There is a really simple, easy way to help create and build a team that thrives on curiosity and innovation. It is something that we do every day of our lives... it is communication or in this instance, disagreeing with someone. I know you are probably thinking at this point, what are we talking about here? So, I will elaborate.
I am going to be bold and just go right out and state...' It's OK to disagree with someone'. In fact, I would say it's essential to a culture of innovation.
It can be really easy to focus on being 'nice', never disagreeing or taking offence when challenged. It's why assumptions and cliches can hang around for years and can be a serious lag on innovation.
The best ideas and solutions are often at the centre of two very strongly held views.
If we truly value diversity and the fresh thinking that comes with it, we need to embrace what a diverse team does best when they:
- Challenge each other
- Stay curious
- Ask why?
- Keep exploring ideas
This requires what Google calls 'an environment of psychological safety.' This is where people feel free to take risks, challenge each other and check for clarification without feeling like they will be viewed as vague or even worse, that they have suggested something that is 'wrong'.
It also requires being OK with 'Killing your babies' (ideas), when you realise they can be built out in a different way. Or the value you thought they had, doesn't stack up as planned. Don't leave your best thinking on the table.
When a team can challenge and disagree without fear and egos - that's when collaboration, diverse and fresh thinking and innovation start to fly. We need to start harnessing the power of diverse ideas. The sweet spot of Innovation is at the heart of the 'wild idea' and the 'opposing view'.
When we to start to think 'What if' more often in our business meetings and listening to what each and every member of our team has to say, the changes are immense.
Never discount an idea, whether it is one that agrees with the problem at hand or not.
If you need to get your business team to start collaborating and bringing their diverse ideas to the table, VisualFunk can help you. Contact us today and we can help you create design thinking sprints, creativity and problem-solving workshops and more.
Simon Banks, Director of VisualFunk