How does one train people to deal with spontaneity? You encourage nerve and spunk. By creating the type of place with moxie where dull and boring placidity are replaced with, “Hell yeah.”
It’s no secret that innovation requires senior managers with backbone and brains. Often forgotten, however, is the fact that most of the heavy lifting of innovation is done in highly collaborative team settings. The success or failure of these teams ultimately determines the fate of the big-picture thinking coming out of the C-suite.
With so much at stake, it seems natural for upper management to attempt to impose structure – strict protocols, procedures, and an approvals regime — on team activities at an organisational level. How else to keep teams from losing focus or, worse, going rogue?
But managers’ seemingly sensible efforts to keep teams on track can backfire, says Henrik Bresman, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour. To get the most out of their teams, according to Bresman, it’s often best to do something many leaders find frightening: Stop leading for a bit. Give teams autonomy over an assigned task, then get out of the way.