Creativity is an important aspect in any team that is aiming to deliver great results. If you have two teams and one plays it safe within the boundaries of what they already know and another one that is always seeking to test the possibilities, chances are that the latter will have more success.
So how can you unlock the creativity in teams so that they contribute to great results?
Brainstorming is a highly effective technique where team members initially put forward ideas freely without discussion and debate. These ideas are then reviewed to establish which are likely to have the greatest impact and also to determine the challenges and obstacles to making the ideas reality.
Ask lots of questions
Questions are often the thing that can really help a team shift to a new level. However, not any old question will do. Questions that are likely to open up possibilities and unlock creativity are likely to be short, forward focussed and non threatening. Examples include:
Think big picture
Detail has its time and place but when in the creative space, you want to be keeping the focus on the big picture, the end game or vision. Holding this as the focus will encourage people to push the boundaries.
Encourage real active listening
We all love to get our point across, be heard and be the person who comes up with the breakthrough. At the same time if everyone is focusing on what they want to say, chances are no one is really listening and when no one is listening things get missed or lost in the noise.
On a team, especially if it is cross functional, it is really easy to fall into the trap of stereotyping folks. You know the scenario, only the marketing folk are creative, the accountants are only interested if it makes a payback quickly, the human resources folks are only worried about what it means for staff, the production folks are only interested in top specification, etc. Remember, people are not so limited as job roles would have you believe, so embrace and use the diversity of views.
Bottom Line – All breakthroughs come from an idea so what do you need to be doing differently to unlock the creativity in your teams?
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps professionals improve leadership and management skilss and team working. For information about services and programmes click here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.