vital to learning and encouraging ingenuity. This establishes ‘creative tension’ (or the need for survival) and we tend to raise our game and become more inspired in the endeavour to stay ahead of the pack.
Trust is key. Creative thought and innovative action take risk; and people do not take risk with those that they do not trust. Ensure that you develop relationships of mutual respect with each member of your team. Support and encourage free thinking and DO NOT micromanage any project.
People are different and are motivated by different rewards. The adage of “people are stimulated when they hear the jingle in their pockets” may not ring true for all people. Understand your staff and recognize them with rewards that they value. Time off for a pamper session for a mother may mean more than a few hundred rand in her banking account. Mary Kay Ash observed, “There are two things that people want more than sex and money – recognition and praise.”
Most people have worked within environments with strict policies, procedures and rules. These generally anaesthetize any creative thought. Your staff may need a little prodding with the innovation fork. Build inventive thought into their job descriptions, gently coercing them into thinking differently. Once they have experienced the after-glow of a great innovation they will become hooked.
If you are struggling with creating an innovative culture in your organization, let us help.