Posted on June 12, 2016 by Brenton Charnley
The three key takeaways and recommendations for those leading innovation and change within your organisation are:
Lesson 1 – Develop constructive leaders and teams, then innovation (or any objective really) can thriveChance favors the connected mind – Steven Johnson
It was seemingly clear that there is a direct link between leaders and employees in an organization that demonstrate constructive behaviors were more effective in achieving their objectives. These behaviors are achievement, self-actualizing, humanistic encouraging and affiliative. And why is this? Because organizations don’t innovative, people do. As a leader it is your responsibility to create an environment where people can work together, listen to each other, feel safe to try new things, bring their unique selves to work, and work in a way which encourages true collaboration (not broken down into silos). The result will be more resolution to complex problems, creation of value for customers and continuing innovation.
Lesson 2 – The power of the group outperforms individuals (most of the time)The sum of the parts is greater than the whole – Aristotle
This demonstrated a known rule – innovation is a team sport. Very few innovations in our history have been the result of the epiphanies of a single individual, but rather it was the joining of the dots, collaboration or connectivity that allowed innovations to come to light. Throughout history there are examples of innovation being brought together by the intersection of ideas and technologies. In Steven Johnson’s book, “Where do good ideas come from?”, he provided many examples of this occurrence, including the forefathers of innovation Darwin and Edison drawing on others ideas and theories to arrive at their own.Therefore, try and increase the amount of collaboration in your organisation. You can do this through establishing multi-disciplinary teams for projects, using hot desking or seat rotations, running internal pain storming sessions where others try and help solve other teams challenges, getting out of the building and networking or simply catching up for a coffee with another colleague you haven’t met. Increase the number of serendipitous interactions and increase the number of opportunities for new ideas.
Lesson 3 – Find where your organisation spends its energy and help to redirect it towards the constructive behaviors
Mistakes are the portals of discovery – James Joyce
The notion of energy came up throughout the session. And I thought it was an important one, because we don’t often talk about levels of energy in business. Time and money top the list of common KPIs. I thought, perhaps if we were to regularly monitor levels of energy within a business and where and how we were spending it, we might just be able to move the needle on innovation. This is because often, not only is it lack of time or money that limits investment in innovation, but also the additional emotional, reputational and sometimes physical (stress) drains on your teams energy just to get it across the line.