Tip #4: Encourage a Diversity of Ideas

March 4, 2009 -- Sal Silvester

“No one is thinking if everyone is thinking alike.” - General George S. Patton

Think about the importance of this statement. Innovative teams not only embrace differences of opinions and new ideas – they encourage it. Through a diversity of ideas teams learn to innovate, challenge the status quo, and enhance their processes and projects.

Here are a few tips to help your team think differently:

1. Create a shared vision across your team. When everyone works under a common set of expectations, goals, and assumptions, new ideas will be viewed as a means toward achieving the vision.
2. Ensure everyone understands that their ideas and opinions are valued. Take time to ask for people’s input and actively listen. Remember, your most innovative ideas will come from the quietest people on your team.
3. If it ain’t broke – break it! Challenge how, when, where, and why you do what you do, and expect everyone on the team to do the same.
4. Encourage people to share information, knowledge, and experience – both within and across teams.
5. Expect conflict to be resolved in a constructive manner. Help people understand that conflict should result in positive outcomes.

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