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How to Get Your Team to Be Innovative

Author: Andrew Pek   |   April 22nd, 2010

This was a question posed by a small business leader recently.  Are you wondering the same thing?  Everyday all around us there are stimulating spaces and places that we can use to get people out of their rut and come up with creative new ideas.

On an average day, we have about 60,000 thoughts.  If these are the same 60,000 thoughts each day, we may need to look to our surroundings for inspiration.  For example, while driving over the same bridge I cross daily, I decided to look and think differently about the structure, shape and vibe of the bridge.  

The “vibe” is something deeper then what you see on the surface. It is more about the feel you get from something.  Similar to when you are around people with positive energy that seem innovation tipsto light up a room when they enter it.

As I tried to sense the bridge’s vibe, I noticed the sun was rising saying “good morning”.  I turned off the radio to take in the tranquility and beautiful vision of sunlight shimmering on the water.

At first I felt the car bounce up, down and a little sideways depending on which way the small pot holes left over from winter directed the car. Then, while looking up and off into the distance, I noticed how the beautiful gently curved bridge created a perfect intersection with the land, a beautiful natural design that looked timeless.

I wondered what the architects of the bridge were thinking when they decided where the bridge should meet the land and how to shape and curve the bridge across the water at just the right angle.

Architecting these choices is something leaders of innovation choose every day.   Shaping innovation efforts and creating space for other people to contribute is one of the key roles of an innovation leader.

When defining a new creative goal a leader of innovation is architecting and shaping as well as mobilizing and aligning innovation team members.  Just like choosing where the bridge intersects with the land an innovation leader needs to create an intersection between the innovation project and the overall innovation strategy.  You also need to make architectural choices involving the resources needed for the project, the right mix of people as the core team to attract and generate the best ideas and keep things moving forward.

As a leader of innovation think of yourself as the architect of possibility, building a bridge that can be sustained over time and that helps keep people moving forward.  Get your people out of the office and help them focus on spaces and places differently, have them look for the vibe…


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