In the cutthroat world of business and commerce, the worst thing you can do is stagnate. You simply can’t keep doing the same things while your industry and your customers change and evolve. You have to change along as well.
The problem with most organizations is that the same old ways are comfortable, and changes can be jarring. What’s more, it’s not always easy to come up with fresh ideas in the first place.
How Collaboration Leads to Innovation
If you’re a small business owner or a team leader, maybe it’s time to stop relying only on yourself for new ideas. Why not get your team involved?
The first obvious benefit of the collaborative approach to innovation is that it gives your business new POVs that you may not have considered before. This is a likely result especially if your team members aren’t clones of one another. If you have a diverse group with different backgrounds regarding gender, race, age, and experience, then you’ll get fresh thoughts that may help form new ideas for your company.
Even people with the same backgrounds may have very different personalities and opinions. Everyone is different, and that fact helps you gain new perspectives towards the formation of new ideas.
Vetting Your Assumptions
It’s said that “the captain is always right”, but that simply means that as the leader you have the right and the responsibility to have the final say in the decision-making. But it obviously doesn’t mean you’re correct all the time.
You can minimize your mistakes by using your team as a soundboard for your ideas. Have them find the mistakes in your plan, and then make changes accordingly. This not only improves your ideas but you also gain greater respect from your team because you asked for their input. You’re still in charge and you have the final say, but at least everyone in the team is heard.
When you’re making plans and changes to the ways to do things among your team, some of your team members may be uncomfortable with the new changes. When some people are satisfied with the way things are going, your plans to improve may be met with some pushback. After all, why change things when there’s nothing wrong with them?
However, discussing the formulation of these changes with your team lets them have their say. They’re able to influence the actual changes, and they also know the motivations behind the changes before you implement them. This can lead to less resistance to the changes, and they may be more motivated to make the new plans work.
When it comes to innovative plans, coming up with fresh ideas is just the first step. This needs to be followed by proper execution, but this can be just as difficult. But having your team collaborate in the ideation change makes the implementation stage much easier.
So as a manager, you need to swallow your pride and resist the temptation of being credited with coming up with the right ideas all the time. Let the others have their say, and you can instead gain credit as a better leader.
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