8 Fantastic Suggestions to Boost Team Innovative Thinking

Are you one that believes that creativity can be learned? We are among that group. We also believe in suggestions for innovative thinking can boost team creativity through effective collaboration. Through a series of sparks and not a single flash of insight. Certainly our way of thinking.

Collaboration drives creativity because ideas always emerge from a series of sparks — never a single flash of insight. Are you a creative person? Problem-solver? Learner? All of the above? We consider ourselves in the group of all of the above. Our continuous goal? Obtaining the best creativity. And at the top of our focus areas? Studying and understanding the problem at hand. Check out our thoughts on team leverage. Albert Einstein once said that if he had an hour to solve a problem, he’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.

That is our way of thinking. But not most people. Creativity doesn’t often happen in a vacuum. As the author Steve Johnson says, chance favors the connected mind. When people are together, talking, laughing, thinking, exploring — they’re going to throw out ideas. These ideas trigger something in someone else’s mind, and it snowballs. Before long, this group of folks has developed a creative solution that wouldn’t have been possible without the collective collaboration.

Don’t fall prey to the myth that only some people are creative and you’re people are not of the chosen few. We are all creative; it’s just a matter of figuring out in what way.

So find things you’re curious about and are interesting to you, use your imagination a little, stay motivated and work at it, and surround yourself with others who are doing the same. Good ideas, right? So how do you and your team boost creativity? Here are ten suggestions to improve your ability to exercise ideation within your team:

Innovative thinking … encourage risk-taking

Zappos as a company is known as much for its culture as for its creative business model. The company has built a business that is growing rapidly by allowing individuals the freedom to take creative risks without that overwhelming sense of fear or judgment. They tell their employees to say what you think, even if it is controversial.

Make tough decisions without agonizing excessively. Take smart risks. Question actions inconsistent with our values.Another interesting example: A software company in Boston gives each team member two “corporate get-out-of-jail-free” cards each year. The cards allow the holder to take risks and suffer no repercussions for mistakes associated with them. At annual reviews, leaders question their team members if the cards are not used. It is a great way to encourage risk-taking and experimentation. Think this company comes up with amazing ideas? Absolutely.

Be a detective

Creatives and innovators always have enquiring minds. Are you and the team asking enough questions to get deeper and understand the problem as much as you can? It is not rocket science, is it?

Make quiet time

Most ordinary days of the average worker includes an enormous amount of multitasking. Multitasking is, of course, is very destructive to the time and space of good creative thinking. Set time aside for team members’ quiet time to stimulate and let the mind wander until ideas flow. You will be surprised at the results.

Challenge good

The phrases good enough, this has always worked, and this is all the time we have to devote to this problem, etc. are very destructive to team creativity. Avoid these at all costs as they are enemy #1 to the best results.No question about that.

Foster Autonomy

We all prefer control over our environments. According to a 2008 study by Harvard University, there is a direct correlation between people who have the ability to call their shots and the value of their creative output. An employee who has to run every tiny detail by her boss for approval will quickly become numb to the creative process.

Have you seen this happen? It will for sure. The act of creativity is one of self-expression. Granting autonomy involves extending trust. By definition, your team may make decisions you would have made differently.

The key is to provide a clear message of what results you are looking for or what problem you want the team to solve. From there, you need to extend trust and let them do their best work. They will work well under this model.

Divergent thinking

Try the quantity approach to new ideas. Use brainstorming to improve divergent thinking. Study and then connect ideas to get new ideas.

Innovative thinking … add play to the equation

When looking for fresh new thinking to solve a problem, shake things up by adding some fun and play with the process. It always can shed the stress and pressure on a team

Explore new experiences

Open up your new idea of thinking. Do things in new and untried ways. Avoid the set ways of solving problems.

Experiment

Do as much experimentation as you can. Don’t worry about failures and allow the team to question any and all assumptions and consider even the craziest ideas.

Key takeaways

Now, think about YOUR business, YOUR life. What problems are you facing that could be approached differently simply by asking WHY, and then WHY again, and then WHY again … until you get to the real definition of the problem? If you don’t, you may just end up not correctly defining the problem. Not good.

Nothing worse than solving the wrong problem. So put in enough time in understanding and defining your problem. Don’t leap to problem-solving before you do. Lots of whys help us explore and thoroughly define the problem.

Remember to practice these problem-solving skills as well as asking lots of why questions to form new ideas.

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Mike Schoultz

Mike Schoultz writes about improving the performance of business. Bookmark his blog for stories and articles. www.digitalsparkmarketing.com