How to create a safe place for curiosity and innovation in your team.
In this transition period (which I believe will continue for a couple of years!) there will be lots of change and uncertainty BUT our potential for creating long-lasting positive shifts during this time – to our workplace culture, systems and processes, the way we work, our relationship with innovation and experimentation – has never been more potent and achievable!
Right now YOU have an opportunity to have a say in shaping the new normal!
Does this make you as excited as it makes me?
One thing we know about change though, is that it’s not always easy.
When things have been done a certain way, unquestioned, for years (decades even!), it’s not uncommon for our cries for change to be met with resistance.
Which is why we can’t venture down this path alone.
Not only will great organisational change require you to step more boldly into your role as a Leader, you will need the support of an exceptional team who feel safe to communicate openly, explore new opportunities, take bold action, and make mistakes.
It’s only from this place of safety, that creativity and innovation can happen.
Here’s how you can begin to foster a sense of safety in your team:
One – Celebrate progress over perfection
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that great change can happen, even when it’s executed with ‘imperfect’ action.
Let me explain …
When COVID hit, organisations were forced to act QUICKLY. There was no time for detailed planning and test piloting, they simply had to respond.
As a result of this, most organisations ended up working in ways that were once labelled as ‘impossible’ – aka, working from home and running meetings via Zoom!
Did these changes roll out ‘perfectly’ without glitches? No.
But did everyone adapt and learn as time passed? Absolutely!
The same goes now – we don’t need to be striving for perfection, but we do need to be moving forward and trying new and innovative ways of working.
Encouraging progress over perfection creates a sense of safety among teams because people feel encouraged to be curious to experiment.
Two – Embrace and learn from mistakes
Much like celebrating progress and acting before you have a detailed plan in place, I encourage you to embrace and learn from any mistakes that are made along the way.
Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to work under the progressive mantra of “giving it a go and stumbling, is better than not giving it a go at all”?
It would completely revolutionise the way we work!
This kind of mantra builds safety, supports creative ideas to flow and fosters innovation and out-of-the-box thinking!
It’s absolutely okay not to get things right the first time – all ‘failures’ give us wonderful lessons to learn from!
Three – Get your Executive team on board
When creating long lasting change, it’s important to get your Executive team on board.
Without their support, your efforts will feel like an uphill battle and any changes made won’t be sustainable.
Sometimes this will be easy – but not always.
Be patient and persistent, and trust that ‘planting seeds’ will help to shift things in time.
Will galvanising their support take courage? Absolutely! Especially in those organisations where change and innovation is less embraced.
I encourage you to simply plant the ideas, allow them to sprout, and then give your colleagues the time they need to catch up and get on board.
While they do, find the people you know are going to jump in and say ‘YES!’ quickly, and invest your energy there!
You don’t need to be a Lone Ranger, and having a support team behind you will make the journey easier and more enjoyable.
Need support knowing how best to take the lead and create a safe space for curiosity and innovation in your team?
You can book in for a Leadership Support Session here, and together we’ll create a tangible plan to move you forward courageously, strategically and in a way that honours and utilises your strengths.