For generations, American culture has prioritized the individual. Employees were encouraged to look out for their own interests and find the best possible way of getting ahead in their industry. However, this “it’s all about me” focus has negative impact on the company, co-workers and particularly innovation.
Teamwork and collaboration has been proven to be the key to generating new ideas and sparking innovation. Here are three ways companies can use collaboration to accelerate ideas within their industry.
Encourage an Open Dialogue
A culture of collaboration creates an environment that nurtures ideas and innovation and improves employee satisfaction. There are many ways to promote collaboration, from encouraging employees to share their opinions with upper management to company town hall meetings to organizing regular brainstorming sessions. This opens avenues of communication between team leaders and various departments of the organization, allowing for a more effective implementation of ideas across the company.
Throw Out the Book
Following the rules can get in the way of innovation. In many companies, there’s a lot of unnecessary red tape, so collaborative “rule-breaking” with other departments may be necessary to simplify business practices. During your next staff meeting, ask your employees:
• Which policies are getting in the way of their creativity?
• What is hindering their ability to perform their tasks effectively?
• Do you hold too many meetings?
It may be as simple as a more relaxed dress code or as complex as whittling down the layers of communication required to implement a new idea. Collaborate with your staff to simplify your rulebook and keep only the essentials in place.
Hold Intensive Training Sessions
Innovation is a skill that takes practice to be mastered, and one of the best ways to do that as a team is through group training sessions. These can be in-house events or company retreats designed to facilitate creativity and forward thinking. You can focus on themes such as idea generation and implementation, effective teamwork, and individual creativity. Effective trainings can not only help with critical skill-building, but they can also help reinforce the idea that each employee has the opportunity to affect the direction of the company. Your team will be more cohesive and better able to tackle unique challenges as a result.
Without collaboration, innovation is impossible. But collaboration isn’t simply a machine that creates new concepts—it also improves communication and the overall efficiency of your team. By implementing these three collaboration tips, you’ll help your staff become more cohesive, productive, creative and innovative.
What are you doing to drive collaboration at your company? We’d love to hear what’s worked for you.