3 Ways to Inspire Innovation in Your Team
Leading a team to greatness can be intimidating, exciting, and challenging all at the same time. There’s a mix of personalities, backgrounds and approaches to work that can be so different that they may seem like an obstacle to getting everyone on the same page and leading your industry. But this diversity can actually be a powerful asset that very few teams take the time to make the most of as a vehicle for innovation.
There are some simple ways you can bring everyone together as a team when it comes to making waves in your company and your industry. Impatient to get results flowing as quickly as possible and a team that thinks differently to build new ideas? Here’s a few things you can do to build a culture of innovation and leverage each person’s strengths.
Unite yourselves around a single mission – This is the number one thing we very rarely see teams truly take the time to do. It’s so important to decide, as a team, what is your mission for coming to work each day. A good mission will be:
- Team focussed – what does your team want to be or want to become in the next year, 2 years, etc.
- Aspirational – it should stretch the people in your team to develop themselves and their skills
- Measureable – there should be a way you can measure your progress towards it
How does a strong mission lead to innovation? By keeping the team focused on why they come to work every day, they’ll consistently be inspired by a meaningful purpose and build the ‘hunger’ for them to innovate—and be the team they need to become.
It gives their work an opportunity to be less about their job and more about how they can create new ideas that contribute to the mission. It’s the compelling and inspiring direction that they will move towards every day and it’s essential for innovation.
Define each team member’s individual brand
Each person in your team will set of experiences, stories and networks that have brought them to where they are today. By taking the time to craft a short personal pitch and longer career narrative, you’ll allow each person to articulate the unique value they bring to the team and the company. Clients connect with your company’s brand through your people and it is personal stories that truly resonate. Each employees unique slant on your team’s mission can provide a human side to the business and a sense of value over and above the products and services they’re offering. By taking the time to get this out of your team’s heads and into the open, they’ll be able to sell themselves in the market, build their networks and bring new ideas to the fold.
Look for opportunities for each person to collaborate and lead in their own unique way.
Once everyone in the team has taken the time to understand each other’s back stories and how they can be articulated in the wider market, look at ways you can leverage each other’s strengths in the team to innovate. Is someone a brilliant writer and another a closet videographer? Could they combine forces to capture customer success stories? Could a data geek and a presentations genius partner up to deliver meaningful analytics on your industry to the wider group?
By exploring each team member’s strengths that may not become evident in their day to day roles, you’ll find gems of opportunity that can lead to innovative ideas.
If you want help building this capability in your team, articulating the brands of your people and looking for opportunities for innovation, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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