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Team Development: Creativity and Innovation

Team Development: Creativity and Innovation

Sarah A Scala, M. Ed & OD,  ACC
Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Recently I was hired to do a video interview on Creativity and Innovation for Teams with MindEdge, a Boston-based online corporate learning company. As I prepared for the interview, I reflected on where I have achieved success with my clients and past employers when it comes to creativity and innovation. 

See quick video clips of the interview below.

Organizations are most successful with innovation when they have a safe culture.  A safe culture means that people are comfortable with being present, sharing ideas, and contributing in teams. Where failures are accepted as part of the process, open communication is practiced to include ideas from introverts and extroverts, and that diversity of ideas and backgrounds is tapped into to gain the best possible ideas and solutions. As Brene Brown says in her famous TED Talk and book The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection and Courage, by not supporting risk taking and vulnerability, innovation can't happen.  Without a safe environment that is open to testing, risk taking, and failure, organizations stick to the same old ways to solve problems without any fresh, cutting edge ideas.

Another important aspect of promoting an innovative culture and organization is to allow the space and time to dabble in ideas. This may look like Google's 20% time, where employees have time each week devoted to "sand box" projects.  It may also involve having teams work independently or establishing "skunk works" teams in companies, giving them flexibility and less formality.  This allows for risk taking, testing, and playing with ideas in a structure that is more open and less hierarchical.

What are some ways you have strengthened your work environment to promote innovation and creativity? Please share in the comments. If you have specific questions, ask me. I'm happy to help.  

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