Four Ways To Build An Innovative Team

The way to build an innovative team might be right at your fingertips. According to Harvard Business Review, focusing on these four areas can help to build an innovative team:

Hiring people who share your Mission
Placing a high value on teamwork
Nurturing an environment of psychological safety
Creating Diversity

The notion that innovation is only about ideas needs to be dispelled. It's not only about ideas, it’s also about solving problems. While the tendency to hire people with a certain "type" in mind is common, it is better to hire people who want to tackle the problems that your organisation needs solving. For these people, who share your mission and have an intrinsic motivation, creativity runs high.

Even more valuable than having the "best" people, is having the best teams. With complex problems to solve, teamwork is key. The best teams include people who truly tune in to those around them, they are generous, strong collaborators. These particular attributes research show are a competitive advantage in relation to innovation. Then the tricky task of empowering these people, and creating an environment in which they can excel falls to management.

It's within the environment of a safe atmosphere that the capacity for learning increases. Research conducted by Google found that team performance was most effected by whether team members felt a sense of psychological safety. Meaning that each team member felt they could voice their ideas without the concern of reprimand. Similarly, a study by MIT and Carnegie Mellon found that teams in which members have an equal chance to speak far outperform their counterparts, where only one or two people may control the conversation. 

In addition to creating an environment that is psychologically safe, managers also have the difficult task of creating diversity. A diverse team is well suited for solving problems, through their diversity people think differently, their perspectives are questioned and they give a more complete examination of facts. Research has widely shown that diverse teams are more agile and creative.