Innovation is an essential part of any growing organisation. Here are four ways to fuel innovation in your team as derived from James Surowiecki, Wisdom of Crowds – we rapped this book as part of the Book Rapper book summary series.
1: Redefine Success
To spark an innovation revolution in your industry redefine what a successful product or service should look like. Raise the bar or shift the game sideways. Sometimes this is as direct and obvious as sitting down to question the assumptions you hold about how the industry works. Alternatively, compare your industry with others – for instance, how they build cars compared to how houses are built.
2: Diversify Sponsors
A diverse range of innovation sponsors is essential to encourage and promote a diverse range of solutions. The essential thing about creativity and innovation is the different ways of looking at things. While some individuals do this automatically (divergent thinkers), it’s more likely to occur when a different mix of people gather and interact.
3: Public or Private
Innovation is not a public sport unless you are losing. To boost your results either nurture your ideas in private or go all out and test them very quickly in a public way. Being a football coach can be awkward. When you’re winning, you’re a hero and when you’re losing you can be the villain. This is accentuated during a game. Making risky decisions in public may be the key to team success but is risky when they don’t work.
4: Tailored Teams
Creating ideas is often at odds with implementing them. Consider creating one set of diverse teams for creating ideas and one set of homogenous teams for getting things done. Some people are great at starting things and being creative, others are more comfortable at finishing known tasks. Having the right time at the right time for the right task is crucial to forward innovative thinking and not stop it before it begins.
What are your best ways to fuel innovation?