Insight

Your Collective Creativity Chronicle

March 29, 2018

Do you ensure a safe space for innovation?

in collective creativity, everyday innovation

It’s a common scenario for people to fear the consequences of suggesting change. Fear is an innovation killer and with a culture of fear, the same results will churn.

Especially in highly sensitive topics, the loudest or highest paid person’s idea seems to prevail, while others give up after failing to see their contributions valued. Furthermore, if people are unwilling to risk failure because of its cultural implications, the odds of innovating successfully in the long term will decrease.

 

Provide a safe space for new ideas to emerge without fear or consequence.

Every member of your organization should feel secure enough to speak up and experiment collectively. Inquiries should be shared openly, being an essential element for enabling groups to have the time necessary to birth new insights and make sound judgments. In this space, contributors and not just supervisors, will share feedback on how to make a new idea more valuable and implementable.

Also, digitize and anonymize. A safe and anonymous environment creates conditions in which every person will contribute. Digitalizing this environment allowing for anonymity is a real plus—the experience at Be-novative indicate that the vast majority of participants use anonymity in a beneficial way, appreciating their virtual space isolated from initial judgment.

The collective activity taking place in this space can be compared to jamming”, the coming together of musicians during their creative sessions. First and foremost, it is fellow “jammers” who have a say in whether a new idea is valuable or not. To drive the point home once more: all contributors need to feel secure to speak up and experiment collectively.

 

Recommended actions:

  • Be mindful of the various personality types on your team. Each individual has potential to add something meaningful, but the environment has to shift constantly to get the best from each of them. Introducing anonymity or semi-anonymous sessions (where originators of potential ideas can uncover their identities) will encourage out-of-the-box ideas.
  • Encourage a wide range of opinions to bounce off of each other. Innovation stems from the friction of diverging views coming together. Make it known that any contribution is welcome and can be of potential for implementation; those from accountants, lawyers, juniors, customer care employees, and so on.
  • When holding in-person workshops, maintain a facilitator role as a leader to mediate possible differences. Internal forces may disrupt the newly created space and you should be ready to step in.
  • Foster creative resolutions for integrative decision making. Combining ideas that seem to be in opposition (not compromises!) can pave the way for teams to ultimately embrace diverse views and overcome conflicts.

 

Our tool was launched with these ideals in mind. Create a virtual and exclusive safe space for your team where ideas cross-pollinate and produce out-of-the-box solutions.

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