Innovation is a team sport. It comes easier and faster when you work together. If you're going to create solutions to difficult problems or find new ways to exploit opportunities you'll need innovation. Here are the five steps to innovating with your team:
Focus your ideation on solving problems or exploiting specific opportunities. Allow free-flowing ideation that is agnostic to title, position, authority or status. Do not critique, edit, limit or disqualify any ideas. The more ideas you have the better.
Once you have ideas you can introduce your constraints. Consider the resources, experience, and capability required to implement. Analyze and critique each one based on value, cost, time, and risk. Choose the one with the greatest overall potential. Let the best ideas win even if they are not your own.
Immediately begin prototyping the best MVP (minimum viable product) you can in the shortest amount of time and for the least amount of cost. Iterate and test until you have a solution that clearly works. You may revisit steps one and two.
Build a coalition among stakeholders to help you secure resources, expertise, and support to implement the solution. The more internal support you have the easier it will be for you to implement the solution at scale.
Implement the solution, refine and scale. Communicate proof sources to the organization demonstrating its impact based on value, cost, time, and risk. Celebrate your wins with your team and keep innovating.
To assess your personal impact on the psychological safety of your team, ask yourself the following seven questions:
Consider this: We include naturally in childhood and exclude unnaturally in adulthood. Why? Exclusionary behavior is learned behavior, the result of bias acquired through socialization. That bias may be conscious or unconscious. How, then, do you root out exclusionary bias, behavior, and policy?
Success is prone to dismiss feedback, disconfirming evidence, and alternative points of view. You stop listening. You start distorting. And then you begin to suffer the effects of isolation. As the theologian Neal A. Maxwell once put it, "Isolation is such a poor friend."