How innovative is the culture within your team?
When we discuss that subject with managers, we often get negative responses because they feel that innovation and creativity belong to the ‘out-there’ types of business, committed to blue-sky thinking and with their heads in the clouds.
However, by reconsidering these stereotypes, managers often see there are possibilities they had never considered before. So how do you encourage your team to engage with a culture of innovation? How do you get them to accept that creativity should be a buzzword mentioned, developed and applied every day?
Well, the Centre for Creative Studies at SUNY-Buffalo in the USA have defined eight dimensions for the climate of innovation to be developed. Here they are:
1. Challenge – How challenged and emotionally involved and committed are you to the work you have to accomplish?
2. Freedom – How much freedom do you have to do this job?
3. Time to generate ideas – Do you have time to think things through before having to act?
4. Support of your ideas – Do you have the resources to make ideas actually work?
5. Openness and Trust – Do you feel safe in speaking your mind and offering different points of view?
6. Humour and Playfulness – How relaxed is the workplace, and how much fun can you have?
7. Debates – Do what extent do people engage in lively debates about issues?
8. Risk Taking – Is it OK to try out new ideas? Are you frightened to take risks?
These eight components should help you to determine which areas should be developed within the team to achieve a level of competence in creativity. To develop a culture takes time, so you can start simple and build from there.
Try these out. See what happens and let us know how it goes.
Head of Training
Originally published: 10 October, 2012