To build a more innovative culture requires two simultaneous activities.
You have to:
– continuously generate big, new ideas and
– be open to receiving them.
If you create ideas that no-one wants to hear then this ends in frustration.
On the other hand if you are receptive to new ideas but no-one has a breakthrough solution then this is a lost opportunity.
My research suggests that for too long we have been too focused on the idea generation part and not the idea receptivity part (i am as guilty as anyone).
Idea Receptivity — The Starting point:
My starting point is that idea receptivity is a skill and set of behaviours that can be learned, practiced and improved.
However it is not taught in any business school (that I know of) nor in any other creative thinking/innovation program where the emphasis primarily is on generating ideas.
In fact, business leaders because they are taught to think in a convergent way often suppress the creativity of others.
Creativity and innovation emerges from having more and better quality creative conversations.
It is also worth pointing out that idea generating and receiving are roles not people.
You can be the idea creator one day and the enhancer the next.
How to build a more open team & culture
With these starting points in mind I have designed a half-day course to build greater idea receptivity in groups and teams.
The aim is of course for the team to develop and test new ideas that grow brands and businesses.
This can be achieved by using the word OPEN as a guiding framework.
O — Stands for originality and value.
In this situation the idea receiver looks for the originality in the idea and the value.
You need both. If an idea has value but no originality then it is a ‘me-too.’ A truly original idea without usefulness is a creative luxury.
P – reminds idea receivers to consider both the person and the idea.
Challenge by all means the idea but always leave the idea generator feeling positive, heard and respected.
E — encourages idea receivers to try and enhance the new idea and evaluate (ideally in that order).
Premature evaluation can cause frustration and reduce opportunities to develop breakthrough solutions.
N — The last letter reminds idea receivers (particularly leaders) that they need to outline the next steps in the idea or simply to say no.
People can live with an idea being rejected if they feel they have been heard and encouraged.
The OPEN idea receptivity course is available now!
– A half day course for all teams and groups
– Based on the OPEN framework
– Simple, practical, proven tool-kit
– It will enhance your creativity and innovativeness immediately.
– For more details contact Dr Ken Hudson firstname.lastname@example.org