Creating an environment where great ideas will arise
In another article, we discussed about innovation and high technologies in the Orlando metropolitan area. The point was that with all the universities and companies in this region, technology is not only a promise for the future, but a reality of our present days. The question is: why some companies seem to be friendlier than others regarding innovations and creativity, or rather, how to promote conditions to facilitate and to motivate these ideas to arise and flourish?
Typically, great ideas don’t come up in a magical moment of insight; this may happen, but not as often as we see in cartoons. They come, as many slow hunches from different individuals, like the small pieces of a puzzle that you are building. If you take them separately, you can’t see anything, but little by little putting them together they start to show a beautiful picture. These brilliant ideas take a long time to evolve and they come as a consequence of the ‘collisions’ of the smaller hunches. They need time to incubate. Although we see some companies becoming successful due to the great ideas of a single individual, it is much more frequent to find them as a result of the effort of a group, truly teamwork.
Here are some characteristics of environments that facilitate great ideas to come up:
- Diversity – if your company has just one type of person working regarding to experience, training and culture, the ideas and solutions to old problems will most likely be flat, similar to what they always were. When you are selecting a new employee, give a chance to somebody that comes from a different field, has a different background or even a different origin. If you want people that think outside the box, you need to be the first one to have this attitude;
- Inclusiveness – it’s not just enthusiastic, outgoing and expansive people that have great ideas. The shy and introspective ones have also their fair share of those. Sometimes they are more analytical than the others, so invite them to participate, create opportunities for them to speak up and to contribute. And let them speak. I noticed many times during a meeting a timid individual that was presenting his interesting point of view on a topic being cut off by somebody else. In this case, what I would suggest is cut off the cutter by saying something like ‘I’d like to hear the rest of what X has to say before we move on’. Besides, give full attention to the person who is speaking and take the time to understand what he/ she is saying;
- Edify people – another fascinating aspect is how you prepare people to hear somebody else. Depending on how you introduce a person, people will hear him/ her differently. Find a way to edify the former and prepare the ears of your peers for great things and this is what they will hear. It’s not about telling lies or exaggerating, but highlighting the numerous good things that specific person has to offer;
- Synergy – let people speak and motivate each and every one to contribute. Have in mind that the whole is greater than the simple sum of its parts. It’s not just that in the process of creation an idea will bring a new one, and another one and so on; it will also bring a better idea, and a better one and so on. Synergy has quantitative and qualitative results;
- Respect – this is probably one of the most important aspects, if not the most important. You must show respect for all people and their ideas and you should demand everybody to adopt the same attitude. You are all part of the same team and you are playing a vital role in helping the company succeed. As such, everybody deserves respect as this forms the basic foundation of any relationship. Establish an environment of mutual respect, and everything else will follow. Your team will be receptive to what you have to say and to what all have to say. Ultimately, if we want to deliver, then we have to start with respect.
In a world full of competition, there are plenty of roadblocks that your team will have to overcome to succeed in your industry. The work environment inside your company shouldn’t be one of them. Try to incorporate the characteristics above and you will be surprised at the impact it will have on the team’s energy and creativity. The best takeaway for your employees? They won’t be limited by rigid rules and can focus on building the next game-changing feature instead. Great ideas will arise!
This article is for general, indicative purpose only and should not be considered investment advice. Florida Connexion is not liable for any financial loss, damage, expense or costs arising from your investment decisions based on this article.
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