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How to promote innovation in your work team?

ANDt's amazing how productivity increased at most companies that moved to remote work. Employees don't tend to slack off just because they work from home. If anything, they are more attentive to productivity expectations. They also appreciate the personalization of their work area, fewer distractions, and no nosy work neighbors watching their every move. It is important to promote innovation in your work team.

However, it has been recognized that innovation has had a significant impact. In times of uncertainty, it is well known that companies tend to spend less money and take less risk, which can lead to a drop in innovation. But this innovation gap may also be due to the difficulty of collaboration that comes with working from home. That is why we must develop the innovation of our work team  

No matter how many technological solutions we try, video conferencing and instant messaging applications cannot match the dynamics of collective work in the same room. The times when people exchanged ideas and worked sharing with each other's energy.

Table of Contents

Creativity and driving innovation in your work team are the basis for any good collaboration

Although this is disappointing, there are some simple steps leaders can take to overcome this depression:

1. Increase collaboration tools as a way to drive innovation in your work team

Make sure people have access to a variety of collaboration tools. You don't have to be limited to one video conferencing platform and one messaging app. Test a few with your team to decide what they like and under what circumstances they want to use the tools. When people have flexibility and diversity, they can determine what is best for their communication style and personality.

2. Give guidance on remote work

We should not assume that people have prior knowledge of how to work without guidance. When we lead people on how to collaborate while working remotely, we empower the team and thus it is more willing and able to share information.

3. Establish a routine connection as a way to promote innovation in your work team

We must create a way to connect with the team and make it consistent. Consider regularly scheduled team meetings and individual reviews. These sessions clearly and consistently state the expectations that will be part of the daily work routines.

4. Help them maintain a keen sense of curiosity.

You have to encourage and support the team to ask a lot of questions. It must be achieved to challenge what is widely accepted as the standard. There is no prescribed formula to help your team adopt a childlike curiosity. But make a conscious effort to make them question everything. Those questions don't always have to be addressed to the team leader. They can be self-directed or for the team as a whole. Encourage your team to start conversations about the problems that need solutions. This can help them think in new ways.

5. Brainstorming as a way to promote innovation in your work team

Get your staff to capture and organize their ideas and thoughts with an exercise. Ask them to brainstorm solutions to a problem. They must not catch your responses, no matter how outlandish they may seem. Then have them present the ideas to the team. Remember: innovation comes from creativity, and creativity is about how you associate different opinions and facts. These ideas can be a puzzle piece of a problem that can be solved through collaboration or generating inspiration that will solve the problem.

6. Look for new experiences

Inspire your team members to seek out new experiences and report on them. Explore different fields and merge ideas used in other industries to their problems to find solutions. Try new activities to stimulate the mind and senses. Reading new books, meeting new people, meeting people with different ideas about similar problems that need to be solved.

7. Get them to practice mindfulness as a way to drive innovation in your work team

This is a benefit to the physical and mental health of your team members. But for innovation, the benefit is training the mind to focus on the present and not let it drift from one thought to another. It helps to clear the mental clutter, so we are more receptive to new ideas for innovations.

8. Encourage healthy risk taking

Don't discredit people for making mistakes. You foster an environment where your team members feel comfortable overcoming their fears and taking risks. That your employees do not feel that they will be ridiculed for making a mistake. Make them see mistakes as part of the learning process. Ask yourself why it went wrong and how the next attempt could be improved. What would be done differently to arrive at the desired solution.

9. Let them keep up to date as a way to drive innovation in your work team

Encourage your team members to stay up to date with more innovative ideas in their field of interest. Encourage them to discuss these issues among themselves and propose possible solutions to the problems raised.  

The challenge for team leaders is to capitalize on the trust that has increased through the recent pandemic and build the capacity of remote workers to improve their ability to innovate. Following some of these ideas will help you handle this challenge with ease.

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