If you were the one who started your business, then it took you being good at just about everything!
You were the chief salesperson, manager, administrator and general sweep the floor person. It takes that to get a new business off the ground.
But at a certain point you need to start bringing on other talent, resources and people so that you can continue to grow.
However your team are not just cogs in the wheel – they have an importance and role that is more than the specific tasks they are responsible for.
They also bring a different view point, different ideas, different experiences, talent and focus to the business.
And if you really want to unlock your team’s potential to increase your business results you need to be tapping into all of it.
So how do you do that?
The first step is to create an environment that supports and encourages sharing and discussing ideas, insights, and experiences.
To set up an atmosphere of Creative Conflict.
Creative Conflict is when you create a safe setting to share ideas, opinions, thoughts, and feedback.
Conflict is part of it because you want a diversity of ideas which often means disagreement, challenge and discussion.
What you want to cultivate is an open debate with as many options as possible – whether in the end you can use them in your business or not.
The goal is to open up the floodgates of possibilities – brainstorm to include as many choices as possible.
Then you can start narrowing down the focus, taking into consideration the business parameters, allocation of resources etc., and fine-tune the options into a workable idea.
Why is this important? Because if you don’t start by opening the flood gates and considering as many options as possible – you often end up limiting the workable outcome.
To create the best brainstorming environment, you need to cultivate different viewpoints.
So for example including people at different ages, different genders, different cultural backgrounds, with different talents and sometimes from different industries.
Sometimes including people from within and without your company!
An essential component of fully tapping into the wealth of Creative Conflict is to set up an environment where diversity is appreciated, differing viewpoints are heard and there is a foundation of trust.
Trust that a team member can express an idea and not worry about being ridiculed – again whether that particular idea can actually be used or not.
It is essential that your company culture encourages communication, feedback and respectful evaluations.
So when you are trying to improve some facet of your business – improve your product offering; differentiate what you offer; increase efficiency; improve your customer experience – consider tapping into the full wealth of resources you have around you.
Napoleon Hill in his brilliant book “Think and Grow Rich” said It’s not important to know everything (because you can’t) but it is important to know where or how to get access to it.
If you want to increase innovation in your business, increase the ideas you are considering!