Do you work within a team?
It can be either frustrating, trying to balance different personalities OR a fun creative adventure.
In this great interview with Janice Francisco from BridgePoint Effect, she shares her insights on how to bring different personalities together.
To improve your meetings for better results.
If you want to make them more productive, creative and stimulating, then the full interview is a must-listen.
If you want more info on what Janice does check out her website https://bridgepointeffect.com/
If you’d like to register for Janice’s upcoming webinar just follow this link
For a quick teaser…check out this video
Or the full episode here
The links between change and innovation and the link between creativity became so apparent to me and what I realized was that all along I was in the innovation field because I was helping organizations change things. And I think that's one of the things that people don't always understand about innovation is that it is really about creating change.
Most organizations don't change things for the sake of changing them. Usually there's a motivation and usually it's because they're trying to move away from some sort of pain that's going on or move them towards a better place.
And in the definition that I use for innovation, innovation is about creating new value in an organization. And I think this is a place also where people get really confused, because they think of innovation as this, it has to be huge, new, technologically savvy and have all of these really revolutionary aspects to it, you know, and shiny, bright things.
Um, and they forget that it can, or they don't understand that there's a lot of untapped, potential in looking at, you know, I don't like the way this is working and I think we can do a better job. And you know what, it's not really exciting and it's not involving necessarily new technology. But if we think about this and do something a little differently, you know, we can, we can find a better way.
We can make this, you know, better, faster, cheaper, simpler, whatever that, thing is by way of improvements. Like I think the thing is that any time you attempt to do something better or different, something has to change, you have to stop doing what you did before, you have to maybe work in a new way. Maybe there's new people involved. Something's going to change in that process.
And true to innovation as we start to, you know, dig in and explore the opportunity or see where things are at, you know, we, we can start to uncover things that we hadn't realized. We started to challenge assumptions that we have and, you know, before you know it there's a different opportunity or there's a better opportunity, or at least there's some choice points around so do we want to just do this or, or, you know, do we want to stand back and look at, you know, what’s going to simply take us down the same route and road that we've been on before.
And so I think that's okay as they go down one path to, to explore and look at things from many different alternatives to find what's the real problem and what's the right opportunity so that they can really leverage the investment of time that they're making to find a new solution.
So I find the whole concept except of risk and innovation interesting.
and I think that the challenge is that, um, people have this natural aversion to risk, right? It's not, you know, it's not the organization that's taking the risk it's the people in the organization who have to make decisions and make choices to, um, do things differently and that is frightening and scary from the standpoint that we're going into perhaps an unknown space, we're not feeling completely safe and secure in the support we have in the organization, um, there's always that looming, terrible word that starts with an F um, there's so much that gets packed into that and, and yet, If we don't take the risk, I think there's even more risk in many cases.
So we run from doing something new, trying to hold on to the existing and we're actually creating more risk and creating more challenge. So we you know, we had a really interesting experience with risk in our own organization because we'd been working with a company where we'd been helping them develop their team and believe it or not, it was an internal audit team who was looking to be more innovative in their approach.
and after we'd been in for a few months helping them understand how to use a creative problem solving process and how to rethink the way they approached their work and how to better engage their clients in planning audits, the chief auditor came back to me and said, I like what you're doing with the team but I find that every time they have an opportunity to choose something really new and different to do, that's really going to help us, they think it all through, but then they go and they choose the safest thing. So can you create a situation where they can fail?
And I went, okay, let's explore this. Let's look at what the outcome really needs to be and what is it that we have to help them understand? And what we realized was we had to help them each understand what their level of tolerance was to doing something new and different at a personal level, so that we could help them understand how they could bridge that in the choices they made in the business.
Right. And that sounds really funny, but it wasn’t about, you know, creating a situation where they could fail, it was getting them to understand what did it mean to take a risk? And what was the support they felt they needed to be comfortable taking a risk in the organization.
And so the misperception, I think, around innovation is we use a strong word, like risk and we tie the word failure to it but what we really are talking about is when we start down that path of innovation is we don't know where it's going to end up. It's like research. We do research to figure things out well we do innovation to figure out what's the better option. And so we need to keep reminding ourselves that the process of innovation is discovery and at, at various places, we discover that what we just did was fantastic, or we discover that we didn't get the outcome that we anticipated.
Is it a failure? It's just something you didn't get, and it's then how do you look at it? And so I think the risk is to the person individually, you know, and their own perceptions around what happens if I don't make it happen.
And you, it doesn't matter how much an organization says, don't worry we want you to feel, we want you to experiment and really nobody wants anybody to fail um, I think really what we want is people to be doing very disciplined thinking, I think we want people to be wholeheartedly approaching their tasks with good intention.
And I think we need people to be awake to the fact that, uh, as they go down that path, maybe things aren't going to go the way they need it to go or they thought it would go so what do they do to course correct or learn from that and make sure that they don't kind of keep throwing bad money after good, or, you know what I mean?
When people are faced with a challenge they engage in four kinds of thinking and each of those thinking types is needed to produce innovation and in its simplest form, we all have a preference for engaging in that process and when we can help people understand their preference for thinking is as they go through that process, it completely opens up their awareness of what they can contribute to a team, how they can communicate better, how they can collaborate better. It gives them a process and a structure to have better conversations. It gives them information on how to manage themselves. It helps the team manage, you know, each other as they go through this process.
And it really provides a structure that I think I think is much needed and often overlooked, uh, when we're engaging in innovation. A lot of people are asked to engage in innovation and really don't understand that it's a process and that what we are really doing is we're creating, and I use that word very specifically, the whole intention behind innovation and collaboration is to create something new that has value right to work together to create something new that has value. Well, if you don't understand how you engage in creative process, and that innovation is a creative process and collaboration is creative, then how do you do that well, if you don't have that understanding.
It (FourSight) is a psychological assessment and it measures cognitive preferences. And, uh, what it is doing, the report you get, we call it a thinking profile. So it shows you how you prefer to think through creative process. And then basically says, unlike other assessments, where they go, hey, so here's who you are and you go, thanks so much what do I do with it? It says, look, here's the deal, you want to be more innovative and more creative and this is the process you need to go through, start to finish. You like doing this, so here's the growth. Growth is developing the flexibility to think in other ways, in these other ways where you don't have a preference and the more you put attention to developing that flexibility, the better the results you will get.
And really what it's saying to people is you don't get pass, you need, you need to step up if you, you want to do this really well. And it gives you the structure and it gives you what I like to call a roadmap for getting there. It's like, okay, well, if you need to do this kind of thinking, this is what it looks like at this stage of the game, it looks like this, these are the behaviors you should have.
I believe everyone is creative. Absolutely everybody's creative. You know, the sad thing is we go into a lot of organizations and the majority of the people do not think that they are and as a result, you know what, you know, it's kind of like, what are, what's the foundation? What are the stepping stones we have to put into place to help people move to that different level of performance, to be able to be more comfortable in innovation, to be able to solve the problems that come with it.
Well, one of the first things we need to do is connect them to their creativity and get them comfortable with the fact that it's not about picking up a paint brush. It's about how you think and what are you bringing to the table?
You know, we joined an organization because, you know, we want to make a contribution and yet we have all of these organizations talking about you know, engagement levels are down, this isn't happening, that's not happening. And then you walk into a meeting and you show up at the meeting at one, and it’s like this is what we want from you, we need your best thinking. There's no process around it. There's nothing that helps people feel comfortable. They don't set up the problem space properly. Uh, we don't do anything to make it safe for people to contribute, we don't help people understand that even if they don't see themselves as highly creative and a huge ideator, right or somebody, who can have lots of ideas that they still can contribute.
You know, imagine if we could take all of the meetings we had, and create a much better interaction where people knew how they prefer to think, knew what kind of thinking was really needed at that time
if we could come and do that in a way that allows us to connect as human beings to truly create and truly collaborate on that new thing, on that product, on that stuff that we're trying to do, that's really rewarding. And that's how we create value in the organization. And that's how we get rid of engagement issues.
And, you know, it's like, why don't we just let people think and show them a structure and a process to do that. That makes it really safe for them.
You know, in today's workplaces, this whole concept about respect, diversity inclusion, you know, you can define those words in whatever way you want, really, in the end, it comes down to how am I valued?
Am I seen and I heard, do I get to contribute? And do I want to keep showing up? And when I show up, how are you treating me? Right. So when we can do things that help people do that, better or more easily in a much kinder way we create places that people want to stay, it's as simple as that. And that's really rewarding.
And it’s a lot easier to teach people how to behave that way and give them those skills than it is to retool them in a brand new, you know, career, than it is to go and find somebody to replace them, than it is to go out and re-hire them. Right. All of those things can be avoided. And I think there's huge potential that is, I'm going to say being wasted. It's not being tapped in organizations, if we could just show people how to think a little differently and how to approach the work that they're doing in a much more structured way, that way.
Um, you know, one of the biggest deterrents to productivity and effectiveness on teams is when they don't have a process for problem solving or decision making and when they get stumbling that’s when they go to their manager and they look for their manager, you know, to lead them out of that mess.
and the manager has other things to do, like manage the business and, and kind of keep, uh, you know, keep attention on other things. So if the people aren't functioning and aren’t able to get the work done that they need to get done to advance the goals. If the leaders are having to step in all the time and provide a lot of guidance It becomes very difficult for people to feel satisfaction in what they're doing or for things to actually get done.
So we find leaders are, are often saying, oh my gosh, thank you it is just so much easier, to work with my team and we find that the teams start to have a much greater appreciation for the challenges that the, the managers are facing, the managers start to trust that the teams can do the work, right and when we increase trust, as well as respect and value in a workplace, right. Um, lots of good things happen because of that. So it really, you know, this, this sort of training in this sort of work, and awareness really helps to shift that relationship between the manager and the employees.
And it definitely does have an impact, a positive impact on the bottom line, in the business.
I don't know that everybody thinks that innovation is what they need. I think they think I've got problems in my business. I've got challenges to deal with. I've got stuff happening. They don't equate the resolution of that to being innovative.
So I think there's a misunderstanding and, and really, you know, I don't think, and I've seen this, you know, you don't, you don't go out and sell innovation to a small, medium enterprise. You can sell, you know, I can help you get your teams more effective. I can help with this, I can help that, but they're not specifically going out looking for innovation.
So I think there's just a lot of confusion around what is this thing called innovation and really it's about how do we keep our businesses alive and vital?
How do we continue to deliver value to our clients or, you know, to whatever the reason of our entity is, how do we create value? And if I'm a department within a company, how do I create value for the people in the business? Right. What's my contribution to the business?
And it goes back to earlier, you know, if it's not big whizzbang technology, it can still be innovation. You know, there's a lot of innovation in incremental innovation and that's one of the things that in Canada, they're, they're attempting to have businesses understand, you know, the fact that you realize your accounting system isn't quite working and you decide to automate it is innovation.
The fact that you've got a process that isn't quite working and you go, there's gotta be a better way to do it is innovation.