Teneo !!!

Aaron’s blog on Networking, and Enterprise Technology

Principles of Innovation

A few years ago, I participated in a “life-management” program.  Basically, it was a self-improvement program sponsored by my previous company.  The program failed, but not because of it’s content.

I was going through my desk drawers at home, looking for scissors, and found my notes about how to encourage and promote innovation in your team.

  1. One conversation at a time – If your team is brainstorming, make sure each individual is heard fully, and without interruption.
  2. Stay focused on the topic – It’s important to stay on topic.  Going off on small tangents is a part of brainstorming, but make sure you don’t start talking about your neighbor’s new car.
  3. Encourage wild ideas – Sounds silly, after following principle #2.  What this means, is NEVER…. NEVER, EVER discourage an idea, no matter how wild it is.  Usually, that wild idea will spawn a good but more realistic idea.  Plus, discouragement is a negative emotion, and you don’t want any negative feelings in your team.
  4. Defer Judgement – Make sure you wait until AFTER everything is said.  Even then, you may want to let it sink before passing judgement on the idea.
  5. Build on the ideas of others – Based on Principle #3, keep spawning off ideas from other ideas, adding more value.  One smart person can come up with a good idea.  But two or three of them starts building true innovation
  6. Vote on Ideas – Have your team place the top ideas on a board.  Give them each 3 post-its.  Have them place their post-its on the ideas they like most (can’t be their own).  Use the top votes to choose the best idea.

And finally, one of the most brilliant and important principles that I can remember:


We all fail.  No matter what the goal is, we learn from our mistakes in order to get better.  That last principle basically states… “Don’t be afraid to fail….it’s a part of succeeding.  The more you fail, the faster you’ll learn and succeed”.

Good Luck!!  I hope this helps you!

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