3. Innovation – New Ideas

19 Sep

Have you ever heard of a term called “group think?”

“Group think” happens when a group thinks or makes decisions in a way that discourages creativity and dissenting viewpoints.

Now .. that’s an innovation killer. Groups members flow with the group and alternative ideas are lost in the process.

So … how do we encourage innovation, stretch participants beyond their comfort zones and tap into collective wisdom in the process?

New pathways will not be explored if we are too busy focusing on the current state of affairs.

You know … like at those meetings where no one is saying anything new? Or worse yet, where all they do is to complain about the status quo?

Idea and innovation conceptHow do we unblock this type of thinking? How is creativity nourished?

Invitations to be innovative start with the leader, so here are a few suggestions to help your group generate new ideas.

  • Use structured exercises – Take 10 minutes to come up with 42 ideas about a specific topic, challenge or problem.
  • Reword the problem – For example, if a company wants to make more money, perhaps looking at how to reduce costs instead of how to increase sales will help.
  • Mind Map – Write a key word or phrase in the middle of a blank wall. Then write whatever comes to mind around it.
  • Pretend “What if …” – As an example, “what if” money were no object … what would you change?
  • Ask someone else – Seek the opinion of the employee on the loading dock or your newest customer.

Give it a try. All you will need is one or two great ideas or suggestions to start down a new road.


P.S. This post is the third in a series. For more information, please see “Why Do I Write this Blog” about “The Art of Leading Collectively.”

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