Recently, I was told one of our most resourceful team member was going to be moved to a different department. Well, movement of team members to different departments is a regular activity. What surprised me was the team member selected to move. Let me explain.
This particular team member has been an innovator of the mundane tasks. When he joined the team he reduced manual efforts not just his work but also that of others. Though initially slow in his work, he was able to bring new ideas to the table and was able to map the business flow, identify the points or areas which could be converted into automation. He also received a lot of praise from his bosses for his new data analysis. They have never seen such drill down of data visualization with option to filter it to the minutest details. This in turn helped these bosses to convey the right message to their leadership and exactly identify the cases that were non performing for further actions. Previously all that they received from another team was a data dump with no option to dive deep into the data, if they wanted to.
Now that makes me wonder. Are not leaders assumed to have a sense of vision to spot the right talent? Great leaders always groom or have the right team around them to execute their vision, isn’t it? Please let me know your views about this in the comments and your experience.
In this age, to be the best among your peers and competition, you cannot be without Innovation streak! The best companies have scored above the rest because of innovation and it will be no surprise if they have team members who are obsessed with innovation and best practices and incorporate it in their daily work.
What makes a person, a project, an engagement, an organization innovative? Based on my observations and understanding, I have put together this concise list and I am sure there are lot more around. Please feel free to add to this list, as per your experience and understanding
- Culture of Innovation
- Rewarding the ideas and not the person
- Acceptance and acknowledgement of ideas irrespective of where or from whom it came
- Continuous search to excel
- Vision and Goals
- Spirit of fun and enthusiasm
- Safe environment
- Continuous endeavour
Culture of Innovation
A set of habits becomes a culture. We need to create a cadence and continuous forum for discussion within the team to find better ways of doing things. Brainstorm together as a team once a week on what are the current market trends, discuss on what will help us to optimize our work and what will give added value to the client. This could then become an accepted consistent process within the team like any other process
Acknowledge ideas that come out during the brainstorming sessions or outside irrespective of where or from whom it came. This way we make the team feel accepted and respected. Many times the best ideas come from the ground
Rewarding the ideas
The best way to encourage a constant flow of new ideas is to reward the big and small ideas. Doesn’t matter if the idea is a little stream today, it can become a large river tomorrow!
Reiterate Vision and Goals
Its very important that we reiterate our project / company’s vision and goals to the entire team. This helps in team focus and unity
Safe Environment to ‘experiment’
It is also very important to have a safe environment to experiment the idea. For e.g. if the idea uses some program language code such as Java and needs a code hosting platform for version control such as ‘Github’. In such a scenario, it will be advisable to work on a ‘private’ version of ‘Github’ or company bought licensed version to experiment, so the code is not exposed to public and cause any concern.
Spirit of fun and enthusiasm
Not much is achieved if there is no enthusiasm within the team for a purpose. We should learn to ignite the passion and interest of the team to work together to innovate. This will ensure that we will always get people to join such discussions and there is a continuous learning and sharing experience for all
As leaders, we are called to lead our teams and our clients into the future. It starts with us, first!
We should encourage people and build culture of innovation in the present, to create the desired future that we envisage!
Happy Learning, cultivating, and Innovating!
About Devino Menezes
Devino is a Project Management Specialist with 17+ years of experience in Quality Assurance. Currently He is working as Program Manager in Sogeti Practice team and leading the Delivery Intervention Portfolio. He is experienced in test strategy and implementation with expertise in different domains such as Retail, eCommerce, SAP, Telecom, and Insurance. Experience in handling complex engagements across multiple geographies and skilled in stakeholder Management, business Transformation.
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