The best leaders know that innovations don’t come from a singular place, but from multiple sources – both internal and external to themselves. When a team filled with different people comes together, their different points of view and experiences merge and create innovative solutions which they could have not done otherwise.
Knowing this, it is optimal for leaders to learn ways in which they can encourage innovation. Here are 4 things great leaders do to foster an environment of innovation and initiative within their teams!
Ignore Roles and Titles
Great leaders pay attention to individual ideas because ALL ideas matter. It just might be the intern who sees the problem or opportunity from a new point of view and who comes up with an innovative solution. Amazing ideas aren’t exclusive to c-level executives. Giving everyone around you a chance to contribute and not writing them off because of role or title will prove to be the most beneficial habit to adopt as a leader!
Collaborate and Discover
It’s not until you begin collaborating as a team that great outcomes begin to take shape. However, collaboration is not only about working closely together, but also about taking big leaps in an effort to discover new solutions. You never know which idea will take shape once you put your brains together and explore all the possibilities.
Don’t Dismiss Ideas from the Get-Go
What this means is, when a team member comes to you with a brand new idea, resist the urge to come up with all kinds of reasons why the idea won’t work. Rather than poking holes, come up with ways to help them refine their idea. Encourage your team member to identify barriers, come up with solutions, as well as to test the idea for further improvement!
Communicate to Learn
Lacking strong communication is a great barrier to get across for a team. Without it, teams are unable to find their rhythm and will likely be unable to collaborate together, ultimately resulting in a deficiency of trust. The way in which you communicate sets the tone for the team and fuels everyone to think in different directions, leading to new innovations.
Developing a culture of innovation is a powerful tool for teams. Not only does it give everyone a chance to grow and pitch their ideas, but it also propels the team as a whole towards a brighter future filled with ideas, solutions, and most importantly, opportunity. Implement these tips and see for yourself just how far your team can go when there are no limitations!