Inspire team innovation with an idea garden, saving great ideas for future growth.
Hi Karin, “I attended your Courageous Cultures, how to Read Courageous Cultures with your team book club, and we loved it. We are using the book and we’re reading it. The good news is we’re getting SO MANY IDEAS. I continue to respond with regard (with gratitude, information, and an invitation) to the ideas I receive. The team knows I want their ideas, so they keep bringing me more. Now I have too many ideas. I don’t want to crush team innovation, but I can’t possibly use them all.
How do I respond and SAVE THE IDEAS for later? #AskingForaFriend
The Challenge of Abundance: Too Many Ideas, Too Little Time
First let me say, GREAT JOB! You’re doing a lot of things right when it comes to fostering psychological safety and encouraging team innovation.
I would start by ensuring that everyone understands your vision and your MIT priorities. The more clear people are about where you need a great idea, the more remarkable, usable ideas you’ll receive.
This is the essence of my TEDx Talk: How to Help Your Team Bring You Remarkable, Usable Ideas
The best innovation comes from a combination of strategic clarity and psychological safety. See our article in Smartbrief on Leadership: Safety First, Clarity Next: The Secret Formula For Better Workplace Innovation.
The Idea Garden: A Solution for Sustainable Team Innovation
Even with strategic clarity, you’re still going to get some great ideas you don’t want to lose, or that might be useful to consider as your strategy evolves.
Enter the “Idea Garden,” an innovative approach to team collaboration that acts as a repository for creativity. Here’s how it works:
- A Place for Every Idea: In this garden, no idea is too small or too wild. It’s a space where every seed of thought is valued and preserved, ensuring that nothing is lost in the hustle of immediate priorities.
- Accessible and Organized: Using project management software, this garden is not a wild thicket but an organized oasis. Ideas are cataloged, making it easy to revisit and nurture them when the time is ripe.
- Inspired Team Innovation: It’s a space where members not only pitch their ideas but also appreciate the creativity of their peers.
Here are five reasons why team innovation is so important.
- Ensures No Idea Is Left Behind: In the rush of deadlines and deliverables, brilliant ideas can slip through the cracks. The idea garden ensures that doesn’t happen.
- Encourages Continuous Engagement: Knowing that their ideas are valued and preserved, team members are more likely to continue contributing enthusiastically.
- Fosters a Culture of Innovation: By institutionalizing the practice of saving and revisiting ideas, you create an environment where innovation is not just encouraged but expected.
- Improves Project Management: With ideas organized and accessible, integrating them into future projects becomes seamless.
- Strengthens Team Bonding: Collaborating on nurturing ideas strengthens relationships and builds a sense of shared purpose.
Cultivating creative team collaboration in an idea garden helps you manage an abundance of ideas. It’s a strategy that not only saves ideas for later but enriches the soil of creativity from which future innovations will sprout. So, next time your team’s creativity feels like a wild garden, remember: with the right approach, you can turn it into a well-tended haven of remarkable ideas.