Managers Learn That Innovation Works Best As A Team

Innovation is required in order for a company to be truly successful
Innovation is required in order for a company to be truly successful
Image Credit: thinkpublic

The job of every manager is to find ways to use their manager skills to get the most out of their teams. Although this is easy to say, it’s actually quite hard to do because most of us don’t have any manager training on how to go about doing this. One way that a manager can get more out of their team is by finding ways to get the team to innovate. Innovation is the key to coming up with new ways of doing things that can make the company more competitive and has a whole host of benefits. However, actually getting your team to become innovative is where most managers stumble.

The Power Of Innovation

So first off, let’s have a talk about this innovation thing. Just exactly what does it look like in real life? It turns out that you can make your team more innovative if you are able to open them up to receiving ideas from everyone on the team. Studies have shown that companies with teams that accept ideas from everyone on the team have better growth prospects than companies that have teams with a less-inclusive way of going about innovation.

One way that a manager can find out if his team feels as though their input is being valued is simply by asking them. What you need to find out is if the members of your team feel as though they were included in larger strategic decisions, if they feel as though management is interested in the ideas that they have, and if they are being encouraged to implement new ways of doing their jobs.

What studies have discovered is that at firms where teams reported that they felt that their ideas were sought out the companies were growing faster than their completion and had higher employer productivity. The companies who did this the best were shown to have more than 5 times the growth of the companies who did the worst at this. Even more importantly for managers was the fact that employees at the most innovative firms were 14% more likely to say that they wanted to keep working at the firm long term. These employees were also 32% more likely to say that they would be willing to put extra effort into work.

How To Get Your Team To Become More Innovative

Ok, so if we can all agree that this innovation stuff appears to be a good thing, how can we get more of it for our teams? A lot of firms have come up with creative ways to tap into their employee’s innovative sides. At one firm, they permit their employees to use four hours of their work time each week to step away from their regular responsibilities and explore new skills and parts of the company that are not directly related to their work.

What managers need to encourage is for their team members to open up their mindset so that they can offer new ideas and improvements for how the company does things. Managers who don’t know how to get members of their team to do this will end up missing out on what they have to offer. Another way of tapping into what your team has to offer is to set up “innovation teams” that combine employees from different parts of the business. These teams are almost like a form of team building and are well positioned to come up with new improvements and programs that can be rolled out throughout the entire company.

Ultimately, one of the keys to a successful innovation program is communication. Team members who have great ideas need to feel as though their ideas can be heard by management. This is why at some companies forums with the company’s senior leadership are set up whenever there is a novel new idea. During these types of presentations, the team member who had the idea can get feedback and this can transform the idea into something that the company can implement. This type of communication path to the company’s decision makers can be critical for the members of a manager’s team.

What All Of This Means For You

Managers who want to get the most out of their teams need to find ways to get their teams to innovate. It turns out that this is actually quite difficult to do. The reason that getting a team to become more innovative is so important is because innovative teams allow companies to become more successful. This puts the burden on managers to come up with ways to motivate their teams to become more innovative.

In order to make a team more innovative, the team has to become open to accepting new ideas from every member of the team. When teams do this, the company benefits and can become more successful. In order to find out if the members of his or her team feel as though their ideas are being valued, a manager can simply ask them. Studies have shown that at firms where team members could contribute their ideas, the company grew faster and team members were less likely to leave. Managers can get their teams to become more innovative by implementing creative programs like allowing team members to use work time to try out new things. Innovation teams made up of people from different parts of the company can be created to think up novel new ideas for how the company can operate. The key to a successful innovation program is to create good communication between team members and senior management.

Managers have a great deal of responsibility when it comes to getting the most out of their teams. They need to be able to get creative and look for ways to maximize their team’s productivity. Finding ways to boost their team’s productivity is a great way to make this happen. Creating an environment in which each member of your team feels as though their inputs are valued is the way to make this happen. Take the time to create good communication paths and you’ll have an innovative team.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How often do you think that you should meet with your team to get new ideas from them?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I don’t know about you, but in the past few years, I’ve been reading more and more articles that seemed to present Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the miracle cure for just about everything. There certainly has been enough manager training on AI over the past few years. No matter if it’s what your customer are going to buy next or what the office temperature should be set to, the answer always seemed to have to do with AI. However, as time as moved on, managers are starting to discover that it may turn out that AI really can’t solve all of our problems.