True Innovation Lies in Teams Not Individuals

team creativity

I love the quote below and believe the truth of it whole heartedly

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
- Peter Drucker

The word I really want to home in on is innovation; innovation is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days but the true meaning of innovation is the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay (BusinessDictionary.com)

Innovation often begins with an individual but tends to end with a team

These days everyone wants to be a ‘superstar’ but I believe real stardom lies in teams collectively, no one ever achieved anything significant completely on their own.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt as a team leader is the value of collective creativity. I’m often surprised at how much better an idea becomes when thrown out to my team for open discussion. I’ve now got in the habit of asking their opinion even regarding issues that I consider myself quite expert in, because they always add a fresh perspective and offer  insights that would have otherwised been lost.

An example of this idea of collective creativity is found in John Adair’s 100 Greatest Ideas for Amazing Creativity, he states;

The Japanese are not noted for their creativity, Indeed, Japanese culture, especially its educational system has traditionally played down individuality. ‘If a nail stands up it will be hammered down’, declares a Japanese probably bluntly…However in groups the Japanese have shown themselves to be remarkably innovative.

Companies like Sony exemplify this ethos.

There is of course always room for individual creativity and of course we all want to shine, but I feel that within an organisation the focus should be on cultivating superstar teams as opposed to superstar individuals. After all people tend to support what they help to create.

PS: John Adair’s 100 Greatest Ideas for Amazing Creativity is definitely worth a read

Speak soon,
Katrina

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