By Sam Sanders, author of Your Next Big Idea
Say a company has successfully identified a problem or opportunity. What is the next step? If you ask most leaders, it would be to build a team and solve for the most beneficial solution possible. But how do you put together a team that will lead you to the most successful and creative solution? Here are three tips about team building that can help get your company to creative and innovative solutions:
Tip #1: Build a diverse team:
When looking at trying to develop a creative idea, it is beneficial to build a diverse team in all different ways. According to Forbes, racially diverse companies outperform industry norms by 35%. Diversity does not just apply to race, though; it applies to age, religion, where a person has grown up, personality, gender, and much more. The key here is building a diverse team of people from varying backgrounds who think differently. So why does building a diverse team lead to more success? It has to do with experiences. Every single person has a unique experience they can bring to a problem. The more people you have of a similar experience, the less of a scope you have when looking at a problem holistically. If you can bring in people representing different backgrounds, they can use those experiences to bring unique ideas to bounce off each other and build on. Ultimately this process will get your team to the most creative solution.
Tip #2: Bring in the anti-expert:
While this may be controversial, it is critical to bring in a team member that is the anti-expert. An anti-expert is someone who knows nothing about the topic you are solving for. But why would someone who knows nothing about what you are working towards add value? Think about the last time you were put into a completely new situation. You probably became hyper-aware. You asked questions, tried to understand why things were done a certain way. Raising questions that a team hasn’t considered is essential. If the anti-expert asks why tasks or activities are performed in a certain way, you may have an answer that seems obvious to you. However, if you don’t, this may lead to a real breakthrough in your creative solutions. Not only that, but someone who doesn’t understand or isn’t a part of the development process may bring unique ideas to the table, adding diversity to the team.
Tip #3: Give your team some time to have fun and play:
Often, when we think about playing, we think of children, but adults should play as well. According to Helpguide.org, play in adults can relieve stress, improve brain function, stimulate and boost creativity, improve relationships and connections, keep you feeling energetic, encourage cooperation, and develop social skills. All of these are skills that are critical to teamwork, creativity, and success. If you can integrate play and fun into your team’s problems and solutions process, that will lead to more creative and innovative results while also keeping your team more engaged!
Building a successful creative team is not easy. However, it is critical to business success. Finding the right people to put together in a team may take time and a lot of energy, but from a financial perspective, the work will pay off. It is vital to consistently innovate to stay relevant and win over new customers in a free market. Creating a team that has unique experiences, thinks differently, and can have fun will lead to creative and innovative solutions, driving your business to be a market innovator.
Samuel Sanders is an award-winning entrepreneur who has seen innovation, creativity, problem-solving, and ideation in action at many different levels: a Fortune 500 company, an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company, as well as incubators. He also co-founded the company Wundershirt, which at its peak, sold athletic training clothing to Olympic athletes preparing for the 2016 Olympics. Currently, he runs Heard, LLC, a software application that helps governments and large companies get targeted and reviewed feedback from their citizens/employees to improve decision-making.
Connect with Sam Sanders at www.samueltsanders.com.