Today, creativity and innovation are a necessity in any business. In our modern networked world, great companies cannot stay at the top without leveraging creativity and innovation into critical processes: from R&D to customer iterations and from production to distribution.
Key elements of these critical processes are all the people involved. Not only company’s employees are part of teams today. Let’s think about how suppliers and partners are involved in processes. And what about customers? How are they included into innovative and creative business models?
From different researches, we know somehow the key things contributing to innovation and creativity:
This is the idea generation and first step of the journey. Referred as “divergent thinking” or “exploration”, this step welcomes cultural diversity, different perspectives, some degree of conflict and different individuals’ skills.
Once ideas are on the table, innovative teams require both common understanding and commitment on their objectives. In a nutshell, this step generates at his best when:
a) team members are depending from each other in achieving personal goals,
b) the team is cohesive, where cohesion means, “creating a psychologically safe environment that enables members to challenge each other and the status quo”,
c) internal communication is flowing smoothly, allowing knowledge sharing, as well as (again) “creating a safe environment for providing feedback”.
But if you think back to your last team meeting…
Unfortunately, in many organizations the reality is not presenting the ideal conditions supporting creativity and innovation. An example? Think back to your last team meeting, strategy session, or planning workshop: did you experienced that 80 to 90% of the participants had no voice and no say at all? No voice means no commitment, no participation, and no share.
Some of the key reasons why this happens are e.g. the presence of strong personalities grabbing most of the talking time; people not feeling safe in speaking up; cultural inhibitions in challenging others; the feeling of not being (valued or) of value for the discussion level.
In such an environment, it is very difficult to profiting from everyone seeing things differently and contributing to enhance team’s knowledge, resulting in lack of creativity and innovation. We are widely missing the human ability to imagine, to describe and to make sense of a situation at hand, to initiate change and improvement, and even to create something radically new.
With increasing connectivity and truly global communities where all members are part of a team because they possess unique knowledge, creating a playing field where both the known and unknown can be surfaced, is at the center of an organization’s competitive advantage.
How can we boost involvement to 100% of the team members?
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® addresses exactly this issue. It focuses on:
It levels the playing field, engaging 100 percent attention and participation. It helps leaders who recognize that the only sustainable source of competitive advantage is the experience, knowledge and imagination present in people around them.
The key recurring elements of the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® process are very practical (like building models, sharing thoughts, and collectively learning) and count on the belief that people naturally want to contribute, be part of something bigger and take ownership.
The facilitator builds a safe environment where each one of the participants has time to produce relevant artifacts and has a voice to share meanings, while focusing on a common strategic objective. Allowing each member to actively participate and speak out, the process generates in a natural manner a more comprehensive and sustainable solution. Active participation also facilitates ownership taking and personal commitment to support the co-created outcome.
Given the need for something like this in our business world, what does it take for you to test the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology?
Happy to work out a specific suggestion to target your specific strategic issue. My email: email@example.com