Staying on Track with Innovative Thinking

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During the process of working with teams in a corporate and small business environment, I’ve observed how innovation can be sparked when people collaborate on projects that are designed to encourage and support inventive thinking. How do you stay on track when you’re working with a team? Here are a dozen ideas:

  1. Invite people who have diverse skills and are willing to make a commitment
  2. Establish a vision of what success looks like
  3. Create a schedule for implementation and final delivery
  4. Choose leaders and give them autonomy
  5. Carve out time to focus on the project
  6. Encourage members to think like a start-up entrepreneur
  7. Set goals and methods to measure progress
  8. Remove barriers to communication and share experiences during the process
  9. Provide the team with the tools they need
  10. Identify gaps and explore how they can be filled
  11. Reach out to networks to discover who has knowledge and expertise to fill gaps
  12. Observe, conduct trend research and interview people to gather information

To create a product, process or service that offers unique value, innovative thinking requires a sense of curiosity combined with an organized structure and the ability to synthesize. It’s important for teams to communicate the highlights of the experience to the company – sharing key findings, challenges, and results. Participants will also stay excited about a project when they celebrate progress along the way, not just when they arrive at the destination.

To create an organization that’s adaptable and innovative, people need the freedom to challenge precedent, to ‘waste’ time, to go outside of channels, to experiment, to take risks and to follow their passions.

– Gary Hamel

Photo by Caren Libby – Train Station – Washington, Missouri

Caren Libby

Caren Libby

Caren has a corporate and entrepreneurial background in marketing and project management. She frequently collaborates with a variety of service providers on full-service marketing projects. She also has a passion for photographing people and places in St. Louis and beyond.
Caren Libby

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