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Lessons for first-time managers: How to create innovations in your team

Paul Nakonechnyy
Paul Nakonechnyy
Innovation is a cornerstone for modern Businesses as even the smallest performance gain can separate a profitable company from a bankrupt one. CEOs, experienced managers, and business gurus all talk about innovation. As a first-time manager, you play a vital role in the innovation process.
Apply these tips to help your team innovate:
  1. Promote cooperation and collaboration in the team. No innovation is created, documented, and integrated by a single person. Best ideas come when several people work together and combine their knowledge and skills to find a point for improvement. I wrote a guide on promoting cooperation.
  2. Optimize Business Processes together. Some may think the manager is solely responsible for the development and improvement of Business Processes. They are wrong. Indeed, Process Management doesn’t happen without a manager’s involvement. However, team members are to be included in the process too. After all, they are the people who’ll follow the steps of the Procedure.
  3. Facilitate cross-team bonds and communication. Often, innovative ideas come from unexpected places such as an accountant looking at the building plan. It’s a rare innovation that impacts a single team or department. Usually, productive change requires the involvement of dozens of teams supporting a single product or a service in the Organization.
  4. Collect feedback and adopt it. Innovation usually comes in a row of small observations and incremental changes. This process usually comes in 4 steps: Design, Build, Run, and Analyze. Bureaucracy stifles innovation. This cycle of optimizations and improvements can happen a thousand times in big projects.
  5. Stop thinking about innovation for a moment. There’s no point in improving the process no one uses because everyone is innovating process upgrades. Does no one have any ideas? Relax, work as usual, and check again in a week.
It’s impossible to forcefully create an innovation. Continuous development of innovations requires good Team Members, optimal Business Processes, and innovation-promoting Corporate Culture. All of which are, at least partially, controlled by the middle managers.
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Paul Nakonechnyy
Paul Nakonechnyy @PaulNakonechnyy

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