Innovation is a beautiful tool that can be used in ANY scenario. Most importantly, in the workplace where we spend most of our time. One of the most powerful tools any team can access is their creativity and the ability to innovate and create solutions to big and small “problems”.
How can you foster a workplace of innovation? Here are just a few ideas:
See problems as opportunities.
Problems exist in our space, and they tend to show up without invitation or notice. They are uncomfortable, sometimes painful and often elicit emotional responses…and that’s ok! The important thing is, don’t stop there!
We have the power to respond to problems in a way that promotes creativity and the opportunity to create something new and beautiful!
How do we do that? We change the IDENTITY of the problem, to OPPORTUNITY or GOAL.
Problem: Low motivation and morale amongst employees due to ongoing external problems in the world.
Goal: Develop a sense of camaraderie and morale amongst employees in their work environment.
Now I know some of you already have ideas spinning in your mind after reading the goal. THAT is what changing the identity of a problem does. It ignites creative, problem-solving ideas that eventually convert into powerful and meaningful ACTION!
- Empower ALL your employees to have a voice!
Diversity of thought is an underrated, exceptional tool.
Whether you’re a team of 50 or a team of two, you never know who will bring forward the next great idea, regardless of their station. Ensure your team knows that their place of work values what they have to say, and not only will problem solving become something to look forward to, you will be amazed at the incredible and valuable ideas that come from your team – even those from whom you might least expect!
- Brainstorming is not just for the marketing team, it’s for EVERYONE!
We often see these “brainstorming” scenes in movies on television, where everyone throws ideas in the mix and the main character of the film is the one with the ground-breaking idea. Usually, these tend to be marketing or advertising teams and firms, and so goes the stigma that brainstorming is just for the marketing team.
This is most certainly a DEVASTATING deception.
Brainstorming is for everyone and can be used to tackle ANY issue, no matter how big or small. Whenever confronted by an issue, bring the team together and brainstorm! Not only is this a fun and exciting exercise, but it brings the team together and everyone has a say!
- Create an INTENTIONAL space for problem solving.
Set up a meeting. Have a team lunch. Meet outside at the park. Wherever, or whenever, create an intentional space to bring the team together to focus on coming up with ideas and problem solving. This not only sharpens focus, but gives employees something to look forward to, and a sense of excitement to bring something to the table!
Creativity exists within every person, and as leaders, managers, owners, coworkers, we have the opportunity to provide the space for each other, to unleash the confidence that could lead to the next ground-breaking solution!
Written by Dr. Hailee Ingleton, Director of RehvUp Technologies Inc Employee Experience Program