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Your probably getting really sick of reading and hearing about how important innovation is in your business.  You might even wish the world will stop for a while and let you get caught up.  It’s all about new, new, new, and more new.  I bet there are times where you just want to breath and say stop…..

Well, I guess you’ve come to the wrong place today.  We’re not going to talk about stop.  Instead, let’s spend a little time about what makes for great innovation.  Innovation comes from creativity and there are three things I want you to consider.

Do you trust those you’re working with?

For me this is always the big thing.  Creativity requires that you take risks.  Let me ask you a question; are you willing to take a risk with someone you don’t trust?

When you think about making a mistake, does it give you the willies?  If the answer is yes, you probably are having a trust issue with someone on your team.  Before you even try to be innovative, you better fix the trust issue.  If you don’t, your team is doomed to failure.

Are you familiar with each other?

A major part of trust is building a relationship where you care about the other people on your team.  Being familiar is going past just caring.  It’s about understanding and knowing the people on your team. 

Again, creativity is just as much about mistakes as it is about finding something new.  To find that new thing you’re going to have to make lots of experiments.  If you’re not familiar with those you’re working with I bet you might have a hard time laying it all out there.

If lack of familiarity is an issue, take some time and learn about those others you’re working with.  It’ll pay off in allowing you to further out on a limb and not worry about someone coming along with a chainsaw and cutting the limb down.

Do you have shared goals?

You have to spend time working as a team to have shared goals.  It’s hard to be creative when you’re going in one direction and your team members all have their agenda’s.  If you don’t have shared goals you’re probably going to spend most of your time arguing what you’re going to do.

Instead, why don’t you spend some time thinking and talking about what it is you’re trying to accomplish.  The question why is always a good one to throw in here.  If you know why you’re activity or creative pursuit is a good one, there’s a pretty good chance all of you can be enthusiastic and support an outcome that moves your organization forward.

What if one of more of these doesn’t exist?

In most groups that are stuck one or more of these three things are missing.  If you spend a little time figuring out which one it is, you’ve made a giant step in making creativity and innovation less painful.

When you can use all of your energy moving forward it often is an enjoyable experience.  When you spend most of your time just trying to herd cats…..you’ll just get a giant headache.  I bet you don’t want that headache, do you?

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Topics: trust, goals, creating value

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