How to set structures to foster innovation and creativity

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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.

via Get Out of the Way! | INSEAD Knowledge.


Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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Posted in Innovation
One comment on “How to set structures to foster innovation and creativity
  1. […] How to set structures to foster innovation and creativity […]


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