Think back to some of the past brainstorming meetings you were part of. Team members are sitting around a table – or on screen – writing on a white board as you try to improve on current processes or come up with new ways to accomplish your work.
It seems almost inevitable that someone will ask attendees to think outside the box, adding pressure to come up with a brilliant idea.
It can be hard to instantly perform when someone tells you to be creative, and we know that businesses need new concepts and regular improvements to move forward.
A study from Accenture revealed that 84 percent of executives say that future success is very or extremely dependent upon innovation.
Unfortunately, creativity seems to be a challenge within companies.
SHRM’s 2019 State of the Workplace report found that innovation and creativity are among the top skills that today’s job applicants are missing.
As a leader or a Talent Management professional, we need to help our employees find space and encouragement to let their innate creativity shine through. The question is how.
For starters, it’s important to remember that not everyone will be at their most innovative in a brainstorming meeting, and I wouldn’t recommend telling people to think outside the box – even though most of us have been caught using that phrase.
Instead, I invite you to consider creativity through the lens of the Emergenetics® Attributes. By understanding what each preference needs to spur innovation, you can establish an environment that gives your team what they need to open the door to new ideas.
10 Ways to Support Innovation in Your Business through the Attributes
Bring clarity to the specific challenge you want your team to address and potential measures for success. Providing the big picture focus and ways to assess whether the idea may be effective will give those with an Analytical preference the background they need to come up with new opportunities.
The Structural Attribute appreciates having a framework to get creative and enjoys building off process that are already in place to find room for improvement. Encourage those with a Structural preference to research best practices, examples from other companies or visit sites like Pinterest.
Individuals with a Social preference typically do not like to innovate in a vacuum. They enjoy exploring creativity by working with and through others. Encourage staff with a Social preference to connect with friends, family and colleagues to learn from their expertise and get their creative juices flowing.
The Conceptual preference is often asking the question “what if?” as they seek new opportunities. To help this Attribute innovate, provide a reflective space and make sure they know that all ideas are welcome. Encourage them to draw or find visuals to help them express themselves.
First-third Expressiveness: Some of your team members will likely want space and time to bring forward thoughtful solutions. Share the brainstorming concept ahead of time so that those in the first-third of Expressiveness can prepare in advance. They may also prefer to share their thoughts in a one-on-one setting.
Third-third Expressiveness: Those in the third-third of Expressiveness will likely want to talk through their ideas to find clarity. For external processors, offer to serve as a sounding board – or encourage team members to connect with other staff – so they can voice their thoughts and bring focus to their ideas.
First-third Assertiveness: This preference typically seeks to build consensus with others. It’s important to make sure that team members know that their input is appreciated and valued to help those in the first-third of Assertiveness innovate.
While a peaceful environment is particularly important for the first-third of Assertiveness, all Emergenetics Attributes appreciate a psychologically safe space. Click here to learn more about creating psychological safety for each preference.
Third-third Assertiveness: This preference often finds that debate will help strengthen their ideas. By promoting healthy discussion – where team members can build on and assert their opinions – those in the third-third Assertiveness can be energized to continue innovating.
First-third Flexibility: Those in the first-third of Flexibility appreciate when ideas are presented up front so they can stay the course after a decision is made. To drive creativity, encourage team members to explore all directions up front. After making a decision, consider outlining a timeline to test the new approach before making adjustments.
Third-third Flexibility: Individuals with a preference for third-third Flexibility like to explore options throughout the process and will be energized if they feel they can keep improving upon an idea. Identify specific aspects of the project that may still have room for refinement to engage this preference.
Every Attribute has the potential to be inventive and provide your organization with new concepts.
By creating an environment and providing parameters that speak to all Emergenetics Attributes, you can unlock the inherent creativity that lives in your employees and teams to inspire success.
Interested in learning more about how Emergenetics can support innovation in your work? Fill out the form below to connect with our team today.