Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Characteristics of Innovative Team

More Often than Not, Innovation is a Team Work.

Due to the complexity and dynamic of today’s business, more often than not, innovation is a team work than individual’s effort, but what’re characteristics of an innovative team?

There’s a balance in responsibilities between the team and “me” or champion. The champion offers direction / vision, the team’s strength is in the implementation of that vision. The challenge is how the responsibilities are divided. It’s not one or the other, but both. In many large efforts, the people involved are often geographically disbursed, that requires folks to help create a new culture of innovation, so that complex efforts can become a true group effort with little need for the standard leadership models, leaving managers to identify opportunity, evangelize and fund raise.

It is a balance, measurable as a ratio of intentions, even the simple act of talking and listening should be balanced in multidisciplinary teams, as should take the consideration of advocated ideas and inquiries about other's ideas. But innovation in isolation is only possible in a few niches if you are working on complex issues the chances of the best answers being within your group is close to zero. So if you want to try to do important things, it requires a lot of collaboration and high-quality communications. Without these channels, working well on the decisions will be poorer than they should be, reducing the yield of efforts.

Most teams, in the beginning of their learning journey, don't know how to do the 'basics', such as listening, asking questions, giving and receiving feedback, as well as dealing with conflict or even constructively advocating a point of view or building trusted relationships. This requires a high level of leadership/training/facilitation or coaching skills to enable the team to operate effectively enough for innovation to occur. Which suggests an additional  5 "C's in innovative teams; Courage, Creativity, Curiosity, Concentration, and Customer-Centricity.

Innovation team also has 5 “I”s; Influence, Imagination, Information, Implementation, and Integration, but not about Isolation. For teams to operate effectively in the innovation space, they need these core teaming skills, as a foundation for up-skilling their ability to generatively inquire, advocate and debate at high levels. They also need to know how to be collaborative, building upon trusted relationships, to develop mutuality or attunement with one another.

The innovative teams are motivated by factors that improve their well-being, such as autonomy, mastery and a sense of meaning or purpose; more specifically:
- be able to have the most useful mindsets, behaviors, and skills, to be both competent and confident to do something new or different and not be at the effect of their learning anxiety.

- be able to cultivate an environment that supports the desired changes or learning, usually is often the form of a great sponsor, leader and within a constructive, and risk-tolerance culture. 


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