Tap Into The Most Unused Asset Within Your Team or Organisation
Why and how to tap into the collective wisdom and creativity of the crowd to solve your biggest challenges. How can you, as a leader, tap into the ideas and thoughts of your team and stakeholders to create new and bolder strategies and innovation?
Unlock the potential of creative thought
It is often said that people are the most important asset and, to a point, that is true however it is not the physical aspect of people that are the most valuable – we have robotics and automation for a lot of that; in my view, it is the ideas and thoughts of your employees that are the most valuable aspect, and often the least used.
The need to create new ways of working, be creative and innovative is becoming more and more important. The pace of change and the complexity of the world is accelerating, and showing no signs of slowing down.
Why then, with increased complexity and need for innovation, are organisations and leaders not tapping into the thoughts and ideas of their employees? Why are leaders not harnessing the team/groups’ Collective Wisdom to help solve these complex challenges?
If you want the system to change, get the system involved in the change
We need to move from a model of leadership where we expect the few to have the answers and transform to a model where we ask questions of the many. Creating a safe space where employees can express views, ideas and concepts without fear.
Organisations need to be bold to take advantage of these changing times. There is a need to a revolution, not just evolution of working practices and models. Looking for incremental improvements will only go so far.
The lightbulb was not created by constantly improving the candle
Imagine a workplace where individuals are given the space to think, to consider and to bounce ideas of each other. This encourages issues to be explored from multiple perspectives and creating new and exciting ones ideas.
This will create an exponential development of creativity and innovation, which is much more likely to match the speed of change and complexity of your environment. Be bold and trust your employees, trust that they can and do, have some great ideas.
Bravery and multiple stakeholder involvement
And to be truly brave, consider crowdsourcing from multiple stakeholder groups. Imagine the power of creating solutions with your employees, customers and suppliers and even your industry as a whole - this provides an opportunity for innovation and system change at scale.
This sounds so good in theory, and you may be wondering how to implement crowd sourcing innovation in your workplace. The five main points when running a crowd-source session are:
- Choose the right crowd - be aware of what you are trying to achieve and the desired outcomes. Then choose the right mix of people to be involved in the session, remember to consider all stakeholders - internal and external.
- Create a common purpose - create a sense of belonging within the crowd, work to make it a safe space where ideas can and will be shared. Help individuals connect with the purpose of the session- why is it important for them to be there?
- Gain clarity –what are you aiming to achieve. What strengths do you want to build on, what opportunities do you foresee? Work with the team to create a ‘How Might We…?’ question.
- Ideas – set the scene where the group/groups can crowd source ideas around the ‘How Might We…?’ question, or questions. Allow for individual freedom, ensure there are equal voices.
- Implementation – create a top level implementation plan. What can be expected within a set of timeframes, such as immediately, 1 week, 1 month, 2 months and 3 months.
When facilitating these conversations, it is important to create the space where people feel safe to share ideas. The more varied and open the groups are, the more holistic and rounded the solutions can be. This will also help with identifying more opportunities and ideas, it will help with the solutions being more acceptable to the whole system.
Now go out there, be brave, be bold and tap into the creative wisdom of your team, organisation and stakeholders to create a new and exciting future.