Collective Innovation: Get Others to Come With You

As part of a large or small organisation, you may have found that it can be difficult to get everyone on the same page. Some people have different ideas, others are working with different definitions, and still others have different skill sets. Getting everyone to pull together and work together can be quite a challenge – and when you move to collaborate with other teams (companies) the trouble gets deeper. Then, if you are not the head of the organisation yourself, you may be facing the tricky task of getting the senior leaders to “buy in” to your projects or innovation initiative.

At InnoFuture, innovation is our business, but it can still be difficult to get all teams working harmoniously. Here are some tips that will help you get others to come along the innovation journey successfully.

Do Not Delegate

The first thing that leaders of an innovation initiative need to know is that delegation is the killer of collaboration. When you delegate, you kill creativity and ambition. Instead, work with your team during brainstorm sessions to agree on who will be responsible for what outcome, and give them plenty of room and flexibility to accomplish that outcome however they’d like.

Get a Champion

Adobe, the mega-corporation for design and editing software, has developed what it calls “Evangelists” whose sole purpose is to discuss what they are passionate about. Through their passion, others are inspired to use more Adobe products to pursue their own passions. For example, a Design Evangelist needs only travel the world to discuss how he loves the newest advances in digital design and what Adobe is doing to spearhead innovations in that field. Almost immediately Adobe builds a following of loyal fans who in turn become brand evangelists themselves.

Your organisation – every organisation needs this type of person to begin building a culture that the world will love to follow. InnoFuture’s interview with Dr. Sarah Pearson explains this in even greater detail – watch the video here.

Align With Everyone’s Needs

This may be one of the trickiest parts of innovating with a team or in a collaborative setting. Each department will probably have their own “needs” for the initiative to be considered. Some will want realistic sales projections, others have a strict budget limit, etc. You will need to ferret out the needs of each team or leader that you need buy-in from and find a way to show that your innovation plan will meet or exceed all of them. Not doing so will be like throwing bear traps in your own path.