Collaborate to innovate and tap the realm of possibility
The collaborative process is a powerful way to engage team members and customers, but it also provides a platform to merge skills and game-changing ideas. When it comes to summoning the creative forces, man is not an island. Our world is abundant with people who can contribute enormous value in their own way, yet most are never seen or heard.
As a society, we seldom encourage others to take a path of risk and unbridled adventure because this approach is untested and has the potential to break conventions and reputations. Who is going to pay for true innovation anyway, your employer or your customers? Hmm—good luck with that.
Most of us are trained to do things based on what someone else has already done, and that's okay, but being led to believe it's the best and only way, isn't okay. To drive change you will need to circumvent certainty into the dark unknown realms of possibility.
Next time you're in a team meeting and a colleague offers an ambitious idea – before you shoot them down in flames or passively disengage – take a moment to offer some constructive thinking around their suggestion. I encourage you to encourage a team culture that supports, not only each other, but also the development of bold and ambitious goals.
You don't need to have your head in the clouds all the time, but being on the ground all day doesn't serve you either. You need to have a balance of pragmatism and a willingness to see things from a higher perspective. This is one of the most effective ways to rise above what is and see the path that leads to what can be.
What holds many people back in life isn't lack of skills; it's their unwillingness to share more of themselves with others. They fear being rejected, particularly if what they believe in is against the commonly held beliefs of their tribe. They believe they are not good enough and fear being judged and rejected as a consequence. So, it's up to you to inspire them to see more, feel more and be more in life. Why is it up to you? You're a leader and that's what leaders do.
Here are some tips to help you inspire innovation:
- Declare innovation as part of your culture and elect champions to lead it.
- Set up a taskforce responsible for implementing grand ideas and bold ideals.
- Support and encourage innovation through recognition.
- If you're passionate about a great idea – fight for it!
- Launch one great idea or bold ideal per financial quarter.
- Reward people not only for results, but also for engagement and participation.
- Get everyone involved – inspiration can come from anywhere and anyone.
- When a great idea bombs, be accountable, and learn and grow from it.
- When a great idea flies and really takes off, celebrate and share the success with everyone.
"I dream for a living" – Steven Spielberg.
This is an excerpt from Trent's latest book OUTLAW: Fight for your Customers and Sell without Fear.
Trent Leyshan is the founder of BOOM!, Australia's leading sales training and development specialist. He is the co-founder of Expand People and author of OUTLAW: Fight for your customers and sell without fear.