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July 15, 2021
2 min read

Team vs Innovation: fostering for success

For the past decade, many of our clients took the opportunity and effort to truly focus on innovation. It's never simply disrupting industries; it's about pursuing the needs of users and gaps in the market. From mobility to health, we've remotely collaborated with teams from all over the world, enabling them to adopt an innovative culture. 

Radical candor builds relationships

Communications play a huge role in everyone's day-to-day operations. The radical candor approach (Kim Scott) has two dimensions: caring personally and challenging directly. Caring personally means that you care about the needs and priorities of others. You empathise with their struggles. By doing so, you create a safe and healthy space for everyone to challenge one another (also known as challenging directly). This creates an environment to question freely and get on the same page quickly while giving and receiving feedback professionally. After all, you hire a team for their opinions and expertise, set the stage, and let the right people do their best work. Essentially, building trust within the team to voice their opinions is a priceless investment because you reduce misalignments, miscommunications and delays in your projects. 

That's why it is crucial to facilitate this method of communication by adapting to the culture of listening. We always encourage our clients to communicate not just what their KPIs and goals are but also their personal goals to better assist them for success. Emphasising this behaviour is hugely beneficial for the future of the project and your relationship with your team. 

Efficiency is the innovation trap

Projects tend to be focused on efficiency, cost-cutting, and short-term outcomes. Most businesses and clients want to innovate but aren't willing to actually invest or take the next steps. This short-sighted vision makes it challenging for teams to actually innovate. Does this mean that by innovating, we can't be efficient? No. Efficiency comes later. 

The initial cost to invest in a creative team and sprinting your way to a minimum viable product (MVP) that is ready for market test may seem like a lot. But the advantage of doing so is that it provides an in-depth insight into how your customers will react to your product/service. This gives you an opportunity to re-strategise/pivot if needed or proceed with launching your product/service with confidence. 

It significantly lowers your cost as you develop and build what your customers need and most importantly, lowers your risk. Resulting in a successful project in the long run and building an experienced and efficient team that encourages more innovative projects moving forward.

Getting the right people at the right time 

You are only as great as your team is. Most projects span over months and years even. A common pitfall with these projects is not anticipating who you might need at different stages. Sure, we want to start with a lean team but knowing when to include key players, be it internal or external, at the right moment has proven essential. It may not be necessary to have everybody involved in the daily standups but setting specific moments where we involve stakeholders and skilled-experts who can share their thoughts, help identify risk and also offer alternative solutions. 

With all the projects we run, we make it a point to collaborate with our clients and not just be a 'supplier' to their needs. It's important to us that clients we've worked with understand the culture of innovation by truly experiencing what it takes to innovate. 

Do you need advice on training your teams to be more innovative and agile? We can help. Contact Jael