Avoid These Traps When Building an Innovation Team

A successful organization relies on innovation to stay competitive in its field. Because of the risks of falling behind, developing a powerful innovation team is crucial for success. An organization’s unique skills should make an impactful contribution to its team and be diverse enough to provide various outlooks on the task at hand to create an unconventional, innovative solution.

Even though it’s tough creating the ideal dream team for any project, avoiding certain traps when creating your innovation team will start you off on the right foot.

Your Team isn’t Diverse Enough
For real innovation, it’s unreasonable to rely on the same power players or individuals from similar backgrounds. Not to negate their strengths, but you need a new, fresh perspective. Who will ask the tough questions or offer an insight that would have otherwise gone unnoticed? Your team should be unabashed at throwing out new ideas whenever and however possible.

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
Yes, you need as much input as possible to cultivate fresh ideas; however, group responsibilities should be doled out to less than 10 people. Larger teams often have issues communicating and fulfilling role responsibilities, working productively together and staying motivated. Having a smaller group (between 5-7 members) leaves little room for confusion and chaos. A larger number of players can work in an innovation team, but beware! They can only gel under the watchful eye of strong leadership!

What’s My Role Again?
An innovation team should be comprised of members tasked to brainstorm methods to reach goals, motivate and assist in achieving those goals and planning to see their ideas come to fruition.

  • The brainstormers of the group will be the ones to throw out new ideas and see if they make sense in the grand scheme of it all. This group will also consist of a specialist who knows the ins and outs of their industry.
  • The motivators will be composed of facilitators who will ultimately encourage and support the team through this journey. They will keep morale high and establish a harmonious environment for the team, or they may use their outside connections to help support their team. Their role on the team is invaluable.
  • The planners will execute the innovative strategy. These players are the ones who will create a plan of action and help the strategy come to fruition while keeping an eye on quality control and other necessary details.

Make sure there is clarity in the team responsibilities.

You Assumed Victory was Final
The performance trap is all too common. A team labors to innovate. They finally find a great solution for their project, then celebrations and pats on the back ensue. Suddenly, it ends. The problem?

Innovation is an ongoing experience. Businesses will have to transform and reinvent themselves several times over if they wish to remain leaders in their industry. Individual projects will call for your innovative big-shots, but the goal is always to have them working diligently to transform your organization.

Your innovation team is one of the most influential groups of your staff. They are indispensable to a flourishing company and by avoiding common traps when building this team, your organization will delight in remaining a step ahead of the competition.